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Last post Author Topic: wireless networking and wifi printer help  (Read 12274 times)

Target

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wireless networking and wifi printer help
« on: January 18, 2015, 09:12:16 PM »
I recently bought a wifi laser printer under the apparently mistaken idea that it would simplify things at home and be cheaper to run

After some weeks of tinkering and testing I still can't can't consistently create a wireless connection to the damn thing, let alone a persistent one.

Let me state up front that I don't have a home network - we don't have access to landline based broadband, and there's no other reason to network the 2 PC's in our house. 

On my Win7 box

  - I've used the supplied software and followed the installation instructions to the letter
  - I've created a network connection (on the assumption that I needed some sort of network for the printer to see)
  - I've used the supplied software and followed the installation instructions to the letter
  - I've set static IP addresses
  - I've used the supplied software and followed the installation instructions to the letter 
  - I've disabled the existing (Atheros) wifi adapter and purchased another (EDIMAX)
  - I've used the supplied software and followed the installation instructions to the letter

I'm at the stage where it's getting beyond a joke so I'm hoping someone here can supply an AHA! comment

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 09:25:33 PM »
Could you give us the make and exact model of the printer?

Sometimes problems like this are specific to a certain model or manufacturer.

Npte: Many times when a printer goes into power save mode it will drop its wifi connectivity. Without a network, if your PC can't provide the requisite wake-up call, the printer won't come out of power save.

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 09:27:52 PM »
samsung M2835DW...

destructions say it uses 'wifi direct' which I gather is specific (peculiar?) to intel chipsets, though that shouldn't be an impediment to 'normal' operation

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 09:37:40 PM »
Did you do your setup with the Easy Wireless Setup Software downloadable from here?

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 09:39:47 PM »
samsung M2835DW...

destructions say it uses 'wifi direct' which I gather is specific (peculiar?) to intel chipsets, though that shouldn't be an impediment to 'normal' operation

That shouldn't matter. Even a smartphone should be able to connect to it.

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 10:07:38 PM »
yes, many(!) times...

wirelessly they printer doesn't seem to be visible to the setup program, though it does come up in the network list and I can 'connect' to it manually when it does

I'm thinking I'll have to remove it all (or as much as possible) and start again (yeah yeah, I know I should have done this already >:()

rgdot

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 10:39:22 PM »
samsung M2835DW...

destructions say it uses 'wifi direct' which I gather is specific (peculiar?) to intel chipsets, though that shouldn't be an impediment to 'normal' operation

 ;D

Using any brand printing via wifi has always been similar to that for me, remove, re-discover and re-add printer

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 10:48:42 PM »
Using any brand printing via wifi has always been similar to that for me, remove, re-discover and re-add printer

yeah, and try telling that to the kids of today...

progress, meh...

Stoic Joker

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 11:51:35 AM »
Let me state up front that I don't have a home network - we don't have access to landline based broadband, and there's no other reason to network the 2 PC's in our house.

As incentives go, this is a pretty good one ... Because printer controlled wireless networks as a rule tend to be roughly half as stable as a acrophobic on an electrified tightrope.


Npte: Many times when a printer goes into power save mode it will drop its wifi connectivity. Without a network, if your PC can't provide the requisite wake-up call, the printer won't come out of power save.

While you are 100% correct in theory...in practice the printer is probably just not capable of responding to the wakeup call because of a conflict in its feature set. ergo:

People want "Green" print devices.
People want wireless print devices.
People don't realize that these two options are currently mutually exclusive.

I don't give a damn what the brochure says, I'm talking about what actually happens. Like for instance the $7,000+ Toshiba business copiers that go into Eco-Riffic "Super Sleep" by default in 1 minute...which renders the device inert on the wire until somebody walks over to it and physically presses the device's wake button. And this sort of shenanigan is quite prevalent in the industry. It also gets much worse the closer you get to consumer level devices.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So... Start by disabling any and all sleep functions first. Then if it starts behaving you can look into how best to allow the thing to take a light nap.

One of the main questions that should also be asked, is does the printer itself really need to be wireless? More often than not the answer to this is no. Because the printer is almost always a stationary target that simply needs to be accessible from any moving location. So it really just needs to be accessible by wireless devices. Until they come up with a battery powered printer it's going to be tethered to a wall anyhow so you might as well take the advantage and wire in the network too. It's amazing how many people waste money getting upsold on this rather critical - but often misunderstood - detail.

According to the specs the device has an RJ45 Ethernet port, so get a cheap wireless router, wire the thing to it, and you should be ok. The router will handle the IP scheme, and you won't be left twisting in the wind hoping that some flakey "Cutting Edge" technology will decide to be kind enough to actually work on any given day.

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 03:04:59 PM »
One of the main questions that should also be asked, is does the printer itself really need to be wireless? More often than not the answer to this is no. Because the printer is almost always a stationary target that simply needs to be accessible from any moving location. So it really just needs to be accessible by wireless devices. Until they come up with a battery powered printer it's going to be tethered to a wall anyhow so you might as well take the advantage and wire in the network too. It's amazing how many people waste money getting upsold on this rather critical - but often misunderstood - detail.

According to the specs the device has an RJ45 Ethernet port, so get a cheap wireless router, wire the thing to it, and you should be ok. The router will handle the IP scheme, and you won't be left twisting in the wind hoping that some flakey "Cutting Edge" technology will decide to be kind enough to actually work on any given day.

Bingo! Although the Brother MFC-8710DW I recently bought for the house (thereby neatly breaking my own 'rules' about "wired before wireless" and "no multifunction devices") worked fine right out of the box in that regard. Unboxed it, stuck it in a corner of the den, fired it up, connected it via it's wireless to one of our access points using the front panel, and Bob was my uncle. Windows, Linux, Nook, and all our smartphones (iOS and Android) are perfectly happy printing through it via wifi.

I'll confess I did more research than usual before I bought it - primarily as a backup copier that could do 2-sided and legal. But I did pay attention to user feedback on how well its wireless features worked since that's always been the Achilles Heel with this class of product. The feedback wasn't exactly stellar. But it was noticeably better than anything else I looked at. YMMV.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 11:38:14 AM by 40hz »

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 06:26:03 PM »
As incentives go, this is a pretty good one ... Because printer controlled wireless networks as a rule tend to be roughly half as stable as a acrophobic on an electrified tightrope.

One of the main questions that should also be asked, is does the printer itself really need to be wireless? According to the specs the device has an RJ45 Ethernet port, so get a cheap wireless router, wire the thing to it, and you should be ok. The router will handle the IP scheme, and you won't be left twisting in the wind hoping that some flakey "Cutting Edge" technology will decide to be kind enough to actually work on any given day.

As you've already pointed out the printer doesn't need to be wireless, but there's there's a counterpoint to that in that we don't actually need a network, we only need to be able to connect to the printer.

That said I have been wondering about buying a wireless router so there would at least be some form of network - anyone want to make a recommendation?  Ideally any candidates should be able to act as a wireless access point (ie I want to able to use a wireless dongle with it) 

Quote
Start by disabling any and all sleep functions first. Then if it starts behaving you can look into how best to allow the thing to take a light nap

good tip, but I need to get it to connect in the first place before this should be a factor :mad:

Stoic Joker

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 12:02:19 PM »
but there's a counterpoint to that in that we don't actually need a network, we only need to be able to connect to the printer.

Using wireless to achieve IP connectivity...is a network. Size isn't the issue here, neither is the number or volume of services offered, it is the assigning of IPs and networking - by way of creating connections - of the devices that makes it a network. The Ad-Hoc nature of trying to make/keep it point to point (to point) really just complicate things.

That said I have been wondering about buying a wireless router so there would at least be some form of network

...

I need to get it to connect in the first place before this should be a factor :mad:

A (getting router - to handle addressing etc.) will solve B (getting connections to work/behave) for you.



I have to ask, how are the computers currently accessing the internet??

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 03:42:56 PM »
ur mobiles
I have to ask, how are the computers currently accessing the internet??

by tethering our mobiles

FWIW I'm not averse to having a network per se, I just don't need any sort of network connectivity for anything other than the printer.  Plus it irritates me to have to buy another wireless device so I can connect it to my wireless device

And given that that functionality is explicitly available in all the existing devices it seems reasonable to expect that it would actually. well, function.  It's not like wifi is new or bleeding edge, quite the opposite in fact (I know this is a generalisation and that there are a lot of factors to consider)

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 03:56:59 PM »
And given that that functionality is explicitly available in all the existing devices it seems reasonable to expect that it would actually. well, function.  It's not like wifi is new or bleeding edge, quite the opposite in fact (I know this is a generalisation and that there are a lot of factors to consider)

It's not so much wifi as it is per-to-peer networking. In an ad hoc network environment there’s no persistence. So it tends to be flaky.

Besides...a wifi router does a lot more than just provide wifi connectivity. It also handles DHCP, provides a unified gateway, allows for QoS tuning, gives you a basic SPI firewall and related security services, plus a host of other benefits. It's not just a dumb radio box. It's a computer - complete with CPU and software. With a router, all you need to do is connect with a very basic TCP/IP connection. All the heavy lifting and dithering in the background that's needed to make your network stable and pleasant to work with is handled by the router. Less of a load on your PC as a result.

Routers are good things to have no matter what size the network.

Stoic Joker

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 06:04:36 PM »
Plus it irritates me to have to buy another wireless device

This I can understand - Complexity sucks. :)


All the heavy lifting and dithering in the background that's needed to make your network stable and pleasant to work with is handled by the router.

Agreed absolutely, But the answer to how they connect to the internet:

by tethering our mobiles

Makes for an Interesting wrinkle, once a 2nd (inactive) gateway gets introduced (IT hits the fan). Because it will either need a gateway-less static IP scheme, or a really low priority for the wireless adapters gateway to be sure they can get out to the web. Both of which either of us could probably do blindfolded...but neither is a great time for a novice. Not to mention if it ever required them to do any troubleshooting ... Zoiks!

I think a safer way out would be to get one of the cellular broadband routers that will furnish its own centralized connection and built in wireless router that will share data with their existing plan ... Assuming their provider offers this option (many do these days). That way the objective can be achieved with less complexity than the existing system. Because then you're really just moving the modem to a central location instead of dangling it off the end of a cable.

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 07:46:10 PM »
I think a safer way out would be to get one of the cellular broadband routers that will furnish its own centralized connection and built in wireless router that will share data with their existing plan ..

Agree 100%.

And yeah, that tethering bit is a pretty unique wrinkle. Can't say I've ever tried that one before, but I'm guessing it would be a pretty fiddly exercise getting it setup just right... :huh:

Target

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 09:28:13 PM »
Makes for an Interesting wrinkle, once a 2nd (inactive) gateway gets introduced (IT hits the fan). Because it will either need a gateway-less static IP scheme, or a really low priority for the wireless adapters gateway to be sure they can get out to the web. Both of which either of us could probably do blindfolded...but neither is a great time for a novice. Not to mention if it ever required them to do any troubleshooting ... Zoiks!

actually not that hard as the tether doesn't need to be shared - we obviously only connect when we need it and the connection is direct to the PC in question, so not part of 'a network' at all

cranioscopical

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2015, 12:37:36 AM »
by tethering our mobiles

Watch for next week's thrilling instalment, 'Home Laundry Using Rocks'.
 

Stoic Joker

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2015, 06:55:10 AM »
Makes for an Interesting wrinkle, once a 2nd (inactive) gateway gets introduced (IT hits the fan). Because it will either need a gateway-less static IP scheme, or a really low priority for the wireless adapters gateway to be sure they can get out to the web. Both of which either of us could probably do blindfolded...but neither is a great time for a novice. Not to mention if it ever required them to do any troubleshooting ... Zoiks!

actually not that hard as the tether doesn't need to be shared - we obviously only connect when we need it and the connection is direct to the PC in question, so not part of 'a network' at all

The issue isn't with either configuration independently. The issue is with the combination of the two quickly becoming about as much fun as trying to juggle cats.

Here's the fun part: In networking the default gateway is also known as "the path of last resort", and this by nature must be a singular item. However with the tethered + wireless network combo, you invariably end up with two paths of last resort...and this gets confusing as hell immediately. Because the first time the machine tries to get to an external (e.g. internet) address, it is going to have to digitally flip a coin, pick a gateway, and encounter a 50/50 chance if getting slammed into a wall (of oblivion) if it happens to pick the wrong/dead gateway.

Now while there are ways of dealing with the above, they are all (statically oriented) a royal PITA to deal with, especially on a portable device which is dependent on the availability of dynamic addressing.

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2015, 07:01:19 AM »
by tethering our mobiles

Watch for next week's thrilling instalment, 'Home Laundry Using Rocks'.
 


At least if you slam your thumbs doing that, you know exactly why you're hurting. ;)


40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2015, 07:02:28 AM »
Here's the fun part: In networking the default gateway is also known as "the path of last resort", and this by nature must be a singular item. However with the tethered + wireless network combo, you invariably end up with two paths of last resort...and this gets confusing as hell immediately. Because the first time the machine tries to get to an external (e.g. internet) address, it is going to have to digitally flip a coin, pick a gateway, and encounter a 50/50 chance if getting slammed into a wall (of oblivion) if it happens to pick the wrong/dead gateway.

This.


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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2015, 08:25:04 AM »

Complexity sucks. :)


This essentially sums up the entire conversation. As with most problems, the trick is to make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. Past that point, you actually make things more complex.

Ad hoc networking is not a solution so much as a kludge. Like any "good" kludge, there's a steep decline in usefulness and useability outside of the specific problem it was designed to address. In this case that means quick and dirty one off connections between wireless devices. What we're really talking about is using the printer's ad hoc capabilities to do the job of a WAP and router. To paraphrase Chris Rock, you can do it, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

Connecting a router is the most obvious way to simplify things. You wouldn't be adding a network. In reality you would be replacing numerous unreliable networks with a single (mostly) reliable network.
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Stoic Joker

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2015, 11:18:25 AM »
^ :D :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 11:41:15 AM »
^Succinct and spot on.  :Thmbsup: 8)

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Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 09:08:37 PM »
I'm coming to realise that there's wireless, and then there's wireless (see the difference there?). 

...the trick is to make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. Past that point, you actually make things more complex.

and therein lies the trap. 

Simple is good, but it assumes that everyone has a certain level of knowledge/skill, and that they already have all the dependencies covered off so there is no attempt to define anything. 

Quote
Ad hoc networking is not a solution so much as a kludge. Like any "good" kludge, there's a steep decline in usefulness and useability outside of the specific problem it was designed to address. In this case that means quick and dirty one off connections between wireless devices. What we're really talking about is using the printer's ad hoc capabilities to do the job of a WAP and router.

I'll show my ignorance here and ask what's probably a stupid question.

If I can create an adhoc wired 'network' so easily, then why is a wireless solution so much different.  The comm's should be the same, so we're only talking about the means of transmission (is landline v mobile telephony is an appropriate analogy?)