How to Connect a Printer to a Computer With an Ethernet Cable

Written by mike bowers
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How to Connect a Printer to a Computer With an Ethernet Cable
Connecting a printer to a home network allows users to connect multiple computers to a single printer. (paper feed image by Glenn Jenkinson from

Connecting a printer to your home network gives you the ability to use your computer anywhere in your home or business without needing to move the printer as well. It also allows multiple computers to share a single printer, improving efficiency and potentially reducing costs. Connecting your printers with an Ethernet cable can add flexibility while preserving productivity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Printer with Ethernet port
  • Ethernet cable

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  1. 1

    Plug the Ethernet cable into the printer. Gently push one end into the printer's Ethernet port. Plug the other end into a router or an Ethernet wall outlet. Ethernet jacks for network printers are usually located on the back of the printer, next to the USB port.

  2. 2

    Connect your computer to the same network as the printer. This can be done by plugging your computer into a router that is also connected to the printer or by connecting the printer into an Ethernet outlet that is connected to the same network.

  3. 3

    Determine the IP address for the printer. Some printers will include an LCD display that will allow you to find this information by selecting it on the printer menu. Network printers without a display will have a set-up button on the printer. Hold this button until the printer prints an information page. This page will have the IP address on it.

  4. 4

    Install the drivers for your printer. This can be done by using the installation disc included with your printer, downloading the drivers from the printer manufacturer's web site or by letting your computer install them automatically when you connect the printer.

  5. 5

    Connect the printer to your computer. Windows users can do this by selecting "start," then "control panel," then "hardware and sound" and then printers. Select "add a printer" on the toolbar. You can then select the printer from the list of available devices. If it is not there, you can enter in the printer's IP address. The printer will then download any necessary additional drivers.

    Macintosh users can select "File," then "Print" and then "Add a printer." Select the printer if it is listed under available devices or enter the printer's IP address if it is not.

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