If you use the printer through a wired or wireless corporate or home network, your computer communicates with the printer using an Internet protocol address. If you have problems with your printer, you may need to find the printer’s IP address to find the printer on the network, make sure it is still connected, and troubleshoot any programs. Can’t ping network printer?
Description of network printers and IP address
Internet protocol is basically the language used by computers to communicate over the Internet and other networks, including modern home and office networks. Assigns a numeric address, such as 192.168.0.1, to each computer, smartphone, printer or other device. Computers can refer to each other using human-readable domain names usually used to access websites such as www.example.com, but ultimately they are translated into IP addresses.
If your computer uses an Internet protocol, called a hypertext or HTTP protocol, to communicate with the printer, you may have a local printer name that will eventually be translated to the IP address of the HTTP printer to deliver print jobs and other messages to the printer.
When testing whether you can access a specific resource, such as a printer on a network, you can check whether it actually has an IP address and whether this address is available from your computer. This will help you determine if you have a problem with your network connection or with a computer or other device.
Ping your printer
If you know or specify the IP address, you can use the “ping” command to see if your computer can connect to it. Type “ping” at the command prompt followed by the printer’s IP address. The computer will send a message to the printer asking for a reply and will indicate if these responses have been received.
Ping should work on most Windows, Mac, Linux and other Unix systems. Remember that if you do not hear a response from the printer, the printer may be unavailable at all or ping messages are blocked by firewall settings on your computer or network. Check in the IT department if you have one or if ping should work on your network.
Remember that while you can find online pinging tools for use on the Internet, they will not have access to the internal network and will probably not help you check that the printer is working.
Unable to send ping to device from some computers on the network
If you have a device (webcam, printer, computer, server …) that you can connect to most computers on the network, but not others, there are two common reasons why you should investigate:
- The device has a firewall or anti-virus product that is actively blocking traffic
- The device has a poorly configured network, in particular a subnet mask
In my case, I was working on a security device that used the statically assigned 255.255.255.0 for the subnet mask, when it should be Class C greater 255.255.254.0. This meant that all computers with the lowest IP address (10.10.10.1-255) they could connect correctly, but computers in the second range (10.10.11.1-255) could not. Improving the subnet mask was easy, but it took me 2 frustrating hours, so I thought my pain could be your gain.