Network printers - do you just use DHCP or static / reservation IP address?

Posted on 2007-07-31
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
A follow up to:

where I asked if it made more sense for USB or ethernet to connect printers to the server in a SBS domain.  For those not reading that link, clear choice is network connection.

Now... as for the IP of this network printer.  do you set up a reservation / static IP for a printer or just lef dhcp do it's thing?  It seems like it should be static / reservation because with just basic dhcp, it'll renew its lease and always get the same IP.... usually.  Something is bound to happen - the printer is off line for a while and some other device gets its IP / it gets a different IP, right?

Make a reservation and not have to worry?
Question by:babaganoosh
    LVL 54

    Accepted Solution

    You are correct.  Static or reservation is the way to go.  DHCP isn't good for a device like a printer.  The main reason is computers will usually be setup to use the IP address as the "port" or the way to connect to the printer.  If that changes, like it would with DHCP, then you have problems.

    You are correct that a reservation or static is the way to go.  If static then try to use an IP outside the range assigned by the router or DHCP so there will be no conflict.  Of course it would still need to be in the range to work with the router and network.  Let me know if you have a question about this or need more info.

    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    If you have physical access to all of your printers (if they're all at your site and easy to get to), I'd recommend assigning static IPs to them.  If they're scattered around a wide area, though, or if some are inaccessible or might be in the future, a DHCP reservation may make management a little easier.  Either way, though, you definitely don't want those IP addresses changing, as the prevous poster pointed out.

    Author Comment

    LVL 54

    Expert Comment

    Your welcome!  I'm glad I could help.  Thanks for the fun question, the grade and the points.

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    I know this question is answered and i'm not looking for points.  I'd just like to add that you should always use static IP's with printers, servers, routers/firewalls, switches/hubs...basically all your core networking gear. They make it easier to troubleshoot as you set reservations and can troubleshoot faster since you know the IP address and is more stable since the IP addresses won't change.
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    Again I agree. Always use fixed addresses for printers. They don't need to be static though: most DHCP servers can be set to reserve IP addresses for specific MAC addresses. That way, the printer uses DHCP, but still always gets the same address.

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