How to Connect a Printer With an Ethernet Cable

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Updated November 18, 2022

If you work from home, then you are likely with the journey it takes to find the best printer. Often, the answer lies in the best all-in-one printer, as they can print, scan, and transfer documents from one device to another.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Ethernet connections are often more reliable and faster than wireless network connections.
  • Establishing a connection via an ethernet cable requires downloading the printer’s driver software before printing.
  • After connecting, set your printer as the computer’s default print device and run a test to check that the connection works.

When debating which printer to get, an important question to figure out is what type of connection to use. While most modern printers come with wireless connectivity, there’s usually an ethernet port available for a wired connection. For those who decide to forsake the wireless network, we’ll explain how to connect a printer with an ethernet cable below.

Similarly, another resource explains how to connect a fax machine with a cable modem or even how to scan from a printer to an iPhone.

How to Hook up All-In-One Printer with Cable Internet

As stated, one of the first things to understanding how to set up an all-in-one printer is deciding on the connection. While a Wi-Fi or ethernet connection accomplishes the same task, the main advantage of using a wired connection is a more reliable internet connection. However, it has disadvantages, like the inability to connect to a mobile device.

The good news is that hooking up a printer via ethernet port is easy, and below you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Insider Tip

Outside of an ethernet cable connection, users can also connect a printer via a USB cable.

If you read this and want to learn more about the various printer types, you can read our comparison article on laser printers vs copier machines.

STEP 1 Connect Cord to the Ethernet Port

Examine the back of your printer and connect the ethernet cable to the port. Listen for a soft-click noise to ensure the cable is connected. Then, insert the other end of the cord into your computer.

STEP 2 Download Printer Driver (If Necessary)

If you are connecting your printer for the first time, follow the instructions to download the printer driver software. Driver software is necessary to be able to set up the print process.

STEP 3 Enter Your Printer Settings

Go into your computer’s general settings and then into the device settings. From there, enter the printer software settings.

STEP 4 Set Your Device as Default Printer

After locating your printer settings, check your printer list for the correct device. Then, select the option to add the device.

STEP 5 Run a Test Print Job

After establishing your default printer, run a print job to ensure the connection works.

Check out our comparison guide to an ethernet printer vs wireless, if you still have questions about ethernet connectivity.

Warning

The ends of ethernet cables are delicate, so be careful when inserting them into the ports.

STAT: A business’s average annual print cost per employee is $750. (source)

How to Connect a Printer With an Ethernet Cable FAQs

Does a longer ethernet cable slow the connection speed?

A rule for any wired connection is that the longer the cable, the more time it'll take for information to transfer.

What are the advantages of hooking your computer up via a wired LAN connection?

A wired connection establishes a connection that can't be interfered with or cut out. Overall, it's a more reliable and consistent connection for accomplishing print jobs.

Is it better to connect the printer up via ethernet or USB cable?

Ethernet cables are more effective for transferring information and speeding up your connection than a USB cable is. So if you can connect via ethernet, go that route.
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