I'm considering purchasing a home network printer but first wanted to verify the prerequisites for configuring the PCs & laptops that are connected to my home network, so that all devices can print to the new printer.

Let's say I have the following setup:

  • I have a printer connected directly to my home router with a wired ethernet connection.
  • I have several PCs & laptops running a mixture of Windows 7 & 10 connecting to my home router via a mixture of wired & wireless connections.
  • Network discovery is turned off by default on all PCs & laptops, with the network location set to the default Public Network.


I wish to be able to print to the network printer from all PCs & laptops connected to the home router either wired or wirelessly.

Anticipated Steps

From my own experience & research, I anticipate the setup to be as follows:

  • Connect printer to home router via wired ethernet connection.
  • Print Network Configuration page to obtain printer IP address.
  • Log onto home router and reserve printer IP address.
  • On each PC or laptop:
    • Open Control Panel
    • Devices & Printers
    • Add Printer
    • Add Network Printer
    • Add Printer by TCP/IP Address
    • Enter reserved printer IP address
    • Query printer for appropriate driver

However, I'm unsure whether or not I need to enable Network Discovery for the above to be successful, and if so, I'm unsure of the implications for doing so?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    If you connect the printer directly to the network it shouldn't be required. However, if you connect the printer to a PC, then share the printer then it might be required. However, network discovery within your own intranet, is perfectly safe. – Ramhound Jan 3 '20 at 22:08
  • Thank you for your response @Ramhound - I'd hoped that would be the case. The main reason for my uncertainty was that, as a test, I thought I'd try to ping one of the PCs/laptops on the network from another PC/laptop, and the ping failed. Hence I wondered whether, if I were to connect the printer, that the PCs/laptops would be similarly unable to communicate with the printer. – Lee Mac Jan 3 '20 at 22:17

You do not need to enable Network discovery to add a printer. Your anticipated steps are correct because you know the IP of the printer. If you did not know the IP and needed to search the network for a printer, then you would need to turn it on to find the device.

  • I am not even sure network discovery would have to be enabled to find a network printer. It’s been awhile since I worried about network discovery being enabled though. – Ramhound Jan 4 '20 at 4:10

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