I have 2 computers (Mac with OS 9 and a desktop PC (XP)) that both print to a networked printer (large Xerox Phaser 7700).

The printer and the two computers are networked through an old ethernet switch.

At the moment, the computers use DHCP. But they connect to the printer through IP. The printer has (it seems) a static IP address assigned to it.

What is the best solution to this? Static IPs for every device?

Should I set up the printer to use DHCP? In this case, how do the computers know to find the printer?

SOLVED: Although these are good solutions, I could not figure out how to use the exclusion list. However, the router offered a DHCP starting address. I just put the printer before the starting address.


You can:

  • Go static everywhere.
  • Use a static IP for the printer, and tell the DHCP server not to assign that address to another device.
  • Use DHCP for the printer, and tell the DHCP server to always assign the same IP to the printer (based on it's MAC address)
  • Use DHCP for the printer, and have the DHCP server register the name of the printer in DNS and tell the clients to use DNS instead of the hard-coded IP address (which is going to cause you pain and suffering if you ever have to renumber).
  • 2
    Womble has a lot of good suggestions -- as far as best solution for you I would go with the "setup DHCP reservation for the printer". This won't require any change to the printer but will prevent that address from being handed to any other devices and if the printer were to get reset to DHCP it will get the address it currently has with the static. – Peter Nov 17 '09 at 17:33

Set a reservation in DHCP for printers.


Use Zeroconf. All Macs use it by default, all new printers support it, there's free software for Linux systems and also a package for Windows machines.

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