So while I was updating financial information last night I came across the need to print several pages, scan a few checks in, etc. We have this supposedly amazing all-in-one printer, the Hewlett-Packard c6180. When I first got it back in December I had it set up via a physical Ethernet connection in my custom-built office. However, when we moved into our current apartment we needed to set it up to be wireless as our current arrangement is not conducive to a wired network in any way. The perk is, this wireless printer is supposed to support WPA2 wireless networks… well for six months it seemed it has not. No matter how many times I manually entered our WPA2 key and network name with static IP address into the computer via it’s LCD interface it would never connect.

HP c6180 All-in-One Printer

HP c6180 All-in-One Printer

So here’s how I finally got it working:

Yesterday I did the same thing I have done several times and hooked up the printer via an Ethernet connection to my computer manually. The only difference is that this time, rather than using HPs built-in networking setup tool, I went to the manual IP I had assigned the printer myself earlier for my wired network (as a side note, I had to modify my IP to have the same first three bytes – see IP Routing Primer for more information). By accessing the printer manually via it’s browser interface I was able to manually configure the network settings. The first thing I noticed was that it was setup to utilize WPA or WPA2 “automatically” as well as AES or TKIP (the form of encryption) “automatically”. By simply changing the wireless network type to WPA2 (forced) it was a simple click on “Save” and it started working instantly. Well at least the scanner through the browser did…

One would think that when you setup the HP Setup Assistant it would configure your system to automatically use the newly added printer by default (via the network – since that is the printer I chose during the setup). Apparently in fairly small text there is a little blurb that says if you are installing a network printer (on OS X in this case) you have to go into the System Preferences, Printer & Fax, and add a new printer (not the default fax that does show up) that utilizes “HP IP Printing.” It took me about half an hour to figure that one out so I’m documenting it here to save someone else (or myself in the future) some time :)

So now that the printer is properly configured and wireless as secure as it can be I have successfully eliminated around 2 15’ cables (USB / cat5) to connect my printer to any of my systems and all six computers (anywhere throughout the house) can now print, scan, and even deposit checks online via USAA @ Home banking – woot!