Need to combine multiple networks?
Network – Router – Windows 8 – Mac – Printers
Combining Multiple Networks
Combining Multiple Networks can be tricky. Perhaps you had everything on the same network and replaced or introduced new hardware.
Let’s say that you have a small network with printers, PCs, Macs, connected via a switch to your Internet Service Provider’s, (ISP‘s) router/modem. This is not the best network design but it’s common for home and small offices. For the most part this network will work OK but you lose some security & versatility by using the ISP provided router/modem.
If our router/modem fails in the above scenario you will typically call your ISP to provide another router/modem. Since they are not likely to configure the router/modem you may end up with a new network. Let’s say that they switched you from the LAN of 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.1.1.
Since you are now on a new network anything with a static ip won’t work. DHCP devices should be fine. There are several alternatives to fix the new network:
Change the router subnets.
While this is the simplest change there may be issues that you don’t foresee and you won’t get a lot of help from the ISP. This also requires you to have the credentials. Typically you can find these on the router itself unless it’s been changed. Even if it has you can use a reset.
You may find yourself stranded from the router if you are connecting through the existing network. That’s one reason you need a direct connection to the router. All in all this simple change may be the most intimidating.
Change the Printers with static ips
Printers typically are assigned static ips which are outside the scope of DHCP. This prevents a conflicting ip from showing up on your network. In general printer ips are not that difficult to change through the menu. In some cases, you may need credentials to make the changes.
You will need to update the ip on the ports of printers or just remove & add the printer. The latter is the best method since it will force the computer to download the driver.
You may also need to calibrate your printer to make sure image quality is OK.
Windows 8 adds another obstacle to making changes. For starters there’s no start bar. You can swipe from right edge and search for Printer or Control Panel.
You can use the Charm bar (position mouse in the top or bottom right corners of the screen or Windows C) to search. An easier method is to right-click to get the lower left corner of the screen. This opens the Quick Access Menu. Likewise Windows “i” opens another Charm Bar Settings with the Control Panel.
Once you get into the printer properties changing the printers is much the same as in Windows 7. It’s probably best to just remove the printer and add it back with the new ip.
Macs make things easy but it’s not always apparent that you are getting the results you want. Once your printers are up and running on the new ip it’s simple enough to go to any print menu and add the printer.
The preferred method is to delete the printer from the Print Center (/Applications/Utilities/) and then add the printer with the new ip.
You will want to print a test page from all workstations and check the print quality. Look closely since some issues may clip the print and/or use too wide a margin.