How to connect and configure the MFP

It is very convenient when one device combines the ability to print, scan and copy documents. There is no need to connect and configure several different devices, only one socket is occupied in the surge protector, and the desktop is not cluttered with a pile of equipment. Multifunctional devices – MFPs are a bit more technically complex than just printers, scanners or copiers, but how difficult are they to set up?

Direct connection
At home, one of the easiest ways to connect the MFP to a computer is a standard USB AMBM cable. This is due to the fact that now there is a USB connector in absolutely any computer and is a generally accepted standard for connecting equipment. Everything is connected via USB – from printers and scanners to fiscal registers. The connection connector on printers, scanners and MFPs is usually located at the rear end of the device and is made in the form of a rectangle with a trapezoidal top. If the MFP has a network connection interface, then the RJ45 connector is located somewhere nearby. And if you are the lucky owner of a device with a wireless interface, the WiFi icon will most likely show off on the front panel.

Installation and configuration
So you’ve bought an MFP, brought it home and want to start printing. It is not enough just to connect the device to a computer – for correct operation you need to install a special driver program. It allows you to “make friends” PC and MFP, so that you can print texts and images, as well as scan documents. Moreover, multifunctional devices are three-in-one combines – printer, scanner and copier. In order to make a photocopy of a document, you do not need a driver – just place the source on the glass of the scanner panel and click the “Make a copy” button, but printing and scanning require two-way communication with a PC.

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Let’s start with the simplest option: the driver is already integrated into the device’s internal memory. In this case, the MFP itself offers to install all the necessary programs when connected to a computer. It is very convenient, saves time and greatly simplifies the installation process. That is, you simply connect the MFP to the PC and in a few minutes you can already use all of its functionality. First of all, the basic setup window will appear on the display. Here, apart from clicking on the buttons “YES”, “I AGREE”, “CONFIRM”, nothing is required from the user. The driver and software installation process is almost completely automatic.

MFP laser Pantum M6500W 12 199 *
When the installation is complete, you may be prompted to register your device. What is it for? First, the manufacturer collects statistics on the operation of the equipment. Secondly, if you register, it will become more convenient to receive software and driver updates, and in the event of theft of the device, it will be easier to prove ownership, because its unique serial number is used during registration. This step is optional and can be skipped, but we still recommend that you take a couple of minutes to complete it.

It’s sad, but true – so far not all MFPs are equipped with internal memory, so sometimes the process of installing drivers and programs is more difficult, but not much. In such cases, the device is supplied with a driver disk from which the user can install himself. The disc is placed in the DVD drive, the installation program starts automatically, and again nothing supernatural is required from the user – you just need to click on the next “YES”, “ACCEPT”, “INSTALL”.

Wait! Indeed, in modern computers and thin laptops, DVD drives have not been installed for a long time! How do I install the drivers then? The solution is simple and obvious – the device manufacturer’s website always has a “Support” section, which contains links to download the required software. In principle, there is nothing complicated here either – you need to go to the site, type in the exact name of your MFP in the search line, which can be seen on the front panel of the device, on a service sticker on the back of the device or on the packaging from it. Using the link received, save a set of programs and drivers on your computer, and after downloading, run and install.

Network connection
In most cases, scanning and printing are performed only from the PC to which the MFP is directly connected, and this is not always convenient. What if you suddenly need to print documents from two or more computers? There are several options – you can configure a local network using a switch or router, make the printer a public network resource and configure a connection to it from the desired PC. In general, quite a working, but not the simplest solution, and the average “home” user is likely to experience a fair amount of difficulty in the process of implementing it. This method of connection has one obvious drawback: if the PC to which the printer is connected with a USB cable is turned off, the rest of the computers on this network will not be able to print anything.

Another option, more complicated, but also more functional, is to use a router with a built-in software print server and with the ability to connect a printer, in which the MFP is connected directly to the router, and each PC on the network can make prints independently of each other. A subspecies of such a connection is a hardware print server connected to a router via a local wired or wireless network. The option also has the right to life, but due to the complexity of the setup, it is more suitable for offices where a trained specialist is engaged in adjustment and support, and not a household user.

How can you solve the issue of printing from multiple PCs at home without purchasing expensive network equipment and without bothering with complex settings? One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to purchase an MFP with a network, preferably a wireless interface, in other words, with Wi-Fi.

Such a device requires a minimum of settings and provides users with maximum convenience. Scanning and printing over the network, independent operation, and in case of high workload, an automatic print queue. Multi-page documents sent to print at the same time from different PCs on the same network will be printed one at a time, and the finished sheets will not be messed up. The setup in this case is quite simple: just as with a normal USB connection, download the driver for the required model from the official website, at the beginning of the installation, when choosing the type of connection between the PC and the MFP, you need to select WiFi (wireless network connection) or LAN, if the printer only has a wired network interface. The installer will scan the network itself and show a list of available devices, and the user will only have to select the desired printer and click “Install”.

Differences in installation on different operating systems
In the case of Windows 10 and 11, there is a chance that you won’t have to manually install the drivers. If it is found in the “Network” section or even with a direct connection via a USB cable, the operating system itself may offer to download the necessary software from the Internet and configure everything automatically, or if there is a suitable driver in the database, it will immediately install it. With fresh models of MFPs, this process goes without problems, but old devices may not be recognized by the system, then the user will have to do all the settings on his own, and it is not a fact that a suitable driver will be found on the manufacturer’s website.

A similar situation can happen if a modern MFP model is purchased, and the operating system is old, for example, Windows 7, which has long been taken out of service and does not receive updates, or even some ancient Linux. The manufacturer will not waste resources and write drivers for their devices for outdated operating systems. In the best case scenario, a generic driver will be published that is suitable for obtaining basic device health, but generally does not support full functionality.

There are already many models of printers and MFPs that support wired and wireless network interfaces, providing simultaneous access to the device’s capabilities for multiple users. It is very convenient – the whole family does not need to run with flash drives to a computer with a printer in order to print something. There is no need to pull unthinkable meters of LAN wires around the house and keep one of the PCs constantly turned on. All possible communications between devices are conveniently implemented directly over the air via WiFi. And to make the setup as simple as possible and without problems, keep an eye on the relevance of the operating system updates.