Connecting your Printer, iPad, and internet all together
If you didn't already, please start with our article, Connect your Printer.
There are different ways to connect your iPad & printer together. The important thing is that your iPad is connected to your printer AND the internet at the same time. This article shows you how to do this.
Table of Contents
There are two sections and you only need to read one, depending on which printer you have.
1. If you have a DNP WCM2 print server
Use this section if you have the DNP WCM2 unit. Not sure what this is? It's for connecting your DNP printer to make it AirPrint compatible. Don't have a DNP WCM2? Skip this section!
2. All AirPrint Printers (everything else)
Use this section if you have any AirPrint printer that has wifi.
If you have a DNP WCM2 print server
This is a popular unit that allows you to print (via AirPrint) to DNP printers. If you have a WCM2 this section is for you.
Updated: install the free WCM2 v3 software update
In mid-2023 DNP released a free update for the WCM2 unit, which updates its firmware version to v3. To install this update please follow these instructions from DNP: https://dnpphoto.com/Portals/0/Resources/WCM2_v3_release_notes_20230511.pdf
Note: you'll need to make sure the micro-SD card installed in your WCM unit is at least 32GB or larger. Some units shipped with a 32GB card, so power the unit off, pop the micro-SD card out and check what size it is.
This update greatly improves the ability to connect your iPad, printer, & internet all together at once. We highly recommend installing this update.
There are two potential setups you can use:
- if you have no cellular data on the iPad, or reliable wifi is available from the venue: all wi-fi.
- updated: if you have WCM2 firmware v3 installed you can also use ethernet (wired) connection between the iPad & WCM2 unit
- otherwise: My iPad has cellular data - this is in the "All AirPrint Printers" section below
Easiest setup: all wi-fi
Since the recent software update you can now connect like this:
The connections are:
- your iPad's wifi is connected to the DNP WCM2's hotspot
- your DNP WCM2 is configured to make an outgoing wifi connection to a wifi hotspot that provides internet access, such as your cellphone's hotspot or venue wifi
To set this up, you need to connect to your WCM2 unit and tell it what wifi network to make its outgoing connection to. You'd need to do this for each different venue wifi hotspot you're using - which is why we think that using your phone's hotspot is probably easier!
- power up the WCM2 and connect your iPad's wifi to it (this will be automatic after you have done it once)
- open Safari on your iPad and type in 192.168.4.1
- Open Network Settings, Wi-Fi Connection, pick the wifi network, enter the password, and connect:
Once that's connected, test if it is working: on your iPad verify that you are connected to the WCM2's wifi hotspot, and now in Safari try opening a website like booth.events - if it loads it's working!
Variant: using the WCM2's ethernet port (wired networking)
This requires the v3 update on your WCM2 unit (see above). This assumes that the ethernet port of the WCM2 unit is connected to the iPad, not a router or internet source.
- Complete the steps in the previous section: get the "all wifi" setup working first.
- Then turn OFF wifi on the iPad (use the Settings App so it stays off)
- Using a USB-C hub or lightning adapter that provides an ethernet port, connect an ethernet cable (looks like a big phone cord plug) from your hub/adapter to the WCM2 unit's ethernet port
After connecting wait at least 2 minutes, then try accessing the internet on your iPad. It should work: the WCM2 unit is sharing the internet connection from its wifi out through its ethernet port.
All AirPrint printers
This section will help you get your iPad connected to your AirPrint-enabled printer while being connected to the internet.
My iPad has cellular data
Your iPad has cellular data internet access if it can browse webpages when wifi is turned off.
Here's the overview of what we will set up:
The connections are:
- iPad's wifi is connected to the printer
- iPad's cellular data is connected (via your provider) to the internet
To set this up, you might think "it'll just work when I connect the wifi to the printer". Nope. By default, the iPad expects that the wifi network is supposed to be providing internet access - and your printer is not providing internet access. So, we need to tell the iPad "no, this wifi network isn't supposed to have internet", so that your iPad will use its cellular data instead.
Luckily this is easy, only a few steps!
Here's what we're going to do:
- Connect to our printer's wifi
- Change the iPad's wifi settings for connecting to our printer
- Verify our changes
Note: in these screenshots our printer's wifi SSID (wifi network name) is DNPWCM-ca4
Step 1: Connect to our printer's wifi
First, get your iPad's wifi connected to the printer. Then hit the "i" icon to open the wifi network settings, as shown by the red arrow:
When you first open this network you'll probably see that it is set to "Automatic" and that "Router" has an IP address assigned. When a network has a router set, the iPad tries to use it for internet access. Here's what you're probably seeing:
Note down the IP address (here: 192.168.4.162). You're going to use this in the next step.
Step 2: Change the iPad's wifi settings for connecting to our printer
Now touch the "Configure IP: Automatic" row and:
- change it to manual,
- type in the IP address you noted down in the last step
- set the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0
- make sure the router field is empty/blank
- ... don't forget to hit "Save" at the top-right
Here's what that looks like when you've entered all the information, right before you hit Save:
Step 3: Verify our changes
Here's what you see when you've done it successfully:
... that's it, you're done!
Here's how you can test it is working:
- open Safari and browse to a website like booth.events - it should open
- open the Booth.Events app and hit "Add Printer" - you should see your printer in the list
Connect the Printer in the App
Your network is all set up! Now it's time to get the app connected to the printer.
See our Connect your Printer article for this.