Setting Up an Epson Network Printer
- Installing EpsonNet Config
- Verifying your local network IP information
- Verifying current Epson IP settings
- Configuring your Epson network printer
- Beware of multi-NAT networks
- If the devices cannot communicate because of an incompatible IP range
- About DHCP Range and DHCP Reservations
- Common practice network troubleshooting
Setting Up an Epson Network Printer
Installing EpsonNet Config
You can download the EpsonNet Config installer from the following link. It is a fully guided installation process with no specific settings to worry about. After it is installed, it will be in the EpsonNet folder in All Programs.
Verifying your local network IP information
If you're network savvy and already know things like your router's IP address, your DHCP range, and subnet mask off the top of your head, go ahead and skip to the next section.
Your Epson printer is going to require some manual IP configuration to work with Epson OPOS. A quick way to verify what type of IP address it should have is to use the ipconfig command in Windows. First, open a command prompt (you can do this by clicking the Start Menu and typing cmd.exe into the search box). In this, type exactly as on the next line:
Expand the window to find the information for the network adapter connected to the same router that your printer will be connecting to. The information we want to note is IPv4 Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway.
The Subnet Mask and Default Gateway you should copy down. We will be using this exact information in configuring the printer. The IPv4 Address, however, must be unique. IP addresses are arranged into four octets numbered 0-254, and most consumer grade routers will need the first 3 octets to be uniform. So in my case, I would need to give my Epson printer an IP address starting with 10.0.0, but with a unique number for the 4th octet.
Verifying current Epson IP settings
On Epson Ethernet printers, there is a small reset button on the back. This can be used to either reset the device, or simply print out its current settings. If your printer was configured for this network in the past and you are simply trying to retrieve the IP address, do not reset it. With the device already powered on and ready, hold down the reset button just until it starts printing, then let go immediately. This will cause it to print the current network settings. Below is an example of what this ticket looks like with default settings.
If it prints out information that is not at all related to your network, it may be cleanest to just go ahead and reset it before configuring.
To reset the unit:
- Power the unit off
- Start holding the reset button down
- Power the unit back on
- Continue to hold the button until it prints a ticket informing you that a reset is in progress.
When it completes, it will typically return with an IP Address of 192.168.192.168 with no assigned gateway, as seen in the picture above.
Configuring your Epson network printer
With your computer and printer connected to the same network, open up EpsonNet Config and verify that it can find the device. If it cannot, it may be necessary to connect the printer directly to the Ethernet port of the computer, and then press the Refresh button. If it still does not identify the printer, see the troubleshooting section If the devices cannot communicate because of an incompatible IP range.
Select the printer and then hit the Configuration button at the top. In the new screen, from the tree on the left selectTCP/IP > Basic. You will configure the device as follows:
- Method for specifying IP Address: Manual (this is because Epson OPOS expects an exact IP address).
- IP Address: a unique IP address on your network, typically the first 3 octets should match your Default Gateway, while the last octet is a number between 1-254 that is not already in use by another device on your network.
- Subnet Mask: the number you recovered from Verifying your local network IP information
- Default Gateway: the number you recovered from Verifying your local network IP information
Press the Transmit button when all information is verified as correct. It will take several seconds to process. When it is done, hit the Refresh button again to verify the device is still visible. If it still says IP Address: -- NONE --, there is likely an IP conflict on your network. Be aware of any other devices you manually configured IP addresses for, then consult the troubleshooting section About DHCP range and DHCP reservations.
If the device shows up blue below with the IP address you assigned it, you're done! Continue over to How to Configure Epson OPOS.
Beware of multi-NAT networks
The short version: make sure your computer and Epson printer are connected to the same router.
To clarify, NAT, or Network Address Translation, refers to the functionality of a router where it communicates to the outside network on one end, and internal/private IP addresses on the other end. The simplest example of this is using a common router to build a small network that connects to the internet. Devices on the internet only see the public address of the router, but the router is connecting multiple devices internally with private IP addresses that the outside network never sees.
A problem that can arise with a device like a network printer is that sometimes networks include multiple NAT-enabled devices. A bridge or a switch is a device that expands on the already existing private network, allowing the NAT-enabled router to provide IP addresses and govern communication, but plugging a router into another router essentially builds a wall between 2 private networks.
The simplest thing to do is to draw a map of your network to identify break points. If you have a 4-port NAT/Router connected to a 24-port switch, your Epson printer plugged into the router and your computer plugged into the switch, there shouldn't be a problem here as the switch is not creating its own separate network. However, if you have a router connected to another router, your Epson printer connected to one and your computer connected to another, these devices exist on separate private networks and would only be able to communicate with extra (needlessly complicated) configuration.
It is common to have multiple private networks in a facility, such as one for your customers and one for your POS equipment. Always ensure the Epson printer exists on the same network as the POS Stations that are using it.
If the devices cannot communicate because of an incompatible IP range
Most consumer grade routers only look at the first 3 octets of an IP address for local assignment. Common ones include 192.168.1 and 10.0.0. If your printer has an IP address starting with 192.168.17 and your computer has one starting with 192.168.1, they may not be able to communicate. Since recent versions of EpsonNet Config use SNMP to transmit IP settings, the resolution to this is usually as simple as just connecting the printer directly to the computer's Ethernet port, transmitting the correct IP and Gateway, then plugging the printer back into the router.
If you connect the printer directly to the computer and it still does not appear in EpsonNet Config, you may need to temporarily change the computer's IP settings before they will communicate. First, press the button on the back to print a ticket with the current IP address. For the example, we'll say it has the default IP address of 192.168.192.168 shown on the ticket earlier in this document. You'll start by going to Network & Sharing Center > Change adapter settings and selecting your interface.
Next, click Properties, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties again.
You will manually configure the IP address to one in the same range. Example used here is 192.168.192.5. After this, the devices should be able to communicate long enough for you to transmit a new IP to the Epson. After you are done, put your IP settings in Windows back to the way they were (most likely Obtain an IP Address Automatically).
About DHCP Range and DHCP Reservations
A probable reason your printer is not communicating on your network is due to an IP conflict. You may be aware of devices you've manually assigned IP addresses to, but it could very well conflict with an IP that was automatically assigned instead.
The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a method for automatically assigning IP addresses to nodes on a network. Different routers handle this in different ways, so this can be a tricky area to begin troubleshooting in. This is one of those scenarios where power cycling the router seems to fix problems, as it has to renew all DHCP leases it has with nodes on the network, potentially changing an IP that was conflicting.
DHCP Range is a setting on your router that indicates what range of IP addresses can be assigned automatically. It may also be phrased as “DHCP Starting Address/DHCP Ending Address”. To avoid IP conflicts, it is good to specify your static (manual) configured IP addresses outside of this range. Many routers by default cover all IP addresses after the router itself, such as 192.168.1.2-192.168.1.254. A solution in this case would be to change that range to 192.168.1.100-192.168.1.254 and only assign static addresses where the last octet is between 2-99.
DHCP Reservations are a feature of some routers to remember devices and automatically assign them the same IP address every time. If you're comfortable with your router and you know what you're doing, you can use this method and configure your Epson printer's IP settings to “Automatic”, putting the task of creating a permanent IP address on the router.
Some routers (such as AT&T gateways) memorize the MAC address of a device automatically and reserve it an IP from that point forward. Others (such as Apple routers) require you to create a DHCP reservation, specifying the MAC address of the device and the IP address you want it to have. In this case, it does not save time versus using a static address.
Common practice network troubleshooting
If for whatever reason your printer stops communicating with your computer, you have to consider the entire chain between the two. For example:
- The printer itself
- The router the printer is connected to
- A switch connected to the router
- The computer's network interface adapter
- The application on the computer attempting to drive the printer.
Based on the complexity of your network, that list may grow considerably in size. Taking that into account, obey the first rule of network troubleshooting:
Turn it off and on again. Often the issue can be with just the printer or the application running it. Try power cycling the printer and relaunching the application that is trying to use it. Also be aware that Epson Advanced Printer Driver willconflict with Epson OPOS, and therefore must be removed. If problems persist, a communication issue may be happening somewhere in your network. It may be worth refreshing the entire thing.
When power cycling your network, you need to start from the outer-most piece in the chain and work your way in. In our above example, we would disconnect power from the router, switch, computer and printer, and then bring them back on in the order of Router > Switch > Printer > Computer. Make sure to leave each device disconnected for at least 15 seconds to discharge, and wait for the usual indicator lights on routers to appear as normal before moving further down the chain.
Cables go bad. Most nodes have small LEDs built into their Ethernet ports to monitor activity. If there is no light emitting from either end of an Ethernet cable, chances are either the cable is bad, one of the 2 ports are bad, or a node is powered off. Try swapping cables, and if necessary, start bypassing redundant equipment such as additional switches or access points to determine if a hardware failure is taking place somewhere else in the network.
Check your settings. Have any changes been made to the settings of your router recently? Incorrect settings can cause constant or intermittent problems on your network. These include but are not limited to: router IP address, QoS, firewall, router mode (DHCP/NAT/bridge/access point), and DHCP range for starters. Be mindful when making changes so they can be reversed later if necessary.
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