How To Find Printer IP Address On Windows & Mac

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Although many offices and companies these days are trying to go paperless for environmental reasons, printers are still indispensable tools when it comes to both personal and professional use. However, managing printers, especially in networked environments, often requires knowing their IP addresses. In this guide, we'll explore what an IP address is, why printers have IP addresses, and how to find printer IP addresses on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Additionally, we'll discuss cybersecurity considerations and best practices for securing wireless printing.

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What is a ‘printer address’? Does this differ from a ‘printer IP address’?

The term "printer address" generally refers to the network address or location of a printer within a network. It can encompass various identifiers used to connect to a printer, including its IP address, hostname, or network path.

While a printer IP address specifically refers to the numerical label assigned to the printer on the network, the printer address can encompass additional information and a wider range of identifiers used to locate and connect to a printer within a network, such as the printer's name, location, or network path. This broader definition allows users to access the printer using different methods or protocols, depending on their network configuration and requirements.

What is an IP address?

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network. It serves as a digital address that enables devices to communicate with each other over the network. IP addresses come in two primary forms: IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6).

What is an IP address on a printer and why do printers have IP addresses?

A printer IP address is the unique identifier assigned to a printer on a network. It allows other devices, such as computers and mobile devices, to locate and communicate with the printer for printing tasks. Knowing the printer's IP address is essential for configuring printer settings, troubleshooting connectivity issues, and managing print jobs effectively.

Where to find IP address on printer

If you need to find your printer IP address, whether on a Mac or Windows device, continue reading below and follow the appropriate steps:

How to find printer IP address on Windows devices

If you need to find your printer’s IP address on a Windows computer, follow the processes below:

Using Control Panel:

  • Open Control Panel and navigate to Devices and Printers.
  • Right-click on the printer you want to find the IP address for and select Printer Properties.
  • In the Properties window, go to the Ports tab and look for the printer's IP address next to the Standard TCP/IP Port entry.

Using Command Prompt:

  • Open Command Prompt by searching for "cmd" in the Start menu.
  • Type the command "ping [printer hostname]" and press Enter. The printer's IP address will be displayed in the results.

Where to find printer IP address on Mac

If you are using a Mac device, follow the instructions below to find the printer IP address:

Using System Preferences:

  • Open System Preferences and select Printers & Scanners.
  • Select the printer from the list on the left.
  • The IP address of the printer will be displayed next to the Location field.

Using Terminal:

  • Open Terminal from the Utilities folder in Applications.
  • Type the command "lpstat -t" and press Enter. The printer's IP address will be listed in the output.

When adding a printer manually, what is the address?

When adding a printer manually, you will need to enter the printer's IP address as the connection address. This ensures that your computer can communicate with the printer over the network.

How to unlock wireless printing

To unlock wireless printing, ensure that the printer is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer or mobile device. Install the necessary printer drivers and software on your device, and then select the printer from the list of available devices when printing.

Wireless printers and cybersecurity threats

Wireless printers, like any network-connected device, are vulnerable to various cybersecurity threats that can compromise their security and the confidentiality of printed documents. For example, in 2017, hackers exploited vulnerabilities in thousands of publicly owned printers, to prove the point that these printers could be hacked!

Some other common cybersecurity threats associated with wireless printers include:

  • Unauthorized access: Hackers may attempt to gain unauthorized access to wireless printers to steal sensitive information or carry out malicious activities. Once access is obtained, attackers can manipulate printer settings, intercept print jobs, or launch further attacks against other devices on the network.
  • Data interception: Wireless printers transmit print jobs and other data over the network, making them susceptible to interception by unauthorized parties. Hackers can eavesdrop on wireless communications and intercept sensitive documents or information being sent to the printer, potentially exposing confidential data.
  • Printer vulnerabilities: Like other network-connected devices, wireless printers may contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers to gain control of the device or access sensitive data. Vulnerabilities in printer firmware, software, or configuration settings can be exploited to execute remote attacks, compromise printer security, or disrupt printing operations.
  • Print job manipulation: Attackers may intercept print jobs sent to wireless printers and modify or tamper with the content before it is printed. This could involve inserting malicious code, altering the contents of documents, or redirecting print jobs to unauthorized destinations, leading to data breaches or other security incidents.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks: Wireless printers can be targeted by DoS attacks, where attackers flood the device with a high volume of traffic or requests, causing it to become unresponsive or unavailable. This can disrupt printing operations, impact productivity, and potentially render the printer unusable until the attack is mitigated.
  • Physical security risks: Wireless printers located in public or shared spaces may be vulnerable to physical security risks, such as unauthorized access or theft. Attackers could gain physical access to the printer and tamper with its settings, steal sensitive documents, or install malicious hardware or software components.

Cybersecurity considerations for wireless printing

There are several cybersecurity considerations users should take into account when using wireless printers:

  • Firewall protection: Enable firewall protection on your network to prevent unauthorized access to your devices and printers.
  • Encryption: Configure your wireless printer to use encryption protocols such as WPA2 for secure communication over the network.
  • Regular updates: Keep your printer's firmware and software up to date to patch security vulnerabilities and protect against potential exploits.
  • Network Segmentation: Using network segmentation creates separate Wi-Fi networks for devices and printers, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Antivirus and malware protection: Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software, such as RAV Endpoint Protection, to detect and prevent security threats on your devices that may target wireless printers.

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By following these steps and implementing cybersecurity best practices, you can ensure that your wireless printing setup remains secure and protected against potential threats. For more information on the latest cyber threats and cybersecurity protocols, visit