A customer just got adsl broadband connected (she was using satellite internet before that). So I was asked to set it up.
While assessing the network setup, I found that her main PC was connected to the satellite internet via usb, and the PC was also connected to a 6 port ethernet switch. The switch was also connected to her big new lanier printer, and to a wireless access point.
To make it all work, all the ethernet devices seemed to have fixed IP addresses… This is not looking good…
When I explained the benefits of getting a wireless router (and retiring the switch and wireless access point), I’m told that she was sold the switch by the printer tech, just a few days ago, while he was setting up the printer… but she didn’t understand why she needed it.
I take a closer look at the printer, and I see it has a usb port… it could have just been setup via usb, without the need to muck around with an ethernet switch. Anyway, I don’t have time to fiddle with the printer, so I’ll work around it.
Another look at the printer settings, and I see it doesn’t have any DHCP capability… so it has a fixed IP address of 192.168.0.100. Easily fixed though, I install the adsl modem, a wireless router, make sure the router always allocates the same IP address to the printer (based on the printers MAC address… boy, was the MAC address hard to find… it should have been listed under network setting, rather than printer status… grrr).
In this day and age, I cannot see why anyone would setup a network with fixed IP addresses (except out of sheer ignorance).
The built in DHCP and firewall in most routers today, means that network devices with fixed IP addresses should be few and easily integrated into a DHCP network.
With DHCP, new PCs should just plug into the network, and go without any network setup. A bit of work up front saves lots more work further down the track.