The other day I bought a new all in one wifi HP printer/scanner/fax with my new iMac. I have a closed wireless wifi network at home and run Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard on the clients. “Closed” meaning it doesn’t broadcast its SSID. So you have to know the network SSID as well as the password to connect.
Now all HP drivers are included (and updated) with Snow Leopard system updates from Apple. Everything’s built in so you don’t have to load HP’s drivers separately. I have an older HP printer with wifi and remembered that you have to configure the wireless via a hard network connection and the printer’s built in wireless configuration web page. However the new HP printer didn’t have a wired ethernet connection. Just a USB port which ain’t a network connection. Hmm.
So how does one configure the device’s wireless capability to a closed network? It’s not really well documented anywhere. Turns out, the printer default settings (once you turn the wireless on on the printer touch screen) sets up an open network called ‘hpsetup’. So I connected my iMac to this new network, went to the Print and Fax in my system preferences and clicked on Add a Printer via Bonjour. Sure enough, it found the new printer and made a connection. Open the Print Utility which will allow you to open the printer’s built in web page to configure the wireless. I clicked on Advanced, changed the SSID and password to match my home network settings and hit ‘apply’. Be careful here to get everything correctly typed because when you hit ‘apply’ it changes the printer’s wireless settings immediately. The page will not reload in your web browser because you’re no longer connected to the printer wirelessly. Don’t worry.
Disconnect from the wireless ‘hpsetup’ network and reconnect to your home network. The printer/fax/scanner will show up in your Print and Fax panel of the System Preferences.