A Brother Printer Hassle
I routinely recommend Brother printers to my friends. I have been delighted with the way they work. In the past few months, I decided to rename our wireless SSID. This meant that any of our Brother printers would need to be set up again. No big deal. Or so I thought. It turns out that even if you connect a very long ethernet cable to that wifi printer at the opposite end of the house, the Brother 2170 ignores it. It wants to keep speaking to a wifi SSID that has gone bye bye. At this point, Brother engineers should have decided that if wifi is down, the printer should just connect to wired. But no. I had to reset the printer. This meant holding "Go" while turning on power. Wait for all 4 LEDs to come on then release "Go". Now hit "Go" 7 more times. Is this world war 2? Am I setting up an Enigma machine for God's sake? Then I have to waste 3 sheets of paper printing out printer status that could have easily fit on one page. I printed printer status about 20 times tonight. Brother owes me almost a half ream of paper. Then I have to scan the network to figure out what IP address the printer got for itself. Ok no problem. I log in. I enter my wifi settings. But wait. There are so many wifi settings to enter. I haven't seen this much wifi minutia since Windows XP. Do I really need to provide 4 WEP keys AND a passphrase when I'm running WPA? The printer can't figure out whether it's AES or TKIP? I have to go dig up that little tidbit? All my iThings merily figure this sort of stuff out on their own. As did my recently purchased Honeywell thermostat. But my printer wants me to hold its hand connecting to wifi like it's 1993. So I wound up going through 3 reset cycles tonight. I finally "lucked out" with the right combination of the half dozen permutations the printer presented me with. Then I put its IP back to the static IP I prefer and it's up and running again. I don't mind spending about 15 minutes on this sort of thing, but 45? And most of that 45 minutes was spent waiting to find out the printer failed to get on the network AGAIN.
I have gotten in the habit of running ethernet to network printers. It's just easier if they are near an outlet. But wifi network printers really should be as easy to set up as iPod Touches. Two questions: SSID and Passphrase. Leave all that TKIP/AES/WEP key/Channel ID minutia for the guys back in the lab. This is my weekend and I'd much rather be watching hockey playoffs or baseball or petting my cat than dickering for 45 minutes for 15 seconds worth of printout. Will I continue to recommend Brother? Yes, but from now on I'll ask whether they plan to use it wired or wireless. If they say wireless, I'll let them know Brother printers aren't necessarily that easy to set up.