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Wireless Networking: How to set up an Ad hoc network in Windows XP & Windows Vista

RELATES TO:

  • Ad hoc networking
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista

EXPLANATION:

This article explains how to set up an Ad hoc network in Windows XP or Windows Vista. Ad hoc mode is a method for wireless devices to directly communicate with each other. You can use this method if you want to print wirelessly from a Wi-Fi enabled computer to a Wi-Fi enabled Epson printer/All-In-One without using a wireless access point/router. For further explanation of wireless modes, click here.

The network setup is performed in accordance with Windows' standard setup procedure.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start > Control Panel.

  2. Control Panel will open in either Category View (Fig. 1) or Classic View (Fig. 2). Open Network Connections.

    Figure 1: Category View

    Figure 2: Classic View

  3. Right-click on the wireless network and left-click on Properties.

  4. Select the Wireless Network tab, and click the Add button.

  5. Click on the Association tab and ensure that each item matches the example below, then click OK.

    Items to be set Settings
    Network name (SSID) *EpsonNet
    Network Authentication *Open (no security)
    Data encryption *Disabled/None (no security)
    Network key *None (leave blank)
    Confirm network key *None (leave blank) 
    Key index (advanced) 1 (default)
    The key is provided for me automatically No check (do not select)
    This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network: wireless access points are not used Check (click in the box to select)
    Note:

    *Example only, you can make these settings as you prefer. Depending on your network environment, there may be instances where you wish to use a security mode with encryption key. These must match the settings made on your Epson printer/All-In-One/external wireless print server. The network name is the SSID.

  6. The network you have created is displayed. Make sure that there is a check beside Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings.

  7. Click on the General tab. Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and click on Properties.

  8. The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window appears. Select the radial marked 'Use the following IP address' on the displayed window. Set each item below, and click OK.
    Items to be set Settings
    IP address *192.168.xxx.xxx
    Subnet mask *255.255.255.0
    Default gateway Leave blank
    DNS server Leave blank
    Note:

    *Example only, these settings depend on your network environment. The IP address should match the first 3 octets (sections) of the printer's IP address, but the last 3 digits in the last octet/section should be unique.

  9. After returning to Wireless Network Connection Properties window, click the Close button.

    If you have not set a Data encryption type (e.g. it is 'Disabled'), you see the following prompt. Click Continue Anyway:

Windows Vista

  1. Right-click on the network taskbar icon, then left-click on Connect to a network.

  2. The Connect to a network window appears. Click on Set up a connection or network at the bottom of the window.

  3. The next window prompts you to choose a connection option. Click on Set up a wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network, then click Next.

  4. On the 'Set up a wireless ad hoc network' window, read the information, and then click Next.

  5. Set the required items or enter the required information and click Next. Refer to the table below for assistance.

    Items to be set Settings
    Network name *EpsonNet
    Security type *No authentication (Open) (no security)
    Security key/Passphrase *None (leave blank)
    Save this network Check (click into the box to select)
    Note:

    *Example only, you can make these settings as you prefer. Depending on your network environment, there may be instances where you wish to use a security mode with encryption key.

    These must match the settings made on your Epson printer/All-In-One/external wireless print server. The network name is the SSID.

  6. When the below window appears click Close.

  7. In the taskbar, right-click on the network icon and left-click on Network and Sharing Centre.

  8. Under Sharing and Discovery, make sure that Network discovery is ON. If it is off, click on the arrow button and select 'Turn on network discovery', and then click Apply. Click Continue if User Account Control prompts you to authorise the action.

  9. In Network and Sharing Centre, click on Manage network connections.

  10. Right-click on the Ad hoc wireless network connection and left-click on Properties.

  11. Click Continue if User Account Control requests permission.

  12. Select Internet Protocols Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and click on Properties.

  13. Select the radial marked Use the following IP address on the displayed Wireless Network Connection Properties window.

    Set each item below and click OK.

    Items to be set Settings
    IP address *192.168.xxx.xxx
    Subnet mask *255.255.255.0
    Default gateway Leave blank
    DNS server Leave blank
    Note:

    *Example only, these settings depend on your network environment. Example only, these settings depend on your network environment. The IP address should match the first 3 octets (sections) of the printer's IP address, but the last 3 digits in the last octet/section should be unique.

  14. Click Close when you return to the previous window.

Connecting to the Ad hoc network to print wirelessly to your Wi-Fi enabled printer/All-In-One

After making the settings on your Wi-Fi enabled printer/All-In-One or in EpsonNet Config for external Epson wireless print servers, you are ready to connect your computer to the wireless Ad hoc network when you want to print.


Note:

The printer software must be installed and configured to be used on the Ad hoc network connection. Once you have followed the instructions below to connect to the Ad hoc network, you should ensure that the printer and software is set up to be used via this connection method.



Whilst you are connected to the Ad hoc network, you will not be able to use your wireless LAN adapter to connect to another network (including an Infrastructure network used to connect to the Internet via a wireless access point/router).

Windows XP

If Windows XP does not display the Wireless network screens below, please check the Wireless Zero Configuration service start method posted at Microsoft's support website. You also can check this by opening Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services and ensuring that the Wireless Zero Configuration service is 'Started' and the Startup Type is 'Automatic'.

Some wireless LAN adapter manufacturers provide their own wireless configuration software as an alternative to Window’s Wireless Zero Configuration service. If you use the manufacturer's own utility, the standard function provided with Windows XP is turned off.

  1. If your computer's wireless LAN adapter/card is installed and enabled, Windows XP automatically notifies you that it found a wireless network.

    Note:

    As per Microsoft's standard setup and connection advice, you will require at least Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) to use Windows wireless connection utililty. If you haven't installed Windows XP SP2 or higher, visit the Microsoft Update website to install it before continuing with these instructions.

    Epson provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Epson is not responsible for third-party website content.

  2. Right-click on the Wireless Network icon in the lower right corner of your screen, and then click View Available Wireless Networks.

  3. The Wireless Network Connection window appears and displays a list of detected wireless networks. Locate your wireless Ad hoc network - it is listed with the SSID you chose earlier (we suggested EpsonNet). If you don't see your network, click Refresh Network List in the top-left corner of the window.
  4. Depending on the network settings you made earlier, your Ad hoc network will be listed as either Unsecured (Fig. 1) or if you set a Security type (e.g. WEP) and Network key/Passphrase earlier, it will be listed as Security-enabled (Fig. 2). Click on your network, and then click Connect in the bottom-right corner of the window.

    Figure 1: Unsecured network (no password required)

    If it is 'Unsecured', you will see the following prompt. Click Connect Anyway. You do not need to enter a network key.

    Figure 2: Security-enabled network (password required)

    If it is 'Security-enabled', Windows prompts you to enter the network key. Type the encryption key you set earlier in both the Network key and Confirm network key fields, and then click Connect.

  5. Windows displays its progress as it attempts to connect to the Ad hoc network. When it has connected, you can close the Wireless Network Connection window.

    You're now ready to print wirelessly to your Epson printer/All-In-One. Repeat these steps on each computer you want to use with your printer on the Ad hoc wireless network.

    Note:

    The printer software must be installed and configured to be used on the Ad hoc network connection. Once you have connected to the network we recommend that you refer to one of the following articles to ensure the setup is completed:

    Disconnecting from the Ad hoc network

    When you want to disconnect from the Ad hoc network for any reason e.g. you want your computer's wireless LAN adapter to connect to another network/Internet, right-click on the Wireless Network icon in the lower right corner of your screen, and then click View Available Wireless Networks. Select your Ad hoc network, and then click Disconnect. Click Yes to the prompt that follows.

    Example: Unsecured network

    Example: Security-enabled network

Windows Vista

After following the instructions above, you should now be connected to the new Ad hoc network. If not, right-click on the network taskbar icon, then left-click on Connect to a network:

The Connect to a network window appears. Click on the product/network SSID and click Connect.

An example of the selection screen is shown below:

If only the computer is connected and no other devices are connected on the Ad hoc network, the 'Connect to a network' window will display 'Waiting for users to connect'. The computer half of the setup is complete, now you must connect the printer/All-In-One to the Ad hoc network.

Note:

The printer software must be installed and configured to be used on the Ad hoc network connection. Once you have connected to the network we recommend that you refer to one of the following articles to ensure the setup is completed:

When another device is connected, the network is displayed as 'Connected':

You're now ready to print wirelessly to your Epson printer/All-In-One. Repeat these steps on each computer you want to use with your printer on the Ad hoc wireless network.

Disconnecting from the Ad hoc network

When you want to disconnect from the Ad hoc network for any reason e.g. you want your computer's wireless LAN adapter to connect to another network/Internet, right-click on the network taskbar icon, then left-click on Connect to a network. Select your Ad hoc network, and then click Disconnect. Click Yes to the prompt that follows. You can now connect to another network if required.

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