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Who could be looking at your online activity?
A virtual private network (VPN) can be immensely helpful for flying under the radar of hackers and over the radar of annoying usage limitations. Though handy for appearing invisible to many sources online, VPNs may also make your devices invisible to your wireless printer. Let's take a look at five ways to print while still utilizing a VPN.
1. Check Your VPN Settings/Preferences
Before you undergo these other workarounds, make sure that your VPN hasn't already simplified the printing process by allowing you to adjust your settings. Many VPNs allow printing over a local area network (LAN). If you're having trouble finding such settings, ask your VPN provider if this functionality is possible with their service. You may also use this information when deciding upon with VPN you'd like to keep using.
2. Print Straight to Your Printer's IP Address
If you're a Mac user, connecting to a printer may be as simple as typing in one IP address. Like computers, connected printers have their own IP addresses. If you're using a Mac OS, you should be able to enter this printer's IP address in your system's print settings. This bit of information may be all you need to print through a VPN.
3. Adjust Your VPN to Cover Your Router
Some VPNs are designed just for use on one device. Others may be able to cloak the activity of any devices that connect to a specific router. If the latter is true for you, you may be able to connect your computers, phones, smart TVs, and even printers to this VPN-enabled router for shared protection. Once all of these devices are on the same VPN, printing shouldn't be an issue.
4. Manually Connect Using a Cable
Once you have thoroughly exhausted all of the ways you can print while using a VPN short of calling a professional, sometimes it's easiest to print to a wired printer. This technique requires no fuss other than finding the right cables and perhaps the correct printer drivers for your computer. Once done, simply connect to the correct printer in your settings and you're done.
5. Get Professional Help With Managed Print Services
If you'd like to continue using your VPN for business while also keeping the ability to print documents to a local printer, it's best to consult a managed print services professional on best practices.