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Random notes on computer, phone, and life

Installing Brother HL-2170W Wireless Laser Printer

Posted by binglongx on December 26, 2011

This is simple summary to set up Brother HL-2170W for wireless printing in a home network environment, for lazy people that do not like to read the lengthy user manual. This little printer is quite good for the price. Even though it can be used as a USB or Ethernet printer, the fun is to use it wirelessly, and it can be put wherever comfortable for you. Installing the printer in USB or wired connection mode is simple and not covered here.

What are needed

  • Brother HL-2170W with factory settings (If it is stuck with stale network settings, follow this post to factory reset it first.)
  • Ethernet cable (only used in initial setup)
  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) home router
  • Windows PC, connected to router (wired/wireless)
  • Download HL-2170W Wireless Setup Wizard for Windows at Brother Solutions Center (e.g.: link for Windows XP 32-bit)
  • Download HL-2170W Full Driver & Software Package at Brother Solutions Center (e.g.: link for Windows XP 32-bit)

Wireless Setup

Even a wireless printer has to be configured initially in a wired fashion. This wireless setup will make the printer connect to your wireless router, and appear as a standard TCP/IP network printer for PCs in your home wired/wireless network. Do as follows:

  • Connect power to printer and turn it on. Do NOT yet connect the printer to your router or home switch/hub through a Ethernet cable.
  • Run downloaded Wireless Setup Wizard for Windows, which is WLan_Wiz\WW_ENG.bat for me in the extracted folder.
  • Choose Step-by-Step install (Recommended), because I know my router does not support any of the automatic install methods (Secure Easy Setup, Wi-Fi Protected Setup, AOSS). Click Next.
  • Choose With cable (Recommended). My desktop PC does not have Wi-Fi to talk to the printer directly. Click Next.
  • Now connect the printer to home network using the Ethernet cable and click Next.
  • The wizard searches the network and finds the printer BRNxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Choose it and click Next.
  • The printer hears the Wi-Fi networks and the wizard lists the available networks. Choose the right one of your home, and setup the authentication/encryption (WPA for me).
  • Disconnect the Ethernet cable and get the test page printed as a confirmation of done wireless setup.

Printer Driver Installation

For each PC that is going to use the printer, it has to have the network printer driver installed. All the PCs should be connected to the home network through either Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.

  • Run downloaded Full Driver & Software Package, choose Standard Installation.
  • Choose Brother Peer-to-Peer Network Printer (Print directly to the printer over the network).
  • Choose Search the network for devices and choose from a list of discovered devices. The installer will find the previously configured wireless printer as BRWxxxxxxxxxx. Choose that printer.
  • After the driver files are installed into the system, click Finish. I also Enable Status Monitor so the tray icon would show the printer status.

I modified the printer name to “Brother HL-2170W series (Wireless)” in Printers and Faxes, and printed a page from Notepad to confirm.


  • There is no security built into the printer, meaning any computer that is able to connect to the home network would be able to print on the printer. (Chapter 12: Security methods of Network User’s Guide is talking about configuring the printer to send emails when it needs to notify the printer administrator about the printer status; this is irrelevant to securing the printer.)
  • The web management of the printer is at http://printer_ip_address. This is very handy.
  • The toner of the printer is quite affordable, at least the “compatibles” for TN360 or TN330, for example, at Amazon, mwave or meritline.
  • You can turn off the power of the printer when not used. If you need to use, turn it on, wait for a minute or so to allow the printer to hang on the Wi-Fi, then click the Brother status tray icon in your PC to enable it. The status icon should then turn green and you can print to it.
  • This post uses a Windows PC, but using other systems takes similar steps.
  • If you prefer to use it wired than wireless, follow this post.

6 Responses to “Installing Brother HL-2170W Wireless Laser Printer”

  1. Aaron said

    aweomse guide, thanks so much!

  2. C Posthumus said

    Worked like a charm. So much easier than Brother’s Wireless User Guide!

  3. […] little printer was easy to set up initially, see a previous post. However, Brother does not have very good configuration support if anything changes in the wireless […]

  4. […] respectable laser printer that supports connections through USB, wired Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. In a previous post, I summarized how to set it up as a wireless printer. However, I have been trying different routers […]

  5. Tung said

    Thank you so much for writing this doc. I found it to be very clear, concise, and helpful. I recently changed wireless routers, and it caused my Brother HL-2170W wireless printer to no longer work. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me until I read this document *in addition to* your related Definitive Guide: Factory Reset Brother HL-2170W Wireless Printer. The latter article was necessary for me since I changed wireless routers. For others, I’ll summarize: You’re setting up your Brother HL-2170W wireless printer for the first time, follow this doc. If you’ve previously set-up your Brother HL-2170W wireless printer, then follow the “Definitive Guide: Factory Reset Brother HL-2170W Wireless Printer” first, then follow this doc. Worked like a charm!

  6. […] conventional setup of the Foscam wireless IP cameras starts with wired cable, just like installing Brother HL-2170W wireless laser printer. This is what I […]

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