I scored a great deal on two Brother HL-2280DW Wireless Laser Printers (with scanner functions) during Thanksgiving break. Once I got the printers and tried to configure them for wireless, I found that Brother’s wireless configuration options were lacking and in some cases, didn’t work at all.
Unfortunately, the Ethernet connectivity on one of the printers was broken; worse, that was the printer I picked first to configure. After wasting half the weekend, I thought I would document how I finally went about configuring the wireless access for the Brother HL-2280DW printer and adding it to my Windows and Mac OS X machines. Hopefully, the steps below will help you with your Brother printer woes.
Note: The instructions below will work for other Brother wireless printers. I’ve also tried them successfully with Brother HL-2170W, HL-2270DW, and MFC-7860DW printers.
Note: I recently setup the newest model Brother HL-L2380DW printer. Unfortunately, I had to configured the printer to use a static IP address in order for it to be used from Windows 7. If you don’t configure a static IP address, when you install the Windows HL-L2380DW printer drivers, the installer will say that the printer is not configured properly and offer to configure it (set a static IP address). Mac OS X did not require the printer to have a static IP address.
Configure Wireless Access With Ethernet Connection and Web Interface
Note: The WPS and “WPS with Pin” setup did not work with my Cisco Linksys E1000 router. And while the printer allowed me to manually input the SSID and passphrase using the up/down arrows, the printer’s LCD only displayed the first 10-12 digits of the passphrase making it impossible to input the rest! Because I dislike using the USB method (which required installing, uninstalling, and then re-installing software), I decided that using the printer’s Ethernet connection and web interface was the best solution.
- Before we start, you will need to know the following info concerning your wireless network (check your wireless router’s configuration):
- Network ID (SSID)
- Channel Number (usually 3, 7, or 11)
- Authentication Method (WEP, WPA or WPA2)
- Encryption Mode (TKIP or AES)
- Follow the included Brother “Start Here” manual to prepare the printer for operation.
- Before turning on the printer, connect it to your wireless router by Ethernet cable.
- After the printer is on, we will need to find its assigned IP address:
- Look it up on the printer:
- Press the Menu button to the right of the printer’s LCD and you will see “1. General Setup” menu item show up. You might need to press the Menu button twice sometimes. (Do not select the “1. General Setup” item.)
- Select the following menu items by pressing the up/down arrows and clicking on the OK button:
- 4. Network
- 1. Wired LAN
- 1. TCP/IP
- 2. IP Address
- Alternatively, you can browse to your wireless router’s web interface and look at the list of connected DHCP clients.
- Look it up on the printer:
- Browse to the printer’s assigned IP address to access its web interface.
- Configure the printer to enable toner save mode and to allow printing even if the toner is low:
- Click on “General Setup” at the top.
- You will be prompted for the user/password. Input the default: admin/access.
- Set the following options:
- Toner Save: On
- Replace Toner: Continue
- Click on the Submit button
- Configure the wireless network access:
- Click on “Network Configuration” link at the top.
- Click on the “Configure Wireless” link near the bottom of the page.
- Configure the following options:
- Communication Mode: “1) Infrastructure Mode”
- SSID: [input your wireless ID]
- Channel: [input the wireless channel]
- Authentication Method: WPA/WPA2-PSK (usually)
- Encryption Mode: AES (usually for WPA2)
- Passphrase: [input your wireless password]
- Click the Submit button.
- Answer Yes to “Would you like to enable the wireless interface?”.
- You will get a message to unplug the Ethernet cable. The printer will reboot and then print a page indicating whether the wireless connection succeeded or not.
- If the wireless connection didn’t succeed, then connect the Ethernet cable and repeat from step #4. Usually, the wireless router will give the printer the same IP address.
- If you are totally lost, you can reset the printer configuration by doing the following:
- Click on the Menu button next to the printer’s LCD.
- Select the following with the up/down arrows and the OK button:
- 1. General Setup
- 5. Reset
- 2. All Settings
- Hit the Up arrow to Reboot.
Mac OS X: Add Printer, Set Toner Save Mode, and Scan
To add the printer on Mac OS X, do the following:
- Open up System Preferences.
- Click on “Print & Fax” under Hardware.
- Click the Plus button underneath the list of printers on the left.
- Bonjour should detect the printer and you will see “Brother HL-2280DW” listed.
- Select it and the “Print Using:” field will populate with “Brother HL-2280DW CUPS” driver.
- Click the Add button.
- The Brother HL-2280DW should show up on the list of Printers. To make it the default printer, double-click on it and select “Set default printer”.
To configure Mac OS X to use Toner Save Mode by default:
- Browse to the local CUPS driver web interface running on your machine. (You may be asked to run “cupsctl WebInterface=yes” in the Terminal application to enable the CUPS web interface.)
- Click on the Printers tab to the top-right.
- Click on the “Brother_HL_2280DW” printer in the list.
- Click on the Administration drop-down list box and select “Set Default Options”.
- Change “Toner Save Mode” to be “On”.
- Click on “Set Default Options” button.
- If you are prompted for a user/password, input your Mac OS X login username and the administration password.
The built-in way to do a scan on Mac OS X:
- Open up System Preferences.
- Click on “Print & Fax” under Hardware.
- Select the printer.
- Click on the “Scan” tab.
- Click the “Open Scanner…” button.
- Click “Show Details” for more options like output format and location.
- Make your selections and click on the “Scan” button.
- The scan will be taken and saved to the “Pictures” folder by default.
Note: Starting with macOS 11 Big Sur, the built-in scan utility no longer supports older Brother printer models. If you wish to scan, go to the Mac App Store and install the “Brother iPrint&Scan” app.
Windows XP and 7: Add Printer, Set Toner Save Mode, and Scan
To add the printer on Windows, do the following:
- Download the latest Brothers HL-2280DW printer software (it is the same file for Windows XP, Windows 7 32-bit, and Windows 7 64-bit and is named “HL-2280DW-inst-B1-usa.EXE”).
- Run the downloaded installation executable.
- Select “usa” for language. Click OK.
- Select “Wireless Network Connection” and check “Custom Install”.
- Take the default for “Change the Firewall port settings…”. Click Next.
- Take the default selected features (all are selected) and click Next.
- I usually select “No, I don’t want to register this PC to ‘Scan To’ button”; however, feel free to select Yes. (I think this option is so when you press the Scan button on the printer, it will send the image to this computer.) Click Next.
- On Windows XP:
- Keep the “Search the network for devices…” selected and click Next.
- Select the found Brother printer (the node name looks like “BRxxxxxxxxxx”) and click Next.
- On Windows 7, the printer detection doesn’t work so you will select either “Specify your machine by address” (IP address) or “Specify your machine by name” (node name/hostname). I usually do it by using the node name:
- To lookup the node name, go to the printer, press the Menu button, select “4. Network”, “2. WLAN”, “1. TCP/IP”, and “5. Node Name”. (Alternatively, the wireless router’s DHCP client table should have the printer’s hostname which is the same as the node name.)
- Back in the Brother setup dialog, select “Specify your machine by name” and input the node name.
- Click Next.
- The installation program will take several minutes to install the various Brother driver and tools.
- Click Next and Next to skip the “User’s Guides” and “On-Line Registration”.
- I usually uncheck “Enable Status Monitor on startup” and leave the “Set as Default Printer” checked. Click Next.
- The setup will request a reboot.
- After the reboot, you will see a new, red “CC4” icon in the status tray. This is the Brother Control Center software which allows you to set device properties, print, and scan. Because I prefer using my own programs to scan, I usually remove this from the tray by doing the following:
- Right-click on the CC4 icon and select “Preferences”.
- Unselect “Start ControlCenter on computer startup”.
- Hit the OK button.
- Right-click the CC4 icon and select “Close”.
- (OPTIONAL) Even though I have configured the Brother software to not run Control Center and the Status Monitor (unchecked “Enable Status Monitor on startup” in last page of installation wizard), Brother still runs them stealthily on startup. To really get rid of them, I had to do the following:
- Run “msconfig”.
- Select Startup tab.
- Under Windows 7, uncheck “Brother ControlCenter” and “Brother Status Monitor Application”.
- Under Windows XP, uncheck “BrCcBoot” and “BrStMonW”.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
- You may be prompted to restart.
To configure Windows to use Toner Save Mode by default:
- Go to menu “Start->Control Panel”.
- On Windows XP:
- Click on “Printers and Other Hardware”.
- Click on “View installed printers or fax machines”.
- Right-click on printer and select “Printer Preferences” to open the “Brother HL-2280DW Printer Printing Preferences” dialog.
- On Windows 7:
- Click on “View devices and printers”.
- Double-click on the Brother printer to open it.
- Double-click “Adjust print options” to open the “Brother HL-2280DW Printer Printing Preferences” dialog.
- In the Printer Preferences dialog:
- Select the Advanced tab.
- Check the “Toner Save Mode” option.
- Hit the Apply button and then the OK button.
The built-in way to do a scan on Windows XP:
- Run “Start->All Programs->Accessories->Scanner and Camera Wizard”.
- The Brother printer will be listed at the top. Click Next.
- Click on Preview, select options, and click Next.
- Select output format and folder. Click Next.
- The scan will be taken and saved to the “My Pictures” folder by default.
The built-in way to do a scan on Windows 7:
- Run “Windows Fax and Scan”.
- Click the “New Scan” button in the top toolbar.
- Hit Preview to see a preview image.
- Select the options and hit Scan.
- The scan will be taken and saved to the “Documents\Scanned Documents” folder by default.
One Button Scanning With Control Center
If you plan to do a lot of scanning, the Brother Control Center software (you’ll need to download and install it separately on Mac OS X) allows you to pre-configure the scan to file properties (including directory to save to and DPI quality). Once configured, you will only need to press the Control Center software’s scan button once to take a scan.
Note: The Scan To PC function allows you to press the hardware Scan key on the printer to save the file to your computer. You can configure this function using the Control Center. When adding the Brother scanner to Control Center, make sure to configure the “Scan Key” with a name. Unfortunately, using the Scan key on the printer requires multiple selection key presses, so it is not as convenient as the Control Center’s software scan key.
Though I refer specifically to the Brother HL-2280DW, these instructions most likely apply to other Brother wireless printer models.