Wireless printer can't utilize 5Ghz Wi-Fi

Hi, I have a Canon PIXMA wireless printer (MFD) that worked fine until we switched to NBN.

Canon advises their printer is incompatible with 5Ghz output and can only manage 2.4Ghz. This is very frustrating.

Internet will work on both bands - 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Lower frequency (2.4Ghz) means longer Wi-Fi range while high-frequency 5Ghz means short Wi-Fi range.

Apparently, you can connect some devices on 2.4Ghz and some on 5Ghz but since my printer is only compatible with 2.4Ghz I’d need to make sure the device I am printing from is also connected to the same band - 2.4Ghz to print it wirelessly.

I am with Optus for my NBN, FTC.

I’d rather have a printer compatible with 5Ghz - has Choice reviewed any? Or does someone know (fora dummy like me) how to set up soI can switch between the 2 frequencies?


Hi Guy. Welcome to the forum.

The problem is not with the NBN. The NBN effectively stops at your modem. I am guessing you either have a new Wi-Fi modem/router or a new Wi-Fi router connected to the new NBN modem?

If your new Wi-Fi set up has a new SSID (Local Area Network identifier name) you will need to connect all your other existing Wi-Fi devices to the new SSID and put in the new password to connect them all to the new LAN.

If you haven’t connected the printer to the new LAN yet, it’s not going to work with the other devices which have been connected to the new LAN. I got the impression that you were working happily sending material to get printed at the 2.4Ghz before the new equipment was installed. If your new Wi-Fi is capable of both frequencies, it will automatically send to your printer at the correct 2.4Ghz frequency.

This is true, but the 5Ghz is also MUCH faster than the 2.4Ghz and doesn’t suffer from the same level of interference from household appliances like microwaves that the 2.4Ghz does.

What model of Canon Pixma pinter do you have? On the US Canon community forum, they have said the same as you were told; that very few of their printers connect to 5Ghz. In my opinion, if you using your printer in a non commercial or business envioronment, 2.4Ghz is more than adequate.

As your printer only works at 2.4Ghz as you said, you can’t switch to 5Ghz with that printer. Two ways you can utilize the higher 5Ghz speed is
a) to use a cable to connect the printer to the 5Ghz router, or
b) install a 5Ghz range extender and connect the printer to that by cable.


Our NBN service provided by iiNet/Westnet was supplied with a new Wireless internet router. The default set up allows devices connecting on the 5GHz wireless network to also see and work with those on the 2.4Ghz network. I’ve had not problem connecting to the 11n 5Ghz network with my laptop and printing to the somewhat ancient (9yo Brother laser printer) on the 11g/n 2.4GHz network.

Are you able to share the model and brand of your wireless router.
It would be unusual to have a wireless router that only supports 5Ghz.


I have a PIXMA HOME TS3160 - I have been corresponding with Canon who basically gave me the advice about dual bands.


Hi, I took a photo of the info on the rear showing it works at both 2.4 & 5GHz. [picture deleted]


This is not correct. Connect each device at the higher speed 5Ghz frequency if possible. The router will pass the information on to the printer at 2.4Ghz as needed.

If you haven’t configured your printer to work with the new LAN, follow the Canon Wi-Fi configuration guide for your printer.

(Edit: I deleted your photo of the bottom of your wi-fi & have sent you a personal message about this)


I’ll try but the info in relation to the compatibility came directly from Canon


A router or access point that has both 2 and 5GHz capability still uses a common DHCP server, and both are normally on the same network unless the user has defined multiple networks or multiple virtual networks to keep devices separate.

Unless you, or a preconfigured modem/router did that, you should be able to connect devices on the 2 and 5 GHz bands, with both being on (eg) 192.168.1.x networks, and everything should ‘talk’ to each other no worries.

I have 2 WiFi access points, each being dual frequency, with one being the DHCP server, and have not had any problem connecting across any combination.

I once upon a time had Canon printers but never had Canon support. I’ll not say more as it was years ago.


The purpose of a router is to act as an intermediary between a sender and a receiver. It should not matter if the two are on the same WiFi frequency, or different WiFi frequencies, or on a wired network. So if a printer is correctly set up it should be accessible to anybody (on the same network). However, there is a facility to bypass the router and have a computer connect directly to the printer. Because networking is tricky, people sometimes set this up by accident and since it works, don’t change it. The problem is then the two devices have to be using the same WiFi frequency. So it is desirable to make sure the printer is connected via the router.
Another trap is there are two Internet protocols - IPv4 and IPv6. Many new devices support both and use whichever one is convenient, all seamlessly in the background. The trap is that IPv6 can autoconfigure itself, and usually works without user input, but IPv4 may or may not need setting up. If IPv4 is not set up correctly, devices will use IPv6 if they are both capable. Some devices don’t support IPv6, so won’t communicate with a device with a badly configured IPv4. I recently dealt with a place that changed their network address (I think it was 192.168.0.x to 192.168.1.x because that was the default for the new router). Then some desktop computers couldn’t print but laptops could. The problem was the printer had a hard coded IPv4 address so was now on a ‘different’ network. But it still worked with IPv6 capable machines, which happened to be the laptops. This is a long story but I hope it is useful to someone.


What advice should we give @piecone?
We are not all IT experts. Many are still learning the most basic of skills. @piecone responded to the question re the brand and model of wifi router by posting a pic of the wifi settings for the router. Now sensibly deleted.

@PhilT has clarified

Assuming @piecone is a basic home user it would seem unlikely they have changed any default setting.
Connecting a laptop or desktop to a new network is not complicated. The OS will prompt for the new details, or as a user you follow a basic procedure by first selecting the preferred new network.

Wireless connected printers are not that smart. They need to be reconfigured to recognise the new network settings. The printer software used on a laptop or desktop will also subsequently need to rediscover the printer. This may need a reinstall on each device.

The first step per

I’ve needed to do this several times when moving home or changing ISP’s. IE reinstall the printer and software on each users device as though it is the first time. My preference now is to change the router and wifi settings to keep the SSID, etc the same with any change. It’s easier for those IT savy to do, than to suggest it to an average home user who may not know an IP address from a wifi protocol.

I’ve still needed in several instances to do as @meltam suggested. For some brands or new printer models this may or may not be required. Brother has a tool - app that simplifies finding their printers in the network. Canon ??

Optus appear to provide Sagemcom modem routers to their NBN customers, various different models. Hopefully @piecone is successful reinstalling the Canon printer.

@WatchThisSpace observation is that many newer wifi enabled printers can also direct connect to a laptop or desktop bypassing the local network. I’d expect that if this was how it was in the original setup it should still work, as it is independent of the new router.


Well since this topic and question is originally about a WiFi issue of connecting a printer to a hub router we would be talking about WiFi. I don’t see what talk about TCP or IP has anything to do with the topic.
Standard 802.11 and all the variations cover WiFi LAN. Early ones were 2.4 Ghz. Later were 5Ghz. Some cover both. Newer are 6Ghz, even 60Ghz.
So perhaps we have a printer that only talks the older version like 802.11b, or g, and a NBN device that only talks newer versions, then there is an intractable problem.
Unless, the newer device can understand the older standard. Ie, the NBN device with some settings. Backward compatibility is usually provided.


To help @piecone they have shared the model of printer. It’s not ancient but it is a cheapie. It supports cloud print, direct printing such as Apple AirPrint, and 802.11b/g/n on 2.4Ghz Wifi.


Without knowing the exact modem router model the point might be useful except.


It’s only a guess for now. I’ve yet to hear of a recent RSP provided modem router that is not backwards compatible with 2.4GHz 802.11n wifi. Optus do offer several different Sagemcom branded devices. Telstra appear to offer the same hardware in some of their packages.


Was the advice based on direct printing rather than over a network. Direct printing is when a device connects directly to the printer rather than connecting over a network.

If a printer only has 2.4GHz wifi, then a device which only has 5GHz won’t be able to connect to it. Most devices commonly have both 2.4 and 5GHz and shouldn’t be an issue.

If one is connecting directly, whether it is either 2.4 and 5GHz, it won’t make any difference to how the device connects. One will need to search and connect directly to the printer.

The printer manual can be found here and provides information on wifi network and direct printing setups.

The user manual also states

This printer does not support IEEE802.11ac, IEEE802.11a, or IEEE802.11n (5 GHz). Check if your device supports IEEE802.11n (2.4 GHz), IEEE802.11g or IEEE802.11b.

If your network router is running only the former, the printer will be incompatible with the network. If your devices have compatibility with the later forms, they should connect directly, or in the case of networking, over the network.

Looking at the Optus website, the printer should be compatible with a wifi network configured on your router as it’s 2.4GHz operates as 802.11b/g/n.

Maybe look at the manual and check your setup. It is also worth testing direct print (wifi) as well.


You might search this forum and other places for Canon’s corporate attitude toward older devices. It is a standard ‘not compatible, buy a new one’. It is often self serving rubbish although for some of their devices it can be a challenge to find appropriate drivers that will work. These, and a few subsequent posts…

The bottom line is unless your new wifi access point is 5 GHz only, which would be rare but not impossible, there is no reason you should not be able to get your printer working. Canon ‘support’ supports current devices in warranty, and tells the rest ‘cannot be done’ so they buy new, as evidence suggests.


To cut to the chase.
To set up the printer use the program IJ Network Device Setup Utility (free download). Read page 48 of the online manual about easy connect mode. The printer should appear in the program’s list. Select Network Settings… on Printer Settings menu. If it asks for a password, the default is the printer serial number. If that doesn’t work, there’s a section in the manual to reset to factory default.
Select IPv4 as the protocol. Select Infrastructure as the network type. Search for your router, if the printer has not been connected to it, you will need to provide the correct SSID (the name the router broadcasts) and passphrase (WiFi password) for the router. If asked about security, use WPA2-PSK AES. Select Get IP address automatically. Click Set. If all has gone well, the WiFi symbol ))) should appear on the printer’s screen. The printer should then be visible to all the computers using the router.
There doesn’t seem to be anything in the documentation to prevent this printer working. It supports 802.11n and that is the current standard for 2.4GHz. So the router will support it too.


Your NBN router should have come with an instruction manual on how to set up and name your WiFi channels. Your 5GHz WiFi channel and 2.4GHz channel should have separate names (SSIDs) although both can have the same password.
Your printer manual will also have instructions on how to set up the printer to receive WiFi. When setting up the printer just tell it the name and password for the 2.4GHz WiFi channel - rather than the 5GHz channel.
If you don’t have a manual you should be able to download it from the manufacturer’s website.


True, yes, unless “client isolation” (or whatever it might be called on the router in question) has been enabled (or is enabled by default).

This is one of the negatives of WiFi-only printers.

Enabling “client isolation” is actually a good thing to do in general BUT if you have WiFi-only printers and you expect clients that connect wirelessly (e.g. a laptop) to be able to print then you can’t enable “client isolation”.


Thanks, I’ll try this when I have a little time. I got this info as it might be useful. I’ll message u