When you connect to a printer on MacOS or Windows, the system stores the printer so you can connect to it later. Does anyone know which criteria is referenced to validate it is the same printer when you connect to it again?

What if a preset printer went offline and another one took its place with the same IP, MAC address, and hostname? Would it recognize it as a different printer?

I’m guessing that there has to be some extra measure of security, but have failed to find any information on the internet.


There is the IEEE 802.1x standard that defines port-based, authenticated network access control for Ethernet local area networks (LANs). With 802.1X, the user or device (eg printer) must pass network access control by successfully authenticating with credentials, such as a name and password, or network access is denied.

The 802.1x uses the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) to relay port access requests between LAN endpoints and the clients being authenticated, Ethernet switches or wireless access points and RADIUS authentication servers.

The 802.1x with AES encryption is considered a secure solution for wireless networks but requires that each device is configured with the correct EAP method and authentication credentials.

These are optional standards and also not used in most networks and printers.

  • I assume this system is secure and hard to spoof / redirect traffic? Is it the same authentication method that other services use inside a LAN? – iamPres Oct 20 '19 at 0:24
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    It would be good to note these are optional standards not used in most networks. These standards are also completely separate to any verification the operating system conducts to ensure it is the same printer. – David Oct 20 '19 at 20:15

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