HP Eprint Trouble Continues

The services does work, except when it stubbornly refuses to do so. E-mail account configuration may have something to do with it.

Lamont Wood, Contributor

February 9, 2011

3 Min Read

The services does work, except when it stubbornly refuses to do so. E-mail account configuration may have something to do with it.In a December hands-on review of an HP ePrint machine, the Officejet Pro 8500A, I mentioned that I could not get the ePrint facility to work from my computer, and implied that there'd be updates as I tackled the problem.

Update: I tackled the problem some more, and still can't get ePrint to work. Judging by what I've seen on the HP discussion forums, I'm hardly alone.

Of course, ePrint is supposed to let you print (using common file formats) from anywhere in the world, as long as you can get online, as ePrint printers have their own e-mail addresses and can be attached directly to the Internet. HP's commercials show a baby in a walker whizzing down the highway to the house of the grandparents, where its picture rolls off the old folks' ePrint machine.

But instead of printouts, all I got was the same error message in bounced-back e-mails: "550 5.7.1 Command rejected." HP's service department pointed fingers at my router. However, when sending material to the machine from a Hotmail account (traversing the same router) ePrint worked as advertised.

Wondering if my e-mail ISP was blocking the e-mails from my machine, I recently contacted their customer service department and found someone who seemed to know what he was talking about. He pointed out that I use his service for incoming mail, but my out-going mail is routed through the SMTP of my premises' broadband provider. Perhaps the ePrint mail server is rejecting messages where the e-mail address and the SMTP address don't match.

Using Hotmail circumvented the problem, but did not seem like a solution.

I kept the separate e-mail ISP since I did not want to change an e-mail address that I had been using for 17 years. My wife's e-mail account, however, uses the same service for both inbound and outbound traffic. So I fired up her machine and e-mailed material to the ePrint device-and it printed.

So ePrint works. But I still can't use it. Hopefully, HP will get its act together soon. Meanwhile, anyone who intends to rely on ePrint better check their e-mail account before spending any money, or plan to skip desktop e-mail and use Hotmail or a similar service.

Finally, I need to make two points.

First, as mentioned in the December review, ePrint has a security feature that lets you filter what e-mail addresses can send material to your printer. I did not set this filter but no spam has shown up yet. Of course nothing I have sent to it from my main e-mail account has shown up yet, either. Perhaps the security is too good?

Second, the HP Officejet Pro 8500A is a fine MFP. The ePrint problems appear to stem from HP's print server in the cloud.

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