How to buy a wireless printer
A wireless printer buying guide
As electronics become more sophisticated, they help to simplify the way we use technology. Wireless printers, for example, allow multiple devices to send documents and photos to a printer without the expense and installation time of running a cable between the printer and a computer, phone or camera. Learning how to buy a wireless printer requires you to consider what and where you want to print and who will be using the printer.
>> Determine what you want to print
The first decision you need to make as you learn how to buy a wireless printer is whether you need just black-and white (monochrome) or color in your documents. Monochrome laser printers are available, and color-printing inkjets and laser printers are on the market, too. Monochrome printers tend to do only printing, while color printers are usually all-in-one devices that print, copy and scan documents. If you plan on scanning many different-sized documents or scanning documents while you travel, you might prefer dedicated printers and scanners.
If you want to print photos, consider wireless photo printers. They can have more ink cartridges (for smoother color transitions), support direct wireless printing from phones and digital cameras and allow you to plug in memory cards and USB drives.
>> Consider location flexibility
Location flexibility is a major wireless printer advantage. For instance, you'll be able to put a computer exactly where you want it in your home or office, including in a different room than where the printer is. If your device supports it, you can send a document from the phone in your hand or a photo from the camera on your desk. If your printer is connected to the Internet, you can send a document to it from anywhere in the world where you can get an Internet connection. If you do a lot of travel and need to print at your home or business, an Internet-connected printer might be the best wireless printer to buy.
As you learn how to buy a wireless printer, you'll find there are two basic technologies to send documents to a printer: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth wireless printers pair other Bluetooth-enabled devices up to a distance of 30 feet. Wi-Fi supports multiple devices communicating with the printer at the same time up to a distance of 300 feet. Another benefit of a Wi-Fi connection is that you can create passwords that prevent intruders from using it while allowing other devices to use the network.
If you travel often and want to print on the go, consider portable wireless printers. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi models are available, and all of them support the use of SD memory cards. This type of wireless printer comes in both monochrome and color. If you'll print a lot of photos during your trips, a wireless, portable photo printer is probably the best wireless printer to buy. You can run this type of wireless printer either on AC current or with an adapter that plugs into a car's charging port.
>> Consider a printer's speed
As you decide which wireless printer to buy, look at its print speed. Manufacturers usually make this information prominent, since it's one of a printer's primary selling points. If you're running a business, you might want to buy a printer that's a bit faster than you need now in order to allow for your business's growth without replacing the printer.
>> Think about security
Wireless printers allow any number of devices to connect to them, as long as those devices are within a certain distance:
- 30 feet for Bluetooth connections
- 300 feet for Wi-Fi connections
To prevent unauthorized devices from connecting to your printer, you must make your network and printer secure. The basic way to do this is to create a password that a device must send to the network before the network allows that device to connect to it. A second way is to set a password for the printer itself. A third way is configure the network so that only certain devices can connect to the network. You can use any or all of these security measures at the same time. At a minimum, you should create a password for your network, so unauthorized users can't use any part of it.
>> Consider care and accessories
You'll also want to consider care and computer accessories. While you don't have to worry about securing wires, you do want to ensure that your wireless printer is safely stored and sufficiently charged. Placing your wireless printer in a central location is best and will allow you the wireless printer benefits you desire.
While wireless printing is convenient and easy on its own, there are many computer components and applications that make printing from mobile devices seamless. If you own a smartphone or tablet, exploring various wireless printer apps might aid you in choosing the best wireless printer to buy.
Learning how to buy a wireless printer requires you to consider many factors. Once you've decided which type of wireless printer is best for you, you'll be printing your important documents with ease and convenience.