Wireless Printer

Cheap desktop printers have become very popular in recent years, and even fax machines and photocopiers are being replaced by multifunction printers. A wireless printer provides all the convenience of a desktop printer without the trouble of running a network cable to it. Any computer, laptop or mobile device can use the printer without being physically connected to it, provided it is within range. There are also adapters available that allow a regular printer to be setup as a wireless printer.

While desktop printers are cheap enough to have one for every computer, they are still bulky machines that take up a lot of space. Many people like to save space by putting them on a table or shelf away from the computer, and some offices even use one printer for all their computers. This is done by setting it up on a local area network as a network printer. While homes and offices are increasingly being built with network outlets, most still require extensive cabling work to setup a network. Crawling around in roof spaces and under desks to install cables is very unpleasant and dirty work. A better alternative is to use a wireless network.

A wireless printer communicates with other devices over the air instead of through a cable. Inside the printer is a wireless adapter that sends and receives the data. The two most common protocols used for wireless connectivity are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is important to check that all the other wireless devices support the same protocols as the printer, otherwise they might not be able to connect to it. Apart from the adapter, a wireless printer is like any other desktop printer. It still needs to be properly maintained and have its paper tray and ink cartridges filled.

The main benefit of using a wireless printer is that it does not require a network cable. It can be setup anywhere within range of a wireless router or a computer with a wireless adapter. Most printers still needs to be connected to a power outlet but finding one is usually not a problem. There should also be a port for connecting a network cable so it can be used on computers and networks without wireless support. Setting up a wireless printer is no more difficult that setting up any other desktop printer. The main difference is that it is setup as a network printer instead of a local printer. Most setup wizards search for the new printer and configure the wireless settings automatically.

All computers and peripherals experience problems occasionally but they are usually easy to fix. The first step in troubleshooting a wireless printer is to check that the power is on and that the controls are working normally. Look for any flashing lights or warning messages that might give a hint as to what is causing the problem. Check that the printer appears in the local network on the computer that is trying to use it. The printer may not be able to connect if the network setting have been changed recently. As a last resort, restoring the factory default settings may help solve the problem.

A regular desktop printer can be made into a wireless printer by connecting it to a wireless printer adapter. These adapters are about the size of a USB thumb drive and have either a USB or parallel plug. They are called wireless dongles by some manufacturers. They use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for communicating with other wireless devices, and they do not require any batteries or external power pack since they get their power from the printer. Wireless adapters can be purchased for under thirty dollars from most computer stores.

This Wireless Printer Review is Written/Updated on Jan 4th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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