Technology Introduction

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Wireless Printers For
The Home And Small Office
Not so long ago, we had to use fat parallel cables to send data to a printer directly connected to a computer. Now a printer doesn’t even have to be directly connected to a computer. Network printers can connect directly through a hub, switch or router using a regular LAN cable and be accessible to anyone using the network. This eliminated the need for a computer to be constantly turned on for the printer to be accessible.

WiFi Printers

If you have a wireless network at home or in the office you can now use a printer that has its own wireless network adapter built in, to connect to your network wirelessly. This eliminates the need for cables and lets you put your printer anywhere in the office where it is easily accessible to everyone, or is secure from prying eyes. Once a printer is connected to the network, it will be usable to any authorized user or computer.  Keep in mind though, that like any device on your wireless network, proper security is essential.

Some HP WiFi Printers Use An Interface Card
That Plugs Into The Printer (See Left Side)

Most WiFi Printers Have 802.11b/g Wireless Connectivity Built-In


An alternative to WiFi for wirelessly connecting your printer to your computer is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a very effective short range wireless technology, that is used in a wide range of products, including cell phone headsets!  Bluetooth signals have an effective range of about 30-feet. This makes it very suitable to configurations where you want the printer in the same room as the computer, and where you don't have a wireless network.  Also, Bluetooth adaptors are relatively inexpensive, and can be used with most USB connected printers - check for an aftermarket Bluetooth adaptor for your printer, or with your printer manufacturer for solutions they may offer.

Infrared Connection

Another, older method of sending data to printers without the use of encumbering cables is through infrared. Infrared products are still available in the market, and suitable in some cases.  However infrared is not the most desirable method for communicating with a printer, since it is a line-of-sight technology, requiring a direct visual path between the computer and the printer (or the transmitter and receiver), which is impractical in most settings. Infrared is also slow, so sending pages to the printer can take some time.  The one advantage of an infrared connection, is that it is easy to print from older PDAs and from Cell Phones, since most have an infrared capability built in..


For Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) use, WiFi wirless network printers are the best option because they can be left always on (on standby) and easily shared with many users, without being a burden on a single computer. Wireless network printers are always ready to print as long as they are connected to the wireless network.  To increase portability and convenience even more, WiFi printers can be moved to where the action is - so if you need a printing in the conference room, a wireless printer stays connected wherever if goes (within range). 

So when considering your next printer, regardless of the price, look for the WiFi option.  And the great thing about the new WiFi printers, is that the WiFi option adds very little to the price of the the printer, and that WiFi printers are well within the price range of the most frugal users.  WiFi wireless printers can now be purchased for less than $50.00!

Lexmark WiFi Color Inkjet For Less Than $50.00!

Tags: Wireless printer, WiFi printer, wireless printing, WiFi printing