Wi-Fi Printing

If you've jumped on board with the millions who have either created a Wi-Fi network at home, or have access to one at the office, (or are planning on doing so soon) the ability to print documents without "plugging in" is no doubt a feature of Wi-Fi that you will greatly appreciate.

When it comes to printing through Wi-Fi you have three basic options to get the job done.

  1. If you're using Wi-Fi to extend access to an existing wired network, then you will most likely be able to simply "share" an existing wired printer that is already on the network. This is obviously a good option as it will not require purchasing new equipment, but can sometimes be difficult to implement and with inconsistent results. Additionally, this does limit the physical placement of printers to locations served by the existing wired network.
  2. A second option is to purchase a Wi-Fi Print Server which is essentially a wireless receiver that can be added to an existing printer giving it wireless access capabilities. The downside is that Print Servers can sometimes be difficult to configure and typically cost well over $100 dollars.
  3. A third option is simply to by a new printer that is already equipped for Wi-Fi printing. Right now there are only a few such models on the market, and they can be hard to find in stores, but the selection should continue to grow in the near future.

I personally have only been able to find two such printers commonly available, the Epson C84WN and the HP 5850. Of the two, the Epson can't easily be found in stores and is essentially just a standard printer with a Wi-Fi print adapter added externally, and a with a $200 price to match. On the other hand, HP is readily available and much more price competitive. I purchased one for just under $100 at a Sam's Club, which is less money than it would have cost to purchase a Wireless Print Server to connect the printer I already owned to my Wi-Fi Network.

Regardless of which option best fits your individual needs, the ability to print through "thin air" will certainly enhance the productivity and enjoyment of having a Wi-Fi network.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale