Few things have done more to transform the efficiency of the office environment than wireless technology. Not only has it helped to dramatically reduce the tangle of cables, it also offers flexibility for people to work in different areas of the office – provided it’s within range of the wireless network.
Wireless technology allows employees to connect their laptops, smartphones and tablets to the company network. And the office printer – so wherever an employee is working in the office, they can use one centralised printer.
If you’ve not embraced the world of wireless printing, these could be some of the questions you may want answering before you take the plunge.
How to connect to a wireless printer
Getting connected to a wireless printer is fairly straightforward though differs for each device and printer.
Setting up a wireless printer
- Take your printer out of the packaging
- Plug the power cord in the electric socket
- Install the ink/toner cartridge (see instruction manual)
- Choose the appropriate connection method
You’ll need to connect your printer via one of four ways:
- Auto Wireless Connect
- Wi-Fi Protected Set-Up
- Wireless Set-up Wizard
- USB Set-up of Wireless
After setting up a wireless printer, you’ll need to make sure the devices you want to print from are set up. Here’s a quick rundown for each of the different platforms and devices:
How to connect to a wireless printer on Windows
- Open up the control panel or settings menu
- Choose “Devices and Printers”
- Select “Add printer”
- In the Printer Wizard, select “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer”
- Select your wireless printer
- Install printer drive onto your PC (added in password if promoted)
- Complete all Wizard steps and click finish
How to connect to a wireless printer on a Mac
- Open up the Apple menu
- Click on “System Preferences”
- Select “Print and Scan” from the “Hardware” section
- Select the “Add” (+) symbol
- Choose your wireless printer from the “Nearby List” or select “Add Printer” it your model does not appear
- If needed, enter the IP address of your printer
How to connect to a wireless printer from your iPad/iPhone/iPod
- Open the app you want to print from
- Tap the app’s share button or settings icon to access the printing options
- Click print
- Choose your AirPrint-enabled printer or enter the password or IP address of your printer (performed through a third-party app)
How to connect to a wireless printer from your Android phone/tablet
- Open up “Settings”
- Select “Printing” and then “Add service”
- Choose the manufacturer of your printer’s Cloud (i.e. Samsung, HP) or use generic Cloud printing
- Set up the relevant Cloud (inserting password/IP address if requested)
How much are wireless printers?
Depending on what you’re looking for, wireless printers can vary in cost. Bigger models that offer a number of printing options may be more expensive than smaller models which only provide a single print function.
It’s important to decide the size and type of wireless printer your office needs before buying one, and it’s also essential to check it has wireless capabilities.
Nowadays, almost all printers – whether inkjet or laser – come with wireless connectivity. And once connected to the same network as a PC, laptop or even a tablet, they will become one of the default printing options for that machine or device.
What range will my wireless printer have?
Much like your internet, your wireless printer will only pick up a signal if it’s within a certain range – if you’re in the furthest room away, you may not be able to print successfully. Other factors which may hamper your wireless printer’s range include walls, other wireless devices and large appliances, so it’s important to check the specification and range of your wireless printer before you purchase it.
To ensure the wireless network is accessible from all parts of your office or place of work, it may be useful to invest in a more powerful router, or install a network booster.
What devices can I print from?
You can use wireless printers to print from virtually any device. Obviously, they work with laptops and PCs but they can also be used with smartphones and tablets like iPads.
The simplest way to do this is to download the appropriate app for the type of device you have. Apple products like iPhones and iPads can use Apple Air Print, while Android devices can use Google Cloud Print.
More and more printers support this technology, so it’s well worth considering whether the one you’re thinking of buying is compatible with all the devices you plan on using.
Can I be sure that it’s secure?
Almost every wireless model comes with a security code or password that a device will have to input before being able to use the printer.
Are they easy to set up?
Generally, it’s quite straightforward to set up and connect a network printer in your office. A new machine will usually come with a set-up disk that takes you through the individual steps.
There are certain pieces of information you’ll probably need to have to hand before starting – such as the name of the network you want the printer to connect to (also known as the SSID) and the network password (also known as the WEP, WPA or WPA2 key).
If you do run into issues, the manufacturer’s website should have user guides and troubleshooting tips.
To get started, we’ve put together some simple tips below which may help you get your printer up and running.
Installing a wireless printer isn’t as daunting as it may seem and once you’ve done it, you can look forward to convenient printing without a cable in sight. Check out our full range of wireless printers to suit your needs.