Choose The Best Printer For Your Business With These Tips
Wireless printers allow you to work in a highly mobile and flexible manner.
Here are three things to look for when choosing a wireless printer for your business.
Ease of Connectivity
Most wireless printers today connect via Wi-Fi. As the dominant standard for wireless networks, Wi-Fi allows quick and easy connectivity with most home and office networks and routers, allowing you the freedom to put the printer wherever you want and easily share access with the users that need it, regardless of where their desk is.
Look for printers that are simple and straight-forward to set up and connect. Some devices offer the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature, which allows you to connect the device securely to the network with a button push, without having to go through the router configuration screen.
Even if you plan on mostly using Wi-Fi with your printer, it is a good idea to have other options at your disposal. Traditional USB and wired Ethernet connectivity options mean that even if you lose your wireless network, you can still get those urgent print jobs done, by falling back on simple wired connections.
If you are a highly mobile user, newer options like Wi-Fi Direct allow you to directly connect your wireless device to the printer via a peer-to-peer connection, so you can print even without a wireless access point or router.
Near Field Communication (NFC) features allow similar, direct printing from your devices, but require you to touch a NFC-enabled mobile device to the printer in order to start printing.
More and more businesses are using mobile devices like tablets and even smart phones to get serious work done. The ability to print documents, PDFs, photos and other files from your mobile device will help bridge the divide between the ultra-portable small screen, and printed, physical assets.
Many wireless printers also support printing from the Cloud, so you can start print jobs as long as you are connected to the Internet.
To be able to take advantage of these capabilities, look for printers that have support for AirPrint, Google Cloud Print or that can link through a Print Utility App.
- AirPrint was developed by Apple to allow Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch users to print directly from the device to an AirPrint supported printer through a local Wi-Fi connection without the need to install any type of software or driver. Although this is an Apple-only feature, it is available on many popular printers and gives reliable full quality results.
- Google Cloud Print is Google’s latest answer to wireless printing. Instead of using a local Wi-Fi connection, the data is sent from your mobile device to Google servers and then back to your Google Cloud Print enabled printer. Integration into the Chrome browser is native and it will support most Google Apps. It was designed primarily for Android devices but will work with iOS with some restrictions.
- Print Utility Apps are similar, but are created by individual printer manufacturers for their products. These apps are typically free, connecting through the Internet to your printer or multi-function device. Engineered for specific brands’ devices, they tend to allow access to more advanced functionalities over the Cloud, and are usually available on both the iOS and Android platforms.