How to Set-up a Wireless Printer
Level of difficulty:
The current technology is able to support wireless connections. This would allow people to be more dynamic when setting-up and using computing devices and networks. A wireless setting would allow users to move around and change the location of computers, printers and other resources. This also removes the need for cables, making the modern computer setup clutter-free.
- Wireless computer
- wireless network card or Bluetooth modem
- wireless router (if needed)
- Bluetooth dongle (if needed)
- wireless printer
First, decide on what kind of wireless connection to use. Currently, there are wireless printers that connect to computers via Bluetooth, and there are those that connect via a wireless network.
A Bluetooth connection uses less bandwidth, but it can only create connections over short distances. Using a wireless network will use up more bandwidth, but it has a greater range. It can also be used to connect to the printer and the Internet using one device. A Bluetooth connection would be convenient in a smaller area with a setup of just one computer and one printer. If the area is larger, and a network of 2 or more computers is involved; however, a wireless network connection is best.
Once the connection type has been chosen, purchase the proper printer. Aside from choosing one that is compatible with the connection and the computer, consider the printing needs. Some printers are multifunctional, allowing users to scan, fax, print, and create copies all from the same machine. Others are simple printers that support black and colored ink. Other devices specialize in printing photographs or large volumes of pages. Choose and purchase one accordingly.
Check if the computer is compatible with the wireless connection to be used. Recently released computers are often Wi-Fi or Bluetooth ready. In these cases, icons representing these can be found on the computer. The Bluetooth logo and a satellite icon means the machine comes with the proper chipsets for wireless connections.
If the system is not compatible with wireless connections, additional hardware need to be purchased. For a Wi-Fi capability, a wireless adapter can be installed internally or attached via a port on the computer. A Bluetooth adapter can also be installed in the system, or come in the form of a Bluetooth dongle.
If the wireless connection is via Bluetooth, the setup can be created simply. The manufacturer often includes drivers and software for the printer during purchase. This needs to be installed in the computer. Once the installation is complete, the user can turn on the printer and use the computer to detect its signal. The user can then print documents, and the data will be sent to the printer via Bluetooth.
If the connection is via a wireless network, a wireless router still needs to be purchased. It will then be set up in the computer. This typically involves an installer CD of software or a Web-based account.
Software for the wireless printer still needs to be installed in the computer. Use the CD included in the purchase to make sure all the proper hardware drivers are loaded. During installation, the wireless printer may automatically make changes to the hardware settings, to configure the device as a wireless printer.
If the printer is not yet added in the list of connected hardware, or it is not configured as a wireless printer, change this manually. In Windows computers, this is normally done by accessing the Control Pane,l. Users can then click on the 'Printers' icon and select the 'Add a Printer' option. When adding the printer, select the option for the network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.