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Adapter Printer Wireless - Buying a Wireless Printer Adapter - Types of Wireless Printer Adapter Units, Installing Wireless Printer Adapter Units

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Today, most printers are either made with a built-in adapter for the printer for wireless connectivity or they are not. Not so long ago, however, the optional adapter printer for wireless networking was sold. This type of printer could only work through a network if attached by an Ethernet cable or if it was connected to a computer on the network. For wireless networking, an adapter for the printer was sold separately. When connected, the wireless printer adapter made the printer available on the network without it being connected to a computer or through a hub with an Ethernet cable.

Wireless printer adapters were never made to work universally on any printer with an open USB port. Instead, the adapters are made to be compatible with only a single model or series of printer, usually by the same brand that manufactures the adapter. Such brands that released printers of this fashion include HP, Dell, and Canon. Buying an incompatible adapter is next to useless, but there are rumors of them being hacked to work with various other printer models. The price of wireless printer adapters varies by the exact brand and model. The typical range is from $50 to $100.

Types of Wireless Printer Adapter Units

Most wireless printer adapters connect to the printer via a USB port made especially for the purpose. Some printers, however, use a specialized card slot or a PCI card slot that requires a panel be removed from the printer so it can be installed internally. A select few types of adapters connect to the serial or parallel port of older models of printer. As stated previously, most newer printers either have a built-in adapter or they are incapable of connecting wirelessly in any way.

How a wireless adapter connects to the printer is not the only difference about them. Wireless adapters can connect to the network in a variety of ways. The most common type of connection is with a regular 802.11 Wi-Fi signal. This is usually of the G type, but older printers can also connect via 802.11b. Some adapters work by connecting with a Bluetooth signal. These adapters have a limited range but fast data-transfer speeds.

Installing Wireless Printer Adapter Units

Determining how an Adapter for a wireless printer should be installed depends largely on the type of adapter it is. USB adapters generally plug directly in to the USB port on the printer. The port is often used only for this type of connection. The USB wireless printer adapter is the easiest to install. Many are simply plug-and-play accessories, but others may require a download or firmware update in order to work.

PCI wireless adapter cards always require the case be removed from the printer to access the card slot. Device driver software usually must be downloaded with this type of card. Many cards will come with a CDROM that has all the required software and an installation wizard. This makes setting up the printer on the network an easy task to accomplish. This makes the printer a device available to all computers on the network.

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