Wireless vs Wired Printers

Wireless vs Wired Printers

Posted by Adrian Rigby on

When you are purchasing a new printer, there is a lot to consider. One of these considerations is whether you should choose a printer that is wireless. There are a lot of wireless printers available but does this mean they are the best option? This article is to compare wireless vs wired printers to help you make a perfect choice. 

Wireless Printers

Wireless printers come in a couple of different forms. Either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. A Bluetooth printer can be connected to any computer that has Bluetooth capabilities. A Wi-Fi printer, as the name suggests, connects wirelessly through a Wi-Fi router, and therefore can be accessed by any computer or device that is connected to that network. 


  • The main benefit of wireless printers is that the computer can be placed away from the printer itself, which means you won't need to worry about frustrating and unsightly wires being draped across your desk.
  • As Wi-Fi printers can be accessed by anyone on the network, this is great for family households and offices.
  • You can print immediately from different devices including your mobile - as long as you are connected to the Wi-Fi.
  • You are not limited to printing from the room where the printer is.


  • Wi-Fi printers are notorious for having slower print times.
  • Print errors can be more common as Wi-Fi issues can occur or something can interfere with the network.
  • Whilst several people being able to use the printer in office environments or households can be a major advantage, it can also have its drawback. Without a cable, you have less control over who can access the printer.
  • You have to remember that although it is wireless in terms of the device you are printing from, the printer itself is not wireless. It still needs a power cable, so you must ensure you have a suitable location for the printer.

Wired Printers

Wired printers connect directly to the computer you are printing from with a cable. This is usually via a USB cable, however, older printers may use a proprietary port. 


  • Unlike wireless printers, you don’t have to worry about any interference with the network or worry about losing the signal. This allows you to print quickly with confidence.
  • Wired printers are more secure - this is because they cannot be accessed unless you are logged into the specific computer that is connected to the printer.
  • You can share a wired printer with other computers on the same network as long as printer sharing has been enabled on the operating system. As you have control over this, it is more secure.
  • You only need a mains plug socket.


  • You are limited to where you have to locate the printer. If you are tight on desk space, you will need to consider your options carefully.
  • You do not have the flexibility that wireless printing allows. Wi-Fi printers can be connected to a range of devices such as your mobile which can be extremely useful.
  • If you are printing in high volumes or have multiple users, you may be limited.

Alternative Options  

Wireless Adaptors  

It is important to note that even if you have a USB printer, you can often convert it to enable wireless printing through the use of an adapter. If this is an option you want to consider, just ensure the adapter will work with your specific printer before you purchase. You will also need to install the printer software on each computer you want to connect.


Another option to consider is Ethernet printers. If you don’t want to worry about Wi-Fi printing becoming interrupted, this is a way of sharing one printer with more than one computer. These printers work by attaching to an Ethernet router or hub.  This can work with Wi-Fi routers, as the majority of them have space for an ethernet cable.

Choosing a printer can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing at times. Whilst both wireless and wired printers have their advantages and disadvantages and comes down mainly to personal preference. Hopefully, this article will help explain the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision. Wireless printers often work great in home and office settings, but they are not always the best choice. Consider what are the most important factors you require from your printer and decide from there. 

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