When it comes to printing, there are a few ways one can connect to a printer. This relates to modern printers, not the old printers where you used a parallel or serial cable. Most modern copiers are connected to a computer through a network, and the network connection will be either wired (TCP/IP) or Wireless.
Like it sounds, a wired connection uses a wire that is plugged into the wall and will end up at a switch and then a server to print. This cable will generally look like a phone cable that is a little bit bigger and plugs into the wall.
Wireless, on the other hand, is twofold, because wireless uses a router to establish the network connection. This router is set up often by your internet service provider (ISP). Most people, when they think about wireless, mean a card in the printer which can synch with the router without physically connecting the two devices.
When you use the wifi card, you can be as far as the signal carries from the router. This makes it easier for the office that needs the printer to be more central while the router happens to be at one of the edges and you don’t want to run a 50 or 100 foot wire through concrete or other surfaces.
Where using a card happens to have issues is when you have concrete or brick walls without a gap like a doorway and the wireless is on one side and the device is on the other. The basic rule of thumb would be if your laptop or tablet doesn’t get a consistent signal there, don’t expect the printer to work if you are using a wireless card rather than connecting the printer to the router by a cable.
If I am Using a Cable, How is it Wireless?
As we explained, since wireless is twofold, it can get a bit confusing. You may wonder how a copier that is wired into the router is “wireless.” The simple answer is because once it connects to the router, then any computer, laptop or smartphone that can get on the network through that router also has access to the printer. Most of these devices do this by logging into the router and then they have access to the network through the router’s connection.
This is an easy way to make an older copier wireless, but also to ensure there are no issues with the wifi cards you would buy from a third party.
The advantage of connecting to the router with a cable is the cable is normally cheaper than the wireless card and more reliable. Also, the connection is more stable to the router. The disadvantage is you can only have the copier the length of the cable away from the router.
If you want your copier to be wireless and don’t want to buy a special card, simply plug the copier into the router with an Ethernet cable, and now the copier is wireless.
We Can Help!
Setting up your copier is part of any discussion with the professionals at Copier Lease Center. If you are unsure, we can ask you questions to help you figure out what solution is right for your business.
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