Are all printers now wireless? [EXPLAINED]

If you’ve recently entered an office supply store, you’ve seen all the new high-tech printers that come with all the bells and whistles. 

Even budget printers claim to do it all these days. But there seems to be one thing that most printers are missing: connection cords. So, what’s the deal?

Not all printers are wireless, but most modern printers are. Some wireless printers also offer the option to be connected via a USB cable. But keep in mind that both wireless and wired printers still use a standard power cord to connect to a power outlet.

If you’re unsure whether your printer has wireless functionality or not, refer to the manual. Printers that lack a display screen are most likely unable to connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

Is a wireless printer better than a wired one?

A wireless printer is not necessarily better than a wired one. Both wired and wireless printers, if built by a reputable company, produce high-quality prints. However, connecting via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is found to be more convenient and easier, especially when connecting to mobile devices or shared printers. 

Advantages and disadvantages of having a wireless printer

Both wireless and wired printers come with a range of advantages and disadvantages. Below is a comparison table showing the pros and cons of wireless and wired printers:

Wired PrintersWireless Printers
Connectivity/SpeedCable connections offer faster data transfer speeds and more reliable connections.Tend to be slower than wired printers. But wireless printers that use Bluetooth are often faster when compared to those that use Wi-Fi.
Display ScreenWired printers don’t always have displays. And when they do, the screens have limited functionality.Often feature a large display screen that users can use to adjust settings and switch networks.
FunctionalityRelying on a physical cable to connect devices can slow down your workflow because only one device can be connected at a time.Multiple devices can be connected at the same time increasing the workflow. This makes them great for offices.
PriceSince they implement less technology, they are less expensive than wireless printers.More expensive than wired printers but can still be found at an affordable price.
Cable ManagementRequire a lot of cable management, especially if they are shared between multiple offices.There are fewer cables to manage since some devices, if not all, can be connected wirelessly. This helps keeps a place tidy.

If you know that you’ll often be working in a separate room from your printer, you may want to consider a wireless machine. Not having to repeatedly stand up, and walk to the printer to plug in your computer, in order to print will increase your workflow and productivity.

If you are looking for a budget option and don’t mind having to connect your device to the printer using USB or Ethernet cables, a wired device is the way to go.

Can a printer be wired and wireless at the same time?

A printer can both be wired and wireless at the same time and this can offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to connecting to various devices. However, you can only use one connection method at a time. 

One of the disadvantages of a wireless printer is that you can run into connection problems if there are compatibility issues between the printer and the connecting device. Wireless connections can also be vulnerable to interference in case you work in an area with lots of other wireless devices.

Making a wired printer wireless

A wired printer can be made wireless with the help of a wireless Bluetooth or Wi-Fi adapter that can usually be purchased from the printer manufacturer or a third-party manufacturer. Software should also be installed in the connecting devices, such as computers, for them to be able to send and receive information.

Another way would be to use the wireless network from a router as explained in the video below:

Follow the link to learn more ways to turn a wired printer into a wireless printer and make it more convenient.

Is Wi-Fi needed for a wireless printer to work?

If your wireless printer doesn’t support BlueTooth, then it needs Wi-Fi to work. When setting up your printer, you are prompted to pair devices using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

While both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections allow you to print documents remotely, a Wi-Fi connection is less limited in terms of range.

How wireless printers are powered

Wireless printers get power by plugging into a wall outlet using standard power cords. However, there are a few portable printers that are powered using batteries or USB ports, but these are rare. In most stores, you’ll mostly find wireless printers that use a standard power cable. 

The reason there are very few battery-powered printers is that there are few situations where printers are required to be portable or mobile. Most printers remain in a fixed location during use at home or in the office.


While most modern printers are wireless, this does not mean that all of them are wireless. Wired printers are still available in the market and offer fast data transfer speeds and more reliable connectivity. 

A major advantage of having a wireless printer is that it improves workflow since it can easily be shared within a network without having to connect lengthy cables.

Fortunately, with the help of a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth adapter and software, a wired printer can be converted into a wireless one, eliminating the need to buy a new one.

When choosing a printer, keep in mind that just because a printer claims to use the latest technology doesn’t mean it’s the best device. Always do further research online before making your purchase.

Eustace G.
Eustace G.
Eustace is a technology enthusiast and avid gamer who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunication and Information Engineering. His passion and knowledge of computers, and technology in general, is channeled towards helping others understand complex concepts, solve problems, and make informed decisions.


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