• How does a wireless printer work?

How does a wireless printer work?

A wireless printer uses a wireless network connection to print from different devices. This allows users to send documents to the printer from computers, smartphones, and tablets without having to connect them via cable or transfer files between devices beforehand.

Wireless printers are also known as WiFi printers as they often use wireless networks to receive communications. Other technologies used are Bluetooth, Personal Area Network (PAN), Near-Field Communication (NFC) and Cloud.

This makes printing quicker and easier, particularly for those with mobile devices. Users can send documents instantly. For example, they could take a photograph on a smartphone and print without having to connect devices.

How to print to a wireless printer

Wireless printer setup varies depending on the type of wireless printer you choose. Here some general guidelines to print wirelessly:

  1. Set up your printer’s network, for example WiFi or Bluetooth. You’ll need to know the name of the network (SSID) and password. You may need to temporarily connect the printer to a computer with an ethernet cable first for software installation.
  2. Use the printer's display screen to connect to your chosen wireless network.
  3. Ensure that the device you’re using is sharing the same network. For example, your mobile device would need to be on the same WiFi connection as the printer.
  4. When your document is ready to print, select print on your device and find the wireless printer on the dropdown menu.
  5. Select the printer and click print.

Many Xerox WiFi printers and WiFi all-in-one printers come with automated set-up wizards, making it very easy to get started with wireless printing.

For instructions specific to your Xerox wireless printer, please visit our customer knowledge base and search for your product model. Next, choose “Support” and then search for “wireless” or “wifi” or the specific application you want to use (i.e., “Google Cloud Print”).

How to print from an Android phone or tablet to a wireless printer

Here are some simple and universal steps to print with a WiFi printer from a smartphone or tablet that use an Android operating system:

  1. On your mobile device, access Settings > WiFi
  2. Click on the WiFi icon to start scanning for networks
  3. Select the WiFi printer name once it appears.

Xerox offers a quick and easy Android printing service for wireless printers. All you need to do is download the Xerox® Print Service plug-in for Android. This will allow you to print photos and documents onto a compatible Xerox device.

You can also use the plug-in to change print settings. The plug-in is compatible with all Android devices from version 4.4 and later.

Simply select device compatibility with our Xerox Print Service guide and download the free plug-in from the Google Play store.

Mobile and Cloud Print Capabilities

Xerox wireless printers range — such as Xerox® ConnectKey® technology-enabled AltaLink® and VersaLink® printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) — offer many mobile apps and cloud print options:

  • Apple® AirPrint™. Simplify printing of emails, photos, and important office documents directly from your Apple device, with no need to install additional software.
  • Google® Cloud™ Print. Print via the web from anywhere, including your phone, without needing to download special drivers or software.
  • Mopria® Print Service. Makes printing from your Android™ device intuitive and seamless.
  • Xerox® Print Service Plug-in for Android™. Enables mobile printing to many Xerox printers and MFPs without the need for third-party apps.
  • NFC Tap-to-Pair. Uses near-field communications (NFC) to allow you to tap your mobile device to a wireless printer or MFP to establish a direct connection. Then you can immediately send a document to print, copy or scan, resulting in less waste because you are in direct proximity to the device and can easily retrieve your print job.
  • Wi-Fi Direct. Allows two devices (your smartphone and printer, for example) to establish a direct WiFi connection without requiring a wireless router. It’s a way for devices to communicate wirelessly, much like Bluetooth.
  • ConnectKey® Apps for Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Office 365 cloud printing and scanning. Now it’s easier than ever to print from, and scan to, the cloud-based storage repositories you already use. Download these cloud print apps directly to your ConnectKey technology-enabled device, and easily work from anywhere.

Types of Xerox Wireless Printers/Wireless All-in-One Printers

With multiple ways to print wirelessly, choosing a wireless printer can be daunting. So how can you find the best wireless printer for your needs? At Xerox we offer:

  • Printers with built-in WiFi print features
  • Add on wireless printing options or adapters

If you want WiFi printing built-in, then one of our newer wireless printers or wireless all-in-one printers is best for you. Look at Xerox® ConnectKey® technology-enabled AltaLink® and VersaLink® printers and multifunction printers first, which make mobile and cloud printing a priority.

Otherwise, wireless printing comes standard on some of our Phaser® printers and WorkCentre® multifunction printers, and is optional on other models in these product families.