The Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi Printing for Small Businesses

Here are the pros and cons of Wi-Fi printing for small businesses, along with tips for successful implementation of the cutting-edge technology.

Mobile device, Printer, Smartphone, Tablet, Wi-Fi, Wireless printing

Wi-Fi printing offers convenience — as well as other benefits — for your small business. The use of this technology, however, also has some drawbacks, as nothing is (unfortunately) perfect. By understanding the fundamentals of wireless printing, such as basic security measures and the benefits of doing so, you'll be able to make informed decisions about what your business needs when it comes to printing.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros of Wi-Fi Printing

  • Easy access: Using a Wi-Fi connection to print allows multiple users to easily access the same office printer. This eliminates the need to buy a dedicated printer for each computer station in your office, which, in turn, saves your business money (and energy, which supports your office's green initiative)
  • Fewer tangled cords: You have to buy and plug in fewer devices, and a wireless printer, as the name implies, doesn't require a cable connection to a computer, so one is enough for your office.
  • Mobile devices: Users can print from any device that supports a Wi-Fi connection, such as a smartphone or tablet. With this type of printing, you're not tethered to just a basic computer for your company's tech needs, so you can embrace new gadgets if desired, and your employees will be able to print when using compatible devices within a wireless range.
  • Added flexibility: There may be roles in your small business that require more printing than others. When printing does arise, however, having a communal printer makes it easier for everyone. No one has to ask a coworker to use his or her printer with Wi-Fi printing and quick setup means you can just print whenever you need.

Cons of Wi-Fi Printing

  • Extra equipment: Wi-Fi printing requires a router or an access point to transfer data wirelessly.
  • Interference: If there is wireless interference, it can temporarily prevent you from printing. Furthermore, if your printer isn't within the range of your wireless network, it won't be able to receive information.
  • Confidentiality and security concerns:—Mobile printing may be a concern if you print a lot of confidential documents. You may accidentally leave something sensitive in the tray or just have privacy concerns about a shared network. Security incidents — such as unauthorized use — are other potential issues with this. Printers that rely on wireless networks can potentially put your business at risk. Therefore, it's critical that you take active security measures, such as encrypting your network to avoid certain risks.

To ensure the productivity of your staff, you may need to set guidelines for proper printer usage. That could include only using the printer for work-related matters and having guidelines (and receptacles) for when you find something that isn't your work in the tray. By learning the basics of Wi-Fi printing, you will be on your way to making informed decisions that, in turn, will meet your businesses' needs.