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Wired Vs Wireless Printing

wireless printing
Originally Published on the Darkhorse Tech Blog

Wireless Technology is an integral part of daily life that is hard to imagine being without for so many of us.  We can connect to WIFI from our phones and do anything from browse, shop, communicate, watch a movie, or play a game.  We can even get a craving in our kitchen, print the recipe wirelessly and pop that thing in a nostalgic recipe book (because spilling sauce on paper is a lot less expensive than spilling on your pocket-computer).  That said, the same technology that makes things easier at home doesn’t necessarily translate to a business setting, such is the case in wired vs wireless printing in a dental practice.

wireless printing

Printers in an office environment are essential for operation.  Many computers use them, and print jobs can be sent over simultaneously to the printer to be operated on one at a time. However, all of those print jobs require a solid connection to the printer from the originating computer, through the network, and to the printer itself.   Depending on how your network is set up, there are what are called multiple points of failure: points where if a device goes down or is restarted, then the process is interrupted.  While WIFI is great for many aspects of your practice (patient entertainment for example) that just isn’t the case in printing.

Wired Vs Wireless Printing: Speed

wireless printing

Wireless:  Wireless speed is, by its nature, slower than wired. This is due to the technology as well as physical obstacles, placement of the wireless routers, and placement of the originating and destination computers/printers. It also leads to slower overall printing which can impact productivity. Too many people wanting to print all at once to a single wireless printer will be like a river trying to flow through a crack, it will slow the flow and eventually become blocked bringing everything to a halt.

Wired:  Wired speed is much faster than Wireless which, means it can handle a lot more traffic at once without loss of functionality. Just as a pipe in a dam is specifically designed to pump thousands of gallons of water so too is your wired connection designed to allow faster speeds and more traffic.

Wired Vs Wireless Printing: Security

wireless printing - security

Wireless:  Wirelessly connected printers are vulnerable to anyone accessing your wireless network.   A skilled hacker can intercept a wireless job being broadcast out and the wireless printer disk stores the document copies and usage logs.

Wired: By using a wired connection we remove a point of security concern, the WIFI signal itself:  Wired transmissions are much more difficult to intercept and are sent directly to the destination device rather than being transmitted in the direction of the device until the sending device gets an acknowledgment.

Wired Vs Wireless Printing: Transmission

Wireless: WIFI transmission issues can be caused by many factors, most of which if accounted for will not result in an issue for a variety of devices connected to your network.  However, transmission errors in a print job will result in dropped or backlogged print jobs.  Such factors include physical obstructions, neighboring networks, WIFI competition from other devices, and distance (insufficient WAP layout).

Wired:   Any transmission issues arising from the physical location of the devices are removed in wired networks.  Wired Networks will allow for a computer to be nearly anywhere on that network and print directly to the printer.

Wired Vs Wireless Printing: The Verdict

As you can see, there are many reasons why relying on a well designed and organized, wired network is key to proper printing function and office efficiency.  You don’t have to go removing your wireless network, after all, you use it every day.  That said, you will certainly see a benefit by connecting your printers to your wired network.  There are many ways to organize wired printing on your network which your IT partner should be able to set up to increase speed and efficiency while minimizing headaches.  Unfortunately, there may be no perfect printing setup (as permanently emblazoned in the minds of many in the movie Office Space) but reducing points of failure and leaning on your IT partner for best practices when it comes to printing should take you from constant frustration to a place where printing is an afterthought.

Darkhorse Tech has grown mainly through referrals to serve close to 900 dental practices in all 50 states. We have earned our reputation as leaders in delivering managed IT and cybersecurity services for both start-ups and established dental practices.

Let’s get started. Call us today at 800.868.4504 for a free consultation.

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