Printing Wirelessly – Not Just Wi-Fi Anymore

Wireless networks, or Wi-Fi, have been around long enough that just about everybody knows what they are. A Wi-Fi network is a wireless local area network, or LAN, over which computers and, yes, printers communicate with each other. Essentially, wired and wireless networks work the same, except that, of course, the data is broadcast through the air on wireless networks, rather than sent over Ethernet cable.

Lately, though, due primarily to the mobile device explosion over the past few years, we’ve begun seeing all kinds non-Wi-Fi wireless services and protocols for passing data between your PC, tablet, or smartphone and your printer. Unlike the Wi-Fi protocol, though, some of the new wireless connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi Direct and near-field communications (NFC), don’t require networks, and a few others don’t even require routers.

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