Wireless Printer Connectivity Issues on the Rise

When I was thinking of some tips for this month, I called Kevin Dee of PC House Calls. After a recent PC issue they superbly resolved for me, they have become my “go-to” source for computer information. PC House Calls will either come to your home to fix your PC issue, or if possible, even fix it remotely!

Kevin indicated a recent issue on the rise is Wireless Printer Connectivity issues. Wireless printers have tiny, tiny brains, he says. They’ve become well-known for low reliability. In fact, despite being called “wireless,” you will find that you need a USB wire to at least 1 host machine for it to work properly. A wireless printer is more likely to lose connection than any other wireless device, and they often do not have the capacity to automatically reconnect effectively. This can lead to a lot of headaches and calling up support to print a single piece of paper!

 

A major thing to keep in mind with wireless printers is that besides the fact that they can lose connection, they also can take their time to print. You must allow the printer time to “spool,” or ready itself to print. Wireless printers tend to take a lot longer than traditional hard-wired printers. Oftentimes, while a printer is spooling, people will keep clicking “print.” Wireless printers require a great deal of patience at times. It is important to only click “print “once and wait. Otherwise, the spool can become overloaded and the printer will simply take longer, and end up printing multiple copies at once when it finally does.

One thing that Kevin warned me about was that some printer manufacturers are being paid by certain software companies to have “PUP” (Potentially Unwanted Programs) to be installed when you install updates. Many of these printer updates, often said to be “critical,” are insignificant. Many times, the update installer will prompt you to install the Ask Toolbar, or McAfee Virus. These programs can end up causing conflicts on the machine because you can only have so much going on in the background on your computer. Sometimes, these updaters don’t even prompt you per se, instead asking you to agree to a privacy policy where the agreement to install these programs is stuck somewhere in the legalese. To make sure you don’t have unwanted programs, you’ll want to install something like MalwareBytes or Microsoft Security Essentials (both free programs) to rid your computer of these PUP’s.

For more information on Wireless Printers and printers in general, PC House Calls has a page on their website for you to peruse. Note that their Printer Policy (http://www.mycomputerman.net/Printer-Policy.html) actually states that they cannot guarantee reliability for Wireless Printers. They are that finicky.

As Kevin says, while wireless printers are very handy when they work, be aware that it takes very little to have their configuration suddenly mess up. You have to be patient with them and make sure that it’s worth the potential trouble before investing in them.

Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain