Printer Options Matter

by | Sep 15, 2021 | 0 comments

Whispering Dragons sometimes can go through printer issues and it’s often brought up, why do we choose to recommend specific printers over others? I’d be happy to explain.

In our experience, nearly every printer can do the job asked for printing. Where it gets problematic is the method.

Wireless print jobs have become a common thing in households and offices. Why worry about hooking a printer to a PC when you can have the PC connect via WiFi and run it? Well sometimes, there are issues with that, but let’s get to the simple troubleshooting behind why you shouldn’t.

If you don’t manage your WiFi (as in you log in to your router and handle any settings), then this is the scenario where we would say “Plug it into the computer directly.” But this puts an inconvenience factor in certain scenarios. How so? Have you tried hooking into printing from your iPhone or Android device that the printer is connected to the PC itself? If not, then yes, it is an issue. Even then, it isn’t always the solution as for instance, android phones can actually print from your Chrome web browser, but only if Google Chrome is running on your PC. This releases complications, but puts more strictness in browser choice because what if you like Firefox? Not an option with that method. Therefore, you fall back to Android’s native printing functions. But what if the Printer isn’t supported with the native printing function? Then, unfortunately, it is time to get a new printer. So what if we go back to WiFi? Well, that would be great if every WiFi-capable printer worked exactly the same, but unfortunately, it does not. Some devices can go to sleep and enter a timeout where they seemingly “disconnect” from your router, but it isn’t that they disconnected (assuming your router didn’t drop it), but more than your printer is just simply waiting to be used. IF the router dropped it, however, it might be getting a new “IP address” or the phone number to that printer is changed because of a change in the network. But of course, if you simply connect the printer directly to the PC, much of the basic issues should go away, until the Printer malfunctions because of an update.

See all the complications this gives? And this doesn’t include the issues going on in the printing businesses.

Now, of course, you can call us to give you recommendations or a service where it won’t be an issue. But let us be a little upfront on what is going on currently.

Most often before we are ever called, we generally find people using HP printers. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but HP rather dominates the market within our area for the simplicity of buying a printer (generally cheaper than other brands) and most often because of years past, is considered reliable.

Unfortunately, HP is also a business and wants your money. What business doesn’t? They have actually added ways in recent years to try and keep your business. And newer models are not helping. HP has done well to stealthily push in code to make you stop looking for generic inks that would be cheaper and in some cases, make sure you use the printer to the full warranty time of either timespan or print count to get you to buy newer ones. Then, of course, there is the issue of what happens if you have multiple HP Printers over the years? Get ready for a cluster of issues when it comes to installing newer drivers. Remember that “easy” and “less complication” just to print and scan? You lost it on the 2nd or 3rd HP Printer.

For Home Users, we generally these days will recommend Brother printers simply because for the last few years, they have made some robust decisions on the software. Newer scanners in particular utilizing their iPrint&Scan software, you practically can’t go wrong with its use. Combine it with a wired connection and you have yourself the best print setup you can get!

Also, if you’re the type that does on and off printing, do yourself a huge favor and go for laser-based. Ink can dry out if it’s not used enough. The laser will work longer and you will have fewer issues in the long haul. If you want color printing, yes, you will have to spend more. But if you’re the type that will print around 15-30 pages a month, well ink could work out well if you go cheaper. Just be prepared to change the ink.

The only way to top this would be making sure whatever router you are using supports a simple function to lock the IP Address given for the printer when connecting. This way, no matter what happens, your printer can’t lose the connection. Of course, if you ever do switch routers, make sure that that is on the same IP in the end or get ready for many other things to troubleshoot.

There are other ways to work with printers such as calling us to work with our printing partner for your needs (especially in business office work).