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We may live in a largely digital world, but it’s wise to keep a printer in your home. You never know when you’ll have to print out a concert ticket, boarding pass, a copy of your resume, or keep a hard copy of an important document you can access offline.
If you’re a student, having a printer in your dorm room will save you the hassle of waiting in the computer lab with everyone else who finished their 10-page term paper. Trust me, this is a life saver.
For years you had to keep your printer plugged into your computer via a USB cable for it to work, but printers have caught up to the rest of the tech industry and gone wireless. Wireless printers can connect to your home WiFi network, and allow you to print (or copy, or scan) from a computer, tablet, or phone without having to plug them in. There’s no software to install, and you don’t need a special type of wireless router to connect it to the internet.
Wireless printers were designed to work with Macs, PCs, iOS, and Android devices out of the box. Some may have apps to access more advanced features like photo tweaking when you make a scan, but you’ll be able to do the basics the moment the printer is connected.
To connect your printer to the internet, you’ll need to access a Wireless Networking setting on the printer’s touch screen. If you have a long password, this will be a little tedious, but you only have to do it once.
After it’s connected, you’re good to go. Another benefit to connecting a wireless printer to your WiFi network is that the company will send it firmware updates, which may introduce new features, or import effects to boost its performance.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Wireless Printer
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right wireless printer for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Pages Per Minute: If you’re printing a lot, you’ll want a printer with a high PPM (pages per minute) count. The ones on this list are all over 10, which means they can print one page every six seconds. That should be good enough for general home use — printing letters, essays, or fliers — unless you’re in charge of a small club or organization that needs to get the word out a lot.
Double-sided printing: If you’re eco-friendly, you’ll want a wireless printer that can print on both sides of the page. It won’t save you any ink, but you won’t run out of printer paper as frequently.
All In One: The printers in our guide are “all-in-one” models that can print, scan, copy, and in some cases fax documents without plugging them into a device. It’s nice to have the option to do each of those things in a pinch.
1. Canon TS-9120 Wireless All in One Printer
Canon’s TS-9120 is one of the two wireless printers I’ve used regularly over the past few years, and its rock-solid performance has impressed me.
It can print 15 black and white or 10 color pages per minute, which is a little slower than some of the other models we recommend, but other features more than make for it. My favorite piece of this printer is its five-inch touch screen, which is large enough to easily navigate through the printer’s settings. It also makes entering your WiFi password far easier.
In my experience, using the TS-9120 has been painless; it wirelessly prints every single time I send something to it from a computer, my iPhone, or my iPad. It reproduces colors very well when I print photos, and its scanner picks up quite a lot of detail, even from slightly-faded documents. An underrated feature is that it’s actually quite quiet when it works, which makes it a good pick for a home office.
You can print documents and photos from your device, or plug in a flash drive or SD card into the USB port and SD Card reader on the front. This isn’t a feature I’ve used, but it’s nice to have. You can’t automatically scan items into the cloud, or integrate this printer with smart-home speakers, though, so that’s a trade off.
Pros: In my experience the performance of Canon’s TS-9120 has been excellent, and its ability to print from both devices and portable storage media like flash drives is a big plus.
Cons: This wireless printer does print a little more slowly than others, and it doesn’t have any smart-home integrations.
2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Printer
Epson’s EcoTank ET-2720 is a wireless all-in-one printer with a new take on ink cartridge efficiency. The wireless printer uses bottles instead of cartridges to store ink, and Epson says this allows it to print 4,500 color or 7,500 black and white pages before needing to be replaced.
That efficiency is worth recognizing, even if the printer’s speed (10.5ppm for black and white; 5ppm for color) is a little lackluster. Oddly, it also doesn’t support automatic double-sided printing.
The EcoTank ET-2720 can be controlled by Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, which is a welcome feature, but it doesn’t have a USB port or SD card slot, so you can’t print from portable media like memory cards and flash drives. It’s 1.44-inch touchscreen also makes the printer a little more difficult to connect to your network, or navigate in general.
Epson says this printer’s ink bottles are as efficient as 80 individual ink cartridges, which is the feature that makes it well worth recommending. The fact that you can see how much ink is left by checking the vials visible through the front of the printer allows you to know when it’s time to top it up.
Pros: Its use of Epson’s ink bottles instead of cartridges make it much more efficient than most all-in-one wireless printers.
Cons: Its small touch screen will be hard to navigate, and it doesn’t have a USB port or SD card slot to print items from flash drives or memory cards.
3. Brother DCPL2550DW Monochrome Printer
Brother makes the best wireless wireless printer I’ve ever used, and its upscale MFCL2710W is the one I recommend. Its key feature is speed: this wireless printer can print up to 30 black and white pages per minute. On the flip side, it’s a monochrome printer, so it can’t print in color. If you’re in a home office or dorm room, this probably won’t be a problem, but it’ll limit the appeal if you want a wireless printer for photos.
The MFCL2710DW doesn’t have any smart features, or a USB port or SD card slot. That’s more understandable on a printer built in part for office use, but it’s still a little disappointing. It can print double-sided, which is nice, especially when combined with its super fast printing speed.
If you’re a full-time student, or have a profession that requires a lot of documents — lawyer, doctor, teacher — you’ll appreciate what the MFCL2710W has to offer. The other printers in this guide are better for more casual uses, but this one is for more professional use.
Pros: Its ultra fast printing speed makes it a great choice for a home office.
Cons: It can’t print in color, or directly from portable media like a flash drive or SD Card. It doesn’t support any smart features, either.
4. HP’s OfficeJet Pro 9016
HP’s OfficeJet Pro 9016 offers a best-of-both-worlds option between printing speed and smart features.
It can print 22 (black and white) or 18 (color) pages per minute, and supports double-sided printing. Its 2.65-inch touchscreen will make entering your WiFi credentials pretty easy, but you probably won’t want to interact with it too much.
The OfficeJet Pro 9016 can be controlled via Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant for totally hands-free printing. It supports an HP technology called “Smart Tasks,” which allows you to send scanned documents directly into the cloud, or save them as an e-mail attachment. It has a USB port, so you can print items stored on a flash drive, but no SD card slot.
This printer’s best feature is its “self healing” WiFi, which allows the OfficeJet Pro 9016 to automatically address problems with its wireless connection. Most notably, it’ll reconnect to your WiFi network if it gets kicked off for some reason. Note: if you change your WiFi password, you’ll need to re-enter it on the printer to connect.
The lack of an SD card slot is the only real downside to the printer, and it’ll be a particular problem with avid photographers whose cameras use memory castes to hold pictures. Beyond that, this is a good all-around choice if you want a fast, smart, wireless printer.
Pros: The OfficeJet 9016 can print up to 22 pages per minute, can be controlled via smart-home speakers, and automatically assess wireless problems.
Cons: It doesn’t have an SD card slot, so it may not be the best pick for photographers.