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Printers with WiFi Direct and Airprint

Updated on August 14, 2013

Printers with WiFi Direct and Airprint

My Mom loves her iPad and wants to be able to print from it at home. I live about 3000 miles away, so whenever she asks me a computer question, I try to provide the simplest solution. She is not tech-savy and troubleshooting over the phone is difficult.

She doesn't have a router or a home network. She has 2 laptops, an android smartphone, and an iPad. She wants to print color photos and documents easily.

I did a little research and recommended that she should look for a printer that has Wi-Fi Direct and support for Apple Airprint.

Pictured: Epson C11CC87201 Color Inkjet Printer with Wi-Fi Direct

Wireless Direct Settings Menus Option
Wireless Direct Settings Menus Option

What is Wi-Fi Direct?

Wi-Fi Direct is also called "Wireless Direct"

Wi-Fi Direct is also Called "Wireless Direct"

Wi-Fi Direct allows you to connect directly to your printer wirelessly.

Although most people say "wifi" as if it means "internet," it doesn't. Wifi is just a way to connect to things through the air, wirelessly, without any cables.

Usually, you print to a printer wirelessly by connecting it to a network via a router. However, for someone who isn't tech savvy, setting up a router can be difficult. If you don't want to deal with networking, just buy a printer with "Wi-Fi Direct."

HP calls this Wireless Direct and technically this kind of connection is an "ad hoc network."

Epson C11CC87201 Expression Home XP-410 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer - All-in-one wireless printer

This is the first printer I recommended to my Mom. It has wi-fi direct and one the reviewers says that it's easy to set-up and use. Since I was looking for the easiest printer to set up, this caught my attention. The short video on Amazon even shows the Wi-Fi Direct setup option on the printer screen.

As I write this, this printer is a bestselling printer on Amazon, no doubt because of its cheap price, feature list, and mostly positive reviews.

Epson Expression XP-410 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer
Epson Expression XP-410 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer

Features:

- Support for Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print

- Wi-Fi Direct

- Print from your iPad, iPhone, tablet or smartphone

- Print from a memory card (no PC required)

- Scanner and Copier too!

Potential Cons:

- Cost of replacement ink cartridges

- Printing speed may be slow

 

Hewlett Packard CF147A#BGJ LaserJet PRO 200 Color M251NW Wireless Printer

This printer has wireless direct, and there is even information about how to use it online at the HP Forum.

HP Deskjet 3510 e-All-in-One Printer

HP 3510 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer
HP 3510 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer

I have mixed feelings about this printer because it has some bad reviews. Although the Amazon description doesn't say "Wi-Fi Direct," I looked at the user manual and it has the option to "Connect Wirelessly to the Printer without a Router"

There are positive reviews saying that it was easy to print from their iPhone or iPad. HP says that it has apps so that you can print from your smartphone.

 

Brother Printer HL5470DW Wireless Monochrome Printer

Brother Printer HL5470DW Wireless Monochrome Printer, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled
Brother Printer HL5470DW Wireless Monochrome Printer, Amazon Dash Replenishment Enabled

If you don't need to print in color, then I recommend looking into a laser printer like this one. I have a Brother printer and the toner cartridge lasts me a really long time. My cost per page is very low.

I print photos at the store so that I don't have to maintain a color printer at home. There are times when I wish I had color, but I don't have school age kids who might need it for their schoolwork, so I can live without.

And yes, this particular model has both Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint, as well as Google Cloud Print, Brother iPrint&Scan and Cortado Workplace.

 

How to Set up Wi-Fi Direct

Every printer is going to be a little different, so it's best to check the printer's manual.

The basic concept is that you have to turn on Wi-Fi Direct on the printer, at which time you will create (or retrieve) the netword name (SSID) and the password.

Once you know the password, you can then connect to the printer in the same way you would connect to a wireless network. You'll see the network's name listed under the available wifi networks on your computer, phone, or tablet's settings.

Video Guide to Setting up Wireless Direct Printing

Any comments or suggestions? - If you own a printer with wi-fi direct, please post a short review.

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