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Which printer to choose?

Wireless printing explained

By Andrew Laughlin

Article 5 of 5

Print wirelessly from devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Get the lowdown on wireless printing and see the best wi-fi printers.

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Wireless printing is a quick and easy way to print from a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs and laptops - and without a wire in sight.

A great wireless printer - or wi-fi printer - will let you do just that. Prices start from around £40 and the best can turn out good-looking text and colour prints without costing you a fortune in ink.

Wireless printers

Wi-fi is definitely a printer feature worth paying for. Wi-fi connectivity is common to most new printers, but there are still plenty of models that don't have it, meaning you would still need to connect directly to your PC or laptop via a USB or ethernet cable.

With a wi-fi printer, not only can you print from a laptop, but you'll be able to print from other devices, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Below, we round up the best wi-fi printers that’ll have you printing quickly, cheaply and wirelessly using neat features, such as mobile apps, Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print (more on these further down).

To see the printers we’ve picked below, take a £1 trial to Which?. If you're already member, then log in to unlock the table.

Top five wireless printers for 2017

Lowest price (in stock) £99.95
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Nov 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Print costs:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Google CloudPrint:
Member exclusive
AirPrint compatible:
Member exclusive

This standard colour laser printer is designed to be quick to set up and use. It's fairly compact, too, so will fit into even a small home office. It turns out sharp-looking text prints, and features NFC as well as wi-fi connectivity.

Lowest price (in stock) £89.82
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Dec 2014
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
4 out of 5
Print costs:
4 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Google CloudPrint:
Member exclusive
AirPrint compatible:
Member exclusive

The all-in-one wireless printer is a fantastic option if you do a lot of text printing, as its quality could rival even laser models. It happily turns out top notch black text prints, and won't take up too much space in your home office.

Lowest price (in stock) £56.99
Which? score 73%
Reviewed May 2014
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Print costs:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Google CloudPrint:
Member exclusive
AirPrint compatible:
Member exclusive

Not only do you get copy, scan and fax functions with this big brand printer, but you can also print from a range of wireless devices. It's a great Best Buy all-rounder with useful features and reasonable running costs.

Lowest price (in stock) £73.23
Which? score 71%
Reviewed May 2014
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Print costs:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Google CloudPrint:
Member exclusive
AirPrint compatible:
Member exclusive

This all-in-one machine prints, copies, scans and faxes - all for under £50. It's wi-fi enabled, aced our tests across a number of areas and is cheap to run. If you're on a budget, look no further.

How to connect a wireless printer

All the printers featured here have wi-fi, meaning you can can connect to the internet and access a range of network printing options (see more on that below).

Many printers have wi-fi set up ‘wizards’ that help you connect to the internet – you usually follow the instructions on the printer's control screen. Otherwise, check the wireless settings or networking menu.

For more on how to connect a wireless printer, head over to our in-depth guide on the Computing Helpdesk website.

Wireless printing features

Apple AirPrint: For iPad, iPhone and Mac computer owners who want to print quickly and simply, an AirPrint printer is the best way to go. Lots of wi-fi printers, from office models to photo-printers now come with AirPrint compatibility for wireless printing from Apple devices. The printer should automatically sync with the device and then you can send items to print.

Google Cloud Print: Cloud Print is a useful feature from Google that, just like AirPrint, is designed to make it easier to print. With a Cloud Print-ready printer, you can print from any Cloud Print-aware application or program, such as Gmail and Google Drive. It supports a range of mobile and computing devices, including Android phones and Chromebooks.

Printing mobile apps: Most printer brands offer a free downloadable app for smartphones and tablets that’s designed to make it easier to use the printer. These apps, such as HP ePrint and Canon Print, offer a range of functionality, including sometimes scan and copy options.

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