Tap to Read ➤

How Does a Wireless Printer Adapter Work

Omkar Phatak
Let us try to understand the working of a wireless printer adapter, their types and the steps included in their installation.
Computer networking is increasingly going wireless, with the widespread use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Wireless adapters let you print your documents, over a Wi-Fi connection.


This adapter is designed to connect printers with computers, via a wireless router. The adapter enables communication between a printer and a wireless router. The router can then route printing requests from multiple devices in a network, to the inkjet or laser printer.
Before the introduction of these adapters, you had no option other than making a printer-router Ethernet connection, to share printing resources on a network.
You do not need a wired Ethernet connection of a printer with a router anymore, to enable printing, if you use these adapters. The wireless technology, that makes a connection between the wireless router and printer, is either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Any device on a wireless network, like a laptop or a handheld device can use the printer, once it has been configured with appropriate settings. All of these adapters are compliant with the 802.11g/b/n networking standards and are really useful things to have in workplaces.


There are many types of adapters, that differ according to the way in which they connect with printers. Most commonly used ones are wireless USB printer adapters, that connect to printers, through their USB ports.
Wireless adapters, that connect with the PCI slot of printers, are also available. They require the installation of an adapter card, inside the printer. Alternatively, these adapters are also available in the form of a dongle, which makes a parallel or serial connection with a printer.
Most modern printers come with an inbuilt adapter, that lets them connect with a wireless router. If you already have an old printer, purchase an installable adapter card or a wireless USB printer adapter, to connect your printer on a network.
The cost varies from USD 15 to USD 150. The costlier, top-of-the-line adapters provide four-port connectivity, which enhances their utility.

How to Install Them?

It is essential that the printer is configured prior to installing one. Depending on the type you purchase, you must make its connection with the printer. If it's a USB based device, then connect it to the printer, through its USB port. If it's a PCI card slot connecting device, open up the printer and locate the PCI card slot. Connect it through the slot.
From a computer, which is connected in a wireless network, run the installation CD that comes with these adapters. Follow the installation wizard, as it guides you through the process. Choose the 'Install Wi-Fi Device' option and go ahead.
Make sure that you select the type of connection to be 'through the network'. After that option is selected, add the new wireless printer on the network, if it hasn't been added already.
Once the printer has been added, enable printer sharing. With that done, your wireless printer is ready for use. Add the printer on every wireless device, that you want to share it with. Using these adapters, you can reduce the clutter of wires, around your office or workstation.