Wireless printing is a very handy feature that is available on lots of modern printers. Most printers cannot do wireless printing without router as that would normally be the broker for the wireless link.
There are however some printers that support something called direct wireless printing which enables you to perform wireless printing without a router.
what is wireless printing?
Wireless printing is the process of printing out a digital image onto physical media (normally paper or card) without the need for a physical connection between the printer and the device you are printing from.
Traditionally in order to print something from your computer you would need to have it attached to the printer via a USB cable (or on older devices a parallel cable). This cable would be responsible for the communication between the PC and the printer and more specifically for sending the details of what to print to the printer.
With the event of wireless technology this cable can be replaced by a wireless data transmission. In this scenario the details of what to print are sent to the printer via an already configured and active wireless link.
In most scenarios the wireless link will actually use the wireless router as an intermediary. In the same way that several computers can communicate with each other wirelessly in a home network, a printer and a computer can also communicate wirelessly, via the router.
Both the computer and the wireless printer connect to the router independently. The router controls security, authentication and the handing out of network addresses. Once both devices are connected the router will also handle communications between the devices, passing packets sent by any network attached device (wireless or wired) to the appropriate recipient device.
Wireless printing without router
There are some scenarios where you may not want to use a wireless router or in fact you may not even have a wireless router available.
It may be the case that you don’t have Internet in the location where you are trying to set up wireless printing, or it may be that you have Internet but do not have a wireless router and rather just have a hard wired one.
In either of these scenarios you would need a different solution to implement wireless printing as you would not have the wireless router to act as the intermediary.
Luckily there is another method to implement wireless printing without router and that is the scenario whereby the printer can set up a communication directly with the device that you are printing to it with.
Wireless printing without router works by the printer itself becoming the broker for the connection. The printer will broadcast its own wireless signal and also manage the security and IP leasing for devices that connect to it.
HP Direct Printing
One of the most popular implementations of wireless printing without a router is a method devised by HP called Direct printing.
In order to use wireless printing without router using a HP printer you will need a HP printer that includes direct printing as a feature.
Compatible wireless printers
Many HP printers offer wireless direct printing which will allow wireless printing without a router. If you want to purchase a HP with this facility just ask before purchasing for the sales person to confirm that it supports Wireless direct printing.
Two models from HP that do support direct print are:
- HP ENVY 5532 e-All-in-One Printer – available from PC World – RRP £79.00
- HP Deskjet 2540 AiO Printer – also available from PC World – RRP £39.00
Its worth noting that neither of the above printers are mentioned as direct print compatible on the PC world website, but the HP website confirms that they do support this feature. These printers will work for wireless printing without router, but its not common for this to be required hence why there is no mention of it on the PC world website.