How to Find a Great Inkjet Printer for your Network

EPSON Colorio Inkjet Printer PM-700C
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One of the most useful items in the home office is the network inkjet printer. There are literally dozens of manufacturers out there, from the well known like HP (Hewlett Packard) and Brother, to the more obscure companies like Okidata and Xerox making network inkjet printer models.  Features will vary greatly when it comes to a network inkjet printer and what should seem like a simple decision can prove quite confusing for the average user.

There are two types of network inkjet printer available; those designed for color photos, and those that aren’t. If you’re going to print photos it’s best to get an inkjet printer designed to do it.  A regular inkjet printer can print photos, but it will never equal the quality level of an inkjet photo printer.

You’ll next need to look at the print quality you require.  Print quality is measured in DPI, or dots per inch and is simply the amount of ink density.  The higher the DPI the less grainy the printing will be. Obviously photo inkjet printers will have a higher DPI. If you won’t be printing photos then you can settle for a lower DPI print quality.  Also keep in mind that a high DPI printer will use more ink so this may be an issue.

Next look at the paper handling characteristics of the inkjet printer. A good printer will be able to handle many different paper types such as letter, legal, cards and envelopes.

Look at the printer speed. Inkjet printers are rated separately for black and white, and color printing. Keep in mind that photo printers can take minutes per page. Higher DPI printers are also usually slower.

You'll need a cable to attach this inkjet printer to your network

One thing that so many people overlook when buying an inkjet printer for their network is the ink cartridge.  There should be a separate cartridge for every color, if there isn’t you will end up throwing away otherwise perfectly good cartridges just because one color ran out.  Notice I didn’t say might, I guarantee you will.  Also look at the price of the replacement cartridges; it’s quite common these days for the ink cartridges to cost more than the actual printer!

And finally, look at how you will connect the inkjet printer to your network.  You have 3 choices.

  1. A direct connection to your computer, and then share the printer on the network.
  2. A cable connection into your router.
  3. A wireless connection into your router.

Each of these has its advantage and disadvantage.

  1. This one requires a printer cable ($20) and you also need to have your computer on to share the printer.
  2. You’ll need a cable and the printer needs to be near the router
  3. The inkjet printer should have built in wireless network connectivity, or else you’ll have to buy a wireless print server

There are many things to consider when you need to get a new network inkjet printer.  I suggest reading inkjet printer reviews on sites like Consumer Reports, Consumer Search and even on Amazon.  They have inkjet printer reviews written by users just like yourself and can be a really big help in finding the best inkjet printer to attach to your network.

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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