Category: Badge printing

4 minutes read time

Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Printing – Which Is Right For Your Organization? 

Have you ever wondered if your organization is better suited to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi printing? So have many of our customers. To ensure we have options to meet our customer’s needs we’ve recently added Bluetooth to our printing capability. 

To help you decide if Bluetooth or Wi-Fi printing is best for you we’ve pulled together the benefits of each. 


What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth uses a low power wireless network to connect devices within close range. The maximum range for Bluetooth is ten meters and the devices have to be in the same room – walls and objects could cause interference. Bluetooth networks have the advantage of being easy to maintain because all you need is two Bluetooth compatible devices. No routers or other networking equipment is necessary.

Using Bluetooth printing would be ideal for smaller companies that have a weak wireless network that isn’t reliable enough or if it is difficult to connect to your printer due to your company’s high level of security. 

Benefits of printing with Bluetooth

Free up your Wi-Fi network

Is your Wi-Fi network working overtime? Free up some space (and hopefully gain some more speed) by moving your printers to Bluetooth instead. 

Avoid connection loss and drop outs.

It is not uncommon for Wi-Fi printers to have connection problems. Depending on your situation Bluetooth connections could have less interference, especially if they are within the ten-meter range.

Print it right the first time

Wi-Fi printers can have slow print times and print errors if the network is busy, if there is interference in the network or if there is low signal strength. Bluetooth will print quickly and efficiently without any interference. 

Set up printing in seconds

Wi-Fi printing can be quite complicated and time-consuming to set up, especially if your organization has a particularly secure network to navigate. Need to get up and running quickly? It might be easier to use Bluetooth. 

Easily fixed when problems occur

Bluetooth is less technical than Wi-Fi, therefore, it is easier to locate the issue should something go wrong or your printer stops working.  

Save Power

Bluetooth may save your battery life because it has lower power consumption.


What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi printers are accessible over a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi normally uses a similar radio band to Bluetooth, but with more power. Devices that connect over a Wi-Fi network must be within about 100 meters of a central wireless access point, though with repeaters the range can be greatly extended. Generally speaking, if your computers all have decent access to the Internet over Wi-Fi, they should have no problems accessing a Wi-Fi printer, provided that the printer is within range of the Wi-Fi router as well.

Wi-Fi is ideal for companies that have a strong wireless connection and a secure and easy way to connect to the printer. 

Benefits of printing with Wi-Fi 

Greater signal range available with Wi-Fi.

You can be further away or have more options of where to put your printer because of the bigger range available with Wi-Fi. With multiple access points, the signal range can be extended.

Print directly from handheld devices 

It gives you the ability to print directly from handheld devices such as tablets and mobile devices.

Set up

Set up is more complicated the first time around, but once it’s up and running, you won’t have to do it again.


Comparing the specs

  Bluetooth Wi-Fi
Hardware requirement Bluetooth capability or adaptor on all the devices you are wanting to connect.  Wireless adaptors on all the devices of the network, a wireless router and/or wireless access points.
Range 0-10 meters With 802.11b/g the typical range is 32 meters indoors and 95 meters (300 ft) outdoors. 802.11n has a greater range. 2.5GHz Wi-Fi communication has a greater range than 5GHz. Antennas can also increase range.
Power consumption Low  High
Ease of use Fairly simple to use. It can be used to connect up to seven devices at a time. It is easy to switch between devices or find and connect to any device. Complex and requires the configuration of hardware and software.


Which is better?

So which is right for your organization? There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to choosing between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for your organization’s printing needs. The decision will come down to your company’s situation – the security level of your organization’s network and the strength of the Wi-Fi connection being the main factors.  For more information on how to set up a Bluetooth printer visit our helpdesk.