The network-capable multifunction printer has come to a point in the level of functionality that it can offer. Now HP has taken this further by making the Wi-Fi network functionality work as a wireless access point or wireless client in one of their latest SOHO / small-business laser multifunction printers.
Here, the wireless segment created by this printer can serve up to 9 users as well as providing for CD-free driver installation for most operating systems. Of course, like all HP consumer and SOHO / small-business network-enabled printer devices, this printer offers the expected ePrint “email-to-print” ability for smartphone and tablet users and AirPrint for iOS-based Apple mobile devices.
The printer can work as an elementary low-traffic wireless router to a static-IP, dynamic-IP or PPPoE Internet service that comes via an Ethernet cable. It also has home/SOHO WPA2-Personal security with the shared password, which may be of benefit for small businesses who rent office space such as a serviced office and have wired Internet access as part of the deal.
But I would like to see the printer able also to work as an access point for those of you who may work from a garage or barn and share network and Internet facilities with the main house or have to use this feature as an infill access point for a dark spot in the network’s wireless coverage. Similarly, it could benefit from anther Ethernet socket on the back for use with other wired-Ethernet devices like network-attached storage.
Of course, the idea of “ganging” the Ethernet socket and the Wi-Fi circuitry in a network-capable device like a printer that offers Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity to make it be network infrastructure has impressed me. It then allows these functions still to be of use even if just one is implemented for connection to a host network.