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Forestbather Posted 2 months ago
Question for the geeks

How close does a printer have to be to the router?

I bloody hate printers.

I want to move things about in my living room involving moving the cupboard with my printer and router on. New location is not where the bloody stupid router socket is.

I hate routers too.

I might just move house.

1 like & 26 replies
    • Cheers on toast 25th April 2022 at 9:48 pm

      Wireless printers are some of the devils worst work.
      In my experience it doesn’t matter how close it is to the router the printers whole performance is based on how urgent the document is. The more urgent the need the more likely the printer will go into stubborn mode and refuse to communicate with anything. To further annoy me it will show as being ready and willing when checking status but then suddenly becomes unavailable when the print button is clicked.
      I have in the past given up arguing with it and gone to the local library to print something only to return home to find it has suddenly sprung into life and now printed 25 copies of the documents it refused to entertain earlier.

      I have had far more arguments with printers than i ever have with people.

    • backofbeyond 25th April 2022 at 10:44 pm

      Our old HP printer never worked wirelessly even when it was next to the router, but the new Epson seems to be much better. It’s at the other end of the house from the router and connects up and everything. What it doesn’t do is print anything. These days we’re not big volume users and every time I try to print it has to go through a cleaning cycle – that I have to start manually. If I’m going to do that I might as well plug a cable in.

      It is possible to get computer to printer working wirelessly together reliably as I used to do it professionally (event photography and printing on the spot) 15yrs ago, so why consumer grade stuff is still so flakey is beyond me. I still have the last pro grade printer we used sitting under my desk but as Sony haven’t upgraded the software it doesn’t work with my current laptop. As they say about the laws of thermodynamics, not only can you not win, you can’t even break even, and in this day and age you can’t get out of the game. ☹️

    • Staying Alive 26th April 2022 at 6:22 am

      This is funny I’ve just printed some stuff from my Deskjet 3520 I’m upstairs in my room and my study is down stairs. Printed from laptop no problems. I could even print stuff away from the house sometimes and it will still print providing the printer is switched on. 👍🏼

      • Forestbather 26th April 2022 at 7:14 am

        @Staying Alive – so how many feet or metres is that? Why don’t these bloody companies just state the required distance?

      • backofbeyond 26th April 2022 at 7:18 am

        I think this stuff is like magic – all those invisible waves wafting around in the air, working or not depending in whether you’ve said your prayers, sacrificed to the Gods etc. That may be our problem; my study is downstairs but the printer is upstairs – the other way round to yours. Maybe the waves are punishing me for making them work to get up there. 🤷‍♂️ 🤣. It is easier just to carry the laptop up to the printer and plug it in. The logical approach of putting the printer in the study is one that hadn’t occurred to us. 🤔

      • Cheers on toast 26th April 2022 at 7:47 am

        When mine decides to work its great and like you say can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
        It becomes stubborn when you are in the same room and it can see you need something urgently and are getting stressed, that’s when the mind games begin.

    • Cheers on toast 26th April 2022 at 7:53 am

      Oh and another thing ( you really shouldn’t start me on printers) when it is stubbornly refusing to print something you need urgently it will happily print ‘printer status pages’ like they are going out of fashion.

    • Neil Hrd 26th April 2022 at 8:27 am

      I bought an HP Envy 6000 recently from a discount place online. I cannot get it to connect to my O2 network at all. It is right next to the router and I have tried everything. It is just useless. I thought the problem was O2 because I have had other issues with them but reading the comments it seems to be wireless printers in general. Please, please bring back cables! It was so simple back in the day.

    • NeilB 26th April 2022 at 12:01 pm

      Lots of questions raised here.

      I’ve never had wireless connectivity problems – both printers I’ve had connect fine.

      I’d agree that they must sense when you’re doing something urgent, but that’s all printers.

      You need to print that now?? Well I think I’ll chose THIS moment to run out of ink.

      Both mine have had occasional hissy fits where they decide there’s no paper.

      Yes there is.

      Nope, can’t see any.

      There IS paper so bloody well print on it!

      Well, maybe.

      As for distance from the router, it’s a classic IT answer – it depends…

      The short answer is – far enough to cover anyone’s house, but it depends on what your walls are made of and how thick they are. Thick walls lessen the distance.

      If you want figures, I’ve seen these quoted –

      150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors if your wireless runs at 2.4GHz, half that if runs at 5GHz.

      From somewhere above, if Sony haven’t upgraded the software you can usually find a driver online as someone somewhere will have been so annoyed they’ll have written one.

      And if a new printer won’t connect at all, check (because it’s easily forgotten) if your router has MAC Address Filtering set because it will never work until you add the printer’s MAC address.
      (Can I hear you saying wtf?? What do those words mean??)

      • backofbeyond 26th April 2022 at 12:43 pm

        I know it’s all ‘complicated’ behind the scenes – I first started with computers back in the days when you really had to configure all this stuff yourself, but there’s no reason you should have to do that now. If you have to get your hands dirty under the bonnet these days to set up a normal household item then it’s not really fit for consumer purpose. To have to mess around with MAC addresses is akin to buying a washing machine and finding you have to run cables to the lamp post in the street outside to power it.

        Re printer drivers (it was my comment above), if there is an aftermarket answer I’ve yet to find it. The workaround has been to keep a couple of old laptops (1 x Windows, 1 x Mac) in the cupboard for the odd occasion it’s needed these days. Fortunately as I’ve retired I no longer need it professionally (and would have upgraded / gone with a rival’s product long ago if I did), but it seems an awful shame to have a very high quality, perfectly functional, photo grade printer with plenty of media (it’s a dye-sub) unusable because of a connection software issue (which is where we came in). 😀

    • Colin in Kent 26th April 2022 at 12:19 pm

      Distance from the router in a domestic setting shouldn’t really be an issue unless you a) live in a mansion or b) have lead ceilings. My Brother printer is upstairs, the router is downstairs next to the telly. Admittedly I have got a wifi booster upstairs, but that’s because the wifi doesn’t seem to extend to the bedroom; the printer was always fine even before I got the booster.

      My advice is – move the printer and be damned. If it doesn’t work or can’t find the wifi you can worry about it when that happens. In a normal house or flat it should be fine.

    • Shell69 26th April 2022 at 5:09 pm

      We’ve got an Epson printer and it’s on a different floor to the router but works ok most of the time !

    • Staying Alive 26th April 2022 at 8:13 pm


    • Forestbather 27th April 2022 at 7:05 am

      Friend contributed this.

    • Tambos57 27th April 2022 at 8:19 am

      hard wired is less hassle but you have cables

      If wireless, easier asking somebody you know to call in and help – never straight forward trying to explain what to do on a forum if not tech savy

      Alternatively bin the printer off if rarely use it and save your stuff online/wallet etc – much easier:)

    • Cheers on toast 27th April 2022 at 10:54 am

      On a slightly more serious note, as HP seem to be the sauce of most problems, when the wireless fails the Direct connection does tend to work, you connect directly bypassing the router but obviously can only print things already on your device as you can’t be connected to the Internet at the same time. A work around but annoying that it’s needed.