Bluetooth is basically a limited wireless connection. Both offer connectivity without the use of cables, but Bluetooth has a short range, usually about 30 feet or so. Many of the new printer models come with Bluetooth capabilities, but USB Bluetooth adapters are available that can give almost any printer Bluetooth compatibility.
If you have a laptop that is Bluetooth-friendly, you can connect to a Bluetooth printer in Windows by following these simple steps:
- Go to Start Menu.
- Select Devices and Printers.
- Click Add Printer.
The pop-up Wizard will automatically scan for Bluetooth devices. Once yours is found, just select it and you are all set to print.
If you are printing from a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device, find the Bluetooth option in the Settings. Devices should be listed under Wireless and/or Networks. Again, the devices that have Bluetooth capabilities will scan and find each other automatically. Once that happens, print away!
Depending on how you choose to set up your particular printer, a number of Bluetooth devices can be connected to it at the same time (though not more than seven). Once a device has connected to your Bluetooth printer, such as a Canon PIXMA MP980, they will remember each other in the future, which will eliminate the time it takes to scan for devices within range.
- Be sure your Bluetooth device is not in “discoverable mode”. This opens your network to any device within range.
- It is recommended to do most pairings in a private location, such as a home or office. Pairing two devices in public could make them susceptible to being hacked.
- Set up your device to require a PIN code of at least 8 digits. The more numbers there are, the harder the code will be for hackers to crack. This way you can choose who can access your Bluetooth printer.
To maintain the standard of speed and quality, be sure to keep the firmware updated on your Bluetooth devices. As this is a young technology, keep in mind that changes and advancements will come about. This form of wireless connectivity is becoming an industry standard, but not just on printers. Almost all mobile devices, including phones and tablets have Bluetooth capabilities, as well as many vehicles and computer mice. As more and more devices are being designed to support Bluetooth, the easier it will be for devices to seamlessly communicate with each other, saving you time and hassle.