Any printer with a USB port or PCI serial card slot can be connected to a wireless adapter to make it visible on a Wi-Fi network and accessible to connected computers. There are three types of wireless adapters for printers, including USB adapters. USB printer servers and PCI network cards. The type of adapter needed may vary depending on the printer.
USB wireless printer adapters are typically manufactured by the same company that makes the printer, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Canon. Each adapter is made to work with a specific printer model and usually doesn't work on other models or brands of printers. Typically, the adapter is a small device that plugs directly into the printer's USB port and contains the software needed to spool documents to the printer.
USB wireless print servers connect in a similar manner but are universal. Print servers resemble Wi-Fi routers in appearance and can be used as a network router. This device has multiple ports on the back, both Ethernet and USB, for connecting to wired devices. Any drivers needed to operate specific printers can be downloaded to the print server by a connected computer from a CD-ROM drive or network resource.
Users can insert a PCI wireless network card into any printer equipped with PCI capability and an open slot to achieve Wi-Fi connectivity.