Local printer Vs. Network Printer comparisons are often confusing to most folks. Many people are unaware of the type of printer they should get.
While there are many types of printers, we rarely get direct comparisons between network and local printers. These printers appeal to different audiences, and they both have distinct benefits.
You must get the differences between these printers to make an informed choice. We look at local and network printers’ similarities, differences, advantages, and cons. Before we get further, let us see what sets these printers apart in:
Local Printer Vs. Network Printer (Differences)
Local printers are printers that connect to a computer via a USB cable. The user runs a cable from the printer to their computer’s USB port to use these printers.
Users can access the local printer from that workstation only. Installation is fast and direct. Network printers are different.
These printers allow several users to access the printer simultaneously. They rely on a wireless signal from an access point. Users with the necessary credentials within the network range can access the printer.
What Are The Benefits Of A Local Printer?
Local printers have many benefits to the users. These printers suit many people and are appropriate in many settings. Let us look at some of the benefits:
Local printers are easy to set up
One of the biggest advantages of a local printer is that they are easy to set up and run. Most of the setup process happens automatically, and users are up and running in just a few minutes.
You need a USB connection to run to your printer. Most models install the printer software directly to your computer when you connect for the first time.
Setting up a local printer doesn’t require complex network configuration. It works almost like a plug-and-play device. You would be up and running fast.
Local printers do not need network access, which frees up your network for other devices.
Lower purchasing costs per unit
Local printers are cheaper than network printers. They have better purchasing prices, and you can buy them even on a tight budget.
You do not need to invest in a central network hub or ethernet to use a local printer. It makes the printers great for small and some medium-sized businesses.
These printers rely on USB cables to connect to computers. The cables are typically affordable. Since these printers are plug-and-play devices, you don’t need an expert to set them up.
Local printers are, therefore, a great option if you want to save on printing costs.
You hardly experience connection issues with local printers
Network printers are popular because they are reliable. You can print without issues if you have a working USB cable and port.
You need the host network to be working at all times for network printers. Local printers do not have these limitations. Connection is fast and easy.
Local printers don’t get limited by traffic. Printing traffic happens when there are many users on a single network trying to print at the same time. It causes printers to print slowly.
Local printers are more reliable and do not experience traffic inconveniences.
They are secure
Local printers are more secure. Only one workstation has access to a local printer at a time. Local print jobs are therefore available to the workstation that has access.
It is not possible to access sensitive documents unless you access the computers on the local connection. It makes the printers ideal for businesses like law firms that handle sensitive documents.
It is harder to leak documents on a secured wired line than on a network shared by many devices. Most people prefer to use local printers as their printers.
They are easy to maintain
Local printers require very little maintenance. These printers are super-reliable and rarely experience any issues.
Any maintenance on these units happens on the machine itself. There is no central network hub and additional configurations that you have to tweak.
It makes running the machines easy and convenient. Maintenance is done on the machine only and not on a network.
Are There Any Downsides To Local Printers?
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to local printers. Most of these downsides are deal breakers for many people looking to buy printers. They include:
No remote access
You cannot access a local printer remotely. You have to be close to the printer when working. It can be inconvenient when you want to print documents urgently.
You always have to be right next to the printer. It makes the printers inflexible, and many people don’t buy local printers for this reason. Local printers lack smart functions like voice printing.
Local printers don’t afford users as much flexibility as network printers. Local printers only work well for people in one workstation.
People from a separate workstation would have to walk to the printer and link it via a USB to have access.
Buying a local printer for each workstation or computer is expensive. Since these printers are only accessible remotely, you cannot have one printer serving many workstations.
Having a local printer in a corporate setting makes little economic sense. The printers are great for home use or small businesses.
Why Should You Buy A Network Printer?
Network printers have so many benefits. These benefits are:
Reduced printing costs
Using a network printer lowers the printing costs for huge workstations. It made them ideal for corporate offices and shared workspaces. You only need one printer to serve many people on a network.
It is more cost-effective than buying one printer for every worker or department.
Access to remote printing options
Network printers allow users to print remotely. Remote printing is accessible in some models. It is a convenient feature that allows users to print from anywhere.
Most network printers have software applications that synch with the printer. The user selects files on their mobile devices and prints them.
Huge printing range
Unlike local printers, you can use your network printer over a large range. The length of a USB cable does not limit these printers.
You can have many users across a large floor space if you have a long-range network. It is great for several workstations.
Access on many platforms
Network printers are flexible. You can use them with different devices and operating systems.
Nearly all modern printers accept macOS, Windows, IOS, Android, and Linux operating systems.
They aren’t limited to specific devices. Such flexibility makes network printers the go-to choice for most folks.
Disadvantages Of Network Printers
Network printers work perfectly for corporate settings. These printers, however, have a few disadvantages that aren’t necessarily deal breakers. They include:
Challenging Setup and Configuration procedures
You have to be fairly knowledgeable to set up a network printer. These aren’t ordinary plug-and-play devices.
You would have to access the network settings on each computer and tweak them to access the printer. You would also have to connect your printer to the network.
Connection is not always reliable.
With network printers, you might run into some connectivity challenges at some point. These issues are relatively easy to fix.
When the network goes down, no one can run print jobs. Your access to the printer depends on how stable and reliable the network is.
Slowdowns due to traffic
If many devices try to access the same printer simultaneously, the printer becomes slow. It is even worse if the printer is on a shared network with high bandwidth devices.
You must assign priority to the printer on the network to overcome the issue. Local printers don’t have this problem.
Network printers aren’t nearly as secure as local printers. Accessing other people’s print jobs is easy if they are on the same network. It can be an issue when dealing with sensitive documents and files.
Network printers don’t promote privacy, which might be important in corporate or legal working environments. Some printers require user authentication.
Network printers come with high maintenance costs. It is because you not only deal with the printer but also have to maintain the network.
These costs increase over time, making the printers expensive to run. The rewards, however, outweigh the operating costs for these printers.
Local printer Vs. Network printer comparisons help you learn the differences and choose the printer suitable for your needs.
Local and network printers have their benefits, and there are compelling reasons why you should choose one over the other. It depends on your use case.
For home offices and small businesses, local printers would be ideal. They are convenient, reliable, and easy to set up and run.
Corporate offices and large businesses benefit immensely from having network printers. They are convenient and flexible as many people from different workstations can access them.