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Best Overall: IOGEAR Universal Ethernet to Wi-Fi N Adapter at Amazon
"All you’ll have to do is push a single button to put it in wireless pair mode."
Best Budget: IOGEAR USB Printer Server at Amazon
"Send jobs to the printer from multiple computers using the existing Wi-Fi network in your home."
Best Multifunctional: Netgear N300 at Amazon
"Will work well with most modern routers and computer operating systems."
Best Bluetooth-Enabled: HP BT500 Bluetooth USB 2.0 Wireless at Amazon
"You can connect up to seven Bluetooth-enabled devices at a time."
Best for Remote Printing: StarTech 1 Port USB Wireless at Amazon
"It's also small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so it won’t unnecessarily take up space."
An important first note: this adapter only works with Ethernet-enabled devices, meaning your printer must have an Ethernet port. If your machine is compatible, this is the best option for its simple setup and one-touch pairing function, its compact size, and network security features.
This IOGEAR wireless option is a slightly more updated version of their barebones model, with faster speeds and smaller form factor — at roughly the size of a thumb drive, this little device is super portable. It offers a wireless bandwidth of up to 300 Mbps on 2.4GHz networks, and it’s compatible with the standard 802.11b/g/n network protocol. They’ve even loaded in the standard WEP/WPA security tech that you find in most basic wireless routers to keep your information safe.
Another added benefit here is that IOGEAR has taken serious steps to make this adapter easy to set up using a WPS button, meaning all you’ll have to do is push a single button to put it in wireless pair mode. It’ll work with other devices that aren’t currently Wi-Fi-ready, too.
If you’re looking for an adapter that will work with your wireless network rather than Bluetooth (handy if you want to share a printer between multiple computers), this option from IOGEAR is a good choice. It works pretty simply — just connect up the power, connect an Ethernet port to your network, and then plug the USB cable from your printer to the unit. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to send jobs to the printer from multiple computers using the existing Wi-Fi network in your home.
Be sure to note that this is intended for use with 10Base-T/100Base-T auto-sensing, so check the manual on your Internet situation to be sure this adapter is compatible. It’s also optimized for USB 2.0 (backwards compatible to 1.1), so keep in mind that you won’t have access to the full USB 3.0 speeds. But with the benefit of being able to print wirelessly, along with the ability to send jobs through the Internet, this will give you some great home office flexibility.
Netgear is a well-known and well-respected brand on the wireless networking market. A huge percentage of home wireless routers sport the Netgear logo. Their take on the universal Wi-Fi-to-ethernet adapter isn’t super small, but it makes up for it in functionality. It works with standard IEEE 802.11n wireless and can broadcast up to 300 Mbps — faster than most of the other adapters on this list. That's also the reason it's considerably more expensive than most of the other options on this list.
It supports standard WPA, WPA2 and more wireless security, so it will work well with most modern routers and computer operating systems. Another premium feature is its ability to repeat 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals from native Netgear devices, meaning that you'll benefit even more if you already have a Netgear unit in your house. There are bright LED lights on the outside to indicate connectivity, and Netgear has taken measures to make sure it's optimized for other devices like game systems, Blu-Ray players, and HDTVs so you won’t have to worry about it being obsolete any time soon. Round that out with push-button WPS quick connect capabilities, and this is a great option for those looking to set up wireless printer connections.
The BT500 Bluetooth wireless adapter from Hewlett-Packard works with many HP Bluetooth-enabled printers, including many LaserJets, DeskJets, PhotoSmart printers, and All-in-One models.
To wirelessly transfer documents, photos, and emails from your Bluetooth-enabled device, plug the adapter into the HP printer's USB port. You can connect up to seven Bluetooth-enabled devices at a time with this adapter.
This HP printer adapter is compatible with both Windows and Mac laptops and desktop computers.
At its core, this StarTech device is just a Wi-Fi receive — simply plug in an ethernet cable and you’ll get 10/100 Mbps through the 802.11 b/g/n wireless signal. Then connect the USB cable to your printer so it can talk to that adapter, and you’re ready to go. Once it's set up, you can send print jobs straight to the printer via Wi-Fi whether you’re in the same place or across the world.
This particular device comes with Line Printer Remote protocol support that lets you do the above remote printing. Plus, they’ve even worked in something called Bonjour Printer Services, which makes it easier to configure printers on your network. It all comes with a setup disk, international travel adapters, required cables, and a two-year warranty plus lifetime tech support. It's also small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, so it won’t take up unnecessary space in your home office.