iPhones, iPods, & iPads forum

Resolved Question

iPad printing

by glb613 / October 11, 2012 9:49 PM PDT

A friend wants an iPad and be able to use a printer. She doesn't have cable or DSL and can't afford it. She plans to have a cellular data plan to connect to the internet. Is there a printer that will work with an iPad via Bluetooth or a cellular connection?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by glb613

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printer suggestion
by birdmantd Forum moderator / October 12, 2012 8:06 AM PDT
In reply to: iPad printing

Most current and recent HP Officejet printers have wireless printing options. If the printer is attached to a network, you can even remotely print from a compatible phone, laptop or tablet with an installed application. HP refers to the application as ePrint.

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She could still use wifi @ home
by Pepe7 / October 12, 2012 12:31 AM PDT
In reply to: iPad printing

Just because she doesn't have DSL or High speed broadband doesn't mean she still couldn't set up a local wifi network at home. That would be the easiest route since you can find decent wifi enabled printers for $50 now. a router would be ~$10. Example of the printer I had in mind-


Buy a wireless router for $10, ethernet cable for $2 and a printer like the above, and she's good to go. Printing via cellular isn't possible, and bluetooth printing is terrible.

If you need more help in the 'how to' aspects of this project, feel free to ask.


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It won't work
by glb613 / October 12, 2012 8:51 PM PDT
In reply to: iPad printing

I talked to a tech at Apple and it won't work. You need either DSL or cable internet with a wireless router to print. Thanks for the replies.

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As long as the printer....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / October 12, 2012 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: It won't work

.... supports ePrint, the printer is connected to a wifi network and the iPhone/iPad has the ePrint application (free) it will work.

If you don't have a wifi connection, I guess it won't work for you. Just wanted to offer a solution.

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ePrint, and how it really works
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 12, 2012 11:55 PM PDT

Printing to a printer that is capable of ePrint requires an internet connection.

Although it would seem logical that the iPad and Printer would communicate over the home Wi-Fi network, they do not.
The ePrint printer has it's own IP address and MUST be connected to the internet. It must also be registered at the manufactures website.

In the ePrint scenario, the iPad emails an attachment (the thing you want to print) over the internet to Canon/HP/Epson.
From there, the attachment is directed to the Internet IP address of the ePrint printer. Printer "usually" starts shortly thereafter. glb613 and the Apple people are correct, it all needs an Internet connection.

All is not lost however, with the aid of a printer that is AIRPRINT capable, she should be able to print directly to the printer from the iPad without the need for an internet connection.
That said, she must have a wireless network so that both the printer and the iPad can connect to it and this can be accomplished with the aid of a cheap wireless router, as mentioned in an earlier post.


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Disregard 90% of what they say in the Apple store
by Pepe7 / October 13, 2012 12:03 AM PDT
In reply to: It won't work

IME the vast majority of information they provide is mostly incomplete, hence them not being aware of other viable solutions. The 'genius bar' moniker is sometimes a misnomer.

In summary regarding your quest to print, it depends on what you want to print from the iPad, and what hardware you implement in your home network. If the iPad doesn't have a internet connection via a cellular network, those items from the internet would have to be downloaded elsewhere, saved on the device, then printed out later at home with the iPad.

Baseline hardware needed:

-Wifi or ethernet enabled printer. (Older ethernet-only printers can easily be connected to wireless routers, fwiw.)

-Wireless router. I will repeat, contrary to what the apple store says, you DO NOT need to have DSL or Cable internet to print from the iPad to a home network.


-Home computer to set up/adjust the wireless network/access the router settings (easier than doing it on the iPad, anyway)

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I think you missed the point
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 14, 2012 12:14 AM PDT

I was making about ePrint vs AirPrint printers.
An ePrint capable printer needs an internet connection, an Airprint printer does not.

I have a home network, with wireless, an ethernet laser printer, an Epson Inkjet Wireless/Ethernet printer, three Macs (1 laptop), a WinBox and an iPad.
The Macs and the Winbox, each wired to the network, can print to either of the printers, the laptop (wireless) can also print to the printers.
The iPad, on the other hand, cannot see either of the printers.

Connecting an ethernet printer to a network, or even to the wireless router itself, does not make the printer visible to the iPad.
Connecting a wireless printer to an existing wireless network does not work either as the protocol for printing is not intrinsic to the wireless network.

Although it sound logical that it should work, it doesn't but there are pieces of software (Epson has one) that allows the user to print certain things to a regular printer. The printer just has to be on the same network as the iPad.

Bottom line; if the users is just starting out and does not already have a printer available, then an Airprint capable printer is the way to go.

Take a look at this site for a list of available AirPrint printers:

Do not confuse, or allow the salesman at Best Buy to convince you, that ePrint is the same as AirPrint, It is NOT


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I'm not the OP
by Pepe7 / October 14, 2012 7:59 AM PDT

My reply wasn't to you either ;). I am more capable than 99% of BB employees, LOL Wink

That said, you make some great points. FWIW though, in my haste to reply to the OP, I didn't include what, at my house at least is, the 'secret sauce'. Printer Pro- a free iOS app for (non-ePrint) printing. Works like a charm. None of our printers are Airprint capable either, btw, and there currently isn't a single box in the house running OSX, etc. 8-). As usual though, YMMV. Oddly enough though, we still can't figure out why the iPad 2 (even after being factory reset) won't work, but the first and newest iPad will <shrug>.

There are some other iOS printing apps as alternatives to Airprint, but I haven't tried any of them yet. Maybe others can comment on those.

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Printopia is the answer
by Emaven / November 3, 2012 12:24 PM PDT
In reply to: iPad printing

It will print to any printer the Mac can print to. It can also just print to PDF and save it on the Mac without actually printing to a printer.

Go to ecam.com. They say,
"Printing from your iPhone or iPad is easier than you've ever imagined. Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Add unlimited virtual printers to save print-outs to your Mac as PDF files. Try the demo now, or read on to find out more. "

I use it and it works great. I can choose any printer or any Mac on my local network.

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Ah, but the OP likely doesn't have a Mac
by Pepe7 / November 4, 2012 11:40 AM PST

You might want to re-read the whole thread Wink

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But the original poster implied that
by Emaven / November 4, 2012 3:41 PM PST

When glb613, the op, replied he said that he talked to tech at apple. Also others talked about apple. Ergo.
So if there is a Mac involved, Printopia is the answer.

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The primary device in focus was an iPad
by Pepe7 / November 4, 2012 11:32 PM PST

FWIW, do you have any idea how many iPad users right now have never used a Mac, let alone own one? Wink Been there done that (on a daily basis, really).

The term 'Ergo' is most certainly an overused buzzword online of late too.

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Ergo buzz?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2012 3:10 AM PST

Dang, I must use that 999 more times today.

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The printer does not have to be AirPrint or eprint capable
by Emaven / November 4, 2012 3:51 PM PST

Printopia sees any printer that the Mac sees. Old or new.
And you only need the one app on each Mac, not a separate copy for each Mac.
Sometimes printopia is part of a software bundle at a reduced price.
In any case it is worth it.
No, I do not work for them. I am just a satisfied user.

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The problem was solved
by glb613 / November 4, 2012 6:48 PM PST

by getting satellite internet service and a wireless router. Because she has Dish TV service, adding internet wasn't too expensive. Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

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(NT) thanks for the update
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 4, 2012 10:34 PM PST
In reply to: The problem was solved
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Just purchased, via the MacHeist feature,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 5, 2012 6:49 AM PST

a copy of Printopia.
Gotta say I am very impressed with it so far.


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FingerPrint is good as well
by Jay_Torte / November 14, 2012 5:01 AM PST

I've used FingerPrint as it works with PC as well as Mac. Seems to have similar functionality as Printopia, which I know people like.

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by porsche10x / November 10, 2012 12:47 AM PST
In reply to: iPad printing

You say you can't afford cable or DSL. Just curious, what cellular connection are you using? It's been my experience that cellular data is more expensive than cable or phone-company-based broadband internet. If you compare apples to apples, then it's usually WAAY more expensive. Maybe you could ditch the dish,get some triple-play offer and still save $50/mo.

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The OP did just that
by Pepe7 / November 10, 2012 4:05 AM PST
In reply to: curious...

Look up three posts from yours in the thread Wink

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by porsche10x / November 10, 2012 6:27 AM PST
In reply to: The OP did just that

Thanks. I did miss that. Not exactly what I suggested, but close enough.

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