Working Remotely: Setting up a Printer, Scanner Multifunction Device at Home

December 14, 2023

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Working Remotely: Setting up a Printer, Scanner Multifunction Device at Home

by Tom Blanchard | Apr 24, 2020 | Telecommuters - Working from home remotelyOne challenge when working remotely revolves around easily printing & scanning. A normal office environment will have multifunction device that prints, scans, faxes, etc. that is already configured to allow users to easily get the information they need. Whether it’s making a copy, scanning a document to an email, scanning to a shared folder on a server, or scanning multipage documents, using a multifunction device at work is typically easier & more efficient than at home.Setting up a multifunction device at home can often be very painful. Home users are faced with all sorts of questions

  • Do I use a wired network connection?
  • Is that wired network connection in a convenient location?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing?
  • Do I use a wireless connection?
  • Is my wireless signal strength strong enough?
  • How do I print, scan, etc. from my wireless laptop to the device?
  • How do my other family members access the same device?
  • How do I configure all this?

The first & more important decision to make is to choose the right location. Believe me, this can save you significant headaches in the future. You’ve got 3 options to connect your device to your computer. Each of these options helps determine where you can put your deviceWired Network Connection (recommended): If possible, place your multifunction device where you can connect it directly to your network with an ethernet cable. This will provide both a stable connection and allow anyone on your network to access the multifunction device.Wireless Network Connection: Sometimes you just can’t find a convenient and aesthetically pleasing location to connect to your network with a wire. When that happens, a wireless connection is our next choice. You’ll just want to make sure you have a strong wireless signal wherever you choose to place your multifunction device.USB Wired Connection: Just about any printer can be connected directly to any computer with an old school USB cable. These cables can be purchased at just about any store that carries for technology equipment. If using this connection, you’ll need to make sure the multifunction device is close to the computer you will be using. The length of the USB cable will determine where you can put the multifunction device. Keep in mind that only the computer connected to the multifunction device via USB will be able to use it.Choosing the right location can save you a lot of headaches, so choose wisely!Now that you have an idea of where you want to put your device, it’s time to choose the device itself. Most multifunction devices fit in approximately the same footprint, although there are some variances. One feature to consider that determines the physical size of the device is whether or not it has a document feeder for scanning or copying. If you want the ability to put a 10 or 20-page document on your device without having to scan/copy one page at a time, you’ll definitely want to make sure your device has a document feeder. This will make the device bigger, but the increased convenience may be worth the space. If you don’t need the document a simple flat-bed multifunction device will work for you. These flat-bed devices are smaller and are typically more aesthetically pleasing.Once you choose your device, you’re going to want it to be easy to connect to the devices on your network. Whether you’re on a desktop computer or wireless laptop, you want it to be easy to print or scan to your multifunction device. This is why we really like the Brother line of multifunction devices. Once you’ve connected your Brother device via any of the three connections we mentioned, you install a simple piece of Brother software on your computer……..and viola, you’re done. Your computer will be directly connected to the multifunction device for the purposes of scanning, scanning, etc. When you want to print, just select the Brother option. When you want to scan, launch the Brother Control Center software and scan away. You can install this Brother software on as many computers as you’d like. They can all access the Brother multifunction device directly.A few of the models we like for home use are listed below. We like these because they are cost-effective, have wireless built-in, and are laser printers that print in black and white only. Brother does have a fewIncludes Document FeederDCP-L2540DW: ~$225 Brother DCPL2540DW Wireless Compact Laser Printer ...

Flat BedHL-L2390DW: ~$150 Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer, HLL2390DW ...

Brother does have a variety of color laser printer options. Those are a good bit more expensive. If you’re interested in those options, you’ll find plenty on Amazon. Just search for “Brother color laser multifunction”. Whether it’s color, black & white, document feeder, or not, they all use the same software to connect to the device.To close this blog post, a quick piece of advice, don’t bother with the functionality of configuring your multifunction device to scan & email directly from the device itself. Too many technical hurdles to overcome there for most users. It’s very simple to scan directly to your computer, so just scan to your computer and attached the document to an email. Keep it simple!