In many cases the type of printer supported is determined by the application of your choice. Each Application Developer has decided to strategically support certain printer types. However many of them allow you to pick between these three major connectivity types.
|Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices. The devices utilizing Bluetooth must be paired with the iPad before it is discoverable by the application you are using.|
|LAN: A local area network (LAN) is a network that interconnects devices within a limited area through an Ethernet Cable or WIFI. This is typically done in the mPOS world utilizing a router.|
|WIFI: WIFI is a local area wireless technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the internet using 2.4 GHz UHF and 5 GHz SHF radio waves. This allows your device to connect wirelessly to a network.|
|USB: Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices.|
Use Cases for LAN: LAN Style Printers are the most common setup for your mPOS setup. These printers have a RJ45 Ethernet Port on the printer and will directly connect to a Router via Ethernet Cable. The mPOS Applications are built to poll their Local Area Network to automatically discover these printers and the user will enable them in the application of their choice.
Use Cases for USB: USB Printers are mainly used for directly connecting the Printer to a PC or a Stand with a USB Port. This connection is very uncommon in the mPOS ecosystem right now. Main users of this style printer will be connecting to a Square Stand.
Use Cases for WIFI: WIFI Enabled Printers are popular for using in place of LAN Printers where Ethernet cables are not convenient to install. They allow you to place your printer close to a power source as long as it is within range of your WIFI network that your mPOS system is on. Due to this you can position your printers where they make the most sense instead of needing to plan out where your LAN cable will work. However, with a WIFI setup you will need to keep in mind all the barriers between your WIFI Printer and WIFI router to make sure it’s receiving a strong signal for reliable usage.
Use Cases for Bluetooth: Most of the time you will want a Bluetooth Printer if you are very mobile or using a 3G/4G enabled Tablet. Mobile businesses do not want to deal with messy cables which are the major benefit of Bluetooth printers as these are also mobile and often times run on a battery pack. For those with a 3G or 4G Printer you want to choose a Bluetooth Printer due to the networking aspect. Once you are running on 3G or 4G you will not be able to connect to a LAN or WIFI network and also use your 3G/4G feature. Due to this, it’s best to opt for a Bluetooth Printer in your bundle so you can utilize your 3G/4G functionality on your Tablet.