Color Laser Printer Without WiFi?

Call me paranoid, but I don’t like IOT devices that don’t provide value to my life. They are security risks, especially because they don’t get security patches regularly like iPhones do.

So when it comes to printers, I want wired only. I’d like a color laser printer. No other functions, no copying, no faxing. And I’d like it to not have WiFi.

It seems like everyone on Amazon has WiFi on the printers. I’d like to exhaust my options before considering a WiFi one. I’m sure I can probably disable WiFi on the printer through a setting, and probably that actually does disable it. Though maybe rebooting it or installing new firmware resets the setting.

Is there any used older models that are super durable and reliable that might last another 20 years of casual use printing a few pages per month that work well with OS X?

Look at HP Color LaserJet Pros. They’re just about the only one serving this market well. Connectivity is USB or Ethernet. Not cheap but you can buy used ones from businesses, from dealers or ebay.

Printers might last 20 years but the software doesn’t. I have a Brother B&W printer that I use to print a copy of my tax returns. It’s been Airprint only for years because there have been no drivers for macOS. So, it sits in the bottom of a closet securely powered off until April rolls around.

Just saying that our two Brother printers have WiFi capability but it was disabled by default. They are wired Ethernet connected. Since all reasonable home WiFi setups have encryption keys, any printer will be without a WiFi connection until the key is provided in the printer setup.

Unless you connect any printer to your wifi it won’t be able to send or receive anything over the internet.

Not a big fan of HP printers anymore. I once loved my original HP Laserjet, but HP business practices make me wary anymore. +1 for Brother and shutoff the wifi.

I wouldn’t personally lump the HP business printers into the retail problems with them, but I hear you. I buy Brothers as well for home use. I know from experience that even if the wifi hardware fails in them, wired LAN and USB still work.

I was kind of hoping that pointing out the answer costs $400-500 would redirect towards just disabling Wifi.

Not so. You can connect via (wired) Ethernet.

I was under the impression that the OP didn’t want the printer to have any network connection for security reasons. If you don’t want wifi you’re probably not going to connect an Ethernet cable. Of course there are those that seem to think an Ethernet connection is somehow safer than a wifi connection.

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OP said in their OP that they wanted a wired solution.

It is. Somebody can park outside and eventually break into your WiFi, however you need a physical connection to break into an Ethernet LAN. Of course if you have both, unless there is a firewall between them, accessing the WiFi is accessing the Ethernet LAN.

Except that I get notified that a new device has joined my network. WPA2 is pretty hard to hack. In my neighborhood someone hanging around outside my house is going to get noticed and questioned before they can hack into it. More concerned about bad security on IOT devices so I am cautious about whose I buy.

Wired to me in this case meant USB since no wifi means they don’t want an internet connection. If the device is going to phone home it doesn’t matter if it is wifi or ethernet.

Thanks for replies so far, everyone. Wired means USB cable. I don’t intend to connect to the network in any capacity. It’s a security risk with no benefit to me. I don’t have an office or a 5,000 sq foot house with a dozen people living in it.

The specifics of the security risk fall under “unknown unknowns” because I can’t tell you exactly how a hacker might exploit this in 5 years. Likely port scanning will find vulnerable unpatched printers and cause them to do bad stuff.

Print out pages demanding payment in bitcoin to stop. Overheat the printer and cause a fire. Burn the toner out. Brick the printer. I don’t know, all of those seem possible. Given that I don’t have a benefit to print wirelessly or from multiple computers, it seems prudent to avoid this risk.

I looked up some printers referenced so far in this thread and wow, HP sounds like the absolute WORST company! They literally advertise the “feature” of “we will disable your printer after X pages even if there’s toner left, and you will only use our official toner or your printer won’t work”

They proudly brag about that as a benefit. This ensures you only get the best printing experience! So bizarre.

I looked into what if I just get a Brother printer and disable the WiFi. There’s still some risk, but it’s less of a risk. The WiFI might still be beaconing out or might be tricked into connecting to a malicious host. But I mean if the only alternative is to buy a 10 to 15 year old printer that I’m going to try to make last another 20 years, then I guess I’ll have to consider WiFi and try to disable it.

But even then, all of the WiFi Brother printers on Amazon say they were first released FIVE years ago! If that’s the case then if I can find a 10 year old printer without any network functions, I guess it’s not as bad as I worried.

Also trying to avoid anything with Fax or Photocopy features. Stuff I dont need, won’t use, and adds a potential failure point.

As far as price, I really wouldn’t mind dropping $1k+ if it was a high quality printer that would last 20+ years of casual use. I will print maybe 200 color pages per year. It seems like I should be able to get 10 reams of paper printed through a printer it over a lifetime.

Of course, the printer drivers might not be available in the future, but I think they might be. I’m currently using a 10+ year old Brother B&W laser printer and the current Mac OSX has no problems with it.

The thing with printers is that their market is shrinking. There is a lot of consolidation happening. The perfect example is - already mentioned - HP. Until a few years ago we bought HP printers in our company and nothing else. No matter the cost. Why? Because they just worked, were rock-solid and the drivers especially in a Windows environment worked way better. We needed big printers, sometimes at 10k or even more expensive. A few years ago HP started a strategic alliance with Canon (Canon and HP to Provide Unmatched Office Workflow Solutions | Canon Global). Today, Canon provides HP with integral parts for their printers. So, the next big printer we needed was a printer from Canon. The printer works fine. No issues. And we had no issues to find service providers (which has become an issue with HP printers lately in Germany - apparently HP does not have much interest in local service providers which has led to a diminished range of services being offered, especially if you intend to use a printer not only for 3 to 5 but maybe for 10 years). As also our business (auditing) has become way more digital, our output of printed paper has been reduced dramatically. Our next printers will be smaller, too. We do not need those big monsters any longer. As I said, the market is shrinking.

At home, I still am a pleased HP user. I have been using a HP OfficeJet Pro 9020 for some years now which is a multifunction device. To be honest: I only did choose this printer because of its excellent printing capabilities (also duplex), AirPrint and WiFi capabilities. I have used its copy function only once (just to try it out), I never have sent a fax and I do not use its scanner functionality. So, why did I buy this printer in the first place? I wanted to have a printer of good quality, I wanted ink (I don’t like toner dust at home), I wanted to be able to have cartridges for every color, I wanted AirPrint, WiFi and duplex printing. And yes, I do even use the HP Instant Ink (trigger warning) subscription :wink: (which I did not during the first two years, but I am quite pleased with it actually - I do not print much).

When I was looking for my home printer, I quickly came to the conclusion that there is no device that 100% does fit my needs. The cheap printers with fewer options often lack build quality or the cost of exchanging cartridges and so on is so high that buying a new printer is not significantly more expensive (which is a disaster for our environment). And the more expensive printers often come with a feature set some of us do not need or want. Which led me to buy a multifunction printer without really using much more than its printing capabilities.

Regarding Brother: especially on the Mac not a bad recommendation, especially for home use etc.

Regarding security: as long as you do not connect your printer to (any) network, IMHO there is no risk involved (yes, someone could have a different opinion), even if it has the capability to connect to WiFi or Ethernet. I have chosen to use WiFi printing (to be honest: I only am using WiFi printing (AirPrint) at home). I do not want to live without it. The whole family is able to print via their iPhones, iPads, Macs and … PCs. And no, the printer is not running 24/7. It is sitting behind a smart plug and Siri switches the printer on and off when needed.

I have decided to actively make use of networking also for my printer. What are my security measures? I do only use up to date network devices (including my printer: no updates means the printer will have to go off my network) and I monitor my network. I always use WiFi encryption standards that are current. I never had any issue.

Then again: it is a good decision not to use network connections if you do not need them. No connection always is more secure than having a supposed secure connection.

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@Christian mentioned that there is a lot of consolidation happening in the printer business and there are other changes underway. Last November Epson announced they will end the sale of laser printer hardware by 2026.

"The printer company said the move results from “laser technology’s limited ability to make significant steps towards improved sustainability due to its requirement for heat during the print process, and therefore increased energy use.”

I wouldn’t count on anything being supported for twenty years these days. YMMV

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That’s a pretty low volume. I’d just run these jobs through a print shop, library or local business if you know someone. Should top out at $50/year with no maintenance or security risk to you.

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