Printers use one of the following methods for connecting to a computer or sending and receiving print jobs:
|Parallel||Parallel printers used to be the standard method of connecting printers to a computer. Be aware of the following when using parallel connections:
|Serial||Older printers used the serial port to connect to the computer.
|USB, IEEE 1394||Many newer printers come with both parallel and USB connectors allowing for configurations that include scanners, external drives, or additional printers. The USB connections increase speed considerably over a standard serial port. Firewire connections provide the additional option of isochronous data transfer.|
|Infrared/Wireless||Many printers allow you to connect using a wireless connection. This also allows for special configurations and is especially useful with laptop computers.
|SCSI||SCSI printers are used mostly for high-end printers where performance is an issue. SCSI devices are connected in a chain to the computer.|
|Network||Some printers also have their own network interface card, which allows them to connect directly to a network. Network printers can also be connected to a computer that is connected to the network. Another way to connect a non-network-ready printer to a network is with a network interface device. Network printers are useful for allowing multiple people to share the same printer. This is a common way to connect printers used in a business environment.|