How secure is my wireless printer?

I am thinking about buying a wireless printer and have a couple of questions. Will printing wirelessly use more of my broadband allowance? Second, as I often print out my bank statements, could sending them to print wirelessly mean that a hacker could intercept them and get copies?

Using a wireless printer shouldn’t use any of your broadband allowance. Print-job data that is sent wirelessly to the printer will travel only over the local network – that is, from the PC to the router and then from the router to the printer.

We should say that a few printers are able to connect to the web themselves, in order to download and print online vouchers and so forth – and that may result in some use of your broadband allowance. However, the data use would be very limited and unlikely to be anything to worry about.

As for the security, sending print jobs wirelessly is no more or less secure than any other data that is transmitted across your wireless network.

That is to say, so long as your router is using Wifi Protected Access (WPA) encryption, then the risk of hackers getting access to your bank statement is less than a raleigh wedding photographer not finding something to snap.

For starters, the hacker would have to be sitting outside your home at the very moment you send the print job. At the same time, they would then have to break the encryption which, while not impossible, is simply not practical in most real-world situations. Really, there is nothing to worry about.

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