In recent years, printer manufacturers have stopped including printer cables with their printers.
Often customers do not realize they need to purchase a cable until they have arrived home with their new printer. Many customers are dismayed, surprised, and confused when they realized that their brand new printer does not come with everything included. Even the newest of printers often require this cord to connect to any computer – it’s an essential piece to the technological puzzle.
How can you find out what cable your printer needs to connect you your computer or device?
Check the manual
If your printer came with a manual, now is a great time to check it – many guides include the specific type of printer cable you will require. This can make shopping for the cable easy – you can bring the manual with you to the store, and reference it when talking with store employees.
If you cannot locate your manual or the printer did not come with one, many manuals can now be found online at the manufacturers’ website (or hosted by another website). If you can’t find one, contact the printer manufacturer to get more information and assistance.
There are two major types of ports to connect a printer and a computer – common day USB ports, and older style parallel ports. Check your printer to see if it has a USB port – if it does not, you may have a parallel styled port. Many newer computers don’t have a parallel port option – you will need to buy an additional Parallel-to-USB adapter to ensure full functionality.
Make sure to measure the distance from the location of your new printer to your computer – you may need a longer cord than the conventional size. Most cables come at about three feet, but cables up to six feet in length are available at most retailers. Many buyers choose the lengthier option, in case they later choose to move their printer or computer further apart.
Buying a printer cable can be confusing, but if all else fails make sure to speak with someone at the retail location you purchased your printer at – odds are that you aren’t the first one to approach with these questions, and a store associate will be able to help.