Bottom Line: A painless, wireless, CD-free way to set up WiFi printing with a Brother HL-2270DW laser printer and your Apple Airport Express.

I got rid of my inkjet printer… probably two years ago, and I haven’t looked back. The very rare times I need to print something, I make a run to the local library. The minor inconvenience of not being able to print has pushed me to more actively try to fill out paperwork digitally, find all-electronic was to sign and fax paperwork, and “actively encourage” places I patronize to accept digital coupons from my iPhone. (By “actively encourage,” I mean make a formal complaint to a manager when they insist on a printed offer, which I consider ridiculous.)

However, my fiancée (note the gender specific spelling, vs fiancé — shout out to Symentist for that one) and I decided today that a small, inexpensive, black-and-white laser printer may be worth the expense.

After some brief research and a quick Slickdeals coupon search, we settled on the Brother HL-2270DW. It goes for $80-$100 (and we got a 15% off coupon), it’s small, fast, reliable, prints thousands of sheets per ink refill, and has won awards for being the best cheap laser printer years in a row.

When I say years in a row, that should clue you in as to its most frequently identified shortcoming: while it is capable of wireless printing, it is a little older, and getting it set up for wireless printing (especially on a Mac) has been “an issue” for some people.

Like a few of my readers, I don’t always read the instruction manual… so I thought I’d give a “short version” on how I got my printer set up, without using any extra cables, and without using the CD (since I don’t have a CD / DVD drive anymore).

Here it is:

  1. Open the box for your new printer and take off all the stickers. Including the one with some funny instructions about gently shaking the print cartridge side to side.
  2. Plug in the power cord, somewhere relatively close to your router.
  3. Hit the power switch on the right side.
  4. Wait for it to finish booting completely (no more blinking lights or sounds).
  5. Use a pen to hold down the hidden button on the back (pic below) for 3 or 4 seconds to activate the “WPS” setup.

  1. It should print a sheet of paper — get the PIN.
  2. Open Airport Utility on your Mac (should be pre-installed 10.9 or later, but you can also download it here), or it looks like even the iOS version would work.
  3. On OSX: Base Station -> Add WPS Printer... -> PIN
  4. On iOS: Edit -> Advanced -> Add WPS Printer -> With PIN
  5. Then wait a while and it should eventually paired. Mine took approximately 60 seconds, from a distance of 1.5 meters.
  6. On your Mac, open System Preferences -> Printers & Scanners, and hit the little + button in the bottom left side.
  7. You should (hopefully) see the Brother printer in the list of printers to add. Give it a name, hit Add, and you’re all set!

Hope this helps a few of you get set up a little more easily than you would have otherwise! And no, unfortunately I don’t think it works with AirPrint for iOS (if I’m wrong, let me know in the comments section below).