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1,352 of 1,357 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great printer, but programmed to rip you off in toner
I bought the HL-2170W from Amazon at the beginning of 2008. I found it very easy to configure for both wired and wireless networks, although I use mine on a wired connection out of convenience. I print mostly plain text, and the quality is very good.

I have but two complaints:

First, the paper comes out slightly curled, but this is a fact of life for...
Published on May 4, 2009 by Chad R. Thomas

versus
115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Troublesome install under Vista
Note as of 21 June 09: This review was written using Vista SP1. I do not know if this was fixed with the recent release of SP2.

After about 3 hours of troubleshooting, I finally got it to work. After searching the net, I found that it isn't necessarily a Brother problem, but a network printer problem with Vista (XP doesn't have this problem). Still I wasn't the...
Published on August 22, 2008 by Lee Abraham


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1,352 of 1,357 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great printer, but programmed to rip you off in toner, May 4, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
I bought the HL-2170W from Amazon at the beginning of 2008. I found it very easy to configure for both wired and wireless networks, although I use mine on a wired connection out of convenience. I print mostly plain text, and the quality is very good.

I have but two complaints:

First, the paper comes out slightly curled, but this is a fact of life for a printer this size.

Second, Brother has programmed the printer such that when its thinks the toner is empty, it stops working. This happened to me when I was printing some important documents. I did some internet searches and examined the toner cartridge. There is a clear plastic circle at each end of the toner cartridge. The printer shines a light through to see how full the toner is. Simply cover one of them with a piece of opaque tape, and the printer will think that the toner is full. I've already gotten 1500+ pages out of the starter toner that was "empty" at 983, with no difference in printed quality.
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268 of 280 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Printer, Just follow directions on setup., February 23, 2008
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
Recently I bought a Brother All-In-One Inkjet and have been very happy with it. Since it had all the controls on the printer itself, I was able to set up the wireless connection quickly and without any problem. Plus, all the other features worked well. I needed a laser printer to replace my very old NEC. Based on my experience with the Brother Inkjet I decided to buy this Brother 2170W.

The Brother laser printer is very small, yet holds 250 pages which is far more than my old one. It wakes up in less than 10 seconds then prints pages lightening fast. The print quality is sharp and clear. I have the printer in my office and connected it directly to my PC with the USB cable. However, I also have a laptop about 10 feet away that I wanted to setup wireless to the laser printer. Well, that is where the problems began.

I tried for several hours to connect the laser printer to my laptop and never could get it right. I was able to connect wirelessly directly between the printer and laptop without going through the router. However, doing it this way I could not be on the internet and printer at the same time. Also, the connection would keep dropping. Try as I may, I could not connect the printer through the router like my other Brother Inkjet. I am convinced that I am simply doing some little something wrong. Therefore, I can not blame the printer for something that is my fault. Since I do have the printer wired to the other printer in the office and that printer is connected to the router, then I can still access the laser printer through the other computer.

I am still giving the Brother 2170W printer high marks because, except for the connection problems, it is an excellent printer.

UPDATE: I was trying to setup the printer wirelessly, without plugging the cable in. Bad idea! I finally decided to wire the printer to the router as recommended in the manual. After setting it up I unplugged the wired connection and now the printer works wirelessly from both of my computers. The whole thing took less than 3 minutes. Lesson for today: Read the manual and do what it Recommends.

It would benefit most people to have a laser printer in addition to their inkjet printer. And this is why. Keep track of just how many documents and letters you print that do not require color. If you print more than ten percent in black and white then you can save a lot of money on ink by using a laser printer. Here are some figures to consider. The cost of toner (ink) for a laser printer is higher than inkjet, but a laser can print many more pages. The cost per page on a laser printer can be as low as 3 cents. Whereas, the cost of ink for an inkjet can be 11 cents or more per page, and that cost can be ten times more for photos. Therefore, if you only print a few things that do not require color then you may only save ten to twenty percent on ink. However, if you do a lot of black and white printing then you could save fifty to seventy percent on ink using a laser printer. And if you decide to buy a laser, then this Brother is one of the best because of the speed and print quality.

ANOTHER UPDATE: After using this printer for several months I must give it 5 stars. It has worked all this time with no problems at all and I love it. However, I still give the overall rating 4 stars because of the install problem. I even contacted Brother several times and followed their directions on how to set up the printer without using a cable. Both Brother and myself finally gave up because it just would not work unless I used a cable, even though Brother said it would. Brother never did figure out why it wouldn't work that way. But, it doesn't matter. When I want to change my WiFi key, I just use a cable.
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161 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low price, easy setup, good performance!, January 16, 2008
By 
R. Lemieux (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
I've been buying Brother laser printers for several years now - first the HL-1240, and then the HL-1440. Both were used in my home network via the Windows printer sharing function, which means that the computer to which the printer is attached must be up and running in order to print. The 1440 recently started malfunctioning, and rather than deal with its problems I decided to get something new that I could connect directly to the network.

I went looking for the HL-2070n, but these are no longer stocked in local stores, and I wanted a printer quick. Instead I found this model and the larger, more expensive HL-5250dn. After playing with both of them for a few minutes, I felt that the 5250 was too noisy and clunky sounding, and kind of big. It's probably a good printer, but I went instead for the quieter and less obtrusive HL-2170w.

The wireless capability is a nice feature, but not really important to me right now, since the printer sits only three feet from my Linksys WRT54G router and I don't need to move it around the house. So even though I'm able to use the easy wireless setup, I went with a wired network connection instead. Setup on my three computers was a breeze. I followed the easy instructions and everything worked as expected. If I try the wireless installation later, I fully expect it to go just as well.

Now that it's in place, the printer seems to be doing what it should. Output is fast, paper is not badly curled, and quality looks fine. The printer driver also has the advanced features I've been accustomed to with my earlier printers. My only minor gripe is that I don't like the minimalist control panel that consists of just three LEDs and one big button. Since my earlier printers had the same kind of thing, I know I'll have to keep referring to the user manual in order to perform routine control panel functions and interpret any unusual alerts.

It'll take a while to know whether or not the printer has any serious shortcomings, but I'm more than satisifed so far. Considering the low price, the hassle-free installation, and the results I'm seeing, I'll give it five stars.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Performance, Wireless easy to setup, January 18, 2008
By 
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
This printer was the best value in small desktop lasers, when I conducted a recent search. I was somewhat hesitant by some other comments on wireless setup, but found that reading the directions carefully, it was very easy to setup, and working within about 10 minutes. No problems whatsoever. My network is NOT a "one button" setup network - we have a hidden SSID, use WPA2 with AES encryption, so I went with the "network cable" initial setup, then once configured, use it wireless. Installing the print drivers on the various machines in our house went great - each machine was printing within 3 minutes of putting in the installation CD.

So far, this is one of the easiest wireless products to add to the network, and print quality is great. I am impressed with Brother's documentation and software. Nice work.

I had ordered an extra toner cartridge with the printer - in hindsight, I would probably order the TN-360 cartridge (large capacity) instead of the TN-330 cartridge, but it's just a cost-saving - no functional difference.
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115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Troublesome install under Vista, August 22, 2008
By 
Lee Abraham (Merritt Island, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
Note as of 21 June 09: This review was written using Vista SP1. I do not know if this was fixed with the recent release of SP2.

After about 3 hours of troubleshooting, I finally got it to work. After searching the net, I found that it isn't necessarily a Brother problem, but a network printer problem with Vista (XP doesn't have this problem). Still I wasn't the first to have these problems (lots of people seem to have the same problem), and Brothers support site makes no mention of it. I called tech support but they were closed for the weekend.

I was setting it up as a network printer using the easy setup button on my router. Basically you press a button on the back of the printer, press the easy setup button on your router (if your router supports it, otherwise you have to use a cable just for setup), and the network configuration is sent to the printer. You don't have to do anything else, just click through the dialogs to install the drivers. Very easy, and it seemed to work. The printer was showing up, it had an IP address assigned to it and the included Brother software was showing it's status.

Except it wouldn't print. Vista showed the printer as offline, and there aren't any settings or buttons to put it online. Reinstalled the driver and set up the network on it multiple times, trying different methods. It wouldn't even print using a USB cable, still showing offline.

The printer was showing up on the network, so I figured I would try it with my MacBook Pro. A slight drawback is the first thing you see when you open the box is a piece of paper saying the included CD doesn't provide full support for OSX Leopard (10.5). I went to their website, downloaded the newest drivers there and set up the printer quickly and easily with no problems at all. Printed fine, so I knew the printer was working.

If anyone has the "offline" problem on Vista, the fix was very easy once I figured it out. The secret is to let Vista set up the printer, not the Brother software. Although the included software is nice for guiding you through the network setup. Once it was installed using the included software I removed the printer in the printer control panel. I then clicked add printer from the same control panel instead of using Brother's install software as I did every time before. It found the printer and installed it and now it works fine.

Print quality is good, but not great. I am pleased with it for what I will use it for. For the price though, it's the perfect home printer. Cheap, relatively small footprint, good print quality, speedy (for the price range) and a tray that holds a large amount of paper.

The only thing I don't like about it, besides the difficult install, is it's power draw. When I turn on the printer or when it starts to print, my UPS (Uninterpretable power supply) turns on due to noise on the line, and the lights flicker. Granted I have a lot of stuff plugged into the circuit, but this seems a bit extreme for a printer.

I only gave it 3 stars for a few reasons. Brother's website at the very least should have a work around for set up. Obviously a lot of people don't have the problems I had, but there are quite a few reports of this problem if you do a Google search. The power draw is another factor, a printer shouldn't be making my lights flicker. And lastly as others have noted, the manual feed "tray" is very flimsy and you can't really call it a tray since it won't support any paper without you holding on to it.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Wireless Printer - Fantastic Tech Support (Mac User), July 1, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
I couldn't get it to work either with my Airport Express Network.

I followed the instructions in the manual but my iMac (running Leopard) couldn't "see" the printer on my Airport Express Network.

Emails to tech support initially went unanswered.

I finally called tech support (thinking it would be a waste of time) but they were incredibly helpful --- I was only on hold for a few moments!

We got disconnected but the Brother tech support guy called me back ---- twice!

Here's where I went wrong:

1) I didn't download the Leopard drivers from the Brother Website.

2) I entered the wrong info about my Airport Express (write down your wireless network settings before you start the installation).

3) I didn't click the Airport icon on the menu and select "Setup" from the drop down menu.

4) I didn't "add" the wireless printer after the installation was complete.

Now it works perfectly and the USB cable has already been sold on eBay.

The print jobs have been excellent --- very clear and crisp.

The printer itself is compact with no extending paper trays.

I'm very impressed with this printer and with Brother tech support. Highly recommend this wireless printer.

PS
This computer can be "reset" if you need to start all over again (as described in the manual).
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice wireless printer, January 24, 2008
By 
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
I compared this printer with 2150N before I purchase it. $20 more for the wireless feature is worthful. My wireless router is using hiden SSID, WEP and MAC filter. It's easy to setup SSID and WEP if you follow the instruction. For the MAC filter, there is a little tricky. The printer doesn't have MAC address on it body (for most wireless devices, you can find MAC address right on it). However, once you finished setup printer over cable, it will pop a message to ask if you like to print a test page. click yes. Then you'll get your printer's MAC address right on that page. There are two MAC address, one is for ethernet card, one is for wireless.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good price...easy wireless setup, January 30, 2008
By 
fatal (Atlanta, Ga) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
Very good price for a very good printer...I was looking into their previous version (2070N) when I came across the wireless version, and opted for this one instead for a little more.

As for the wireless setup, it is VERY simple, and if you ARE a computer guy, you shouldn't even have to use the included CD for the install. I didn't use the included cd, these are the steps I took to install the drivers and setup the wireless function of the printer...

1. Make sure your printer is ready to be powered up, which means install the drum/toner, paper, etc.
2. Make sure DHCP is turned on and your using it on your router to assign IP addresses.
3. Plug in a Ethernet cable from your router to the printer.
4. Turn on the printer.
5. Your router should have assigned the printer an IP Address...to check which IP address it has been assigned you can open up your router's web interface and check the DHCP leased IP addresses and find the one for the printer.
6. Download printer drivers from here:
[...]
Extract it to a folder on your desktop.
7. Install the printer/drivers on your machine. I was using Vista, but steps should be similar...go to control panel, printers, add printer. Select Wireless/Networked printer. It will try to search for one by itself, just click on the button below it that says Printer is not on list or something. There will be a field for you to enter the IP address of the printer, select that and enter the IP address of the printer which you found in step 5. It'll find the printer and bring up a box for you to select the drivers. Click on the Have Disk button and point it to the drivers you extracted on your desktop.
8. Your printer is setup! The wired part anyway, you should be able to print a test page and see that it is functional.
9. Open up your browser and point it to the IP address of your printer (ex. [...] This will take you to the printers web interface, from which you can handle all your administration. Default user/pass are user/access and admin/access.
10. The first thing I did was change my passwords for user and admin. Then I assigned the printer a static IP address which was out of my DHCP lease range. You don't have to do this.
11. Under one of the tabs there should be a link that says "Setup Wireless .. " or something similar, click on it...on that page you can specify your SSID, type of encryption used, your password, etc, and click on submit.
12. It will ask you to unhook the ethernet cable and will do its thing. If you entered all your information correctly, you should be up and running with your wireless setup. You can try to print a test page and see.
I think thats it...i'm typing this from memory, but it looks right :D

All in all this took me less than 5 minutes to install and setup for wireless use. You don't have to use this method, it's just easy and fast if you know what your doing. The CD is a great asset, but I just like doing things myself :)
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ from a Mac User, May 17, 2008
By 
N. Morinec (Cleveland, OH, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
I read a ton of reviews about different lower priced laser printers and found this to be the best choice - and it seems I made the right decision. The price was great and though I have only had it for a month or so, I love it so far.
I can't speak for how it lasts over the years but the wireless install was super easy, Im on a Mac with OS 10.5. Took me about 10 minutes and had no problems at all. The speed and quality of the prints is great as well.

It is a bit noisy on start up and while printing but that does not bother me. Cant beat it for the price.

Highly recommended!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to configure, prints great, January 17, 2008
This review is from: Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces (Office Product)
The installation for the Mac (OS X 10.4) was simple, quick, and I had no problems. The print quality is very good. The wireless functionality permits me to locate the printer anywhere in the house. Overall, a great value.
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