Top critical review
137 people found this helpful
on December 31, 2012
I got this printer for $99 on Black Friday, 2012, at Office Max. I haven't seen it that cheap since then. I use it in a mixed PC and Mac environment.
The reason for this review is to share a few things I learned about this printer. I gave it 3 stars because of the networking problems. However, the print quality and print functions seem fine, very good probably.
Advice #1: Don't buy this printer if you have an older wireless router and if you really want it to be wireless. I have what is (or was) considered one of the best wireless routers ever made - Linksys WRT54G - and after several calls to Brother tech support and my router's tech support, the printer will not connect UNLESS I notch down my wireless security to WEP, which I'm not willing to do. Brother will not acknowledge that their printer has this problem with this very popular router. Brother tech support tried everything to fix it and were polite and professional, but they couldn't overcome what seems to be a flaw in the printer. Looking around the web, I found plenty of other folks who reported that their Brother printer could only connect using WEP for their wireless security protocol, and that's not acceptable to the people who seem to know more about wireless security.
To use the printer, I had to attach it with a network cable to my wireless router. That means it is stuck in the basement next to my router, not exactly what I would call wireless.
I think many people don't know what it means to fully use the capabilities of a wireless printer. They're satisfied if they can sit at their wireless laptop in the living room, click "print" and then go to the office to collect their printout from the printer. However, that's only half the wireless capability this type of printer should have.
When you buy a printer with wireless functionality, you should have TWO wireless things going on. One is that you should be able to take your computer anywhere in the house and send a print job to the printer. No brainer, right? The other is that you should be able to take your printer anywhere in the house - it should NOT have to be attached to your wireless router using a cable. Can you do that, or is your printer wired to your router?
I think many, many people who say they had no problem with the wireless setup for these printers are actually using a network cable to plug the printer into their wireless router. They're using only half the wireless capability of the printer - the easy half to setup and configure - so naturally it works well.
Advice #2: When running the install disc, if you attached the printer to the router with a cable, then install it using the "For Wired Network" option. That will seem strange to a lot of people who think they're printing wirelessly from their laptop or desktop, but since you connected the printer to the router, you're not really completely wireless.
Advice #3: For Mac users, skip the install discs and download the Brother Printer Drivers 2.9 for OS X the Apple support site (just google "brother drivers mac" and it shows up). That makes everything easy.
Advice #4: Tell the printer to not automatically shut down when it thinks it is out of toner. Using the buttons on the printer, go into "General Setup" then choose "Replace Toner" then choose "Continue" instead of "Stop." That will allow it to "continue" to function even though it thinks it is out of toner, and you should get plenty of additional pages printed.
I haven't used the printer enough yet to make meaningful comments on other things, but the few pages I've printed and scanned seemed to be very good quality - no red flags other than the networking issue for me.