5 Responses to “Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces”

  1. Chad R. Thomas says:

    Review by Chad R. Thomas for Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces
    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.

  2. D. Dell says:

    Review by D. Dell for Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces
    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.

  3. R. Lemieux says:

    Review by R. Lemieux for Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces
    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.

  4. R. Siegel says:

    Review by R. Siegel for Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces
    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.

  5. Lee Abraham says:

    Review by Lee Abraham for Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces
    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.