Can I use an AirPort Express for wireless printing with Lavu?
Lavu does not recommend nor will it support, the use of an AirPort Express or any Wi-Fi based printer. We only recommend and support Ethernet printers.
Reasons AirPort Expresses are NOT Supported
The Apple AirPort Express is a great device to extend your home network or connect a USB printer to a residential network. However, these devices were never designed to stand up to the high temperatures, ever changing, and often messy environment of a restaurant.
Cat5e Ethernet cable has a transfer rate of 10/100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps (Gigabit) Ethernet. While Cat5e cables can handle Gigabit Ethernet speeds, Cat6 cables are certified to handle Gigabit Ethernet with a bandwidth of up to 250 MHz.
- However, compatible printers for Lavu are designed for 10/100 Mbps
In conjunction with the fact that the Apple AirPort Express was not designed for commercial use, USB connected printers do not have the same benefits of ethernet printers. One such benefit of ethernet printers is internal memory that allows more data to be received at any given time. USB printers do not have internal memory and are apt to drop larger orders due to information overload.
Additional reasons not to use Apple AirPort Expresses or Wireless Printers:
- Slow data transfer rate. USB 2.0 standard can theoretically transfer data at 60 megabytes per second (Mbps). Due to bus access constraints, the effective throughput rate is limited to 35 Mbps
- Under the conditions used in Lavu the Expresses tend to overheat. If it feels warm to the touch, chances are, it has overheated
- In regards to printing, Wi-Fi can be less reliable compared to Ethernet. Many businesses rely primarily on Ethernet connections because of its higher reliability, faster transfer speeds, and more robust security while maintaining standalone wireless networks for guests and their Point of Sale