Mossberg’s Mailbox

Working With AirPrint

Published on January 26, 2011
by Walt Mossberg


How does Apple’s AirPrint work? And what new things would I have to get to make it work?


AirPrint allows certain apps on an iPhone or iPad to wirelessly print to locally networked printers. Officially, it works only on Hewlett-Packard’s new line of networked printers, which use a technology called ePrint. However, various programs have popped up for Macs and PCs that, when installed on a computer on your network, allow AirPrint to work with existing printers that are connected—physically or via a network—to those computers. One example I have tested successfully is Printopia, which works on Macs and is at Others can be found by searching for “airprint for windows” or “airprint for mac” in a search engine. Note that you only need to install a small utility program on your computer, and nothing new gets installed on the iPad or iPhone, as long as you have the latest operating system for those devices.


Is there an external hard disk or other device other than online storage which will back up a usable copy of my entire computer complete with software programs and data? I am basically looking for a usable mirror image which would be available to load on another machine if the current one fails. I am not networked.


You can certainly use an external hard drive for this without having a network, but the key is the backup software. For Windows computers, one popular choice is Acronis True Image Home, though there are others. If your computer is a Mac, the easiest choice is the built-in Time Machine backup software.

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