Who wants to walk from the bedroom or the living room to the home office to plug a USB stick into the printer? Much better to tap your smartphone screen or a button on the laptop from wherever you are and hear the familiar sound of paper whirring through the rollers elsewhere.

This is a feature made possible, of course, by a wireless printer – it’ll likely only have one cable, the one that plugs into the wall.

You’ll need your printer to have its own smartphone app, or be compatible with Google Cloud Print to print from an Android phone, or Apple AirPrint if you have an iPhone or iPad.

It’s important to work out what you’re likely to print. If it’s mostly photos, then a photo printer with its higher quality capabilities for image printing is ideal.

But if it’s mostly going to be used for printing documents, tickets, shopping lists and the like, then a less expensive printer will do.

The printers here were tested for ease of use, speed of printing, excellence of print quality and compatibility with different apps.

Is it easy to print wirelessly? Does the printer scan and photocopy, too? All these printers were tested to address these questions. All are A4 printers apart from the Canon pixma TS9550, which handles A3 paper too.

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The verdict: Wireless printers

Though the range of brands worth trusting with your home printing needs is limited, there are high-quality, low-price printers around. Such as the Epson expression premium XP-6100, our best buy, which performs like a dream and is great value. Otherwise, the Canon pixma TS6250 is pleasingly compact and the HP tango X is unlike anything else on the market and is well suited to a home environment.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.