Choosing the best Printer Ink Cartridges

Guide to buying cheap ink cartridges

The cheapest cartridge you see in a shop may not produce the cheapest prints. The true cost depends on the amount of ink the printer uses to print a page and the price you pay for the cartridge.

Different cartridges contain different amounts of ink and produce a different number of printed pages so comparing cartridge prices in a shop won’t help.

To get a better idea of how ink costs compare from model to model we calculate running costs by working out how much ink is used to print text, graphics and photo pages.

Its important to check out the running costs for the printers you’re thinking of buying.

Shop around for cheaper ink cartridges

Retailer prices for the same cartridge can vary dramatically, so it’s important to shop around for ink – we’ve seen one retailer charging three times more than another for the same cartridge.

Online retailers offering free delivery are usually the cheapest, but it’s worth checking different retailers’ prices before you opt for one. Ive also found that the cheapest retailer one month may not be the cheapest a month later, so check cartridge prices at a few retailers every time you buy to ensure you get the best deal.

It’s also possible to find discounts or coupons, sites like DomainsCouponsPro often have 123inkjets coupons or a variety of other common ink cartridges. Or wait for things like Black Friday online deals. Some of these deals can save you a considerable amount of cash!

Mini and high-capacity cartridges

New printers generally come with a full set of cartridges but they may be starter or introductory cartridges. These contain less ink than standard cartridges and are capable of printing only a few pages before running out.

Check whether your printer is sold with these smaller capacity cartridges and if so, make sure you buy a set of full-sized cartridges when you’re shopping for your printer – you may even be able to negotiate a discount.

High-capacity (or XL) cartridges cost more than standard capacity cartridges but produce more prints, so they’re often cheaper in the long run. That said, if you find a retailer selling the standard capacity inks cheaply, these may prove better value – it depends on the price you pay for the cartridge.

XL inks are easier to find online than on the high street. Not all inkjet printers are compatible with them, so check they’re available for the printer you’re considering before you buy

Combined and single color cartridges

A combined color cartridge contains three inks – cyan, magenta and yellow – in one unit. When you run out of one color you need to replace the whole cartridge, even if there is ink for the other colours remaining.

This is a particular problem if you print a lot of one color. For example, if you’re photos contain large expanses of sky, you’ll use more cyan ink. You would have to replace the whole color cartridge when the cyan ran out, even if there was plenty of magenta and yellow left. In the long run, this can increase your printing costs.

Single-colour ink cartridges may seem more expensive, as you’ll have to buy three cartridges instead of one, but there’s less waste as you only need to replace the color that runs out. This may prove cheaper in the long run.

Separate single color cartridges tend to cost you less money in the long run

Photo cartridges

Some printers will take an extra cartridge known as photo black or photo color.

These cartridges are used only when you’re printing photographs and are meant to improve the quality of printouts.

A few entry-level printers don’t allow you to keep the photo cartridge loaded at all times. Instead, you’ll have to take out the standard color cartridge and replace it with the photo cartridge when you want to print photos. This is inconvenient and can also reduce the longevity of your cartridges as they can dry out more quickly when not stored safely in your printer.

Refill cartridges

Genuine ink cartridges produced by the manufacturer of your printer are the safest bet for consistent print quality. However, its tempting to try other third-party ink cartridges or refills with your printer to reduce costs as these are usually cheaper to buy.

I have used these re-fill kits before and found them quite messy and inconvenient to use. Some of the continuous Ink systems do work better but are just not worth the time and hastle and there quality of print outs can differ greatly.

Paper costs

Running cost figures only take into account ink, so you also need to consider factoring in the price of paper for your printer.

For manufacturer-branded photo paper, is often far more expensive per sheet than third party paper. Ive used branded and third party papers for print quality and water resistance.


Hidden extras

Paper and ink will make up most of your running costs, but there are occasions when you might have to fork out for additional parts.

A replacement print head for a printer could set you back up to around $50. You can reasonably expect the print head to last three years.

Not all printers have the print head in the printer, some have them on the cartridges – so every time you buy a new cartridge you get a new print head. However, cartridges with the print head incorporated tend to be more expensive, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

If you have a laser printer, the drum will have a limited life expectancy of around 20,000 pages – and will cost you over $100 to replace.

Although it’s not great for the environment, it’s often worth buying a new printer when your old one needs a replacement part. The cost of replacing the part can be offset against the price of a new printer, and sometimes it’ll actually be cheaper to buy a new one.

For information about recycling your old printer contact your local council.

Cheaper photo printing

It’s usually cheaper to get your photos printed at a high-street or online retailer than to print numerous photos on your home printer.

Online processors typically charge 10p or less per 6×4-inch photo and you could save even more by buying pre-paid credits – bear in mind you’ll have to pay for postage too.

The Importance of Wifi Adapter and Why You Need It

Why you MUST have a great wireless router

Having a LAN connection is not always feasible when you have to move around in your office. Moreover, if you are working in your laptop and you have to visit various places with it, you will need a device that will provide you with a wifi connection to connect the laptop with the internet. This device that helps to get an internet connection on your mobile phone, laptop or any other gadget is known as a wifi adapter.

It is a small device that you have to connect with the respective gadget and it will automatically offer wifi connection because it has inbuilt wifi connectivity.

The wifi adapter has a USB connector that has to be attached with your laptop or computer so that it gets internet connectivity and can also act as a basic wireless transmitter. You can then connect your mobile phone or other gadgets to get the wifi signal. So, why exactly do you need a wifi adapter? Let’s find out.

Connect multiple devices

One of the reasons why wifi itself became popular is that everyone could connect their gadgets to the wifi and get a stable internet connection. You will have the same experience once you connect a wifi adapter to your computer or laptop. The laptop does not necessarily have to be switched on to connect the other devices. The best wifi adapter should be on and that’s enough to connect similar devices together.

No extra cable

LAN connections have a lot of cables that make the computer or laptop look messy. There are always extra cables lying here and there and you may even trip over if you are not careful. Wifi adapters can eliminate the need to use these cables once and for all. It is a small pocket device that looks like a flash drive and it is enough to connect multiple devices. There are no cables involved. All you have to do is connect the device and enjoy the internet connection via the adapter.

No extra hardware

USB wireless adapters are very easy to use. You just have to plug it into a USB port and start using it. There is no need to install wireless adapter cards to make it work. There are thousands of people who do not know how to install hardware on their computer. If you do something without knowing how to do it, the wireless adapter card may get damaged. That is why it is better to use a USB wifi adapter that does not require extra hardware installation.

There are many computers and laptops that do not have wireless network adapters. These are systems that were bought 7 or 8 years back. That does not mean you will not be able to connect a wifi adapter to it. Take a USB adapter and connect it to the system. This eliminates the need to buy a new computer or laptop just because it does not have an adapter card. Wifi is important whenever you have to travel and work or need the internet connection all the time.

A wifi adapter is an ideal way to make sure you have a stable internet connection for all your devices.

TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router Review

The TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router is an extremely reliable and inexpensive router that boasts Wireless-N speeds along with advanced features like IP based QoS to control bandwidth usage. It has two external antennas amplified at 5dBi providing an extended range of access as well as the ability to act as extender to push your network even further. This TP Link router is perfect for connecting wireless devices on any home or office network.

Save up to 37% when you buy online

Advanced Bandwidth Control with QoS

Don’t you just hate it when someone is hogging all of the bandwidth on your network and there’s nothing you can do about it? With this router you are able to easily control and designate bandwidth to various devices on your network. You will no longer need to worry about a single user or even a single application hogging all of the bandwidth on your network making it sluggish.


I think the most important point to make regarding this router is the reliability. How many routers have you scrapped because they didn’t work well or just stopped working completely? I’ve gone through at least 6 or 7 over the last few years trying to find one that works well for my needs. The TP-LINK TL-WR841N performs flawlessly even under the most heavy network traffic.

DD-WRT Support

The DD-WRT support will allow you to upload and operate custom firmware on this router. That means your router will be forever upgradeable and will support whatever features become available through the custom WRT firmware releases.

Save up to 37% when you buy online

Features and Specifications

  • Wireless N speed up to 300Mbps ideal applications for video streaming, online gaming VoIP, web browsing and multi-tasking
  • Two 5dBi antennas greatly increase the wireless robustness and stability
  • Easy Setup Assistant provides quick & hassle free installation
  • Features parental control function managing the internet access of children or employee’s computer
  • IP based bandwidth control allows administrators to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each PC and internet devices
  • Easily setup a WPA/WPA2 encrypted secure connection at a push of the WPS button
  • Backward compatible with 802.11b/g products
  • TP-LINK Live 24/7 Technical Support
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches ; 1.1 pounds
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Item model number: TL-WR841N

Customer Reviews

As of writing this review, the TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router has received over 7,500 customer reviews at Amazon with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Almost 70% of all customer reviews for this router were 5 out of 5 stars, fairly impressive stuff.

See what REAL customers have to say


You really get a lot of bang for your buck with the TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router. It offers features and specifications that allow it to compete with $100+ routers for a fraction of the cost, although what version of the product you get may be a crap-shoot at best.

I would feel confident recommending this router to my friends and family. The price is right and if all else fails Amazon offers a 30 day return policy, so you really can’t go wrong.

TP-LINK TL-WR700N Wireless N150 Portable Router Review

The TP-LINK TL-WR700N Wireless N150 Portable Router is a highly versatile device that can be used to create a wireless network, share an internet connection, extend a wireless network or even provide guest access to an existing network. The compact design and flip-out power plug makes it easy to take anywhere you need to access WiFi. The stylish design and affordable price make it a must for any networking application.

Save up to 37% when you buy online


This portable router can function in a number of different modes. It can act as an access point to provide wireless access to an existing wired network. It can also act as traditional router to share internet access from a DSL or cable modem. It can also act as a wireless extender that repeats a wireless signal without changing the SSID and password. It can even act as a wireless bridge that will allow you to share your existing wireless network with a new SSID and password to keep your original network safe from intruders and provide guests access to your WiFi.


The coolest thing about this device is that the plug is built-in and flips out when needed. You don’t have to worry about carrying around an extra power cord or power supply to use this device. This will allow you to easily create a wireless network wherever you are in an instant.

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Features and Specifications

  • Compatible with IEEE 802.11n/g/b
  • Wireless speed up to 150Mbps
  • Foldable Plugs
  • Pocket-sized design, Ideal for home and travel use
  • Perfectly compatible with 802.11b/g/n devices
  • Supports AP, Router, AP Client, Bridge, Repeater operation modes
  • Supports WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryptions
Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 1.1 x 2.8 inches ; 6.4 ounces
Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Customer Reviews

Right now this little router has almost 400 reviews on Amazon with an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars. About 40% of customers gave this device a 5 out of 5 star rating. Check out some of the nice things people have had to say about this product using the link below.

See what REAL customers have to say


As one customer so elegantly put it, the TP-LINK TL-WR700N Wireless N150 Portable Router really is a digital Swiss army knife for wireless networking. It might take a little tech savvy to configure it, but for the price it can provide a solution for a number of wireless applications. I would definitely recommend this device to family and friends, even if it meant I’d have to help them configure it (which really only takes about 3 minutes when you know what to do).