If someone can break into my home network then they can record anything going over my WiFi network, which is why https is essential and VPN is useful. Now my printer is connected through WiFi, and several devices use it.

Question: Can I expect that the average printer uses some encryption for the data that it receives, or could someone who can listen in to my WiFi collect anything I print and copy it? I just found out my home printer uses “WEP encryption” which I assume can be cracked.

PS Unless I’m very wrong, VPN will not be able to help you in this situation. It could protect what you send to the printer, but can’t protect what the printer receives.

1 Answer 1


Most of the commonly used network printing protocols are not protected against sniffing or modification. And even if the printer supports TLS protected IPP it is usually either not setup at all or not setup securely (i.e. with certificate trusted by the client and with proper certificate validation).

In other words: the average printer setup as used by normal consumers is open to sniffing and modification. It might be different in companies which actually care about network security (i.e. most not). And, if you just interested in securing your own printer connection check if your printer support IPPS (IPP over TLS). See also How can I encrypt my print jobs?.

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