Network printing alone may provide local functionality for centralized printer access, but the ability to print remotely provides further convenience and printer accessibility for the home or office.
Using The Right Printer For Remote Printing Over The Internet
In order to successfully configure and implement any method of remote printing, network capable printers of some kind are the ideal choice. Although host based printers can be configured for remote access, using them will reduce a great deal of functionality. Furthermore, host based printers will require that all network clients are running Windows operating systems.
Because of this, host based or Graphics Design Interface printers should only be used if you have no other choice available. Modern network capable printers are the ideal choice for a stable and functional remote printing solution. Not only can they be configured to print remotely several different ways, but they can also be accessed by a variety of platforms for maximum client accessibility.
Remote Printing Implementations
Depending on the type of printer and your compatibility needs, you will likely use Jetdirect, E-mail or an IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) server for your remote printing needs. HP printers make use of their own Jetdirect protocol, but the use of IPP servers has become a known standard for local and remote network printing.
Some modern printers eliminate the need for conventional network printing by using E-mail as an alternative communication method. Each of these remote printing methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right Internet printing solution will depend on your individual needs as well as your available resources.
Printing Over The Internet Through E-mai
This method of remote printing is increasing in popularity. In contrast to the conventional client to server based printing implementations, print jobs are sent to the device via a forwarded E-mail message. Several manufacturers currently produce these E-mail enabled printers. Kodak, HP and Epsom currently have these types of printers on the market.
Initially, you may think E-mail printing offers increased security, but unless setup properly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. By default, some of these printers can be accessed by anyone who knows the devices E-mail address. HP’s ePrint enabled printers must be registered and configured via a website to only allow particular E-mail addresses to send print jobs.
Firewall configuration will also be required to make use of these modern printers. This is because E-mailed print jobs are sent through a cloud server over port 9100. These devices still make use of the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) standard, but in a way that offers increased compatibility and accessibility.
Remote Printing Using Jetdirect
Jetdirect is used by many cooperate offices and IT sectors as a trusted network printing solution. Although Jetdirect is only integrated into a select few of HP’s printers, a Jetdirect device can be used to add network functionality to printers without it. This has likely contributed to the popularity of this remote printing method.
Jetdirect servers run a basic operating system combined with its own embedded web server for control and administration. The Jetdirect 300x is a standalone device that will provide the network functionality via a IEEE-1284 compatible printer port. Some of HP’s other printers can gain Jetdirect functionality by way of an installable card, but not all printers will support Jetdirect, including some HP models.
In order to make any printer remote ready using Jetdirect, you can alternatively use a CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) server. This type of server can be installed and configured easily on a number of Linux and Unix distributions. It will also provide compatibility for multiple platform access, but will do so using a printer to network connection. Instead, a standalone server will relay print requests from clients to printers on the network.
Internet Printing Protocol
The most commonly used standard in network printing is IPP. An IPP server offers increased configuration options and can be implemented in a number of ways. IPP operates in conjunction with your web server for remote functionality. Once a client establishes an IPP connection, a job request an MIME type is sent over the server to the networked printer.
HTTP is used with IPP for client authentication as well as security. Configuration defaults will operate the IPP server under port 631, but Windows platforms can run the server on the standard HTTP port 80. For the best security however, both Windows and Unix hosted IPP servers should be ran on the web SSL port 443.
Functionality and control capabilities of connected clients will depend on the platform and the particular IPP server type. Older versions of Windows lack the RPC (Asynchronous Remote Procedure Call) abilities for full compatibility with modern IPP servers.
Printing Over The Internet By Device
Desktops and laptop systems running Windows, MacOSX and Linux can all be configured for remote printing accessibility. CUPS, Jetdirect and IPP print servers can provide the remote printing functionality you need to print from virtually anywhere. In addition to this, E-mail enabled printers provide easier remote printing for mobile users as well.
Whether you prefer the modern convenience of E-mail and Jetdirect printing or the tried and true IPP standard, printing remotely will allow you to print important documents from at home, the office or anywhere you can access the Internet.