Chrome printing isn’t as intuitive as it should be, but Promevo is here to help you through the confusion.
There are four options when it comes to Chrome printing: Google Cloud Print, print servers, using a printer driver and app, and direct IP printing. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each Chrome printing option.
Google Cloud Print
Google Cloud Print connects your printers to the web. You can print to it from anywhere, using any internet-connected device, including PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, phones, and tablets.
- Accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection
- Compatible with almost any operating system and device
- Doesn’t require additional services if you already have a Google account
- Low cost, minimal support needed, and easy to use
- Google Cloud Print is unavailable if your internet connection goes down
- Your IT Admin will have to enable cloud printing since public printers have to be added manually
- Only compatible with printers that are Google Cloud ready
- If your printer is not Google Cloud ready, you must use a Windows or Mac computer as a print server
If you’re interested in using Google Cloud print, check out these resources:
- How to Print with Google Cloud Print
- IT Administrator’s Guide to Setting Up Google Cloud Print
- How to Share a Printer with Google Cloud Print
- How to Add a Printer with Google Cloud Print
A print server is a device that connects printers to client computers over a network. The server accepts prints from computers and sends them to the correct printers. These then queue locally to accommodate jobs that might arrive quicker than the printer can actually handle.
- Centralized driver management means updates can be pushed out all at once and administrators can manage all printers from one point
- Print jobs are managed in a queue and can be prioritized if needed
- Printer servers keep a log of every print job so the administrator can see who is printing and what they’re printing
- Increased security through admin ability to control who can print, what they can print, and where they can print from
- Printing is inaccessible if the network fails and the print server goes offline
- Cost of purchasing print servers, software, and maintenance
- Since everything is managed from a centralized console, there is a single point of failure
Printer Driver & Apps
A printer driver is software that converts the file into a format that a printer can understand. Printer drivers allow applications to print without being aware of the technical details of each printer model.
- Compatible with computers with different operating systems and versions
- Printers don’t need to be Google Cloud Print compatible
- Low cost and low maintenance
- Administrators can manage users, printers, and printing options in the Google Admin console
- Your printer manufacturer needs to have an app for their printer. Currently, the only printer app available on the Chrome Web Store is the HP Print for Chrome.
- Apps can crash and have development bugs
- Not every printer is compatible with the app
- You’ll have very little access to apps developers for support issues
Direct IP Printing
Direct IP Printing connects computers directly to network printers for printing without the need for print servers.
- No print servers, which minimizes network failure
- Ability to print offline
- There is less network traffic since print jobs are spooled on the local machine
- Lower equipment costs and easier setup
- Limited impact to your organization if a printer fails
- Each user’s device must have the printer driver manually installed
- Each user must troubleshoot their own print jobs because there is no centralized print queue
- Printers and devices must be on the same network
- Administrators have to manually manage each individual printer and driver and have no control over printing permissions
- Cannot restrict printing to a specific IP address
If you’re interested in direct IP printing, check out this resource explaining how to add a printer manually using the printer’s IP address.
We hope this guide has made Chrome printing less confusing. However, if you have any additional questions, we’d be happy to help you or send you to the right place. All Promevo customers get free support from our Google-certified specialists. You can reach our help team here or call (888) 380-1061.