“What is cloud print?” is a simple question. But there are layers of meaning we need to unravel in order to understand the answer.
Printers work differently from computers in the world of cloud computing.
Cloud printing services fall under two separate functionalities. Software that provides print enablement over the cloud. And software that provides print management in the cloud.
Cloud print vs cloud print management
Cloud print/cloud printing and cloud print management sound similar. But they mean two distinct forms of cloud print solutions.
Cloud print or cloud printing refers to remote print enablement over the internet via the cloud.
Cloud print management refers to the tracking, monitoring, and administration of print environments in the cloud, instead of using on-premise infrastructure i.e. a print server.
Public cloud vs private cloud
Another case of compounded cloud print meaning here. When referring to “cloud” there are actually different types of cloud models.
Public cloud often refers to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions accessed over the internet.
Private cloud means your business owns a server and you are accessing your private server over the internet.
Are you looking for print enablement, management, or both?
If you’re looking for a solution to just print remotely via the cloud, there are multiple software options for you.
If you’re looking for print management in the cloud, there are also various options. But here it matters what your business needs in terms of a cloud print management solution.
There are three ways to manage print in the public cloud. That is, cloud print management software will either run on your printer, on a computer, or on a dedicated device.
When it comes to fully-hosted public cloud solutions for print management software, businesses are looking for robust and secure printing without needing print servers on-site
Unfortunately, many public cloud print solutions can be slow, insecure, and tied to specific manufacturers. So if you’re looking for cloud print management software, you want to assess your options carefully.
6 benefits of cloud print solutions
In regards to solutions for cloud print enablement, there are 6 primary benefits businesses are looking for in a cloud print app or software:
- No print server - You don’t need to purchase a print server. Nor do you need to invest in regular maintenance and updating of a print server. That’s all included in the cloud service model.
- BYOD enablement - Enables local and offsite printing for iPads, iPhones, Android, Windows, Chromebook, macOS, and Linux. No matter the device, a strong cloud print solution does away with compatibility concerns or having to install and deploy drivers.
- Cuts costs - No print server or ongoing maintenance reduces IT spend on associated expenses for hardware and software.
- Free IT time - Less infrastructure means you don’t just save money, but you save time for your sysadmins and IT managers. By cutting out print server maintenance, their daily duties get freed up and they can invest their working hours into long-term projects.
- Continuous delivery - The beauty of the cloud is it removes the need for manual software updates and patches. Continuous delivery of fixes and features means your cloud print solution is always running at maximum capacity.
- Ease-of-use - Cloud print makes printing easy no matter what mobile device or platform you’re using. Print from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to any MFD/printer/copier.
How does cloud print work?
Cloud print solutions enable printing remotely and outside your local network by securely and speedily sending print jobs over the internet.
The cloud print software sits locally on your network and publishes printers to your end users’ clients. This takes care of printer discovery and print job delivery. The solution lets your end-users find their printers and send their print jobs from the client to their chosen printer.
A popular cloud print solution for printing over the internet was Google Cloud Print. Sadly, that was deprecated in 2021 and is no longer supported by Google. However, PaperCut Mobility Print is a free Google Cloud Print alternative for BYOD print enablement and cloud printing.
PaperCut Mobility Print
Our free cloud print tool leverages our cloud service to enable printing outside local networks and from untrusted guest networks.
Secure remote printing is possible thanks to Mobility Print’s Cloud Print feature. Jobs and metadata traverse the cloud via an encrypted peer-to-peer connection. This functionality is secure-by-default due to using WebRTC. All print jobs are fully encrypted end-to-end using DLTS protocols. Data is never stored on a public cloud server.
Printing is fast because print jobs stay local when possible to ensure lightning-quick printing speed. Peer-to-peer is more than secure. It also means your print jobs travel the internet via the fastest route available.
Printing stays simple. You select print inside your interface for optimal ease of use. Print simply from any application on any device.
If you’re searching for a Google Cloud Print alternative, PaperCut Mobility Print is recommended by Google themselves. PaperCut is also a premiere Google Cloud Partner and is Google Chrome Enterprise recommended.
PaperCut Hive and PaperCut Pocket
Beyond just print enablement over the internet, cloud print management provides the power of on-premise technology without reliance on internal infrastructure.
Our cloud print management products PaperCut Hive and PaperCut Pocket were built from line one as true cloud-hosted SaaS solutions. The platform’s Edge Mesh architecture leverages your network’s existing infrastructure to form a collective, self-healing device swarm.
Your business’s laptops and desktops are the edge nodes of your print infrastructure. They form a self-healing mesh with no single point of failure. The Edge Mesh replicates the function of a print server to coordinate and manage your print environment.
Manage or enable print in the cloud
What you mean by asking “what is cloud print” depends on what print solution you want from a cloud service provider. Decide on whether you’re looking for print management or print enablement in the cloud, or both, then you can decide what kind of cloud print solution suits your business.
Speak to our team about PaperCut’s cloud print services.
Read more about cloud print:
- Serverless printing: print server vs serverless printing
- How PaperCut’s cloud-native print solutions work…
- Is your business ready for cloud print management?
- When will businesses switch to cloud print management?
- How does cloud print management actually work?
- How PaperCut reimagined the print server
- What to do after Google Cloud Print end of life