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FAQ: Tell me about PaperCut’s clever Google Cloud Print alternative...


Note: Google announced that Google Cloud Print, their cloud-based printing solution that has been in beta since 2010, will no longer be supported as of December 31, 2020. We recommend you use PaperCut Mobility Print instead. If you’re currently using GCP, there is also a useful article on How to migrate from GCP to Mobility Print.

What’s PaperCut’s alternative to Google Cloud Print?

Mobility Print! It’s a solution that supports printing over the cloud or private network! It works great with either managed or BYOD Chromebooks and also supports other operating systems.

Does it require PaperCut NG or MF? Does it cost anything?

Mobility Print is a free and simple BYOD-printing solution that gets ink (or toner) on paper! Short and sweet guest printing.

If you require something more advanced and need to track print jobs to specific users, connect Mobility Print to PaperCut NG for printing quotas, reporting, and many other features. Or roll it out with PaperCut MF for even more advanced copier functionality like secure print release and integrated scanning.

What do I need to make it work?

Mobility Print is an application that is installed on a “print server” to share print queues with BYO devices on the network. Don’t let that scare you though, for smaller environments a “print server” can be any computer that’s always on, and that’s able to send a print job to the printers that you are wanting to share with end-users.

What should I know about the Cloud Print aspect of Mobility Print?

Cloud Printing is supported for Windows, Chrome, and soon will work with Mac. IOS and Android are not currently supported for cloud printing, but they can still print when they are joined to the same network as the server (or computer) running Mobility Print.

For most customers, Mobility Print will work right out of the box, but if you are a system administrator that loves configuring firewalls and setting up servers, have a look at our Mobility System Requirements for more advanced information.

I have a Google-ready printer, which means I didn’t need a server or computer to make it work. Is that compatible with Mobility Print?

With Mobility Print we do things a little differently and you will still need something like a computer, VM, or server that can reach your printers. Once this basic requirement is met, the rest is a breeze. In the future we may have a clever way to get around this requirement; for now we are finding many customers are happy to make an exception to make printing easy and reliable for end users.

…Oh, and just like Google Cloud Print, Mobility print is 100% free!

Does Mobility Print have the ability to share printers based on a user’s G Suite Group or Organizational Unit (OU)?

Yes and No. On its own, Mobility Print can separate which printers are visible based on the part of the network a user is on (the techy version would be by subnet, VLAN, etc.) Thankfully we have a feature called Print Deploy in PaperCut NG/MF that, when combined with Mobility Print, enables group-based sharing. This option requires an Add-on to the standard PaperCut NG/MF license called the Advanced Enablement Pack. This might be one to discuss with our awesome Customer Care team or with your PaperCut Reseller so we can help sort out what you need.

More information on either of these solutions (plus a few more) can be found in our article Deploy Mobility Print queues to Groups.

OK, so with Mobility Print do all the jobs go through the cloud?

Nope! With the default options for setting up Mobility Print all the jobs stay local to your network. If off-network (cloud) printing is a requirement then…

We use some cool technology called “WebRTC” to enable the BYOD device to print directly to the computer or server running Mobility Print. The cloud helps the server and BYOD device make contact, and afterward the communication is direct and encrypted end-to-end. In some cases there are security measures that prevent this direct communication, but don’t worry we have a plan-B!

I’ve heard about Pocket and Hive – they sound cool! Are those other options I should look at?

They are super cool, however if all you need is a Google Cloud Print alternative, you are best set with Mobility Print for the time being.

That being said, if you’re still curious, we’re always happy to have a conversation so we can learn more about your needs. Feel free to reach out anytime!

How do I get started with Mobility Print?

If based on the above questions you have determined basic printing is all you need, then head here to get our free, Standalone version.

Alternatively, if you feel you need more capabilities, then PaperCut NG is a great place to start. You can get a 40 day free trial here.

If you don’t know what path to choose, our team can help you decide! Don’t be shy…

Categories: FAQ, [LEGACY] Google Cloud Print

Keywords: Google Cloud Print , Mobility Print , Print Deploy , Cloud Print


Last updated February 15, 2024