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Printing solutions for guests and anonymous users

PaperCut tracks print activity against individual users. In most cases, these users belong to your organization, and user information is synchronized against an external user directory source such as Active Directory, Open Directory, eDirectory or LDAPThe Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a directory service protocol that runs on a layer above the TCP/IP stack. It provides a mechanism used to connect to, search, and modify Internet directories. The LDAP directory service is based on a client-server model.. If you are able to synchronize your users against an external directory source - this should be your first choice.

There are a number of scenarios where it is not practical to synchronize all users from an external directory. They typically involve visitors and guest users printing from BYOD mobile devices who might not even have access to the corporate wired or wireless networks.

Guest Printing for Business

  • Requirement: Need a printing solution for visitors and casual guests - often using BYOD devices with no network access.

  • Considerations: Tracking of individual guest users is not important.

  • Recommend: Anonymous guest printing (direct print or managed release)

Guest Printing for K-12 Schools

  • Requirement: Need a printing solution for visitors and casual guests.

  • Considerations: Tracking of individual guest users is not important, but need controls in place to prevent student use.

  • Recommend: Anonymous guest printing with hold/release queue managed by front desk.

Guest Printing for Higher Education / Library Pay-for-Print

To address these varied requirements, PaperCut offers multiple solutions for guest and anonymous printingAnonymous printing provides the ability for guest users to print anonymously using Email to Print. Anonymous email printing can be implemented in three ways: 1. Direct Print—Guests can send their job directly to the anonymous email defined for a physical printer. This is the most convenient way to provide printing access for guests or visitors. 2. Managed Release—Guest users send their job to the printer’s anonymous email address where it is held in a hold/release queue. Jobs are released by the receptionist or a trusted person in the organization. Jobs sent by different guests are identified by the guest’s email address, which is appended to the document name. 3. Guest Self-Release—Guest users send their job to the printer’s anonymous email address where it is held in a hold/release queue. Guests are provided with a common username and password to log in to the MFD and release their job. Jobs are identified by their email address appended to the document name.:

  • Internal users (users managed by PaperCut NG): Internal users are added directly to PaperCut and are not synced with an external user directory. Internal users can be added by a PaperCut administrator or self-registered.

  • Shared or generic users: A shared username and password is provided to guests to allow them to log in and print using company equipment. All guest jobs are logged in against this generic user.

  • Anonymous guest printing: Guests not registered in PaperCut are permitted to send jobs to a special email address for printing. Jobs are logged against a single internal guest user.


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