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Pre-installation considerations

How will clients connect to the network?

To best plan your Mobility Print setup options, ensure that you capture and understand the needs and complexity of the proposed implementation. Map out all the different scenarios on paper and get confirmation from the networking/server teams that you have identified and addressed all potential end users' requirements.

What is the best printer discovery method?

Before you set up Mobility Print, you should determine the best printer discovery method for your organization, that is, the best way for Mobility Print to publish printers. Here are some guidelines to help you select the printer discovery method that is right for you.

Mobility Print advertises or publishes a list of printers using one of the following options:

  • mDNS
  • DNS

More complex networks might already be using DNS, so the printer discovery method is already decided. In this case you have a choice between two options:

  • Where there is a DNS server but only one printer server, use either the 'printer discovery without DNS' option or the DNS option.
  • Where there is a DNS server and multiple print servers, use the Discovery with DNS option

mDNS Discovery

mDNS is also known as Bonjour, zero-conf, or RFC 6762 to its friends. It’s the same protocol that iTunes uses to find your iPhone or your Apple TV.

Best For
  • Small offices or businesses.
  • Small networks — primarily those with a single subnet.
Pros
  • It’s on by default — it works out of the box.
Cons
  • May not be reliable on networks with high packet loss.
  • Not a good choice for large networks with multiple subnets.

DNS Discovery

DNS Discovery, also known as “hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers and services” to know-it-alls, is an alternative to mDNS. In short, the published printers are encoded in DNS records.

Best For
  • Medium to larger organizations (for example, schools, or corporate offices).
  • Networks with multiple subnets.
  • Networks where reliability is important.
Pros
  • It’s robust and works reliably on networks of all sizes.
Cons
  • More complex to set up.
  • You might need to make friends with your DNS admin!

For more information about DNS and mDNS, check out How it works.

What are the search domains?

A search domain is a domain in which clients exist. For example, a University might have several different search domains: Student.university.edu, Staff.university.edu, and Guest.university.edu.

For each search domain you need to add DNS entries so that PaperCut NG/MF can discover its printers.

Are there multiple subnets?

Often with larger networks, multiple subnets are configured to help with the management and flow of network communication. If you have multiple subnets you can use subnet filtering to limit the printers displayed to users in each subnet. For example, you can publish the printers at a particular location to be available only to the clients at that location (that is, on the same subnet).

It is important to understand which subnets are being used because they are required for the DNS entries that allow you to implement printer subnet filtering.

In environments that contain iOS clients, if you do not know the configured subnets and do not put reverse DNS lookups in all of the required subnets, then the iOS clients might not be able to locate the printers.

What DNS servers do the client devices use?

If you're using DNS-SD, it is important to ensure that the clients are directed to the DNS servers where the Mobility Print DNS entries are located. If they are directed to use a different DNS service (such as Google), then they won't be able to contact the Mobility Print server to find the printers.

Is it a NAT environment?

Mobility Print authentication works just fine in a NAT environment because it conducts user authentication at the time of the print job.

NAT environments can be very complex, as further networking rules may be required in these environments to allow communications.