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Author Topic: alternative bullet-proof ways to print over home (or remote) puters  (Read 967 times)

Steven Avery

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I'm never really happy printing over a home network.  It works for awhile, something changes in configuration or sharing or the printer or the weather, and it does not really work.  Deleting the printer and adding is not always a solution.

I don't mind if it takes a little longer I would like a method that works, all the time.

HP Eprint?
Google Print?
Teamviewer ?

How about something like:
      PriPrinter (or FinePrint, etc) 
.. save the files on the local and then send them over to the other device by Teamviewer. (which pretty much always works)
And then print.

That might be the real answer, since it has less moving parts.

What do you think? What do you do?
Does that make sense as the possible bullet-proof way.  It also has the advantage of condensed pages with the print utility.

Steven

Shades

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What type of printer is it? Professional printers either come with their own network card included or have a space inside their case to add a networking device.
Nothing but rock-solid experiences here.

It is more likely you have a consumer model printer or maybe a pro-sumer model.
Especially when you share those printers over a Workgroup type of (Windows) network, printing is more often than not flaky on any machine, beside the machine that actually connects to the printer.

Even so, there are some things you can do to make it more stable. It sounds a bit counter-productive, but please bear with me.

In my case I have a simple Samsung Laser printer that I have shared on a LAN with 20 machines. The printer is connected to a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine. My machine runs on Windows Server 2012 R2 and my machine has never any problem with printing through the LAN. First thing I do is to creating a credential to a standard non-admin account on that Win 2008 machine, but I do this in the 'Credential Manager', which you can find in Control Panel. If you are on Windows 7, I believe it is called Credential Vault or something like that.

First I create an entry in there with the IP number of the Win 2008 machine (+ login name/password), then another entry but now with the name of the Win2008 machine. Then I make sure that the printer isn't configured on the Win2012 machine. I also make sure that the Win2012 machine didn't connect for a long time to the Win2008 machine or a full reboot to make sure no existing connection between these two machines exist. Note: you need to repeat this for any user account separately.

Now I open Windows Explorer on the Win2012 machine and access the Win2008 machine using its IP like so:   \\(IP number)   
In Windows Explorer I see next to folder shares also the printer icon. After I right-click on that icon, I get a menu where either the option 'Connect' or 'Connect to this printer' appears. I left-click on that option and a screen opens that tells me it installs the printer drivers and after a few seconds the printer is ready for use.

Writing the above took longer than the actual actions you need to take. People always use the 'Add printer' in the 'Devices and Printers' panel and always keep coming to me asking if I can print something, because it isn't working (anymore) on their system...again! You shouldn't. I stopped caring about this a long time ago, if they don't want to learn, you earned all the printing misery you get.

Any computer on your network has to resolve the other machine names in your LAN network. However, if you have a DHCP server configured in such a way that any machine gets the same IP address no matter where it is located, it is faster and less error prone to skip the name resolving and directly go to the IP address of the machine that shares the printer. Guess what...printing becomes a much more solid experience.

If you can't be arsed to look up the IP number, you can still fall back to using the machine name (and let Windows resolve things) in Windows Explorer and connect to the printer that way. Now printing becomes a solid experience.

Long story short:
Don't fill in the required credentials when Windows Explorer, but instead use the Credential Manager from Windows to configure connections (printing or other wise) to any machine in your LAN. And don't use the 'Add printer' option, but connect to the printer just like you do with any network share.

Of course, there is also software like this...

Stoic Joker

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HP Eprint? Google Print?

What are you printing from; tablet, cell phone? and are you needing to (reliably...) print from outside the network?

Print servers are fine if you need them due to a high number of users, or a need for usage auditing. Because the Point-and-Print install method outlined above makes it easy for the non-technical to get going quickly. But outside of that - in small fixed (Home/SOHO) networks - they're unnecessary complexity. For those it's best to statically address the printer, and avoid using the now default (broadcast based) WSD ports that are so (not ready for prime time) spastically error prone. I've actually seen print jobs take upwards of a half an hour to make it to a printer inside a perfectly functioning LAN...because of the "normal" (mis)behavior of a WSD port.

Steven Avery

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I am printing from either a second computer in the house, and an iPad capability would be good.
 
These are generally going to consumer grade printer, like an HP Officejet 4500 Wireless.

The Network share idea is interestion, using  'Credential Manager' or Vault. I will look at it.  WSD stuff does look flaky.

===========

Although I might try a "print to Evernote" idea like with Foxit, since my Evernote synch works ok.  The problem is that the free one allows only two devices at a time, which I normally keep for one active PC and an iPad.  I would have to jump to a paid program for ease-of-use.
https://discussion.e...evernote-on-windows/

===========

I'm gonna do some checking with Priprinter, Fineprint or, more simply, PDF. I like the Priprinter idea because of the ultra-flexibility in choosing pages and jobs to actually print. I might even buy and register if it becomes a go-to way.  The good printer programs don't do much with Bits Du Jour.  Let's see if they have a forum or discussion.  Maybe spring for their server edition rather than shunting files by Teamviewer, although that might not help due to requiring Windows network connectivity.

Forum
http://forum.priprinter.com/

Teamviewer is another possibility
https://www.teamview...with-teamviewer-work
http://www.intowindo...ng-using-teamviewer/

Steven
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 12:26 PM by Steven Avery »

wraith808

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My officejet 4500 prints very reliably using HP eprint; the only thing I've ever had problems with is scanning.  FinePrint is a fine piece of software, and could be made to do what you want (I think), but is primarily a desktop program, i.e. it needs to be installed on each machine that's printing.

40hz

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If you want both home and remote with bulletproof reliability, you might want to look into doing your own personal cloud server. They're considerably easier to set up than they used to be. And as long as your ISP isn't blocking dynamic DNS services, you can access its resources from anywhere. There are several FOSS cloud servers that you can get and use free for the download and the bandwidth.

For just within your own LAN, any printer with a built-in or add-on network print capability (wired - or ideally wireless) will work just fine. These have an internal print server that supports all the main protocols so Windows, Linux, and Apple's OSes can all print to it fairly easily.

4wd

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... more simply, PDF.

FWIW, my suggestion for a vaguely similar question, (squint hard :) )

It could all be done in Powershell these days, eg. File Notification,
Printing PDF
Code: PowerShell [Select]
  1. Start-Process –FilePath “C:\Path\to\PDF.pdf” –Verb Print -PassThru | %{sleep 10;$_} | kill

So, in theory, just an accessible shared folder on the computer with the printer attached.