FirewallWithin the last few years an increasing number of copiers and printers are being designed and manufactured to include cloud printing capabilities.

Google Cloud

Google has recently poured an enormous amount of their resources into their own Cloud based resources.  Their partnership with several main stream printer companies has even produced a group of Google Cloud ready printing devices.

With this type of partnership sometimes comes the tendency for consumers to believe that any printing devices, other than the ones listed, are difficult to integrate with Google Cloud.  This is most definitely not the case.

The Google Cloud enabled printers listed here: http://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/printers.html are a great option for small home type applications.  At the same time, larger companies can gain the benefit of lower operating costs, and higher end copiers and printers, by simply loading Google Chrome onto a print server or local computers.  this allows all printers on a given network to utilize Google Cloud printing.

And for those devices not on a network and/or older models without cloud enablement, simply download one of the many free applications listed here: http://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/apps.html and begin utilizing cloud printing capabilities with all computer applications, not just the web browser.

A Cloud for Everyone

Every printer company has their own form of cloud printing.  For example, numerous Xerox devices come with “ConnectKey” which is their version of the Google Cloud enablement.  So don’t buy into the hype that any one company has exclusive rights or access to cloud printing for their devices.  In nearly every case, drivers or applications have been created to integrate with each other so they are all able to work together within one network or between any mixture of computer and printer manufacturers.

Of course, one note of common sense is that printers needing to be utilized via the cloud must have access to the internet.  Wireless printers work great and printers connected to a wireless router or network also work great. Printers can also be connected to a computer with an internet connection and as long as the computer stays turned on, the connected printer can be utilized remotely.

Also check out PrintBack by Xerox for another great free cloud printing solution: http://download.support.xerox.com/pub/docs/PRINTBACK/userdocs/any-os/en_GB/XeroxPrintBackAppUserGuide_Android.pdf