How to print anything from anywhere: Your ultimate guide to mobile printing

Here's what you need for printing on the go from your smartphone, tablet, or PC.

By Melissa Riofrio, PC World |  Mobile & Wireless, printertips

2. Print prudently: Security is a big issue with mobile printing. You want to protect remotely printed jobs from being seen by prying eyes, and also protect your Web-connected printer from being accessed by unauthorized users--or even hackers. Simple wireless printing usually prints the job immediately, so you'll need to be nearby to pick it up. If you're sending to a printer that's not immediately accessible, look for a solution that gives you a passcode and holds your job until you get to the printer and enter the code. If you're part of a big company, your IT department may require you to stick with implementations that lie within protected networks.

3. Accept limitations: A major challenge with mobile printing is the lack of a reliable connection and an installed driver. Printer vendors have had about three years to work out the biggest transmission kinks, but it's still possible that your print job will go astray, and you'll have to resend it. More commonly, you'll miss that driver when your print job comes out looking funny. While most mobile solutions will let you print Microsoft Office files, photos, and PDF files with decent results, formatting hiccups could include extra pages, cut-off pages, font substitutions, and odd scaling.

Mobilize your own printer

The easiest kind of mobile printing targets the printer you know: the one that's sitting in your home or office. If it's on a wireless network, you can print to it directly from nearby. Conversely, if it's connected to the Internet, you can use an e-mail-based sending app to print to it remotely. An office you're visiting may even have a printer that you can connect to in one of these ways.

If you use an iOS device, you're in luck: Major printer vendors--such as Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, and Lexmark--cover iOS devices through either their own app or compatibility with Apple AirPrint. AirPrint lets you print from an iOS device to any AirPrint-compatible printer that shares the same wireless network. Your iOS device will detect the printer and print to it. (If your printer doesn't support iPrint, the third-party FingerPrint app may help.) As with many direct-connect printing apps, you'll have little to no control over the details of your print job, but you'll usually get a decent, if not perfect, print.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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