6 AirPrint solutions for iPhones and iPads

By Doug Dineley and Galen Gruman, InfoWorld |  Consumerization of IT, AirPrint, iPads

You don't get any of the printer configuration capabilities of FingerPrint or Printopia, nor their print-to-file capabilities. AirPrint support in Genie is simply one of several router management capabilities that Netgear offers -- a bonus of a sort. For most home and small-office environments, that's all you need. However, Genie's existence makes me wonder why Apple's own AirPort routers don't automatically AirPrint-enable network printers. Maybe Apple should license the technology from Netgear or Lantronix!

Keep in mind that although Genie comes with Netgear routers, the AirPrint service is not a network service like the Lantronix xPrintServer appliances and EFI's PrintMe Mobile server software [9] -- it is not running on the network but on your computers. At least one computer must be on running the Genie app for iOS devices to see its attached printers.

--Galen Gruman

Making the right mobile printing choice

The decision as to what AirPrint option is best for your organization depends largely on the scale of your printing needs. EFI's PrintMe Mobile server software will typically be installed on a Windows Server, so organizations may need IT or network admin support to use it. It's also the most scalable of the AirPrint options, able to work across multiple network segments with central management. Plus, it's the only option to support Android-based printing, but it's the costliest and most complex mobile printing offering.

The xPrintServer Network Edition appliance is the simplest option for most work environments, as it can simply be plugged into an available network jack. If you need to do basic security and management, its Web-based console does the trick with little fuss -- though this management does not scale well across multiple network segments or allow central management of multiple xPrintServers. The Home Edition is a sensible option in a small-office or home setting where you have just a few printers, especially if USB models mainly comprise the mix.

The three software-based AirPrint options are the least desirable because they require leaving your computer on for iOS devices to be able to print through it. Of the three, I prefer Collobos's FingerPrint due to its OS X and Windows support. But I like Netgear's Genie application for environments that don't need configuration or print-to-file capabilities, as it's the least expensive option if you're also in the market for a high-speed wireless router or repeater.


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