Setting up a printer for remote desktop

With remote work expanding exponentially over the past few years, businesses need their technology to keep up. As workplace models have changed, so have the needs of employees and companies. As employees no longer sit in the office, convenient and efficient solutions are needed to access technology and resources.

One of the most important technologies is printing from a remote desktop. This capability allows employees to print documents from various mobile devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones.

This flexibility and convenience come with several benefits, which we’ll cover in this article. From lower costs to improved teamwork and increased productivity, mobile printing adds value to your organization.

Understanding Remote Desktop Printing

Remote printing technology  connects a printer to a remote desktop, regardless of the printer or user’s location.

With remote printing, users can send documents to be printed from a session on a remote computer (for example, working at home or in another department) to a printer in the office (or another room in the office).

How remote printing works

A remote desktop printer can be  set up over a wireless connection. When users want to print files from their device, they send them to the printer, which automatically prints them. File transfer can be done using various means, from local Wi-Fi to email attachments.

Only sometimes is specialized software necessary for sending files to the remote device. However, there are many different options available for remote printing.

Printer setup options for remote desktops

Printer settings for remote desktop access may vary depending on the software. Here are some popular printer configurations for remote desktop and their options:

  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). With this protocol, users can specify the printers they want to use in their remote sessions, and documents for printing will be redirected to the selected printers.
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Administrators can specify rules and printer settings in a Citrix environment to ensure seamless printing from remote desktops.
  • Virtual Network Computing (VNC). In VNC environments, users can select the printers they want to use, and print jobs will be redirected to the selected printers.

Local printing provides simplicity and direct control over the printing process, while remote printing provides flexibility and accessibility for users who need to print from remote locations. Remote printing allows users to access printers in different physical locations, such as branch offices, home offices, or on the road, without having to connect to the printer.

Benefits of Remote Printing

Setting up a printer on a remote desktop will undoubtedly benefit the company. However, it is essential to understand how this opportunity adds value to your organization.

Here are some of the many positive aspects of remote printing.

  • Increased productivity and flexibility. 

Because team members can control when and where collaborative documents are printed, there are no longer barriers to their preparation. The convenience of remote printing allows employees to maintain their printing needs, no matter where they physically work.

  • Reduced printing costs. 

Users choose what they want to print and can decide not to print what they don’t need. From a cost-saving perspective, more control over your printing means less wasted paper and better management of your printer’s toner or ink cartridges. It’s good for the environment and your bottom line.

  • Enhanced collaboration and document management. 

Collaboration with colleagues is critical for some projects. Convenient remote printing allows you to send and share documents with project participants. This way, contracts, and other documents can be signed, transferred to the relevant parties, and exchanged quickly and efficiently. This will benefit you even if you need larger printers.

  • Access to the latest printing technologies. 

Installing a printer on a remote desktop eliminates the need for separate device drivers for external printers, so it is easy to do whenever employees need to use a nearby device.

  • Reduced environmental impact

Using one remote printer per office or department minimizes the amount of equipment, paper, electricity, etc. When employees can choose when and where to print documents, it ensures that only what they need is printed.

Overview of problems when setting up a printer for remote desktop

While remote printing has many benefits, setting up your printer for remote desktop access can cause several problems. For example:

  • a remote desktop printer can not work due to compatibility issues with various models and configurations.
  • The network connection between the remote computer and the printer must be stable. Network latency, bandwidth limitations, and firewall restrictions can affect the performance and reliability of remote printing.
  • Security concerns as information may pass through an unsecured network or external servers.
  • Setting up printers can be complex, especially when dealing with multiple devices, operating systems, and remote access protocols.

To operate efficiently and safely, it is worth minimizing or eliminating these problems.

Selecting the Right Printer for Remote Desktop

When you choose a printer for remote printing, you need to consider several important factors, for example:

  • printer compatibility with software, protocols, drivers, operating systems, etc.;
  • various connection options – Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Bluetooth to enable printing from multiple devices and locations;
  • Learn print speed, quality, paper handling capabilities, and additional features such as duplex printing or scanning;
  • printer security and tamper protection (encryption, user authentication, and secure print settings);
  • Evaluate the cost and profitability of the device, as well as the purchase, maintenance, and repair costs.

Considering these basic recommendations, you can make informed and sustainable choices. 

The best printers for remote printing

Many popular printer models are well suited for remote printing and have good compatibility, reliability, and security features. For example:

  • HP LaserJet Pro;
  • Brother HL-L3290CDW;
  • Epson EcoTank ET-4760;
  • Canon imageCLASS MF 644 Cdw;
  • Xerox VersaLink C405.

This list is partial, but it showcases popular models. 

The ability to print to a remote printer is in great demand in modern offices. This significantly reduces costs, reduces the amount of equipment that needs to be constantly maintained and is generally convenient for the employees themselves. However, you must be aware of the challenges associated with remote printing, correctly set up the technology, and monitor security. In this way, companies can maximize the benefits of investment in technology and maintain efficient office operations.

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