A regular computer can act as a print server by using the Common UNIX Printing System (CUPS) to accept, process and send print jobs to the appropriate printer on a network. CUPS converts printer data to a readable format for a printer by using a filter system, print spooler and scheduler. A number of manufacturers have free print server software that can support a variety of platforms to be configured for CUPS. Users can get free downloads or pay a nominal fee after a free trial period. The following is an overview of seven printer software available for free downloads.
1. Monochrome Printer Driver [$299.99]
Black Ice developed the Monochrome printer driver for Windows terminal servers. It is a complete solution for developers and businesses that need a TIFF conversion tool that is both reliable and fast. Flexible options for TIFF files include the ability to print, save, convert, email or archive. Documents are easily converted to TIFF formats from any Windows application. Considered the fastest conversion utility on the market, the Monochrome printer driver has a user-friendly interface for completing easy file conversions. The latest version (13.01 at the time of writing) has fixes for bugs, improvements in stability and a multi-port registration. This printer driver works with Windows 2000/2003/2008 operation systems.
2. Bonjour for Windows [Free]
Bonjour for Windows uses industry standard IP protocols for automatic discovery of devices, IP network services and computers without configuring DNS servers or entering IP addresses. The zero-configuring networking of Bonjour comes with a plug-in to easily determine HTTP servers. Windows computers can print to Bonjour networked printers through the printer wizard device, including USB shared printers on Windows 2000-XP/2003.
3. Virtual Printer Server [$20]
Virtual Print Server runs as a network service, allowing computers to send print jobs directly to the printer. The latest version of Virtual Printer operates on Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/NT and can be downloaded for a 10-day free trial.
4. Print Queue Manager [Free]
Local or remote printers are compatible with the Print Queue Manager, allowing users to pause and delete print jobs in the print queue. Print Queue Manager works on any Windows operating system and offers tremendous financial benefits to any business as the cost of paper decreases by stopping unwanted print jobs. Also, privacy of documents is maintained because of the ability to pause a print job until the user is ready to retrieve the document from the printer.
The newer version of Print Queue has added benefits for users including a new interface comes with the ability to print reports and PRO features such as configuration settings and statistics. Windows XP/Vista/7 operating systems are compatible with Print Queue Manager.
5. PrinterShare [Free]
PrinterShare does not require technical skills for use with a computer on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. Documents and photographs can be sent to print on a printer that is not connected to the computer. Users do not have to send email attachments and the software works fast, is secure and easy to install. Version 2.3.4 comes with a user-defined password upon registration.
6. CZ Print Job Report [Free]
Users can generate 64 default and 36 customized reports with the CZ Print Job Report software. This print log and printer reporting tool can export documents into MS Word, MS Excel, rich text and .pdf file formats. The reports are compatible with CZ Print Management software to assist businesses with client billing and print cost analysis. The latest version, CZ Print Job Report 4.0 is free and can operate on Windows 98/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/NT. The English language reports can be translated into different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and French.
7. CZ Print Job Tracker [$99]
CZ Print Job Tracker is a print management and print accounting software program used to manage all printing activity. This includes controlling who can print at certain times, the level of printing, charge-backs and cost accounting related to printing throughout a company. This comprehensive print management system that is used by many network and systems administrators in different industries to cut back on excessive printing. CZ Print Job Tracker works on Windows operating systems 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7.
The importance of technology in business underscores the necessity for a company to have efficient, user-friendly and cost-effective print server software that is compatible with individual business operations. Fortunately, there are a number of printer management systems that can accommodate the various printers on the market.
Today’s guest post is from James Adams, a writer for a top printer supplier in the UK called CartridgeSave.co.uk where he spends his time reviewing Canon supplies. James also enjoys helping out with their blog.