HP ePrint: Easy & secure remote printing
ePrint was one of the first technologies designed to enable remote printing. In fact, it’s a group of related technologies, which facilitate mobile printing remotely and locally. In its original form, it was launched as a technique for emailing data to a printer via the Internet. ePrint-enabled printers have email addresses of their own, so can be sent emails to print, with or without attachments.
A consumer setting up an ePrint printer would contact HP’s ePrint Center, register the printer and be allocated a secure email address. This is initially HP-generated, but can be changed if needed. Client email addresses can then be added to a ‘white list’ and only the people on the list can send emails to the printer, from anywhere they have access to the Internet. Spam emails are prevented by the twin hurdles of having the printer’s email address and being included on the white list.
The corporate version of this system, ePrint Enterprise, effectively moves the ePrint Center onto the company’s servers. The ability to print wirelessly is still as simple as sending an email or selecting print – depending on the mobile platform and the application that’s being used to print.
With ePrint Enterprise, once the appropriate printing app has been installed on the Windows, Apple, Android or Blackberry device, the employee selects the document to be printed, picks a printer from a list of those detected by the app, initiates the print job, waits for a confirmation of the job’s completion and goes to pick up the completed prints.
IT Management retains control of who can ePrint and to which printers. Print permissions can be defined down through departments and workgroups to individual employees and individual printers can be added or removed from available lists, as needed.
It’s important to recognise that ePrint Enterprise works with any networked printer, it doesn’t have to be an HP device. Printer drivers for different printers don’t have to be installed on the mobile device, either, as the conversion of the emails for printing is done at the server level and passed to the printer as any other print file, arriving over the network.
Network security is maintained by encryption of the file in transit and decryption for printing only once it reaches the ePrint server, within the enterprise’s cloud. It can also be configured for ‘pull’ printing, so it doesn’t appear on the printer’s output tray until a PIN is entered at the printer’s control panel. In the case of a remote print, the PIN could be entered by a trusted third-party.
The key productivity advantage of ePrint Enterprise is easy but secure print access, not just for regular employees, but for those who visit several sites in the course of their work. These people, and non-employees visiting a site, often need to be able to print, but without all the hassle and security implications of having to be logged into the company network, just to gain access to a printer.
ePrint Enterprise integrates with whatever security and authentication protocols are in place on a network, to provide easy access to print facilities from mobile devices on a wide range of platforms.
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