PRINTING | 2.5 MIN READ
Just ten years after its inception, Google Cloud Print will be discontinuing its services starting December 31, 2020. If you wish to continue using a service similar to Google Print, you need to know how to migrate to an alternative solution. Keep reading to learn more about Google Print and how you can migrate your printing needs.
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How Does Google Cloud Print Work?
First introduced in 2010, Google Cloud Print is a service that connects your home and work printers to the web.
Since your printer is connected to the web, you can print to it from anywhere, using any Internet-connected device, including PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, phones, and tablets.
Once you connect a printer to your Google Account, you can begin printing from any web-connected device, as long as you have a Google account to print from.
You can even manage printers and print jobs from your Google account as well!
Is Google Cloud Print Going Away?
Come January 1, 2021, Google Print won't be supported, which means that devices across all operating systems will lose functionality on their platform.
Before the end of this year, we recommend that you find an alternative print solution. Keep in mind that of course your printers won't be rendered useless and will still work come 2021, but if you still want remote printing capabilities, you'll need to explore other options.
Google Cloud Print Alternatives
Google recommends the following alternative cloud print services:
- PaperCut (our recommendation!)
For Chrome devices, you can use your Admin console to set up CUPS for printing to local and network printers.
However, there are other alternatives as well.
If you completely outsource your printing to a professional printer or even a big box retailer, you still have the added benefit of not having to physically print documents yourself.
Some print shops will even mail documents to your house, which means that you never have to lift a finger!
You can also try adding a printer from Chromebook or in the G Suite Admin console and print directly through there.
Canon PRINT Business App
If you're a business, many of you may already have a Canon printer or copier because of its great features. Thankfully, new and existing Canon customers can remotely manage their printing needs from the Canon PRINT Business app.
This app lets you print photographs and documents, read scanned data, upload to cloud storage services, etc. on a Canon laser multi-function device or laser printer from an Android terminal.
Some of the main features of this app include:
- Print scanned data, images, documents, and web pages.
- Read scanned data from a multi-function device.
- Work with files in local or cloud storage.
- Automatically detect multi-function devices and/or printers on a network, or manually search for them by specifying an IP address or DNS.
- Search multi-function devices and/or printers and start direct connection with Bluetooth.
- Register multi-function devices and/or printers with a QR code.
- Check the print settings, and print data held in a multi-function device or printer.
- Check the condition of a multi-function device or printer in detail, such as device status etc., via its Remote UI.
- Use the Remote Operation function to display the control panel of the multi-function device and/or printer on a mobile terminal.
This app works with Canon's multi-function and laser printers, which means that the following devices are supported:
- imageRUNNER ADVANCE series
- Color imageRUNNER series
- imageRUNNER series
- Color imageCLASS series
- imageCLASS series
- i-SENSYS series
- imagePRESS series
- LBP series
- Satera series
- Laser Shot series
- Business Inkjet series
Printer Security Tips
"Print from anywhere" features on a printer, which are similar to Google Print, give individuals a sense of convenience but in reality they aren't that secure.
These features have little security because they have to create a hole in your firewall to allow you to communicate with the printer from anywhere in the world.
This hole in your firewall can potentially let a hacker access the printer, anything scanned on it, documents and files on the computer connected to the printer, and potentially even your entire network.
Before turning on "print from anywhere" features on your machines, do some extra research to see what security measures are in place with them.
Default Scan Settings
Another security gap on personal machines that you might not consider is a default setting that, when you're scanning to the hard drive on a copier, allows you to open the folder from computers on the network to retrieve your files.
This setting allows for information to be written to and removed from that device from anywhere on your company's network and is generally done with minimal or no security. If your personal copiers and printers have this default setting, turn it off.
Enable Data Encryption Kits
Some newer models created within the last 5-6 years have data security kits that you can enable. These kits can have data encryption functions, which scramble the data stored on your copiers and printers, rendering the information useless to a hacker.
Additionally, on some newer models of brands like Canon and Sharp, there are data security kits with features that erase scanned, copied, and printed documents from the printer hard drive sometimes as many as 28 times. This prevents a hacker from accessing sensitive data.
How to Cut Printing Costs
If you're a business who has used Google Cloud Print in the past, then optimization and streamlined processes are most likely of importance to you. One way to streamline your printing needs and cut costs is with managed print services.
Managed print services are the third-party full-service support of your printer fleet. These services, when done correctly, reduce overhead and cut costs on toner, machine parts, and labor.
Listed below are a few benefits to managed print services.
The most obvious benefit to managed print services is the cost reduction it offers to your business.
By providing you lower prices for ink and toner, enabling certain features on your machines, educating employees on printing best practices, and using machine data to make technological recommendations, your managed print services provider can streamline printing processes and reduce costs for supplies and printer maintenance.
When machines don't print efficiently, for instance if you unknowingly keep around old dysfunctional machines, workplace downtime increases.
A managed print services provider can identify inefficient machines in need of replacement and set notifications for low toner for those you wish to keep around, which all keep your machines working and minimizes the hindrance employees experience having to work around broken printers.
When a managed print services provider keeps machines running smoothly and minimizes paper waste within your office, Mother Nature is happy as well.
A non-monetary benefit to managed print services is the reduced environmental strain. Employee printing policies are the biggest factor in fostering an environmentally friendly workplace attitude in your office, so be sure to craft a descriptive printing policy if this is a benefit you really wish to dive into.
Google Print may be becoming discontinued, but that doesn't mean that you're without printing options. We hope that this article answered your questions and provided you with some viable alternatives.
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Posted by Erica Kastner
Erica Kastner is a lead Content Specialist at Standard Office Systems as well as a University of Georgia graduate. She aims to use her passion for problem-solving to help businesses understand how to better leverage their network infrastructure.