Tech Works Corner

Tech Works Corner

Chrome Printing Solutions

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For the office, printing from a Chrome device remains a problem not adequately solved (in my opinion) because Google's answer is their "cloud printing" solution, which requires your print job to be queued on Google's servers. This not only requires your printing to be temporarily hosted on Google's servers, but also requires your internet connection to be working (not to mention your print job passing through it twice).

But if you can live with these limitations, here are 3 ways to "connect" a printer to your Chrome device:

  1. Use a Google Cloud Print network printer
  2. Use a PC-hosted printer
  3. Use a Cloud Print server and a USB printer

Solution 1 requires that you have (or buy) one of the new net-work-connected printers which have drivers installed for Google Cloud Printing. Many of the major printer manufacturers (HP, Epson, Canon, ...) have models available already. Google has a list of these printers.

Solution 2 allows you to use an existing ("classic" in Google's terminology) printer with a network-connected PC acting as the cloud print host. The host must run the chrome browser and be set up using this procedure: . Multiple printers may be hosted by a single PC.

Lantronix Cloud Print Server
Lantronix Cloud Print Server
If you have a "classic" printer which has a USB connector but you don't want to tie up a PC, solution 3 is the one to choose. As of this writing (February, 2014), these are just starting to come out. The Lantronix Cloud Print server is looking best to me. Although I have not used one myself, the related Lantronix print server for Apple devices has a good reputation, and the promise of a low-power, maintenance-free black box product looks attractive. With the addition of a USB hub, the manufacturer claims to support up to 8 USB printers with a single server.