Printing With The Cloud: Genuinely Useful Or Just A Load Of Hype?

Cloud computing is the latest development in internet technology. Contained inside the ‘cloud’ are all the required hardware, storage, networks and services which together provide different types of computing as an online service. For example, storing of documents or delivery of software.


Cloud document printing is a form of technology that enables you to printover the internet from virtually anywhere, including your phone, to any printer via cloud computing. This eliminates the need to configure your network to the printer and so could save you a lot of time and effort.

Is it actually useful?

Consumer-orientated cloud printing provides a connection between any application and a home printer. The printer simply has to be cloud enabled first. Professional cloud printing, on the other hand, enables companies and individuals to translate their digital ideas into printed documents quickly and efficiently to any device.

A key benefit of this new technology is that remote printing is much easier in a practical sense than the traditional method of having your PC wired up to a printer. Home printers have been known to be problematic for ordinary consumers, whereas cloud printing removes this hassle, is much easier to set up and only takes a few minutes to connect.

The merging of the cloud and printing also enables professionals and companies to avoid the cost of purchasing the required printing hardware, software and processes required for professional printing. From a business perspective, it also saves time as you can send documents to different printers rather than relying on one printer which may already have a queue.

Many consumers now own smartphones and tablets, and the main issue with these gadgets is that they do not usually have their own good-standard printing system.  The technology is already there to effectively enable people to print as long as the printer used is accessible to the mobile device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Cloud printing therefore provides a valuable link and enables smartphone users to get much more use out of their devices.

As printing is a new area of cloud computing, there aren’t currently that many providers to choose from so competition is limited. Some examples for businesses include Peecho, HubCast, and ezeep while Google Cloud Print and HewlettPackard’s ePrint currently lead the way in the domestic setting.

A potential issue with cloud printing generally is thatease of set up can vary depending on the type of printer you have. It can work ou
t better to invest in an internet-enabled printer for a simpler and more speedy set up. Whilst you can use a standard printer without internet, it will always have to be connected to an active, internet-connected computer in order to work.

Web-enabled printers provide access to a variety of things that traditional ones do not, such as accessing online maps and games, viewing Facebook or Twitter, or adding new functions like printing via e-mail. It is important to decide whether you need all this from your printer though, and if the main aim in investing in one would be to use Cloud printing then you may wish to first try it with your standard printer.

Cloud Printing: Believe the Hype

Whilst we may increasingly rely on digital methods, people still need printouts on a daily basis for things like signing documents, showing discount coupons, or simply to make a document easier to read in a paper format.

Cloud printing provides greater choice and flexibility relating to when and where you can print your documents. It can save space, time and cost for both professionals and consumers, and may even be considered a bit more environmentally sound as printing is done more on demand and so less paper is used.

About the Author: Rebecca is a dynamic writer and professional. She requires easy access to technology and printing whilst on the go in order to fit in with her busy lifestyle. She recommends Printer Basics
License: Creative Commons image source

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