Review: 6 AirPrint solutions for iPhones and iPads

The best mobile printing options for large networks, small offices, and personal use

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Making the right mobile printing choice

The decision as to what AirPrint option is best for your organization depends largely on the scale of your printing needs. EFI's PrintMe Mobile server software will typically be installed on a Windows Server, so organizations may need IT or network admin support to use it. It's also the most scalable of the AirPrint options, able to work across multiple network segments with central management. Plus, it's the only option to support Android-based printing, but it's the costliest and most complex mobile printing offering.

The xPrintServer Network Edition appliance is the simplest option for most work environments, as it can simply be plugged into an available network jack. If you need to do basic security and management, its Web-based console does the trick with little fuss -- though this management does not scale well across multiple network segments or allow central management of multiple xPrintServers. The Home Edition is a sensible option in a small-office or home setting where you have just a few printers, especially if USB models mainly comprise the mix.

The three software-based AirPrint options are the least desirable because they require leaving your computer on for iOS devices to be able to print through it. Of the three, I prefer Collobos's FingerPrint due to its OS X and Windows support. But I like Netgear's Genie application for environments that don't need configuration or print-to-file capabilities, as it's the least expensive option if you're also in the market for a high-speed wireless router or repeater.

This article, "Review: 6 AirPrint solutions for iPhones and iPads," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile computing, read Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog at InfoWorld.com, follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter, and follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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