Remote Desktop and VDI Printing – Product Comparison

From this post I’m trying to compare few products in the market for remote desktop printing. It is not deep technical comparison, only the overview comparison of products and its usefulness in remote desktop services.

Why the need of a Printing solution for Remote desktop services.

Remote desktop and VDI solutions are becoming popular because the ability to centrally manage an end user and it’s cheaper than managing an individual PC. These are session based solutions, which is a central server environment provide sessions or an OS Image presented to the client through the network. Because the sessions are in a remote location, accessing local resources such as printers, scanners and audio devices are challenging.

As I discussed in Remote desktop printer redirection article Microsoft Remote Desktop Terminal services use Printer redirection to run print jobs from the terminal sessions. But to get a real time accurate print jobs, you have to install the local printer driver to the session host or VDI host server. This will work on small organizations having only one or two printers. But with the companies that having many different printers, it’s a really difficult. Also as I explained in my previous blog post of Remote desktop printer spooler crash article, printer spoolers tend to crash with some printer drivers.

So if you are having these problems and need to find a permanent solution for printing, you have to go with a printing solution.

What options need to consider when selecting a Remote Printing Product

There are many products in the market to support remote printing. But not all are good for the job. I have organized few things that you may have to consider when selecting a product.

  1. Product should address the requirement
    First you have to identify why you need to use the Printing product. As an example If it’s only for remote desktop printing, selecting a product that have more features like mobile device printing, IOS printing are not relevant. Because these will cost you more. You only need to find product which can do remote printing on timely and accurately
  2. Ease of installation
    How easy to install, if the product have many roles and need planning, it will take long time not so easy.
  3. Ease of management
    Product should be easy to manage, if the product is having many roles that need to manage it will be another administrative task.
  4. Licensing Cost
    Cost is really important when selecting the product. In the market there are products that is having so many features. some are important but most of these features are nice to have or irrelevant. So paying big money for them will get no use. So select the worthy product that matches you requirement.
  5. Any additional hardware or software requirement.
    If the product need additional servers such as print servers it will cost you more, and you will have a complex environment.
  6. Availability of full feature trial
    Most of the time you will be using this kind of a product first time, so it’s nice if you can try it before purchasing.  Then you can get the idea of the product very well. Test the following features.
    Ease of installation
    Trying different types of print jobs
    How quick you get the printer output
    System resources utilization.

Feature comparison with Popular Remote Printing products.

This comparison is based on how the products support in remote desktop and VDI printing. Support of mobile devices and other solutions were not considered. Following table compare popular printing tools (TSPrint vs ThinPrint Vs Unirpint Vs ScrewDrivers) and all information for this comparison based on product articles found in product websites and this product features may be changed or updated over the time.

TSPrint vs ThinPrint Vs Unirpint Vs ScrewDrivers

Drawing1

Conclusion

I haven’t had chance to test all the products. But I have installed TSPrint from terminal works and see how it works. It was easy to download and no need to register myself. Also it is a straight forward installation. Only two clients, server client need to install in the Remote desktop session host, workstation client to install in each RDS client. And that’s it, no more configurations. I have tested with different print jobs from RDP Client, all are accurate and output was in real time.

Other products should also work fine but cannot give a comment without checking them first. So if you are going for a product just download the trial version and install to test it. Consider the product options that I have stated when selecting a remote print product.

References

Please note: I have used product web sites and Youtube videos which is free available in the internet to get information for this post. Some information such as pricing and features of the products may be updated or changed with the time.

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