PrinterLogic's Printer Installer Review

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    My Review of PrinterLogic’s Printer Installer… After implementing Printer Installer from PrinterLogic and using it for a few years in a large environment(5,000 PCs), I thought it would be helpful to do a review of the solution.

    What is Printer Installer?

    Printer Installer is a client and server made by a company called PrinterLogic, which allows you to centrally manage local print queues. The idea being that instead of having a central print server which hosts print queues and a single Printer Spooler service, users can install printers locally (without admin permissions).

    What are the benefits of Printer Installer?

    It means that you don’t have a central point of failure in your printing. There’s no print server that can go down (due to a dodgy printer driver or Windows Update) and prevent everyone from printing. It means that you can manage local print queues as though they were central print queues. If the Printer Installer server becomes unavailable, you only lose the ability to install new printers

    Now you have an idea about what Printer Installer is, I’ll get to the review. Positive aspects of Printer Installer are that:

    • It’s cheap
    • It’s simple to use
    • You can manage printers from the GUI in a way that would require scripting on a traditional print server set up
    • You can cut down (remove all of) the GPOs used to allocate printers to users, if that’s how you currently do it
    • It gives users a lot of different ways to install printers, including selecting printers from a floor map or automatically installing them based on IP range or AD group
    • Support is OK, not super fast, but OK

    What are the disadvantages of Printer Installer?

    So far the review has been entirely positive. There’s only 2 things about Printer Installer to watch out for:

    • On a traditional print server, when you change the settings of a logical printer (print queue), you are changing the settings using an interface that has been provided by Microsoft and the printer driver developer. Printer Installer works differently; Printer installer gathers information from the registry where the printer driver settings are held, then applies those registry changes using the Printer Installer client. This works fine, until you encounter a printer driver that uses part of the registry that Printer Installer doesn’t know about. In this scenario, it may not apply the printer setting correctly on the PC and you’ll have to generate a support call to PrinterLogic and wait while they confirm the issue and write an update for that printer. During this time, lock printing (for example) will not work for the users of the printer
    • Some environments may require a print server, say if users connect remotely and printers can’t be set up as local printers on terminal servers (because the driver may crash the terminal server). A central print server may also be required for some legacy applications

    Overall, I like Printer Installer. The main point being that it cuts down on support calls and users love the map feature, especially mobile users.

    I hope this review of Printer Installer, from PrinterLogic helps you or your company in deciding whether or not to implement Printer Installer in your organisation. I welcome feedback and reviews from other users of the forum, so please share your experiences of Printer Installer if you’ve used it.

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