Print Server

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What Does Print Server Mean?

A print server is a computer that can process print-related jobs on a network of computers. Print servers are connected to a computer network in order to serve the need for printing jobs in a network that may contain more than one printer. A print server usually allows users in a computer network to perform a printing job without having to move files to the computer connected directly to the printer.Also known as printer server or network printer, (although the latter is actually one of the properties of the print server).


Techopedia Explains Print Server

A print server may either be a host computer in a computer network with one of more shared printers, or a computer in a computer network that implements printing protocols like Microsoft Network Printing protocol, Internet Printing protocol or Line Printer Daemon protocol. In either case, the printer server accepts printing jobs and sends them to the appropriate printer in the network.

The advantages of using a print server include:
No restrictions regarding the number of client systems in a computer network
It is easy to add new client systems and printers to a network
Promotes efficiency by allowing users to print from their own workstations without having to move the files to a file server
Effectively manages print queuing through print spooling
Allows for job prioritization, unlike a typical shared printer, which does not allow for alteration of the print queue
Some of the disadvantages of using a print server include:

Lack of support for the features of multifunction printers
Printers’ proprietary commands are not usable
Restricts users’ ability to confirm job status with the printers that are designed to return the status of the print job
Port compatibility issues and other port-related limitations


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.