Printing Auditing Software

LateNaite used Ask the Experts™
I was just curious if there is a printing software that can be purchased who is printing to a shared printer.  I am supporting an office, more like a co-working space, and the users have their own networks and internet access and there is no Active Directory or domain service at all so just curious if there is a good printing software that will tell us who is doing all the printings (either by IP, vlan, or even a user if there is login that can be configured to the printer so it gets printed).

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Jeff BrownGlobal Helpdesk Supervisor

There are a lot of software packages out there that do this.  But in order to do this you will need to change how you are setup and put a server in between the people printing and the printers.  This is what will get you the reporting capabilities.   Some printers will already have some of this functionality it just depends upon what printers you are using and how close they are to enterprise level.  Most copiers have some level of this built in but it would be time consuming to do this without the supporting software to track and bill automatically.
Have a look at Papercut. It will do what you desire, and there is a free trial.

However, this will not work if the users can print direct to a networked printer - unless you install it on every PC, and link it to a common server. The best way, as Jeff Brown explained, is to bar direct access to the printer, and force the users to print via a server. If the printer is shared from a PC, that is the server. If there are multiple "servers", again the software needs to be installed on every one of them, and linked to a central unit for collation of the data. The moral of the story? Use a server.

Another way to do it is to use printers that have built-in account management. For example, a lot of Xerox printers support this, and it lets you set printing limits for each user.
LateNaiteCEO and Founder


We evaluated Papercut and it may work but customer is seeing if this is what they want.

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