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Driverless printing, wherever you are

There was a time when printing meant being tied to a desk, your PC physically hooked up to a printer or MFP via cumbersome cables.

The advent of wireless printing changed all of that, enabling you to attach printing and imaging devices directly to a network via WiFi, freeing up space in your home and office and letting you manage resources by hot-desking.

But wireless printing still leaves you stuck in the same office as your printer – what if you want to quickly and securely connect to your printer to output hard copies, wherever you are? That’s where Internet Printing Protocol comes in.

IPP is a standard protocol that’s built on top of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – the fundamental basis for data transfer on the world wide web. It enables printers to be connected to the internet directly via an Ethernet port, listening out for print jobs sent securely from anywhere.

IPP doesn’t include encryption directly, but it supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption – the kind of data security used by online banks and shopping sites to safeguard your credit card details – in dedicated software that's designed to let you print remotely over the internet.

So even when you’re out of the office, you can print jobs – or cancel them, if you need to – as well as checking the current status of print jobs on the device. You can also query your printer remotely to discover what kind of output it's capable of.

IPP can even be used to output fax or email messages from smartphones and other mobile devices.

Invest in an IPP-enabled printer, and you can output documents from just about any internet-connected PC anywhere, without the need to have specific printer driver software installed – making it an invaluable tool for remote workers such as mobile sales staff to send in hard copy when they’re out in the field.

This article was brought to you as part of THINQ's Business Printing Hub in association with HP. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.