TCP/IP Printing Overview

TCP/IP is the recommended method for network printing if your printer is "TCP/IP Addressable." It is a high-speed method for sending a print job directly to a printer. Printing is typically used as a benchmark for measuring network performance and reliability. It used to be that printers were directly attached to PCs through a serial, parallel, or USB port. Today, connecting the printers directly to the network is the norm.

IPDS Print Server for Windows

Remote Print Management Software

Broadcast Printing & Fail-over Printing

We have been developing affordable TCP/IP network printing solutions since 1995 and have tens of thousands of satisfied users including government agencies, universities, and companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small businesses. We provide printing solutions for more than half of the countries around the world.

Network Printers

With today's network printers, all you need is a power outlet and a network port. Add a network printer and cables, and you have a remote printer. Well, almost.

  • Network printing requires no additional protocol overhead in TCP/IP environments.
  • Non-Microsoft clients, such as Unix workstations, can print to queues defined on the NT server.
  • TCP/IP connected printers are not subject to the routing limitations found using DLC.
  • The printer location is independent of workstations and servers.
  • The output is transmitted directly to the printer without staging or spooling, saving system resources and enhancing print routing performance.

Connecting Printers to the Network

There are several benefits to connecting the printers directly to the network:

  • Printers can be shared by more than one application.
  • Printers can be assigned TCPIP addresses.
  • Printers do not rely on PCs and are therefore more likely to be online

TCP/IP Printing Protocols


LPR/LPD Protocol is the printing method most commonly used in TCP/IP networks. It is in use on university and business campuses where UNIX printing, AS/400 printing, and mainframe printing systems have been in place for a while; the new generation of operating systems, for both mainframe and desktop, now supports TCP/IP and LPD as well. It is a computer-to-computer printing method, rather than PC-to-PC. LPR/LPD protocol is broken into two parts, LPR and LPD. 

Line Printer Request (LPR)

LPR is an acronym for Line Printer Request; this is the part that submits the print request. LPR is the client part of the protocol and is sometimes confused when used on a mainframe. Any system submitting requests via an "LPR client" is a client. 

Line Printer Daemon (LPD)

LPD stands for Line Printer Daemon; this is the piece that receives and processes the request. A "daemon" is a server or agent.

JetDirect Protocol

The HP JetDirect printing® protocol is one of the most widely used for network printers. HP JetDirect supports bidirectional communication as Queue status, Job status, and Page status.

Telnet protocol

Telnet is a straightforward method based on simply transferring data safely between TCP ports used for printing purposes. This approach is sometimes called raw TCP/IP, Stream, or direct sockets printing.

Internet Printing Protocol

Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) is an Internet protocol that allows universal solutions to users trying to print documents from the Internet. The protocol allows the user to:

  • Find out about a printer's capabilities.
  • Submit print jobs to a printer.
  • Find out the status of a printer or a print job.
  • Cancel a previously submitted print job.

Print Server

print serverA print server is a device that is connected to the network and has one or more serial, USB, or parallel ports. Some print servers also have buffer memory, which allows them to queue print data faster than the printer can handle.

Using a print server allows the setup of many network printers that are not dependent upon any PC’s resources. Print servers essentially give the printer an IP address that can be accessed.

Print Client

A print client enables seamlessly sending documents to printers and print servers anywhere in the world using the TCP/IP Internet protocol.