Network Printer Protocols: TCP/IP Printing

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 the most visible way to judge 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.

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

You only need a power outlet and a network port with today's network printers. Then, add a network printer and cables, and you have a remote printer. Well, almost.

  • Network printing requires little additional protocol overhead in TCP/IP environments.
  • Non-Microsoft clients like Unix workstations can print to queues defined on the Windows server in an app like ours..
  • The printer location is independent of workstations and servers.

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

  • Share printers with more than one application
  • Assign TCP/IP addresses to printers
  • Printers do not rely on PCs and are therefore more likely to be online

TCP/IP Printing Protocols


RPM remote print manager software solution example
RPM Remote Print Manager® Software

LPR/LPD Protocol is the printing method 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 operating systems now support both mainframe and TCP/IP and LPD. Thus, it is a computer-to-computer printing method rather than PC-to-PC.

The LPR/LPD protocol consisted of two parts, LPR and LPD. 

Line Printer Request (LPR)

INTELLIscribe lpr client ip printing software example
Broadcast Printing & Fail-over Printing

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. People are sometimes confused when referring to a mainframe as the "client" platform. Any system submitting print requests via an "LPR client" program 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. Our RPM software is a print server.

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 transferring data safely between TCP ports used for printing purposes. This approach is sometimes called raw TCP/IP, Stream, or direct sockets printing.


IPDS print server solution example
IPDS Print Server for Windows

IPDS stands for "Intelligent Print Data Stream". This protocol or methodology was developed by IBM to provide high-end printing on intelligent printers.

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 server ip

A 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 you to set up many network printers not dependent upon any PC's resources. Print servers essentially give the printer a visible IP address.

Print Client

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