What is a Print Server? and How it Works?

Today, print server can be physical or cloud-based systems that connect devices to specific network printers. Office staff and authorized remote users can submit print requests to place a bid in a queue. It eventually gets printed as a physical file.

Requirement of Print Server

Modern printers have more capabilities than their old models, printers were not traditionally powerful machines. Because individual printers lack processing power, print servers are a solution to take the workload off printers and manage print queues at a network level.

How Print Server works?

Just like other servers printer servers works on client-server model, receiving and processing user requests. Physical printers sit on the back end of an organization’s network and directly connect to network printers. And also maintaining control over the print queue.

The print server processes request information from a device, including specific file and print specifications. While most printing takes place inside office networks, print servers are accessible — usually via authorized login — for external network clients.

What Can Print Servers Do?

At first glance, print servers might seem like a simple network system — users submit requests, and the server enables the reproduction of the file on a physical printer. More than that, print servers are network-level devices that administrators can configure to set policies for users, devices, printers, and features.

These configurable features include color printing quotas, departmental authentication, watermarking printed documents, blocking access to specific printers, and more.


  • Receives and organizes print requests across a range of client devices and systems.
  • Processes requested data, including file data, print specifications, and printer location.
  • Manages multiple printers for location-based clients and large networks.
  • Improves efficiency by balancing Network workloads for printing and office machines.
  • Fit for enterprises and large organizations with expansive networks and print queues.

Are Print Servers on the Decline? 

Yes and no. Organizations increasingly rely on digital files, so printers aren’t nearly as stressed — or even needed — for some small businesses. But because plenty of businesses require physical documentation, including the legal and healthcare industries, the need for a print server is an organizational decision.

Print servers were an essential part of the network two or three decades ago, but their capabilities are increasingly pre-packaged onto other network appliances. Routers, firewalls, and individual client devices are just a few examples of machines that can play the part. Many servers sold are embedded with functionality for specific printer lines, while other servers can manage any printer with the appropriate connection or USB adaptor.


  • Central control of print operations
  • More equipped for large print volume
  • Enhances security for printer devices
  • Load-balancing is cost-effective


  • Print network vulnerability point
  • Upfront investment for capabilities
  • Requires maintenance
  • Physical print servers on the decline

Printing Protocols

A printing protocol is a communication between clients making requests and printers or print servers processing the request. Further, print protocols allow clients to visualize their query and alter the order or block requests. 

The dedicated protocols are specific to print operations for types of printing protocols, while generic protocols have broader applications and work for print needs. Alongside the rise of handheld technology, the wireless protocol employs dedicated protocol methods to give macOS, Android, and Windows devices printer connectivity