Restrict access and track usage of color printer

By Jdesouza ·
I need a way to restrict and track the printer being done to a color laser printer. Budget is extremely limited, so the printers are low end color laser network printers with no tools on board to do this job.

I have several "shared" PCs on the network, so the control can't be done by individual PC or by the user logged at the time.

A further complication is that the LAN is in essence peer-to-peer, without a domain controller.

I know of copiers that require a code on the printing dialog box in order to print, but that requires dedicated hardware.

Any ideas?

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Sorry but I can not think of any cheap way

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Restrict access and track ...

To achieve this in a reliable manner.

The obvious thing to do would be to connect these printer/s up to a dedicated machine and set user rights to that when the different users need to enter their own passwords to print but even that would not achieve your goals as all it would do is slow down the speed that jobs can be sent to the printer/s.

About the only sure way is to disconnect the printers from the main network and have every print request transfered across the LAN to an Admin who says Yea or Nay to the print job. Even that's not cheap as it would require someone to be there all the time to OK Print Jobs though if the aim of the exercise is to cut down on printing costs that person could decide if the job needs to be printed in Colour or Monochrome Single Sided or Duplexed if the latter is an option.

Sorry that's not very clear what I'm trying to say is that the files are transfered to a single workstation for approval or rejection and then the person at that workstation prints off the job in either Black & White or Colour or rejects it outright.

With your description that's about all I can think of.


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