PrinterShare: share any printer over the internet

PrinterShare is a free service that allows your computer to share printers with any other computer, given that both are online and running the PrinterShare software.

Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Imagine the following: computer A has a printer attached to it, while computer B does not. If both are online and running PrinterShare, computer B can send a document to print that is received by A and printed on the attached printer. Now imagine that computer A happens to be in Seattle while B is in Istanbul.

At the core of it this is a document sharing program where instead of a document on your desktop the end result is a hard copy on your printer; (closer to a FAX machine than to email).


Here are more notes on this service:

  • PrinterShare accounts: you will have to create a PrinterShare account for every computer you would like to connect. This requires (a) choosing a login name, and (b) providing a valid email. Other requested info is optional.
  • Encrypted communication: PrinterShare promises that your printed documents will be encrypted as they are sent online and decrypted on the other end. Your document will be transferred through the servers of the PrinterShare service.
  • shareprint diagram How it works: once both computers have the PrinterShare software installed, you can right click and share any connected printers in the main interface. You will also have to “find” the other PrinterShare accounts (you can search by account name) and once that happen’s you’re ready to print. PrinterShare lives in the system tray and will be displayed as a printer in your printers list. Predictably your documents will take slightly longer to print using PrinterShare than if they were printed directly on a connected printer.
  • The printers: you can share any printer including network printers and virtual printers (such as the PDF-generating PDFCreator or PrimoPDF).
  • Differences between the free and paid service: the free service will generate a cover-page that includes an ad. This is an extra page that you can discarded afterwards; your document’s integrity is intact without watermarks or modifications.
  • Connecting: PrinterShare promises to connect “behind any proxy or firewall you may be under”, provided you are able to surf the internet with IE. You will need to unblock the app if your local firewall is blocking it.

The Verdict: I think this is a very interesting app, which is why I am featuring it here, and potentially very useful. It is possible to use PrinterShare, for example, by members of a team of collaborators who may or may not be in the same geographic place, by members of the same household, by people who want to remotely generate hard copies of reports or customer order forms back in remote offices.

Having said that, it is possible that some applications of PrinterShare can be more effectively tackled using file sharing applications/services or even by email. And if the different computers are in the same place/office/households it is certainly preferable and more secure to share printers on a local network rather than involve the internet and PrinterShare servers. Still, an excellent service at what it does and can be tremendously useful.

Version Tested: 1.1.26

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, MacOS, Linux. Internet connection required.

Go to the PrinterShare page download the latest version (approx 1.45 megs).


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • http://www.missionaries.org John C. Lewis

    The printershare.com site says that “we can assure you that the original copy of the software available on http://www.printershare.com contains no spyware, malware, viruses or any other type of unwanted and potentially harmful software components that would be installed on your computer.”

    However, this site links to “http://www.printeranywhere.com/”, so all bets are off as to whether or not there is spyware in it.

  • Jobs

    How do I get my printout from Istanbul?

  • Samer

    @ John C. Lewis
    The two sites appear to be 100% identical, and both have the “no malware” assurance. The site I am linking to is the one where I obtained the software I tested (and found to be malware free).

    I take great steps not to link to spyware/malware. If you have doubts, don’t download the software.

  • Panos Levantis

    PrinterShare is a product offered from http://www.printeranywhere.com

    Although it shays it is free unless you register and pay a monthly fee for 19$ it will print a banner on your prints.

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  • http://thefreewarejunkie.com Rob Dunn

    The banner page appears as page 1 (if I remember right, it’s been awhile since I tested it), but what you can do is share a PDF printer, then I think you can adjust which pages actually print (say, using PDF Creator)…

  • Samer

    @ Panos,
    See “differences between free and paid service” above.

    The ad is printed on a coverletter, which you can discard. Your document will be intact, without modifications.

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  • http://www.informationaddicts.com infoaddicts

    Samer,
    This sounds a very interesting concept, although you will be limited where you can use it. Depending if you can install the software on the computer you are using. Its a shame the guest pc could not connect via a web based app.
    Regards.
    Jeff.

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  • http://www.pc-israel.com Kosta

    Is there freeware solution for this problem, something like VPN between two computers or any freeware software?

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    Harika

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  • http://www.nezakim.info ????? ?????

    Printer share is very usful tool, i’am using it at home and print documents in my office! very practical!

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    thanks for sharing , i will test it asap :-)

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    I love PrinterShare because its FEE! Highly recommended.

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    I love PrinterShare because its FEE! Highly recommended.

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  • Darren

    I’m still having a few problems with PrinterShare, but for the most part it is fantastic. I was charged $4.95 for twenty prints. This is a tad high, but it’s so useful I don’t mind paying it (although $4.95 for fifty prints would be preferable and fairer).

    You have to leave the computer running all the time which is connected to the home network which the printer is on. I’m unsure if you can directly print from the PC at home with just a USB cable or if the printer must be plugged into the router. I utilize the latter and it works.

    I’d like to be able to use it on Linux. It says the program is available on Linux, but I’m still unable to find a link. I also tried to print .pdf files on PrinterShare and the characters were all garbled. I’m not sure what the deal is with this.

    I also don’t know if the other computer — the remote computer — needs to have the printer’s drivers installed on it. I think this is a pretty firm no, but not 100% certain.

  • FX Eko

    I have got a problem when print document use PDF file the character cannot be print , but picture in PDF can directly print

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    that was just wat i was looking for

  • http://www.internetconnectionsharing.net Steve Jonson

    Thank you for sharing my printer my dear friends :)