The Pros and Cons of Universal Print Drivers

Print Driver Hero

If you have a fleet of printers, one of the most frustrating aspects of having so many devices from an IT perspective is a problem called print driver management. Imagine you are an IT professional in a small team of five people, and your job is to support the company’s 500 users. Every time a user gets a new computer or device that needs to be able to print, the problem of the print driver arises. 

Who wants to install print drivers 500 to 1,500 times per year (depending on the frequency of the device changes)?

Here at ManagedPrint, our passion is to manage printers and help our customers be as efficient as possible. One of the ways we accomplish the ability to always print is through the strategic implementation of Universal Print Drivers. This helps many of our clients print their daily work without being a burden to the IT team for that company.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of print drivers and what your organization can do in order to make print driver management as easy as possible.

What is a Universal Print Driver?

As the name suggests, a Universal Print Driver (UPD) is a driver that will work to print on every device in your network. This means if you have a larger copier and a couple of desktop printers, this one driver will be able to print for all three devices, and you will not need 3 separate driver installation events to be able to print on all of the devices.

Most manufacturers are offering their own versions of UPDs these days, and you can use the UPD of the manufacturer you have the most devices from.

Why Doesn’t Everyone just use Universal Print Drivers?

If you see that a UPD allows you to print to all the devices, a logical question is, why doesn’t everyone just use these drivers? There are a few answers to that question. The first answer is that many people do not know they exist and work so well. A second reason could be that there are features in the specific driver for a printer that may not be available in the UPD. 

For example, with some LaserJet printers or copiers, there are color features like Print by Words that are available only in the driver for a specific unit and not supported within the UPD.

The reason some features may not be supported is because UPDs aren’t trying to get you every print feature; they are trying to make basic printing available for every device across the network. If you need some of the specific driver features because of how you print individually, you can still load a printer-specific driver to take advantage of such features.

What Are the Advantages to UPDs?

When it comes to print fleets, having print drivers that are simple to manage and maintain becomes much more important. When you have 1,000 users, each with a different computer, the driver management can be a full-time job for an IT technician if you do not use Universal Print Drivers.

Remember, the biggest advantage of a UPD is that one driver can actually print to all the devices on your network. This means if you have 10 copiers on your floor and one of them has an issue, the other 9 can still be printed using a UPD. This one feature alone is the reason many enterprise companies love using Universal Print Drivers. Rather than supporting 10 different print drivers on every computer, that is reduced to 1 for most users.

Let Us Make Your Business More Efficient!

If you would like us to help with your print drivers and to learn more about UPDs, give ManagedPrint a call today. Our team is equipped to help you know what drivers would work best for your applications and business needs. We work with business owners and operations managers to make printing as easy as possible for staff.

We will help you install print drivers and show your team what is the best method to support your users, nationwide. 

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