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Driver-Based Vs. App-Based Secure Print: What’s The Difference?

January 13, 2022


Read Time: 4.50 mins.

Suppose your business currently leases or owns printing devices. In that case, you may have heard of the feature “secure print” or “secure release printing.” 

But were you aware that there are two different types of secure print?

Driver-based and application-based are two types of Secure Print software that help businesses print securely and efficiently. But still, why should understanding both types matter for your company?

Well, fully grasping what they are and how they differ can help your business decide better for business operations. 

At LDI Connect, we offer office copiers, printers, and MFPs that incorporate the standard secure print software within the device. However, we also provide app-based secure print through software programs like uniFLOW and PaperCut

To assess which is better for our clients, we work to understand their print needs and long-term goals before recommending the right option for them.

This article will define device-based secure print and app-based secure print. Then it will cover the key differences between each. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of what they offer and which may be a better fit for your business moving forward.


What Is Driver-Based Secure Print? 

You can think of driver-based secure print as a standard feature with the printing device. This means that most devices incorporate a secure print feature within them.

Now, let’s break the feature down a bit more.

The standard driver-based secure print enables users to send jobs to a particular device, where it’s then held in memory until the user is ready to print. More specifically, print jobs are stored in a secure print queue and only released once they follow a prompt and insert a numerical code or scan their badge.

This reduces paper waste and the number of accidental prints. It also reduces the security risk of having a document filled with confidential information hang out at the printer unattended for another employee to scoop it up. 

With the standard driver-based secure print, a job will not release until it’s specified to do so by the user who authorized the print job in the first place.


What Is App-Based Secure Print? 

Now that we’ve outlined what driver-based secure print is, we can dive into what application-based secure print is. 

As outlined above, driver-based refers to the secure print feature that comes standard with the printing device you’re operating. In contrast, app-based fast print is a part of print management software that requires a separate installation onto your printing device. 

Examples of print management software that incorporate secure print are uniFLOW, uniFLOW Online, and PaperCut.

With app-based secure print, you’re still getting all that comes with the standard driver-based secure print. But there are additional elements that can help improve your company’s workflow, print costs, and security. What do we mean by this?

While we’ll get into the exact differences below, app-based secure print provides customizable options that make printing more seamless, safe, and efficient for employees. 


What Are The Differences?

Neither driver-based nor app-based secure print is necessarily better or worse. It all comes down to which better serves your organization’s print needs.

It’s essential to understand their differences so that your business can decide which is a better fit for your team.

Now that we’ve uncovered what driver-based and app-based secure print mean, let’s dive into their differences.

Here are three differences between both types of secure print:

1. The Number Of Devices You Can Send A Print Job To

One big difference between both types of secure print is the options a user has when retrieving a print job.

For the free driver-based secure print, users can only retrieve a print job from one selected printer. This means that a user cannot switch the location of where the print job will be released nor conveniently print at a device that’s closer to their office.

Due to it being driver-based, this type of secure print only allows a user to print a document on one particular device.

App-based secure print provides users with the freedom to select any device with the print management software installed. 

Suppose your business is small and only leases one multifunctional device. This fundamental difference may not affect you all that much. But for larger organizations that lease or own a fleet of printers, this point is to keep in mind moving forward.

2. The Security Standards

With driver-based secure print, you can see the list of other users’ print jobs in the queue once you’re physically at the device searching for your own.

This doesn’t mean that you’re able to print other users’ jobs. Still, as you scroll through to identify your job, you’ll notice a list of other queued-up documents waiting to be released.

However, with app-based secure print, jobs are not visibly available to everyone. App-based secure print uses the latest network security standards to ensure that each print job is encrypted and protected.

Secure print applications like uniFLOW and PaperCut can help industries like healthcare and education meet compliances by ensuring the secure encryption of each piece of data sent and retrieved from a device.

3. Customizable Options That Can Improve Cost Recovery

With app-based secure print, your company can visibly check in to see how much a user ID prints daily, weekly, or monthly, and base your following decisions on the data retrieved.

For example, with app-based secure print, your company can set regulations within the application to only allow black and white printing for employees or color printing for a select few authorized employees. How does this help?

Your business can save money by ensuring that employees aren’t using an excessive amount of toner or ink when it isn’t necessary.

These customizable options are not available within the standard driver-based secure print feature.

Customizing an application to meet the needs of your business can reduce print costs and help you save money on print consumables.


Ready Secure Print Is Right For Your Business?

Whether you choose to try out the secure print that comes standard with your current device before diving into purchasing an app-based secure print software for your business, there is no wrong decision.

But as you’ve read above, app-based secure print does provide businesses with more oversight and control over their print jobs.

In case you need more help deciding which to follow for your business, let’s provide some examples to help steer you in the right direction for your business.

If you’re a small business leasing only two MFPs and are interested in printing securely and efficiently, utilizing the free standard driver-based secure print feature that comes with your device may be enough.

Now, suppose you’re a larger business that requires each print job to be encrypted for compliance reasons and is overspending on print consumables due to people accidentally printing in color. In that case, the app-based secure print may be better suited to your needs.

At LDI, we work closely with prospects and clients to address their security concerns through user-friendly print management solutions.

Reach out to an LDI representative today to learn more about secure print and how it can help your business.




Angela Cook
Angela Cook

As a Content Manager at LDI, Angela Cook works closely with Subject Matter Experts to craft content that widely focuses on how technology can provide key advantages to various businesses.

Topics: document management, Office Copiers, Printers, and MFPs, Print, Intelligent Document Processing & Distribution, Secure Print

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