Accountability for Network Printing

Question: How can I trace the origin and IP address of a user that has sent a particular print job to a networked printer here at school?

The IT Guy says:
If you don’t have any type of printing auditing software installed on your school network, it may be difficult to do this. The answer of how you can depends how your network printers are set up, and how the clients print to them.

Some computers, like Macs, are often configured to directly print to the IP address of a network printer rather than sending the print job through a network server print queue. If network server print queues have been set up, you may be able to check the logs to view the originating computer that sent the print job. If you noted the date and time the print job was sent, and know the size of the job (# of pages), you may be able to use that information to identify the originating IP address.

If not, or if you want to have greater accountability over printing that takes place on your school network, you might consider purchasing and installing network printing auditing software. One example is Pcounter, which is cross-platform and costs around $650.

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