In contrast to the usual communication direction, ThinPrint Connection Service builds a secure print tunnel from a ThinPrint Client in any branch office to the central ThinPrint print system in the data center – the ThinPrint Secure Tunnel.
This clever design has an important advantage in that the central ThinPrint Engine acting as a print server doesn’t need to know the IP addresses of the network printers located in the branch offices. In most branch offices, masked networks are used and a VPN tunnel is necessary to reach printers. With ThinPrint, this is not necessary as the ThinPrint Secure Tunnel takes on this task, specifically for printing. Print jobs are delivered to branch offices via this tunnel and then distributed to network printers via the ThinPrint Client. A direct connection from the central ThinPrint Engine to the printers is not necessary. In addition, print data can be securely transmitted thanks to SSL encryption, an important feature as print data contains information just as sensitive as on printed documents.
The easiest option to roll out the ThinPrint Client with Connection Service is with ThinPrint Hub, a small, yet high-performance print hardware device from ThinPrint upon which the ThinPrint Client is preinstalled. The ThinPrint Hub can be centrally configured. Once sent to branch office, it needs only to be connected to a power supply and a network cable thanks to its plug-&-play design. There is no limit to the number of network printers that can be connected to the ThinPrint Hub. Additionally, four USB printers can be connected and effectively turned into network printers.
Furthermore the Connection Service is the perfect DMZ component for printing. TCP ports need only be opened towards the Connection Service and no data is stored or spooled locally.
The example below illustrates a test installation of the Connection Service (see section Sample configuration). Once you are convinced of the software’s functionality, the installation can be adapted to your requirements.