Home Office Printing and Scanning

In this article I’m going to give you a few printing and scanning options that I think are the best solution to the issue at hand.  I should also include in this article for those who may be reading it years from now that this is written during the height of the Covid-19 crisis of 2020.  All non-essential businesses have essentially been shut down to limit the spread of the virus, and hundreds of thousands of works have suddenly been forced to work from home.

Now that many of our customers are working from home for the first time ever, one of the questions that has come up a lot is regarding the ability to print and scan documents at home.  While the need doesn’t seem quite as prevalent, their are some circumstances where it is necessary, especially for those businesses that are still fully operational, just working from home.

The problem is that unless those working from home have a remote access program, or a VPN connection between their home and office networks, they can’t access their work printers, or scanners.  And since many users never have a need to print, or at least print any significant volume at home, they no longer have or maintain printers and scanners at home.

We’ll get started with the printing options…

Printing Option #1

If you do have remote access to your work computer, or a VPN to your office network from home, then the cheapest solution may be to just print your documents on an office computer and then stop by and pick them up later.  It doesn’t cost anything extra, and its a good excuse to get out of the house while still maintaining social distancing.

Printing Option #2

Buy a good LaserJet printer.  LaserJet is for less expensive to operate than Ink Jet, and the quality of printing is usually much better.  The good news is that they are very affordable now as well.  A good Brother LaserJet suitable for home printing needs will cost around $200.  A small price to pay to complete your home office setup.  We recommend Brother printers because we have seen them last for years in very harsh environments.

Brother MFC L2710DW

Printing Option #3

Another great option is to email your print job to your local UPS store.  UPS will print your job, usually the same day and can even overnight prints to you if don’t want to get out.  The store that we use in Winchester, KY for instance has an email address of:  store3343@theupsstore.com.  When I need to print things that my printers at the office (or at home) can’t handle, I just email the files to them, and explain how many prints, paper type, etc.  I can usually pick them up the same day.  Just call your local store and get their email address and send over your print jobs via email and they’ll handle the rest.

Scanning Option #1

Buy a scanner.  The Brother printer that I linked above is actually a scanner too so you could kill two birds with one stone.  That way you can scan and print documents without leaving the house.  If you don’t need the printer, or you need to scan different types of documents, like photos, or drivers licenses, you may need to buy a scanner separately.  You can get this Epson portable scanner for just about $100.

Epson ES-50 Portable Sheet-fed Scanner

Or you could go with a Fujitsu scanner, which is more of the industry standard for office scanning, but the price reflects that at around $400.

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Color Duplex Scanner

Scanning Option #2

This is probably my favorite.  Just use a scanning app on your mobile phone.  I recommend Microsoft Office Lens.  It is a free app from Microsoft that integrates with other Office products.  Essentially, you will take a picture of your document and the software will clean up around the edges and enhance the photo so it looks just like a scanned document.  This is a great solution for small volume scanning, and it is totally free.

These are the solutions that we have come up with so far and I’m sure that their are other good options out there, along with many other issues that we haven’t thought of yet.  If you are struggling with a particular issue while working at home, feel free to drop us an email at:  info@istam.net, or call the office at:  859-200-0428.  We’ll be happy to help you if we can, and that is totally free too until April 20th, 2020.


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