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Boost your Chromebook productivity

Are you getting the most from your Chromebook? Here's how to print documents, protect yourself with a VPN, and add Android apps.

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It wasn't all that long ago that the Chromebook was seen as an experiment that was doomed to fail. After all, what would people do with an operating system that was designed to work mainly in the cloud?

When the first units came on the market in 2011, they were greeted with curiosity by some and outright hostility by others. Despite that, their light weight, low cost and easy-to-use interface soon made them popular in classrooms and as secondary family systems. But Chromebooks still weren't considered appropriate for business use.

Fast-forward to 2017.  The steady upward march of cloud computing in the enterprise shows no signs of stopping -- and as a result, Chromebooks are slowly but surely making their way into the enterprise

If you've decided to move to a Chromebook, but need a little help in acclimating yourself to the new operating system, here are three articles in a handy downloadable PDF that can help you get your work done.

How to print documents from your Chromebook

Despite the many positive things that one could say about them, there is one issue that often causes headaches for Chromebook users: printing. Unlike Windows PCs or Macs, you can't simply plug a Chromebook into a printer and have it work; the operating system doesn't have the printer drivers that the other OSes include.

Fortunately, though, there is a very simple way to print from a Chromebook. It requires that you have a Google Cloud Print Ready printer -- but there is an alternative. We explain how to set up a Cloud Print Ready printer and how to print from a Chromebook even if you have a legacy printer.

VPNs on a Chromebook: A scorecard of VPN providers

Security is important, especially if you're protecting corporate data, and one of the best ways to protect the content on your computer is to use a VPN. However, although Chrome OS supports the two most popular VPN flavors -- OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec -- not all VPNs are available to Chromebook users.

In this article, we list (and link to) nine companies that support Chrome OS natively, and also discuss a few others that may also be usable on Chromebooks.

Android apps on Chromebooks

The ability to use Android apps has vastly increased the usefulness of Chromebooks. While only a few older Chromebooks support that feature, it is a part of all 2017 models, a very welcome development for consumers and developers. This article answers some of the questions that Chromebook users may have about incorporating Android apps into their toolbox.


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