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  1. #1
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    Bonjour for Windows/Bonjour Print Services for Windows

    I'm familiar with Apple's Bonjour service on macOS since I used Macs for ten years before moving back to Windows. I see that Apple offers a free download of Bonjour for Windows/Bonjour Print Services for Windows. Is there any good reason for me to install this on my Surface Book, or is it not really needed?

    Thanks!
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    I can't see any good reason to add extra networking protocols to Windows. I have never seen Bonjour used in a Windows environment.

    cheers, Paul

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    I have no idea whether it is needed or not BUT, Bonjour was installed on my HP ProBook Workstation laptop when I originally bought it with Win 7 Pro. Bonjour carried over into Win 10 Pro when I upgraded to Win 10 in Aug. 2015 and is still there.
    I never actually knew the purpose of why Bonjour was on there so I just left it alone and will be curious to see what some of the answers are to your question.

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    I'm familiar with Apple's Bonjour service on macOS since I used Macs for ten years before moving back to Windows. I see that Apple offers a free download of Bonjour for Windows/Bonjour Print Services for Windows. Is there any good reason for me to install this on my Surface Book, or is it not really needed?
    If I remember correctly you mentioned in another post that you have an iOS device... iPhone, I think. This suggests you aren't using iTunes on your Surface for backup, as iTunes includes Bonjour.

    I'm not certain but I think Bonjour is used for discovery in order to enable automatic syncing over wifi between iTunes and iOS devices that have been configured to use local backup rather than iCloud.

    (As I have multiple iOS devices and prefer speed over convenience - and refuse to pay Apple for additional storage over and above the free standard 5GB - I always use local backup, never iCloud. Have you ever tried doing an OTA restore from iCloud? It's painful.)

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    If I understand your post correctly Rick, if you have no apple devices, Bonjour is not needed. Is that correct?

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95
    If I understand your post correctly Rick, if you have no apple devices, Bonjour is not needed. Is that correct?
    I could be wrong but I thinks it's - you don't need Bonjour/Bonjour Print Services if you don't have/use:

    - Apple devices (inc. AirPort Express router)
    - AirPrint enabled network printers
    - Some network cameras
    - Safari browser
    - Some shared music libraries
    - Adobe CS3

    However, I'm no expert and don't use iTunes for streaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I could be wrong but I thinks it's - you don't need Bonjour/Bonjour Print Services if you don't have/use:

    - Apple devices (inc. AirPort Express router)
    - AirPrint enabled network printers
    - Some network cameras
    - Safari browser
    - Some shared music libraries
    - Adobe CS3

    However, I'm no expert and don't use iTunes for streaming.
    I have the Apple Safari browser on one of my Win10 computers and the install date is the same as for Bonjour so at least that much of the above is correct. I don't have the first three or the last one.

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    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Basically, I have nothing on the list, although I have Adobe CS2

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95
    Basically, I have nothing on the list, although I have Adobe CS2
    CS3 apparently uses Bonjour for discovery of 'digital asset management services' so, even if you had this later version, chances are that you still wouldn't need Bonjour.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-11-07 at 09:32. Reason: Corrected typo

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    Good points everyone. I remember using Bonjour with a TiVo DVR years ago when I needed to stream media files to the TiVo, but I don't own a TiVo anymore, plus I have AirParrot installed on my system, so I can stream media or my entire desktop to an Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

    So far after installing most of the programs I'll be using on this machine on a daily basis (there'a a few I haven't installed yet, but most are here), Bonjour hasn't come along for the ride. It didn't even install with AirParrot and Reflector to allow me to stream my PC screen to an Apple TV or my iPhone screen to my PC, so I guess it isn't needed for those either.

    I do have an iPhone, but I haven't installed iTunes on my Surface Book yet. I'm trying to decide whether to subject myself to it. :-)

    As for Adobe, I'm on CC, so I guess CC doesn't need it either.

    My printer is an OKI network printer which doesn't require AirPrint. It prints over the network OK. My network gear is all Cisco, and my network cams can be accessed directly over IP without Bonjour.

    In terms of Safari, I think Apple has pulled the plug on Windows development on it, and I'm pretty happy with Chrome and Firefox.

    So I guess I probably shouldn't install it unless it ever self-installs with an app I need it for. :-)
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    Bonjour is an Apple software that other Apple software programs use for "networking". You have to be careful about removing it because it can be difficult to know what may be using it. A few cross-platform non-Apple programs may also use it.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    I do have an iPhone, but I haven't installed iTunes on my Surface Book yet. I'm trying to decide whether to subject myself to it. :-)
    I agree... iTunes for Windows is a miserable experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    It didn't even install with AirParrot and Reflector to allow me to stream my PC screen to an Apple TV or my iPhone screen to my PC, so I guess it isn't needed for those either.
    I can't find anything to back it up (because Apple is, as usual, silent on its development direction) but - certainly with iOS and media streaming/sharing - I think Apple has been quietly letting Bonjour slide in favour of AirPlay and AirDrop. Part of this is to catch up with Android and its ease of sharing, for example, photos between phones... particularly popular with the youth market.

    IMO this is also in response to companies like Panasonic whose smart TV's allow you to 'throw' your photos from iPhone or iPad 'to' the TV (and also to control the TV instead of using its remote), i.e. to stay relevant in the home media market as Apple TV is still trailing others, particularly Google's Chromecast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I agree... iTunes for Windows is a miserable experience.



    I can't find anything to back it up (because Apple is, as usual, silent on its development direction) but - certainly with iOS and media streaming/sharing - I think Apple has been quietly letting Bonjour slide in favour of AirPlay and AirDrop. Part of this is to catch up with Android and its ease of sharing, for example, photos between phones... particularly popular with the youth market.

    IMO this is also in response to companies like Panasonic whose smart TV's allow you to 'throw' your photos from iPhone or iPad 'to' the TV (and also to control the TV instead of using its remote), i.e. to stay relevant in the home media market as Apple TV is still trailing others, particularly Google's Chromecast.
    It does seem to be the case that Apple is doing more with AirPlay/AirDrop, etc., over Bonjour. Bonjour was originally developed to simplify networking between machines. Now that Apple is focusing less on computers and more on iOS devices, their iOS-formed technologies are making more development progress, and Apple is also folding some of them into macOS. It also seems Apple is trying to push tighter integration between macOS and iOS and leave Windows users out in the cold to drive more Mac sales. Although for me, Apple's consistently worsening reliability with macOS caused me to abandon it and jump back to Windows. :-)
    Nathan Parker
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    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker View Post
    I guess I probably shouldn't install it unless it ever self-installs with an app I need it for.
    Yep--but image your OS before installing. Bonjour is the Apple version of UPnP [Universal Plug & Play], and based on a friend's experience years ago, it likes to mess with network settings on its way in.

    Based on that experience and the bit of reading I did at the time, Bonjour for Win is a bit like Office for Mac or iTunes for Win--a second-class cyber citizen. So build a big wall and keep it out if you can
    Lugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    Yep--but image your OS before installing. Bonjour is the Apple version of UPnP [Universal Plug & Play], and based on a friend's experience years ago, it likes to mess with network settings on its way in.

    Based on that experience and the bit of reading I did at the time, Bonjour for Win is a bit like Office for Mac or iTunes for Win--a second-class cyber citizen. So build a big wall and keep it out if you can
    I am imaging my system nightly, and if I can do without Bonjour, iTunes, and any Apple tools on my system, all the merrier. They're usually a mess on Windows. :-)
    Nathan Parker
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