Which barcode scanner is best?
Whether you’re the proprietor of an established business looking to upgrade their sales and shipping process or an aspiring small business owner trying to get it right from the start, a reliable barcode scanner can make a significant difference in your business’s productivity and profit margins. If you’re using traditional barcodes or are graduating to QR codes that can be scanned by any smartphone owner, there’s a model of barcode scanner that’s perfect for your business.
With a trusty unit like the NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner at your disposal, you’ll have your inventory organized, sold and shipped in no time at all.
What to know before you buy a barcode scanner
Types of barcodes
There are two commonly used types of barcodes and barcode scanners, namely 1D and 2D. Whereas 1D refers to more traditional barcodes that are composed of lines which visually represent a unique item number assignment, 2D barcodes are either rectangular or square in shape and include QR codes, Data Matrix, Aztec, MaxiCode and others.
While 1D barcodes can only be scanned and entered into a database by using an appropriately equipped barcode scanner, 2D barcodes can be read by both scanners and smartphone cameras. In addition, 2D barcodes also tend to provide significantly more information with greater amounts of detail such as URLs, images, email addresses and much more.
Whether you plan on using your brand new barcode scanner to man the front sales desk, check product on display or enter inventory into your business database without breaking a sweat, there are certain desirable qualities to look for in a quality unit. For example, you should make sure that any barcode scanner you purchase has safety features like a TPE protective case that can hold up to the rigors of daily use, accidental drops and any other unforeseen accidents.
What to look for in a quality barcode scanner
If you’ve ever tried to set up a barcode scanner that required you to install software via a CD-ROM, the process can be incredibly frustrating as well as tedious.
Several models of barcode scanners come with the ability to plug the unit’s dongle directly into your computer via USB port, instantly connecting it to your PC and internet without any software or drivers required. Also, any barcode scanner should be able to read a wide range of commercial barcodes and have the memory to store and recall tens of thousands of individual barcodes.
Your business may be starting off with a shoestring budget or perhaps you simply prefer a DIY approach when it comes to technology, but why limit your business potential with a barcode scanner that doesn’t mesh with your preferred operating system? Selected models have an impressive range of compatible operating systems both mainstream and open source, including MacOS, Windows 10, Linux, Android and even Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, these scanners are also capable of entering data into commonly used applications including Novell, Word and Excel.
Your barcode scanner should be able to effortlessly connect to whatever form of wireless or wired connection is most convenient. In addition, your scanner must be able to operate efficiently at a range of distances from your PC without losing signal.
Several models of barcode scanner can operate wirelessly using 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi at distances from 160-400 meters away. Better still, some units come standard with low battery features, switching effortlessly between single and automatic scanning, perform hundreds of scans per second and the ability to connect multiple scanners to a single USB receiver.
How much you can expect to spend on a barcode scanner
Depending on the desired features and any budgetary or compatibility requirements, a quality barcode scanner can cost anywhere from $23-$50, and sometimes more.
Best barcode scanner FAQ
Can my barcode scanner scan any kind of barcode?
A. Unfortunately, this depends on both the type of scanner and the type of barcode itself. For example, while 2D barcode scanners are capable of reading both 2D and 1D barcodes, the same cannot be said in reverse.
Is it possible to reuse a barcode multiple times?
A. Unless you happen to be selling an item that has been restocked, it’s highly inadvisable to attempt to reuse your barcode. Doing so can lead to having to perform manual data entry, which defeats the purpose of a barcode scanner.
What’s the best barcode scanner to buy?
Top barcode scanner
What you need to know: A dependable barcode scanner for warehouses, stores and supermarkets.
What you’ll love: This unit offers a USB plug-and-play mini receiver with no installation required, the ability to pair multiple devices to a single receiver, long-distance wireless transmission technology with an indoor range of 100 meters and outdoor range of 400 meters and offline storage capable of holding up to 100,000 barcodes.
What you should consider: Users have reported issues with the unit working remotely as well as difficulty reading barcodes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top barcode scanner for the money
What you need to know: An affordable barcode scanner that’s compatible with virtually all operating systems.
What you’ll love: This unit is compatible with MacOS, Windows 10, Linux, Android and even Raspberry Pi and offers a wired connection for use at shops and warehouses alike and the ability to decode several varieties of national and international barcodes.
What you should consider: Users report issues with the laser breaking within months of initial purchase as well as broken screws.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: An excellent barcode scanner that operates both wirelessly and wired.
What you’ll love: This unit offers password-free connections without scanning any pairing barcodes, an inventory mode capable of automatically saving any scanned data and transmitting it when the receiver is in range and recognized 1D barcodes including Codebar, Code 39, Fedex, UPC, EAN, UPS, VIN numbers and USPS tracking numbers.
What you should consider: Users report issues with not being compatible with major operating systems as well as failing within months of initial purchase.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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