How to choose
a proper barcode scanner for your business?
Usually there is no best barcode scanner;
there is a proper barcode scanner that right for your business.

The main factors to consider when choosing one are:

1. The barcode types to read: The main two types of barcodes are One Dimensional (1D), also called Lineal barcodes and Two-Dimensional (2D) barcodes. Most common 1D barcodes include UPC for Retail, Code 39, Code 128 among others.

Two-dimensional barcodes, like the recently often seen QR Codes and Datamatrix, need a different technology to be read. If you are using a 2D barcode, you need to make sure you are acquiring a scanner that read 2D barcodes.

2. The environment: For one thing, you’ll need to consider if you will scan codes only on paper or you’ll scan on-screen codes too. For another, if you are on a manufacturing or industrial atmosphere, you need to make sure the equipment can resist tougher working conditions than in office or retail scanners. You need to take in consideration what kind of dropping abuse to concrete or vibration will be exposed.

3. The Distance: If the barcode you are going to read is too far or high on a warehouse, you may need a Long Range reader. Some scanners can even intelligent enough to read and decode direct part markings and blurred or damaged barcodes on boxes. On the contrary, if you can be within one foot of the barcode, don't buy a scanner that can read from 20 feet away — it's not worth the extra money.

You can also choose the proper barcode scanners according to the features of different types:

  • Laser barcode scanners

These are the most popular type of barcode scanners and are widely used in retail. They also work similar to the pen-type but give accurate results when compared to the former.

In this type, a laser beam is shot at a mirror within the actual unit. This mirror moves within so that the laser sweeps across the barcode in a straight line. A photodiode captures the reflected light and converts it into digital information.

This type can be either hand-held or mounted. A standard-range laser barcode can read the code from 6 to 24 inches away. A long range one can read from 2 to 8 feet away, and an extra-long one from up to 30 feet away.

  • CCD barcode scanners(Charge Coupled Device)

CCD scanners are expensive units but give very accurate results. You may see them referred to as LED scanners.

They have hundreds of tiny LED lights arranged in a row within the unit. This is directly shot at the barcode, and the voltage of the ambient light is measured. This is later converted to computer readable data.

These are widely popular in POS(Point of Sale) applications.

But, the disadvantages of CCD scanners are that you need to hold them within 1 to 3 inches from the barcode, and it cannot read the code that gets longer than its scanner face.

  • Image barcode scanner(Camera-based)

These function more like a video camera rather than a scanner.

The unit consists of a video camera within, and rather than using the laser to shoot light at the code, it essentially takes a picture of the barcode, which is then analyzed using sophisticated digital decoding techniques.

The main advantage of this type is that they can read the barcode no matter how you place the scanner in front of it. This increases the speed of scanning multi-fold.

As mentioned earlier, 2D barcodes consist of different types of shapes, unlike the linear spaces in 1D. Hence, an ordinary scanner cannot serve the purpose of scanning 2D barcode. So, only images can do this job.

Based on the type of connectivity, you can have cordless and corded barcode scanners.

Cordless scanners are best suited for warehouse or factory applications, where a cord could restrict the movement. Also, under harsh environments where the cable could get damaged, cordless scanners are the right choice. For heavy, bulky items that are difficult to place at the checkout counter, cordless scanners are the best choice.