This list will teach you the identify the most suitable Barcode Scanners for your device connection needs. Modern day Barcode Scanners comes in 3 main variations. Wired, Wireless, Bluetooth. Despite the rise in Scanner apps in mobile phones, Barcode scanners remain relevant today due to their app-free independence. Newer models of Barcode scanners work out of the box without the need of additional softwares. This allows users to serve their barcode scanning needs on their own POS or inventory tracking apps. However, different devices can only work so well with different devices. For example, devices such as the Apple iPads used by most businesses will not allow for connectivity via standard USB OTG Cables. Unless you are using an Apple standard USB Camera adapter, that might do the trick.
The 3 Main Barcode Scanner Connection
USB wired HID barcode scanners work with most standard modern day devices including Laptops, Windows PC, Macs with a standard USB port for connection. Even for mobile phones, USB wired HID Barcode scanners can be connected by using a USB Adapter as shown below. This converts most ports on Android phones today to USB-enabled devices. This then allows the scanner to transmit data directly to the your android devices.
USB Wireless HID Barcode Scanner works just like a USB wired scanner. Wireless Scanners replaces the conventional 1.5m cable with RF transmission to transmit data wirelessly. Think of it as a wireless mouse. Wireless scanners require a connected USB dongle on the phone or computer to capture the transmitting data. These are for users with scanning needs far away from the phone or computer. Wireless scanners have a longer range of approximately 30m to 70m unobstructed scanning range.
Bluetooth Barcode Scanners commonly uses a technology known as Bluetooth pairing to connect. As of today, most barcode scanner uses bluetooth 4.0 or bluetooth 5.0 to transmit barcode data. They do not require RF transmission dongles to capture barcodes. However, the capturing device (eg: computer or phones) will need to be bluetooth enabled. Without bluetooth enabled, most bluetooth barcode scanners can still scan and transmit data with their pre-configured RF dongles. Bluetooth scanners range slightly with only 10m to 30m in unobstructed spaces. For further scanning needs, a wireless scanner is still the optimal choice. Bluetooth barcode scanners are a common favourite due to their hassle-free connectivity to Apple iPads and phones. It’s not easy to find a USB adapter suitable for the iPhone to connect your USB Barcode scanner.
For Apple iMacs, laptops, Windows desktop computers.
Nearby Scanning (1m – 1.5m) – USB Wired Scanners. Connect USB wire into USB Port – Suitable for indoor record purposes. Scanning product labels for tagging. Archiving.
Dongle Connection / Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – USB Wireless Scanners. Connect USB Dongle into USB Port. Suitable for in-store or warehouse stock-taking.
Dongleless Connection | Nearby(10m -30m) / Dongle Connection | Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – Bluetooth Pairing without USB Dongle. In-Store Multiple Stocktaking.
For Apple iPhones and iPads.
Nearby Scanning (1m – 1.5m) – USB Wired Scanners. Requires Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.
Dongle Connection / Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – USB Wireless Scanners. Requires Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. Insert USB Dongle to USB Camera Adapter USB Port.
Dongleless Connection | Nearby(10m -30m) / Dongle Connection | Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – (RECOMMENDED) Bluetooth connection.
For Samsung and other Android Phones
Nearby Scanning (1m – 1.5m) – USB Wired Scanners. Use a USB OTG Adapter. Connect scanner usb cable to Adapter.
Dongle Connection / Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – USB Wireless Scanners. Use a USB OTG Adapter. Connect scanner usb dongle to Adapter.
Dongleless Connection | Nearby(10m -30m) / Dongle Connection | Long Range scanning (30m – 70m) – Bluetooth Connection. For those who prefers a hassle-free dongle-less connection.
Pricing wise, bluetooth scanners cost more than their USB counterparts. USB wired and wireless scanners are more than sufficient to satisfy most barcode scanning needs unless an apple device without a standard USB port is involved. Furthermore, a longer range for wireless scanners make them a much valued scanning companion for businesses with wireless scanning needs. That being said, bluetooth barcode scanners is an imperative essential requirement for most business operating on the iOS platforms that uses i-Series devices. Just like buying a computer, a barcode scanner with moderately conservative specs might well just be a better choice than a super scanner that doesn’t sync well with your business operating needs.