The Top 5 Basic Questions for selecting a Barcode Reader


Need to select the right Barcode Scanner for your application? Here are the 5 most easy-to-answer question that will help you determine the best barcode scanner for your application


1. What barcode symbology are you going to read? The main two types of barcodes are One Dimensional (1D), also called Lineal barcodes and Two-Dimensional (2D) barcodes. 1D barcodes are commonly recognized as being several parallel lines, like the ones used on retail stores and supermarkets. Most common 1D barcodes include UPC for Retail, Code 39, Code 128 among others. 1D barcodes can be decoded using almost any kind of barcode reader, while 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. Bi-dimensional readers can read 1D, but laser scanners for 1D cannot read 2D barcodes.

2. What is the condition of the barcode you are reading? In addition to the type of symbology you will read, you need to determine what is the size and resolution of the barcode. If you need to read very small barcodes (3 mil) on a manufacturing plant you may need a High Density (HD) reader. If the barcode you are going to read is way 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.

3. Is the scanner compatible with your application? What you want to do with the information of the barcode you are reading? Do you want only to read the barcode a place the decoded information on a field. Do you want to make a transaction with that information? There are different software for warehouse management, inventory, mobile solutions, etc. Make sure you are acquiring a scanner that is compatible with your existing application. Request a demo if necessary, make sure to double check.


4. What is the environment where the scanner will be used? 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. You may also want to compare the IP rating for each device. The IP rating classifies the degree of protection against the intrusion of particulate like dust, dirt and water into the casing, which may cause electronic failures.

Additionally, if you work in extreme temperatures, you’ll need to verify the scanner operating temperature, storage, and recharging temperature. For example, cold storage environments can be very tough on the equipment. Long-term use of non-optimized equipment in cold conditions can cause screens and housings to become brittle, and repeated condensation can cause internal components to corrode, short-circuit and fail.

5. Where the Scanner will be connected. You need to verify your ports options. Common applications, where the scanner will be attached directly to a PC can use USB, Serial or PS2 (Keyboard Wedge) ports. If the scanner is going to be connected to a workstation, POS terminal or mobile computer, you need to verify that the available ports are compatible. Several adapter are available to connect to different type of ports.

There are also options of portable and cordless scanners that can read up to 100 ft. for mobile flexibility. These scanners can be connected through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi communication protocols. Remember that a base or cradle is required for charging and data transmission.


There are also different options of scanners handling and stands that helps you speed up your scanning reading, like fixed or online barcode readers, Omni-directional reader and even more intelligent machine vision cameras that can read, decode and capture much more information than barcodes.Maintenance and service options form factory-certified personnel helps you extend the equipment uptime.


MultiSystems provides a wide array of 1D and 2D handheld, mobile and fixed mounted barcode scanners for a range of industries and applications. We integrate these readers into our customers environment to ensure optimal performance.

Contact us today to  learn how we can help you select the correct barcode reader for your application.


© Copyright 2018-2022, MultiSystems, Inc. All rights reserved