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Which Barcode Scanner is Best?

A little background about barcode scanners . . .

For the most part, a scanner is a scanner is a scanner (for barcodes).  From your computer's perspective, a barcode scanner operates like a second keyboard.

When buying any barcode scanner, you just need to make sure it reads the kinds of barcodes you need it to read.  Almost all (maybe all) basic scanners can read all of the one-dimensional barcodes you’ll ever encounter; those are the most common ones.  The more complicated barcodes are the 2-dimensionals, which require special scanners.  The 2-dimensionals are usually squares with dot and line patterns inside.

If you buy a new scanner and you find that it "doesn't work", the first thing you should is check that it is configured to read the barcodes you need it to read.  Most new scanners will be, but if your new scanner doesn't, then it's time to break out the manual that hopefully came with the scanner.  This inexpensive scanner sold by Amazon will work with the barcodes on the Ape labels without special configuration.

Also, you can configure many scanners to add framing characters that appear at the beginning and the end of the barcode text that help the programs they work with recognize something is coming from and came from the scanner.  Ape Software does this with by adding a special character in the barcode itself.  So if you have any problems with using another scanner with an Ape Software product, contact me and we'll figure it out.

Lastly, unless you really need a wireless scanner, they can sometimes be more trouble than they're worth.  Besides being more expensive, it's easy to get them mixed up with other scanners of the same type and, depending on the scanner, they can lose their charge at the most inopportune times.  They are also susceptible to RF interference that increases with distance from your PC, which can also be irritating.

Last updated: 8/31/2012

one-dimensional barcode

One-Dimensional Barcode

two-dimensional barcode

Two-Dimensional Barcode

barcode scanner

USB Barcode Scanner