Your Guide to the Wireless Barcode Scanners

For the technical folks, 2.4 GHz might seem a misleading name for the wireless barcode scanner. Just a minute, allow me to explain.

Robert Claussen
Robert Claussen | 3 years, 3 months ago | POS System
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It's hectic dealing with many cables at your workstation. That's why the invention of wireless technology made such an impact in the business world. The wireless barcode scanner is currently the most preferred price scanner and barcode reader today. 

This article covers the wireless barcode scanner and how it can benefit retail businesses and the speedup product entry. Those you find the idea of doing away with wires that run from the scanner to the computer can find many options to select by the end of this article. For the most part, we'll take a close look at the two primary types of handheld retail barcode scanners. 

Also, this article will explain why the best choice might be 2.4 GHz, not Bluetooth. Therefore, it only makes sense that we begin by looking at the 2.4 GHz wireless barcode scanner. 

The Wireless Barcode Scanner (2.4 GHz)

For the technical folks, 2.4 GHz might seem a misleading name for the wireless barcode scanner. Just a minute, allow me to explain. Your Bluetooth device also communicates over the same bandwidth, the 2.4 GHz spectrum. 

However, there is a differentiating factor. This can be found in their simplicity. The scanners bearing the 2.4 GHz with their product names, all you need to start using is some USB receiver to connect with a computer. And you can begin scanning more products for better inventory management in no time. 

Once that is done, you're all set to begin scanning!

This sounds amazing; however, there's a downside. Depending on the type of 2.4 GHz receiver that you have, it may be too big. In this case, your computer might have this large receiver sticking out all the time (not a sight you might be fond of). If you have a stationary desktop, this is fine. But laptop users might have a major issue with such a wireless barcode scanner receiver. 

On the other hand, you also need to consider the fact that your USB port might have other accessories seeking access. Accessories like your keyboard and mouse will also need a USB port to plug into. As such, the simplicity of the 2.4 GHz wireless product scanner to set up comes with some caveat. Think about all the physical space it might be using on your personal computer and the other devices that you'll need to use during the day. 

Having considered the wireless barcode scanner, we are closer to seeing how these pieces of hardware affect cash flow, let's take a look at the Bluetooth wireless barcode scanner. 

Bluetooth Wireless Barcode Scanner

wireless barcode scanner

We know some people want nothing to do with extra USB adapters plugged into their PCs, though they want to be free of wires too. To you, we recommend the Bluetooth barcode scanner. Usually, Bluetooth is associated with devices like headsets, keyboards, and mice. However, the uses of this great piece of technology far outstretch these few options. 

AS you would expect, this option of wireless barcode scanner also comes with some merits and demerits. The primary advantage of choosing a Bluetooth retail barcode scanner lies in the fact that the Bluetooth transmitter is so commonly found in many modern devices. Therefore, unlike the 2.4 GHz wireless barcode scanner, you can find your Bluetooth adapter already installed within your PC or laptop. 

As such, there is no need for a USB adapter of any sort. 

On the other hand, you need to pair every Bluetooth product scanner to your computer before use. This is where you find the 2.4 GHz barcode scanner easier to operate than the Bluetooth retail barcode scanner. Nevertheless, we've reduced the pairing process down to three steps. 

Step 1 - Verify your Windows PC's Bluetooth status

It's true; most devices come with an in-built Bluetooth adapter. However, not all laptops have this feature. The chances of a Bluetooth adapter depend primarily on the time your laptop or PC was built. Get a computer manufactured in the previous years, and your chances of getting a Bluetooth adapter in there is about 100%. To verify whether your windows has one, please check this Microsoft thread for details. 

After you've ascertained your Bluetooth adapter, you need to turn on this adapter. However, the exact procedure depends on the version of Windows you use. Google helps in this case. 

Step 2 - Set up Pairing Mode for your Bluetooth Wireless Barcode scanner

The Bluetooth wireless barcode scanner does not come with USB receivers. As such, you can't automatically connect it with your computer. Therefore, we are left with only one more option - manual pairing. Some wireless barcode scanners in this class have a visible pairing button. 

In this case, you' connect by holding down for 5 - 10 seconds your pairing button. For other types of scanners, you need to find out the specific method of connection by reading the manual that came with your wireless barcode scanner. 

Step 3 - Windows Pairing with Barcode Scanner 

The third and final step is the easiest of all three steps. Once you've put your retail barcode scanner into pairing mode, it should be visible among the list of available Bluetooth devices on your computer. In case you don't see your wireless barcode scanner, no need to panic. 

Check to see if there are any Bluetooth devices tagged "Keyboard" in the list of available devices. Mind you; some Bluetooth product scanners appear under this name. This is because the Bluetooth scanner and your Bluetooth keyboard use the same profile. 

However, there are other cases when your device is simply out of range. You want to avoid this since this can indirectly affect other aspects of your business like accounting and inventory management

What to Do When Out of Range

wireless barcode scanner

The better part of Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz wireless barcode scanners can transmit and receive signals very well at a maximum of 30 feet. This figure isn't fixed but subject to the surrounding. Because obstacles like physical walls and objects decrease the reach of your wireless barcode scanner. If you've worked in any storage locations or warehouses, you know 30 feet isn't enough even without any obstacles. 

Good thing, the manufacturers of these devices are also aware of this fact. As such, they equip your average wireless barcode scanner with embedded memory banks. These help the product scanner to save the scanned codes until you retrieve them. You can find this memory capacity on the product website. Usually, you'll find that the memory capacity is either hundreds or thousands. 

Primary, the goal isn't to store files. The main purpose of your average wireless barcode scanner is to enable scanning even if the product scanner isn't within the range of the receiver. In this case, your wireless barcode scanner remembers any codes it has scanned until the link with your PC is restored. 

You'll find these features extremely helpful when scanning a long list of products to scan, irrespective of the retail packaging they come in. 

Bottom Line. 

By this point in the article, you might have made an idea of the type of wireless barcode scanner you will need going forward in 2020. Like it is our tradition, we provide a simple framework to help you with retail management tips for yourself, employees, and business. Hence, if your employees require the flexibility to move up and down, from your computer while scanning products, then 2.4 GHz or Bluetooth scanners are the best scanning devices you can find in the market. 

On the other hand, a wired scanner also has its place. And you'll find it doing the best work in stores where the employee scans the same kinds of products every day. Remember, wired scanners, like some of the best, are plug-and-play devices that do not require any recharging. So which one would you choose - A wireless barcode scanner or wired scanners? Please leave us a comment in the section below. 


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