5 Best USB Barcode Scanners in 2020 – Wireless & Wired

Barcode Scanners are essential tools for many businesses. Used mostly in companies dealing with retail or warehousing, these devices help you to keep track of your inventory. All you need to do is scan the item barcode, and the information will be sent to your PC in a split second.

By using compatible software, you can decide what to do with that information. As these devices can help you manage your business efficiently, it is essential to buy the best USB Barcode Scanner. But how do you decide which barcode scanner is best?

As part of this process, you will need to consider various factors, which we examine in more detail in this article. First of all, you need to decide whether you will require a wired or a wireless barcode scanner. You will also need to consider the type of scanning technology being used. Most scanners are compatible with standard software to store or manage data scanned by the barcode: this is another important factor to consider when comparing products.

What are the types of barcodes a scanner can read? Choosing a scanner that can read a wide range of barcodes, or at least selecting a device that is able to read the types of barcodes you will be dealing with is extremely important. Is the scanner strong enough to handle occasional knocks or falls? Is it lightweight? These are some of the questions that you must consider before finalizing the device you will buy for barcode scanning.

Before we take a look at the best barcode scanners for business, let us take a look at the points to consider before making your final choice.

How do you choose a USB Barcode Scanner for your Business?

Wired / Wireless Scanning

It is essential to decide whether a wired or wireless scanner will better serve your needs. Wireless scanners give you the flexibility to move around and scan items without restrictions. These are best suited for places such as big warehouses where the item loading station might be far away from the workstation.

Some people prefer using wireless barcode scanners even when the scanning is to be carried out close to the PC it is connected to. It is a good idea to review your requirements and make the best choice accordingly. Wired scanning devices cost much less: in some cases, almost half the price of the wireless ones.

Scanner Technology

These days, there are three general types of barcode scanning technologies available. These technologies are categorized based on the type of scanner hardware being used in the device. Let’s take a closer look at the three categories of scanner technology:

Linear imaging: As the name suggests, this technology is capable of reading 1D barcodes only. The sensor takes a picture of the 1D barcode and reads the image’s information before sending the data to your PC. 1-dimensional barcodes can be found on the packaging of almost every type of product.

2D Area Imaging: The barcode scanners with this technology are capable of scanning 2D barcodes and stacked barcodes. So, if you will be specifically dealing with these types of barcodes, it is a good idea to go with a scanner that runs on this technology. Unlike linear scanners, these scanners can be used to scan barcodes from any direction.

Laser Barcode Scanner: This technology uses a laser to read barcodes. A laser-based barcode scanner can read almost all types of barcodes by detecting the black and white areas of the barcode. Businesses widely use this technology. Using a laser scanner can be very useful for businesses that have to deal with various barcodes.

When selecting a barcode scanner for your business, be sure to carefully consider the type or types of barcodes you will be dealing with and make your choice accordingly.

Software Compatibility

Most barcode scanners, whether wired or wireless, are compatible with the software commonly used to read and manage barcode data. You will not find any device that works only with specific software. Modern Inventory Management software works just fine with almost any type of barcode scanner, but it is also essential to double-check the compatibility. If you already are using a particular program, check if it supports barcode scanners. If you’re starting fresh, we suggest you look for software with barcode scanner support.

Supported Barcodes

A standard barcode scanner will be able to scan and read almost any type of barcode. However, you must take a look at the barcode types supported by the scanner you are looking to use. If a device supports the barcodes you will be dealing with, you can add it to your shortlist.

Build

Work environments like warehouses, retail shops, and so on involve physical work. Thus the devices in use will inevitably face wear and tear and occasional falls. Therefore it becomes essential to select a tool that can withstand this kind of rough treatment. Look for sturdy devices that provide ample grip and are easy to carry around and operate.

OS Support

No matter what operating system the PCs in your business run on, the ideal barcode scanner will be able to run on all operating systems used throughout your business. Although most scanning devices can run on Windows, MAC OS, and Linux, it is highly recommended to check the OS compatibility before making a selection.

Here are the Best USB Barcode Scanners that you can buy

  1. ESKY Barcode Scanner
  2. NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner
  3. Symcode USB Wired Barcode Scanner
  4. Symcode Wearable Wireless Barcode Reader Scanner
  5. TaoTronics 2-in-1 Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

Let’s take a look at each of the best barcode scanners. You will get to know the features they have to offer, their compatibility, and how sturdy they are. We will also cover any cons or issues with each barcode scanner if any!

ESKY Barcode Scanner

Connectivity: USB Cable

Let’s start with a solution that has almost all the features a good barcode scanner should have. It is a simple handheld barcode scanner that can be connected to a PC with a USB cable. It has automatic scanning technology with up to 100 scans per second, capable of scanning a wide range of barcode formats. These formats include UPC / EAN, UCC / EAN 128, Trioptic Code 39, Code 39, Code 39 Full ASCII, Code 11, MSI, and more.

Although it is lightweight, this scanner is a piece of sturdy equipment. It is made out of shock-resistant ABS plastic that can take a lot of knocks and falls. The device is also very light, easy to operate, and very comfortable to handle.

You can run this device on all three of the most common operating systems: Windows, MAC, and Linux.

Who should buy this scanner?

This device is perfect for those businesses where scanning barcodes do not require moving around. The scanner connects to your PC through a USB cable, and the operating area is limited to the radius of the USB cable. This should also be your pick if you have a limited budget and need a scanner that is not very expensive but does the job.

The ESKY Barcode Scanner is compatible with most of the software that is able to read barcode data.

Pros

Easy setup
Automatic scanning
Good build quality

Cons

No wireless connectivity

NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner

Connectivity: Wireless via USB Bluetooth Receiver

Although it this a wireless device, we have included it on this list because it establishes a connection with the PC through a USB Bluetooth receiver. It’s a plug and play device and does not require any installation. Another great feature of this scanner is its more-to-one mode. Using this feature, you can connect multiple NADAMOO Wireless Scanners (up to 32 devices) to a single PC and collect input from them.

This device is also capable of storing barcode scan data up to 10,000 entries. Once the barcode data is collected, it will be uploaded to your PC as soon as a connection is established. This gives you the freedom to move around and collect barcode data from places far away from your workstation. It also features an automatic scanning mode along with an essential triggered scanning mode. The scanner supports almost all barcode formats.

It runs on a Li-ion battery, included with the unit, and finding a replacement is relatively easy.

The NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner is compatible with Windows, MAC, and Linux operating systems.

Who should buy this device?

This wireless barcode scanner is highly recommended for businesses that do a lot of scanning while moving around, especially far away from the workstation. It has a relatively low price, considering all the features that this device packs. Businesses with big warehouses should consider trying this product out.

Pros

Wireless operation
Can store up to 10,000 barcode scan data
Connect up to 32 scanners to a single PC
Auto scanning

Cons

You will need to replace the device battery once it’s fully discharged.

Symcode USB Wired Barcode Scanner

Connectivity: USB

This USB scanner is suitable for users who are looking for something basic. This budget-friendly device can scan several barcode formats, but it should be noted that it cannot scan QR codes, 2D codes, and screen codes. You can also make use of its 150+ configurable options to add prefix, suffix, termination strings, and more to the scan data.

This scanner can perform 150 scans per second, which ensures quick barcode scanning. Moreover, it is compatible with almost all standard operating systems, including Windows, MAC, and Linux. It can input scan data directly to MS Word, MS Excel, Quickbook, Novell, and other similar software.

All in all, this is a great budget solution that will satisfy many businesses’ barcode scanning needs.

Who should buy this device?

Small businesses, shops, and even small warehouses could make use of this scanner for barcodes. The device is just what a small business that has just started will need. Being priced around 20 USD, the scanner is also an excellent value for the money.

Just make sure that you will not be scanning 2D barcodes, QR codes, and screen codes.

Pros

Value for money
Portable
Good built quality
Anti-drop Silicone protection

Cons

Only USB wire connectivity
Restricted movement

Symcode Omnidirectional Hands-Free USB Automatic Barcode Reader

Connectivity: USB

The Symcode omnidirectional barcode reader is a high-performance device capable of scanning multiple types of barcodes, including 1D, 2D, screen code, fuzzy code, and more, all with high accuracy. All you need to do is throw the barcode at it in any direction. It can also scan barcodes from labels, papers, clothes, and mobile and computer displays.

This plug and play device does not require installation. Just plug the USB cable into your PC, and you are set to go. This scanner is most suitable for businesses where scanning will be done on a table or desk. Just swipe the item barcode in front of the scanner, and its data will be registered. It comes loaded with an auto-scan sensor that is always active so you can scan items without even touching the scanner.

You can also switch between normal scanning mode and high-speed scanning mode by pressing the button on the top of the device.

The device has been robustly built and can easily handle a fall from up to 5 ft.

Who is this barcode scanner for?

If you have a setup where all the items that need to be scanned have to pass through a table or counter, this device can prove to be very helpful: simply check the item and move it forward. This scanner is also an ideal pick for shops.

With a price of around 80 USD, this device may seem a bit expensive. However, with so many features, this scanner is great value for the money.

TaoTronics 2-in-1 Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

Connectivity: USB / Bluetooth

One of the best barcode scanners available today, this device can connect to your PC through a USB cable or Bluetooth. But that’s not all: you can also connect this scanner to Android phones, Android tablets, Apple iPhones, and Apple iPad.

The TaoTronics 2 in 1 scanner is made of industrial-grade plastic, which means it can easily withstand occasional falls. However, because of its portable size and handy design, the device fits firmly in your hand so is unlikely to be dropped.

It is equipped with a 32-bit processor that allows it to carry out seamless scanning with up to 200 scans per second. The inbuilt memory chip on this device can store up to 200,000 barcode scans, making it easy for you to scan items on the go. You can quickly convert this device into a fixed scanner by connecting it to your PC with a USB cable.

The product includes a 750 mAh battery that can carry out continuous scanning for up to 30 hours. The USB cable can be used to fully charge the battery in just 1.5 hours.

Who should buy this device?

As it stores barcode data and can be used freely, it is best suited for big businesses, especially where it’s required to move around a lot to scan items. —the device costs around 60 USD, which is a great deal.

Pros

Wireless connectivity
Stores barcode data
Good battery life
Connects with Android, iOS, MAC, Windows, Linux

Cons

A bit expensive

Closing Words

On your journey to find the best scanners for barcodes, we hope that this guide was helpful in allowing you to shortlist a device that fits your requirements perfectly. If you have any queries, doubts, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments section. We will be delighted to hear from you!