If your organization uses Android-based mobile computers (Motorola / Symbol TC70 or MC40), it's easy to connect to almost any wireless network, including shared networks or Wi-Fi hot spots. However, as with any mobile device, sometimes connectivity or bandwidth issues can arise if proper precautions are not taken to ensure network accessibility and stability.
While the following criteria are not requirements for wireless scanning, these are our recommended best practices that should be met to ensure consistent and reliable scanning:
OVATIONTIX BEST PRACTICES FOR WIRELESS BARCODE SCANNING
- 802.11n WiFi access point (AP) dedicated to barcode scanning devices
Older models of WiFi routers are 802.11a, b, and g, which are still prevalent. The improvement in range and speed with “n” is stark; 175 ft range compared to the next-best 50 ft range; and up to 450 Mbps vs. 54 Mbps).
The access point is dedicated to scanning – no other devices should be utilizing the access point other than barcode scanners.
- Access Point is completely locked down, accessible only to MAC addresses of scanning devices
Mobile devices that connect to WiFi are equipped with a unique identifier called a MAC address.
A network administrator can configure a wireless access point so that no devices can connect to the network through the access point except devices whose MAC addresses have been white listed. This ensures two things:
- Since there is no password that grants access to any device, the access point will prevent any other devices from ever connecting (laptops, phones, etc.)
- Scanners will automatically connect to the network, and will never require users to provide a password, making them more reliable and easier to use.
- 300 kb/s bandwidth per device
OvationTix recommends the performance space has a dedicated Internet line for scanners only.
This means not just a dedicated access point (which is required), but an Internet line itself.
If performance space must use a shared line (meaning all the computers, other WiFi access points, etc. are all connected to one Internet line), the network administrator must configure the QoS (Quality of Service) to ensure that each scanner is allocated sufficient bandwidth.
If the client is able to dedicate an Internet line to scanning, this line can also serve as a backup line for the primary (box office) connection.
- Clear line-of-sight between Access Point and the scanning location
Minimum 25dB signal-to-noise ratio at scanning location.