Readerware products will work with virtually any barcode scanner. Just what kind of barcode scanner will work best for you depends on exactly how you will be using it.
None of the barcode scanners listed in this article require special drivers, just plug them in and scan. They will work on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
A wand barcode reader like the CueCat are the least expensive. They look a bit like a pen and you hold them like a pen, then you "draw a line" through the barcode to scan. They can take a bit of getting used to but work well, more on using a CueCat with Readerware here. Readerware offers a free USB CueCat wand barcode reader when you order a three product bundle on CD.
A CCD scanner like the ID Tech EconoScan II are the easiest to use. You simply put the mouth of the scanner over the barcode and press the button. You can also get stands for the scanner so that you can just wave the item in front of it, a bit like a supermarket checkout.
ID TECH’s EconoScan II CCD Scanner is specially designed to deliver high-end performance at the lowest possible price.
This low cost rugged scanner contains no moving parts, yet it is exceptionally lightweight and designed to fit comfortably in the hand for extended periods of usage.
A portable barcode reader like the Serialio.com KeyBatch scanner lets you scan while disconnected from your computer. So you can scan your books, music and videos on their shelves rather than dragging them to your computer. These are laser scanners, you press the button and a red line appears on the item, you change the distance of the scanner from the item to size the line and then position it so that the line goes through the barcode. Easier to use than a wand reader, but not quite as easy as a CCD scanner.
The Serialio.com KeyBatch batch and real-time laser scanner is a key fob sized scanner that can store up to 10,000 scans. The KeyBatch also works as a real-time scanner when plugged into a USB port. It is a versatile and easy to use scanner
You configure the KeyBatch by scanning special barcodes, print this document and start scanning.
If the ability to scan items on your shelves is important, then the KeyBatch is the way to go. If you are using the scanner at your computer, say to check out books, then I think a CCD scanner is a better choice. The CueCat is a good low cost barcode reader that is sufficient for most home users.