Although 1D barcodes may largely look similar there are in fact a multitude of types; all with their own unique characteristics. It is these unique characteristics which determine which is best for which job. The most widely used and widely recognised barcode is probably the Code 2 of 5 (or Code 25) barcode and can be used in many different situations when linked to a database.
In addition to several very versatile barcodes there are also several highly specialised and specific barcodes such as SCC-14 which is used for shipping containers; although based on UPC. With such variety out there it is important to make sure that the correct barcode is used for the job. It is very often the case that the when people contact us about a difficulty reading a barcode the root of the problem is poor selection.
For example if you require highly reliable data then ensure a barcode with a checksum is used, although it must be noted that this only stops a percentage of errors. The correct barcode is worthless if scanned or printed poorly.
Therefore when I stumbled across this website I was greatly impressed. It tells you the main characteristics of each barcode and has an interactive barcode guide to help point you in the correct direcention. Don’t be put off by the slightly odd looking lady in the corner, the information here is worth a look if you think the barcode you are currently using isn’t quite up to the job.
However this website does not really venture into the world of 2d barcodes where far more redundancy and security can be found. Furthermore many barcode readers such as the Softek Barcode Reader SDK now charge no extra for the ability to read 2d barcodes. Got to be worth a go?