How to Use an Ethernet Barcode Scanner With a PC

By Jeff Grundy

Ethernet barcode scanners can send data to multiple PCs on a network.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Many businesses use barcode scanners to enter UPC codes into their point-of-sale systems when ringing up sales. In most cases, these types of scanners have cables that restrict their use to a single workstation. With an Ethernet barcode scanner, though, you can connect the device’s base station or hub to a router or network switch and use it virtually anywhere in your business for point-of-sale data entry as well as inventory and shipping tasks that require barcodes.

Connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the “Network” or “RJ-45” port on the barcode base station device. Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into an empty port on the router for your local area network. Connect the AC power adapter to the scanner base station.

Go to one of the computers connected to the same router as the base station for the Ethernet scanner. Insert the installation disc for the Ethernet barcode scanner into the computer's optical drive. After the Setup Wizard window opens on the screen, follow the prompts to install the scanner driver and configuration utility on the computer. Restart the computer when prompted to do so.

Launch the configuration utility for the barcode scanner on the PC. Click “Tools” or “Options” on the menu bar, and then click “Network Settings” or “IP Settings.” Ensure that the “IP Address” option for the scanner is set to “Dynamic,” “Automatic” or “DHCP.” Click “OK” to save the IP Address settings for the barcode scanner.

Click “List Devices” or “Detect Scanners” on the menu bar. Ensure that the device name of the Ethernet barcode scanner appears in the list of detected devices window. Close the scanner configuration utility.

Open your preferred point-of-sale or accounting application. Use the “Options,” “Preferences” or “Tools” menu bar option to select the installed barcode scanner in the Hardware or Scanners section of the program’s configuration menu.

Insert batteries in the barcode scanner. Refer to the user guide for the scanner to determine the type and size of batteries you need to install.

Open a new invoice or inventory window in the POS or accounting application. Point the scanner at appropriate barcodes on labels or products and squeeze the trigger to transfer data embedded in the codes to the application. After you squeeze the scanner trigger, the data appears in the selected field of the application window. Squeezing the trigger also forces a carriage return after sending the data. The carriage return serves the same purpose as pressing the “Enter” or “Tab” keys within the application.

Install the driver for the Ethernet scanner on other network computers as needed. When running the installation routine from the disc, select the “Driver Only” or “Install Driver for Workstation” menu option. You only need the driver on other workstation computers and not the configuration utility.

Items you will need

  • RJ-45 Ethernet cable

  • Router


If your network router does not use DHCP to assign IP addresses to computers on the network automatically, you can enter an IP address for the barcode scanner manually in the scanner configuration utility. When entering a manual IP address for the scanner, ensure that it is in the same range and uses the same subnet mask address as other computers on the network. For instance, if the computers on the network use IP addresses that range from to, enter “” or another IP address that does not conflict with other workstations. Additionally, if the subnet mask of the network is “,” you must enter the same value for the Ethernet scanner base device in the configuration utility.