How to Wire a POS System

By Raul Avenir

A POS system reads bar codes and uploads bar code data into the POS program.
i pencil and barcode image by Anatoly Tiplyashin from

A point-of-sale system, or POS, is used for recording retail sales transactions by entering the transaction into a computer software program that tracks sales, inventory quantities and pricing information. Wiring a POS involves setting up a POS terminal computer at each checkout counter, setting up a server computer, connecting all computers to the local area network, or LAN, and plugging all peripheral devices into each computer. Once the computers are connected to a network, the POS program will synchronize all data and record all transactions from each checkout counter.

Choose where you will place a network router, such as on a desk or table. Place a server computer beside the router and place a POS terminal at each checkout counter. Do not turn on any computer while wiring the POS system.

Place a cash drawer, a receipt printer and a bar code scanner at a checkout counter. Plug the patch cable of the receipt printer to its matching port at the back of the POS computer. Plug the patch cable of the cash drawer to a matching port at the back of the receipt printer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Plug the bar code scanner into its corresponding port at the back of the POS terminal.

Plug an Ethernet cable with RJ-45 connectors into the network port at the back of the POS terminal, and run the cable to the router. Plug the other end of the network cable into the network jack marked "LAN" at the back of the network router.

Connect your network router to your Internet modem using the patch cable supplied with the modem in case you need the POS terminal to connect to the Internet. Plug the patch cable into the port marked "WAN" (wide area network) behind the network router, and plug the other end of the cable into a matching port behind the modem.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 to install additional POS terminals.

Connect each computer, modem and computer peripheral to a power source, then turn on the hardware. Configure the network router to access all computers in the network. Configure the POS system using the POS software program, and load the necessary software drivers for each computer peripheral.