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Barcode vs. QR Code: What’s the Difference?

Barcode vs. QR Code

Experts predict that the industrial barcode scanner market size is estimated to grow by USD 1.83 billion from 2022 to 2026.

What is fueling this massive demand for barcode scanners and barcode labels?

Simple and secure tracking. And QR codes aren’t the only way to track products or secure secret data.

What is a QR code, and how does it differ from a standard barcode? Perhaps you want to use a QR code instead of a standard barcode.

Barcode vs QR code — we’ve got the differences and similarities below.


A barcode is a machine-readable symbol made up of many parallel lines of varying thickness and width that represent encoded data. They are frequently scanned at checkout counters to identify products.

The ZXing decoder is an open-source decoder library that can decode both barcodes and QR codes.

QR codes are two-dimensional matrix codes. These are also known as quick response codes, which can store a large amount of information.

Unlike barcodes, QR codes do not need to be horizontally aligned to scan. The encoded information can be accessed using smartphones or dedicated product QR code scanner devices.

Both barcodes and QR codes are used to aid in product identification, track inventory, and provide information about a product. However, QR codes allow for handling far more data, providing not just product information but also customer reviews, business contact, or even web links to further content.


In terms of features, a barcode is generally simpler to use and understand.

It consists of a series of lines and spaces which represent numbers or letters. Due to its simplicity, it is commonly used in stores to identify prices and products.

On the other hand, QR codes pack more data than barcodes. They are made up of a grid of black and white squares and can be used to store web addresses, emails, Wi-Fi passwords, and more.

The major differences between Barcode and a QR Code include the ability of a QR Code to store more data, the ability to store multimedia, the ability to create interactive experiences, and the ability to encode the data securely.


When it comes to their benefits, barcodes save time and increase accuracy by providing a quick and easy way to scan items in stores, warehouses, and other locations. QR codes can provide access to detailed product information and can also be used as a business marketing tool.

For example, QR codes can link to websites, online coupon pages, and other digital resources. In addition, QR codes offer a secure link for payment processing, making e-commerce businesses much faster and safer.

Barcode vs QR Code

While barcode vs QR code might look similar, both are unique technologies used for different purposes. Barcodes are best for tracking inventory, limited data storage, and product identification, while QR codes are better for wider data storage and linking users to further information.

For businesses looking to quickly and easily provide customers with more product information, a QR code may be a better choice.

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