Barcodes and QR codes have become an integral part of our lives. They are everywhere – on the products we buy, the packages we receive, and the tickets we use. These codes have revolutionized how businesses operate, making tracking inventory, managing logistics, and improving customer service easier. While barcodes and QR codes may look similar, they differ in structure and usage.

What is Barcode?

A barcode is a machine-readable representation of data in lines and spaces. It consists of a series of vertical bars and spaces of varying widths representing alphanumeric characters. The information stored in a barcode can be read by a barcode scanner, which translates the bars and spaces into the corresponding characters. Barcodes are used in retail, inventory management, and logistics to track and manage products and shipments.

What are the Advantages of Barcodes?

Barcodes offer several advantages over traditional manual data entry methods, such as:

  • Accuracy: Barcodes reduce the risk of human error, ensuring that the data entered is accurate and reliable.
  • Speed: Barcodes can be read quickly and easily, making data entry and tracking faster and more efficient.
  • Cost-effective: Barcodes are cost-effective, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing labor costs.
  • Versatility: Barcodes can be used in a variety of applications, such as retail, inventory management, and logistics.
  • Traceability: Barcodes enable businesses to track products and shipments from origin to destination, improving visibility and traceability.
  • Integration: Barcodes can be easily integrated with other systems, such as point-of-sale and inventory management software.

What are the Disadvantages of Barcodes?

While barcodes offer many benefits for businesses and organizations, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

  • Line of sight: Barcodes require a clear line of sight to be read, which can be challenging in specific environments or with certain products.
  • Environmental limitations: Barcodes can be affected by environmental factors, such as heat, cold, and moisture, which can degrade their readability.
  • Limited data capacity: Barcodes have limited data capacity, which can be a limitation in specific applications requiring more data.
  • Vulnerability to damage: Barcodes can be damaged or defaced, affecting their readability and accuracy.
  • Limited flexibility: Barcodes are fixed in size and shape, which can limit their flexibility in specific applications.
  • Reliance on hardware: Barcodes require specialized hardware, such as scanners and printers, which can be expensive and require maintenance.

What is a QR Code?

QR code stands for Quick Response code. It is a two-dimensional barcode that can store more data than traditional barcodes. QR codes were first developed in 1994 by a Japanese company named Denso Wave. QR codes are black squares arranged on a white background in a square grid pattern. QR codes can be read by smartphones, tablets, and other devices equipped with a QR code reader app. The information stored in a QR code can be a URL, contact information, text, or other data types.

What are the Advantages of a QR code?

QR codes offer several advantages over traditional barcodes, such as:

  • Higher data capacity: QR codes can store much more data than traditional barcodes, making them suitable for applications that require more information.
  • Built-in error correction: QR codes have built-in error correction capabilities that enable them to be read even if part of the code is damaged or obscured.
  • Versatility: QR codes can be used in a wide range of applications, such as marketing, product information, event management, and payment systems.
  • Easy to scan: QR codes can be scanned quickly and easily by smartphones and other devices, making them user-friendly and convenient.
  • Enhanced user experience: QR codes can enhance the user experience by providing additional information, interactive content, and other features.
  • Cost-effective: QR codes are cost-effective, as they can be printed on various surfaces and materials and do not require specialized hardware.

What are the Disadvantages of QR codes?

While QR codes offer a range of advantages, there are also some disadvantages associated with their use, such as:

  • Limited adoption: QR codes have yet to be widely adopted in specific regions and industries, which can limit their usefulness.
  • Scanning limitations: QR codes require a clear line of sight and proper lighting to be scanned, which can be a limitation in specific environments.
  • Environmental factors: QR codes can be affected by environmental factors, such as heat, cold, and moisture, which can degrade their readability.
  • Security risks: QR codes can be used to deliver malware, phishing scams, and other security risks, which can pose a threat to users.
  • Data capacity limitations: While QR codes can store more data than traditional barcodes, they still limit the amount of data that can be stored.
  • Design limitations: QR codes have a fixed design and limited flexibility regarding their appearance, which can limit their use in specific applications.

Difference Between Barcode & QR Code

Difference Barcodes QR Codes
Year of Inception 1970s 1990s
Developer IBM Denso Wave
Types UPC, Code 128, EAN Two-dimensional code
Storing Format Vertical lines Square grid of black and white modules
Use Case             Retail, logistics Marketing, advertising, mobile payments, event management



Barcodes and QR codes differ in technology, development, types, storing format, and use cases. Barcodes have been around longer and are commonly used in retail and logistics. They have limitations in their data storage and require a clear line of sight to scan. QR codes were developed later, have a square grid of black and white modules, and can store more data. They are more versatile, can be scanned from any angle, and have many applications. The choice between a barcode and a QR code will depend on the specific needs of a business or organization. Both codes are valuable tools in managing information and will continue to evolve and be used in various industries.


1. How to get a barcode for a product in india

You can apply for a unique barcode number from GS1 India or other authorized agencies to get a barcode for your product in India.

2. What is a barcode reader

A barcode reader is a device that scans and decodes information encoded in a barcode. It can be a handheld or fixed scanner, and it reads the black and white bars on a barcode to retrieve the encoded data.

3. What is the barcode number

A barcode number is a unique identifier assigned to a product or item, represented by a series of bars and spaces that a barcode scanner can read.

4. What is the use of a barcode reader

The primary use of a barcode reader is to quickly and accurately retrieve data about a product or item, such as its price, inventory level, or other relevant information. It also helps businesses to track and manage their inventory and sales more efficiently.

5. Why QR code is better than a barcode

QR codes can hold more information than barcodes and can be scanned more quickly, making them more versatile in various applications. Smartphones can also scan QR codes, which are ubiquitous and more accessible than barcode scanners.


The author writes about fintech, banking, and future of SAAS services. He works as an SEO analyst at Easebuzz, so if you're looking for an account that tracks India's fintech scene, you should check out his Easebuzz blog.