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Introduction to hardware

Getting started guide

In this article, learn about the hardware and you’ll need to manage your business and what connection type is right for you. Navigate to other articles in the guide using the carousel below.

From printers to cash drawers to payment terminals, selecting the right hardware for your business helps optimize workflows and ensures your business runs smoothly. This article will guide you through the types of hardware available and how to set up hardware with Retail POS.

Available hardware

These are the tools you'll need for your transactions, managing inventory, and managing cash flow. For a complete list of the various devices that you can use, their features, and compatibility details, refer to our Supported Hardware article.

Hardware Description

Receipt Printers

Star mCPrint3 printer
Receipt printers, specifically thermal printers, are essential for generating customer receipts. They print quickly and silently.

Payment terminals

WisePOS-E point of sale
Payment terminals allow your store to accept debit and credit card payments. They not only accelerate transactions but also offer your customers more ways to pay for their orders. Moreover, payment terminals reduce the need for manual card entry, minimize errors, and ensure secure, PCI-compliant transactions, enhancing your efficiency and customer service.

Barcode scanner

Socket mobile scanner

Barcode scanners are a great solution for retail items or packaged goods. Barcode scanners can help you quickly add items to sales or when you are managing your inventory by simply scanning the item label.

Label printer

Dymo 550 label printer
Label printers are great for inventory management. If you're using barcode scanners, a label printer is used to apply adhesive labels with barcodes to items so that they can be scanned and added to a sale.

Cash drawers

Generic cash drawer
Cash drawers store cash, coins, and checks. With Retail POS, they're connected to your printer via an RJ12 connector cable. They are automatically triggered to open when needed, improving the organization and security of your cash handling.

Understanding connection types

While purchasing hardware, it's important to be aware of various factors, such as the connectivity options (e.g., LAN vs. USB), their compatibility with your devices, and the specific features of each hardware type. For a more complete list of the various devices that you can use, their features, and compatibility details, refer to the Supported Hardware article.

Choosing the right connection types for your hardware is crucial for the efficient operation of Retail POS. Different connections impact performance, reliability, and versatility in unique ways.

LAN (Local Area Network) connection

Recommended

LAN-connected hardware communicates through a wired network by connecting your device to your router via an Ethernet cable. It's known for reliability and speed, making it a good choice for environments where a consistent, uninterrupted connection is vital. Using a LAN connection is often recommended as the most stable option.

We recommend using printers and payment terminals with a LAN connection to support a sturdy and reliable connection. Should you choose to purchase a Bluetooth or USB printer, bear in mind that they can only be linked to a single iPad at a time.

Benefits Considerations
  • Reliable and fast.
  • Offers a more consistent and uninterrupted connection.
  • It is more secure than wireless alternatives.
  • Allows multiple POS devices to connect to shared hardware.
  • Requires a wired setup.

Bluetooth connection

Bluetooth devices connect wirelessly and offer flexibility when it comes to hardware placement. They're suitable for smaller establishments or where cabling would be intrusive. However, remember that the range of Bluetooth is limited, and interference from other devices could affect connection quality.

Benefits Considerations
  • Allows devices to be mobile within a certain range.
  • Limited range.
  • Susceptible to interference from objects like walls.
  • Can only connect to one POS device at a time.

Wi-Fi connection

Like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi allows for wireless hardware placement but with a more extended range. It's suitable for larger premises or mobile devices. However, Wi-Fi is susceptible to connection issues due to network congestion or interference.

Benefits Considerations
  • Allows devices to be mobile within a certain range.
  • Allows multiple POS devices to connect to shared hardware.
  • Vulnerable to unauthorized access if not properly secured.
  • Slower connection that's more prone to interruptions and disconnects.

USB connection

USB-connected hardware is simple to set up and reliable. It's ideal for hardware like receipt printers that are positioned close to the POS. However, USB-connected devices are less flexible insofar as they can only be linked to a single iPad at a time.

Benefits Considerations
  • Reliable and fast.
  • Most USB devices can be powered directly from the device they're connected to.
  • Easy setup.
  • Can only connect to one POS device at a time.
  • Needs to be physically close to the POS.

Purchasing hardware

Purchasing hardware involves reaching out to the Sales department at sales@lightspeedhq.com or contacting your Account Manager directly. You also have the option of buying from other sources, but it is highly recommended to purchase from Lightspeed directly to ensure compatibility and support.

Setting up your hardware

Once you have selected and purchased your hardware, the next step is setting it up. If you already know what model you have, refer to the relevant sections of the Supported Hardware article to find setup instructions for your specific device.

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