Own a small business? Are you curious about the difference between a scanner and a copier? Here’s the scoop:

Own a small business? Are you curious about the difference between a scanner and a copier? Here’s the scoop:

“There are so many different options for copying and scanning documents and images that choosing one can be mind-boggling. There is no definitive “best” option for everyone. Thankfully, small-business owners can choose the features that are best for their applications by taking a good look at the differences between scanners and copiers.

The beginning steps of scanning and copying are identical: you place a document or image in the machine, push a button, and the machine acquires a digital copy of the image. The results, however, are quite different. If the machine is a copier, it simply prints the digital image onto one or more blank sheets of paper. If the machine is a scanner, it stores a digital copy of the image on a memory card or USB device, or it transmits the image to a computer.

The three most popular types of machines for copying are a dedicated copier, an all-in-one (also called multifunctional) printer, and a fax machine that is able to copy images. Scanning, on the other hand, usually requires a computer or a memory device in addition to the scanner. A scanner is most effective when partnered with a computer to allow images to be edited, emailed, printed, and saved to disk. A computer is not required if the scanner saves to a memory card or USB device. Some scanners also scan to email or transmit scanned images wirelessly to portable devices. All-in-one printers add the option of scanning documents and then faxing them.

Business owners who are thinking about buying a scanner or copier should begin with the end goal in mind. If paper is your medium of choice for document transmission and record-keeping, a copier will likely suffice. If you value paperless systems, use a scanner. Scanners generally give you more options since once the digital image is on your computer you can always edit, email, or print it. You can also easily store backup digital copies of your scanned documents in remote locations. If you are uncertain which machine will suit you best or if you want the capability to both copy and scan, consider purchasing an all-in-one printer since that will give you all the options of copying, scanning, printing, and faxing.” (2018, Hearst News)

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