Many companies need to manage data communications between barcode scanners, warehouse servers, as well as other local and remote computers on their network. They want a reliable solution that fits within the companies defined budget and timeline, and need to be confident that the right tool for the job is selected.

When faced with web-based solutions vs SSH, it can be confusing and difficult to wade through the pros and cons of each. In every decision, knowledge and information is powerful. In business, budget and time is imperative, so there is no room for a wrong choice.

It is important to understand some of the distinct fundamental differences in how these alternative solutions work.


Basic Fundamentals of Data Transfer within Barcode Environments – SSH vs Web Based:

Data transfer solutions utilizing SSH, like the Georgia SoftWorks SSH Server, is a character-oriented protocol. SSH was invented to solve the problem of secure remote access to computers. It was designed and optimized for character data, making it highly efficient for network and computing resources, because barcodes themselves are character data. In fact, all data within a barcode is described using short character strings. What does this mean? In a sense, SSH speaks the language of barcode scanners.

In contrast, web-based alternatives are not character oriented and must perform a conversion before every communication operation, adding inefficient bulk to the process. There’s also other additional bulk that is inherent to web-based alternatives – they rely on third party libraries, plugins, scripts and programs creating dependencies on all levels. This means that there are many extra layers and moving parts in web-based solutions that not only reduce efficiency, but also create significant opportunities for failure.


Data Security – SSH vs Web Based

Most companies are increasingly concerned about the potential for hacking attempts, so data security is on the forefront of their mind when picking a data transfer solution. It is important to protect valuable and sensitive data, both from hackers attempting to steal but also manipulate internal data. You can do a quick internet search or turn on any news channel and see a number of high-profile hacking cases in almost every industry.

Would you be surprised to find out that all the hacking cases involve web servers, browsers or wireless access?

Maintaining security for a web-based solution is a constant chore, and there is no bulletproof option that will allow you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and secure. With web based solutions, the security is implemented using SSL/TLS, which offers good security as long as the various algorithms stay ahead of the advancements of the hackers and their tools. TLS version 1.2 and 1.3 cipher suites use different structures and they are not compatible. The client and the server must have the same versions. Version 1.2 has unsafe algorithms that are easily exposed if not configured properly. Every device brought in has to have the correct versions. In addition, you have all the web server and browser attack surfaces and other security concerns such as server file permissions, injection attacks on forms…etc. This is just one example of the complexity of the management it takes to maintain TLS.

However, SSH Encryption is widely acknowledged as an excellent security protocol with the best security encryption available. With SSH, you have the most current and best protection against man-in-the-middle, IP Spoofing, replay attacks, unauthorized access, data exposure and modification of data, all with an easy management solution. You can be assured that when you install the Georgia SoftWorks SSH Server, the safe algorithms are enabled, and anything unsafe is either removed or disabled. With SSH, there is no third-party software to worry about, such as in the Equifax data breach.

With SSH, the attack surface is much smaller and the rare news of an SSH breach almost always includes a compromised password or some other personal issue, not actually an SSH breach.


The Right Tool for the Job

The Georgia SoftWorks UTS is a product whose very infrastructure was designed to optimize data communications between bar-code scanners, servers and other networked computers. Over the years, the product has been refined to provide features that our customers needed. The UTS is robust and dependable, even in the most demanding work environments. SSH encryption offers reliable security that simply cannot be matched by any existing web-based solution.

Will a web solution work? Maybe. Will it be efficient, reliable or secure? Not really. Is it the right tool for the job? Not really.

Many web-based solutions sales representatives show off the new cutting-edge graphical user interface available, and claim that warehouse employees will enjoy the experience of looking at a more visual screen.

Let’s imagine a construction site where large amounts of soil need to be moved around. While a dump truck is the time-proven choice, someone suggests using a sports car instead. They tell you, “sure, it’ll move dirt, just pop the trunk! It doesn’t carry as big of a payload, but can go 5 times as fast as a dump truck, Plus, its really pretty and the crew will really enjoy the fine interior.”…We all know the boss will not be amused when the project comes to a halt on Day 1 because the car gets stuck in the mud and there’s nothing left in the budget to buy the dump truck.

While the web-based solutions may have the glitter and glitz for the workers eyes, it’s not the right tool for the job. Warehouse workers will actually enjoy getting more work done with less frustration, meeting company objectives with a dependable, consistent tool that is built for and focused on their current task. The company will prefer an affordable, time tested reliable solution, that does not require a team of security experts, developers and system administrators to keep the system secure, running and updated.

The Georgia SoftWorks Telnet Server and SSH is a better and more secure solution – it is the right tool for the job.