How to Choose The Best Scanner for Your Home Office

man scanning document

Looking For The Perfect Scanner? Here Are The Top Features To Consider

Looking for the best scanner for your home business or small office use? What scanner features do you need and which model should you consider?

From scanning documents, photos, business receipts, name cards, professional certificates, and testimonials, to newspaper articles, magazine ads, or school reports, the sky’s the limit when it comes to things you can scan! And there are multiple scanners available on the market equipped to handle your everyday tasks.

But the question remains… What features in a printer scanner are most important for a home-based business like yours?

In this article, we touch on the top questions to think about when buying a scanner. We’ll also cover the different kinds of scanners you can choose as well as their unique features.

What is a Scanner?

A scanner is an input device that works by using light and optics to convert an image or text on paper into a digital format for computer editing, displaying or archiving purposes.Often, these images need to be of a fairly high resolution in order to be useful.

1. What Do You Need Your Scanner for?

When it comes to choosing the right scanner, it really boils down to your home business’ needs and preferences. Photos and documents are the most common things that you’ll need to scan, along with receipts, articles, business cards, or film.

If you need to scan things very often or have multiple pages to scan at one go, you will likely be looking at document scanners (also known as sheetfed scanners)—most of these scanners are designed to be high-volume workhorses. We will cover the different scanner types in more detail below.

2. What Types of Scanners Are Out There?

The range of scanners available are fairly wide—have a look at the options below to see which suits you best.

Flatbed scanner

For photos or bound material (e.g. a periodical or report), a flatbed scanner works best. These scanners come with a large glass surface on which you can place the item to be scanned. They also tend to be more flexible, allowing you to scan pages from books, magazines or easily damaged items like old photos.

Sheet-fed scanner/Document scanner

Unlike a flatbed scanner, a sheet-fed scanner scans only document pages and cannot be used to scan thicker items such as books. Most sheet-fed scanners have two-sided scanning capabilities and an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which give these lean mean scanning machines high processing speeds and efficiency.

Image scanner

If you are in the business of archiving and are specifically looking to scan images and photographs, your most obvious choice is to opt for a specialised photo scanner. Such scanners tend to provide photo-friendly features, boasting of a high resolution and the ability to scan transparencies or negatives in addition to photographs. Some even come with their own editing software to help retouch image-based scans and remove dust and scratches.

3. What Scanning Software Will You Use?

Most scanners come with basic scanning software, for example, Brother scanners which can be easily operated via the iPrint&Scan app which is free to download.

Depending on your scanning needs, the features which you may need in your home business scanner may include:

  • Photo editing: to allow scanned images to be manipulated
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): to translate scanned text into editable text
  • Text indexing: to process scanned text to be searched and sorted
  • Searchable PDF documents: to create PDFs that can be searched

For a reliable and compact home scanner, check out Brother ADS-1200 Scanner. This smart wireless document scanner simplifies your everyday scanning tasks. Scanning up to 25 sheets per minute, documents will automatically be scanned as soon as you insert it into the ADS-1700W. Frequently used scan-to destinations can also be set up as one-touch shortcuts on the touchscreen.

hand of businessman scanning a document

4. How Will You Connect To The Scanner?

Need to access a scanned document or image in a jiffy? Do consider the different connectivity options for your scanner. 

While some scanners may only work with computers, others can be accessed through mobile devices like smartphones or tablets. These connectivity options may affect how quickly the scanner can scan to your device.

A standard USB cable will usually suffice if you’re connecting the scanner to a single computer. However, if you’re looking for a scanner that multiple people can access and use, do ensure that it has Wi-Fi capabilities so it can be connected to your wireless computer network.

5. What Resolution and Colour Depth Do You Need?

Unless you are a graphic designer, you probably don’t need a scanner with the highest dots per square inch (dpi)—but let’s be honest, a good scan resolution is always nice-to-have! That said, a dpi of 600-1200 is usually enough for most home-based businesses.

What about bit depth? Also known as colour depth, the bit depth is the number of bits used to determine the colour of a single pixel—the more bits available, the better the colour reproduction of your scanner. For standard colour scanning, a significant depth ranging from 24-36 should be sufficient.


Deciding on the best scanner for your home or office use will depend on your business’ specific scanning needs. Keep an eye out for the features that matter most to you and you should be on the right track.

How To Print Anything From Anywhere

businesswoman using laptop for wireless printing

Looking out for ways to print any document from anywhere — be it in a shared workspace, office, retail shop or even at home? 

Tired of getting all tangled up by multiple wires from various IT devices?

Welcome to the world of wireless printing technology — one where mobile printing doesn’t have to be mind-boggling or reserved for IT experts.

With a wireless printer at home or at your office, you can easily access your printing device without the hassle of plugging and unplugging wires. Many modern printers are able to access your home network via Wi-Fi, allowing you to print to your home printer from anywhere at any time.

In this article, we will address your most common questions in wireless printing:

  1. How Do You Print Anything From Anywhere?
  2. Print-from-Anywhere From Your Mobile Device
  3. How to Print On-the-Go (Best Portable Printers)
  4. Can you scan a document to your mobile device?
  5. Best Mobile and Cloud Printing Solutions

How Do You Print Anything From Anywhere?

To print anything from anywhere, you’ll need to first consider the context of where you are printing your document from. Perhaps you are trying to print a document at home from your personal devices such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, or you are trying to print something at your office or coworking space.

Printers with a Wireless (Wi-Fi) Connection

If it is a mobile device, printing can be done by connecting your mobile device to the same wireless (Wi-Fi) network as your printer. There is no need to even install a printer driver. As long as your phone and printer is connected to your office or home’s wireless network, you can print to it directly from a nearby location.

Printers with an Internet Connection

If the remote printer has a web connection, you can use your email application to send your print jobs to it without needing to be in the same location.

lady sipping coffee and working from home

How to Print-from-Anywhere From Your Mobile Device

If you use an iOS device, Apple Airprint lets you print from your device to any wireless printer that shares the same wireless network. You don’t even need to download and install additional software (drivers). Do check this list to make sure your printer is compatible with AirPrint.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Make sure your phone and your printer are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open the app you want to print from and find the print option. This may fall under ‘Share’, ‘Print’ or ‘Other Options’. 
  3. Tap ‘Print’ or the printer icon and select ‘Choose an Airprint-enabled Printer’.  
  4. You should then be able to identify and select the printer of your choice, specify your printing needs (number of copies or customised pages, etc.), and send your print job off!

Major printer makers—such as Brother, Canon, and HP—cover iOS devices and are compatible with AirPrint.

Android users are not left out of the action. They can also tap on a range of wireless apps for direct printing from most printer vendors. There are also printing apps, such as Mopria Print, that you can download and use.

How to Print On-the-Go (Best Portable Printers)

If your business finds you constantly on the road, and you often have to whip up (and print out) documents on a whim, it may be best to invest in a reliable portable printer.

When selecting a portable printer, ensure that their form factors are compact enough for bringing it along with you. Do also consider the electrical plugs needed (especially if you’re travelling abroad for business), as well as their ability to accept wireless printing from multiple devices.

If you’re using iOS devices, make sure you choose one that is compatible with Apple Airprint. Here is a list of the best portable printers to look out for. 

Can You Scan a Document To Your Mobile Device?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Using Brother’s Cloud Apps, you can scan any document and save it on your mobile phone. Simply use your mobile phone to scan the QR code on the printer’s LCD screen and the scanned document will be saved on your device.

The Best Mobile and Cloud Printing Solutions from Brother

If you are looking for mobile or cloud printing solutions that are suited for road warriors, consider Brother’s range of mobile and cloud printing apps and solutions.

1. iPrint&Scan

Brother’s iPrint&Scan app allows you to print or scan effortlessly from your smartphone, tablet, or notebook – without the need for cumbersome wires.

The app also comes with a range of advanced features such as document editing, faxing, and machine status updates. You can also use the app as a scanner and save scanned images or documents directly to your device. It is also compatible with AirPrint, Mopria, and Windows Mobile Print.

2. WebConnect

Brother WebConnect allows you to share and collaborate anywhere in the world in an instant.

You can readily access and print documents from the cloud and improve workplace collaboration with your Brother WebConnect supported printing device, enabling true on-the-go printing.

3. Cloud Apps

Brother’s free suite of innovative, cloud-based applications lets you create, edit, and convert files – without even touching a computer!

Designed for busy professionals who seek to enhance their productivity, noteworthy features include Brother CreativeCenter, Cloud Secure Print, and Easy Scan to Mobile or Email. There is even an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning function to editable and searchable file formats. 


Brother smart wifi-enabled printer

With wireless and on-the-go printing, your home office will never feel the same again. If you’re looking for a smart, reliable wireless printer to up your work-from-home game, do check out these bestsellers from Brother:

Want to keep your documents safe? Choose the right scanning solutions.

Forward-thinking companies are already starting to future-proof their business processes, and moving to a paperless office is at the heart of this movement. But aside from the greater efficiency and productivity gained by moving from physical documents to digital, there’s another even more critical aspect to consider – data security. As organisations today deal increasingly with highly sensitive user and corporate data, the need to maintain information security is more important than ever before. However, with the rise in data theft, even the process of scanning your paper records and storing on your servers could result in your valuable information being compromised.

Thankfully, there are professional document archiving solutions that can help address this.

Uncompromising security for scanning, storing, sharing

With professional document scanners like those from Brother, you can count on the latest security features and protocols to meet even the most stringent corporate mandates and regulations. These advanced scanning solutions will not only help streamline your scanning and archiving workflow, but come equipped with the latest enterprise-level security innovations to prevent unauthorised access.

These advanced scanning solutions include industry-standard protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Signed & Secure PDF Authentication, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), 802.1x and Certificates to protect sensitive assets such as images, documents and audits, and are crucial in helping businesses meet legal requirements from the latest government policies.

Defend your data from internal threats


Aside from looming external threats, there’s always a danger of your data being accessed from unauthorised personnel in your organisation. Unfortunately, up to a fifth of businesses have no plans to restrict employee access to digital documents, and this could lead to data breaches occurring from within.  That’s why it’s important for you to consider scanning solutions can restrict access to only authorised users. This can come in the form of a function lock which requires users to input a PIN before they can access certain features of your scanner, or even scanning solutions equipped with an access card reader that only allow users with an access card to start using the machine.

Gain peace of mind with document-level encryption

Securing your document workflow at the machine level is one thing, but what about the files themselves? After all, sensitive information is constantly being shared and distributed, and could easily end up in the hands of someone who could misuse it. To address this, Brother professional scanning solutions come with a suite of security features that allow you to scan directly into a Secure PDF format. This will encrypt the document and hardcode a 4-digit PIN which viewers must enter correctly before opening the file. You’ll also be able to scan to a signed PDF to protect the authenticity of your scans, ensuring that documents cannot be edited and resaved to be passed off as your original work.

Put your trust in a world-leader in scanning technology

While these are a lot of factors to consider, data theft is a huge threat that is growing each day. To learn more about the scanning innovations that can help your organisation counter these threats, while giving your digitisation workflow a boost, visit here.


Why your business needs professional document archiving, and how to do it.

Even as businesses rush to embrace digital transformation in every aspect of their operations, many companies still face the challenge of digitising their hardcopy documents and storing them securely. Be it client records, invoices, financial documents, contracts or the like, a recent survey found that up to 72% of SMEs still maintain paper records containing sensitive information, citing the sheer volume and complexity of digitisation as the main hurdle to them doing so.

But does this really have to be the case? Let’s find out.

Digital archiving and why it matters

Digital archiving is the process of converting physical paper documents into digital files that can be stored and accessed on your servers, or on the cloud. More than just an incredibly effective way to store massive volumes of documents, digitally archiving can help your business with:

  • Better responsiveness — With digital documents, various departments can swiftly store and access time-critical documents without having to access a centralised physical storage location and sorting through everything to find a single file.
  • Effortless collaboration — Digitised documents allows all authorised personnel to upload, access, and share document anytime, from anywhere. This helps your business become more agile by enabling effortless collaboration across departments, branches, clients, and even countries.
  • Improved security — With digital archives, you can easily assign usage rights to ensure only the right personnel have access to the right files. You’ll also be able to readily track and monitor who has accessed, deleted or modified any data – a task that is difficult to do with paper documents.

How to start digitally archiving your documents (the right way)?


Although consumer scanning solutions that can be found on multifunction printers, or as standalone devices, these are only suitable for simple scanning tasks. When it comes to archiving, analysing and distributing massive volumes of documents, you’ll soon find them inadequate.

On the other hand, you have dedicated professional document scanners like those available from Brother. These high-speed, feature-rich scanning solutions are not only capable of swiftly scanning a wide-range of documents, but also come with professional document management tools to help streamline the entire scanning process.  More importantly, these advanced scanning devices feature robust security safeguards that meet and exceed government and industry regulations, ensuring your sensitive data is kept secure against evolving threats.

Document management for the mobile workforce

With an increasingly mobile workforce that’s constantly on the move, businesses in the financial, real-estate, sales and legal industries are turning to portable scanners that are designed for on-the-go productivity. Powered by built-in batteries, these compact and lightweight scanners fit readily into a bag, allowing users to scan documents as and when they need, while delivering professional scanning quality for archiving.


While small in size, these portable scanning solutions can be big on features, with some offering mobile and cloud solutions to help users effectively scan, store, manage and share contracts, client documents, and signed proposals from smartphones, tablets and laptops – whether they are in a café or a showroom. Now that you understand the benefits of digital archiving, the next step is exploring the available solutions, and finding out which suits your needs best. A good place to start, is with a world leader in scanning innovation here

Common Home Learning Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Home learning is a concept that has never had to carry as much weight as it does today. With the COVID-19 pandemic confining people around the world to their homes, school districts have embraced remote classes and distance learning en masse. Unsurprisingly, considering how new learning at home is to many families, there have been some distinct challenges to overcome.

If your kids are learning at home, you’ve likely already encountered some of these issues, or will soon. Fortunately, none of the difficulties associated with distance learning are insurmountable. With the right combination of technology, focus and attitude, your family can make it through this crisis without the kids missing out on key parts of their education.

3 challenges of home learning

The following are three of the common issues that students, parents and teachers across Australia have had to grapple with through the first few months of mass home learning. By taking a few sensible steps, you can minimise the impact of these trends and turn your family’s schooling experience into a success.

1. Home learning and work from home go together

If you had whole days’ worth of free time to supervise your kids in their studies, home learning would be a much easier process. There is a chance, however, that all the adults in the home may be working at their jobs, contributing remotely. Parents sharing their experiences with ABC News reported mixed results matching their kids’ schedules with their own. In some school districts, there is a need for supervision, which has caused the parents’ work schedules to shift – this has led to the unpleasant experience of working until 2 a.m. or on weekends.

The challenges are greatest among parents of primary school-aged children, with many respondents telling ABC they have students under the age of 10 who require constant supervision or would be too disruptive of their parents’ work to allow both to occur side by side. The challenges and stress associated with keeping these young ones on task can be relieved or compounded by communication. When communication is lax or overbearing, the result may be greater worries.

Resolving the issue

home learning

For parents trying to work from home while their kids are present and learning, collaboration with schools is one of the main ways to improve conditions. As ABC News explained, since kids are not truly being home schooled, parents are within their rights to communicate with teachers about difficulties. Parents who are only able to perform their own work when their children aren’t learning can ensure their home offices are stocked with efficiency-building technology and their time-management strategies enable them to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Time management is tough

There are unique difficulties in cases when kids have flexible schedules and can hand in assignments when they’re ready instead of at the exact end of a school day. While this level of scheduling freedom helps families avoid the struggles of clashing work and school time, keeping students motivated in the absence of classrooms and teachers is a new challenge, one that may become worse over time. Queensland University of Technology professor Rebecca English told The Guardian afternoons can be especially challenging, with students sometimes losing steam and focus after lunchtime.

Amanda Dawkins, principal of Five Dock public school added that parents should be realistic in what they expect kids to accomplish at a sitting. Adults have to remember that students are not likely to sit down for six consecutive hours working. Getting them to do smaller blocks of work can suffice, and parents should not criticize themselves too harshly if their children become restless and have to stop.

Resolving the issue

One of the keys to time management is not being too harsh, English told The Guardian. When parents and their kids join together to work on the schedule for the day, the students get a sense of agency. Just having hard limits laid out for them could cause kids to become restless. Parents demonstrate trust in their young ones when they work with them rather than against them on a home learning schedule, and the results may be accordingly better.

3. Technology is necessary

One of the major issues associated with distance learning is that it is managed digitally. If families don’t have all the technology tools they need, and if schools are unable to provide them, it can be hard to meet requirements. A Victoria parent told The Age her family is having tech-related distance learning problems because they are presently staying in a temporary apartment, with little room and no printer.

It’s important for Government, Schools and Families to collaborate, to close the technology gap a little. For instance, The Age described solutions such as dedicated web portals and customised videos for students. Sometimes, families will find they don’t have enough devices for everyone in the household to get their work done simultaneously.

Resolving the issue

A home office well-stocked with affordable technology tools such as multi-function printers and scanners can help students keep handing in their work without missing a beat. Easy connectivity between these devices and computers or tablets is an important feature, because being slowed down by tough-to-use tech is not a good way for either children or parents to spend their days at home.

Succeeding in the home learning age

The current situation, with distance learning en masse and in-person courses for kids who cannot stay at home, is a compromise to deal with an unprecedented situation. You and your family can make it through this time, as there are ways to address all of the issues rising to the surface through the first few months of social distancing.

With the right attitude toward setting a schedule, support from the schools and access to effective technology, you can combine a work-from-home model with the new educational needs of your family. Until restrictions are relaxed, becoming familiar with distance learning is essential. Whether your family is currently working from home, learning from home or both, Brother has a range of award winning multi-function printers and scanners that can help you make work a little easier, visit our website to find out more.

This article has been republished from Brother Australia with minor changes.

The original article can be seen here: