One of the most important factors when deciding what type of credit card terminal to use is your phone line.
Do you use older analog phone lines or high speed digital? The reason this is so important to find out is that most older dial-up terminals have internal modems that were designed for slower speeds, so they can’t handle the higher speeds digital phone lines offer. Some technical support departments for processors have even gone so far as to say they no longer support dial up terminals using digital phone lines due to the consistent performance issues.
So if you’re setting up a merchant account and plan on using a terminal to accept cards, find out if your location has analog or high speed digital phone lines. If you don’t know, ask the building supervisor, or you can call the phone company that provides the service at your location.
Analog phone lines – you can use almost any terminal on the market as long as it is PCI compliant.
High speed digital phone lines OR no phone lines – your best bet is an IP based terminal. An IP based terminal will use an Ethernet line to connect, so you can plug it directly into your computer if your location has no extra Ethernet jacks. Most IP based terminals support dual connectivity which means they support both analog & digital lines.