A beacon is a small Bluetooth radio transmitter that can send messages to nearby devices.
This guide is intended to help you as a marketer or business owner invest in the best Bluetooth beacon for your needs.
Here are the core factors to consider before you buy beacons, based on our learnings over the years
This is possibly the most important point when it comes to beacons buy. How far does your beacon transmit or rather how far do you need a beacon to transmit? For example, a product launch within a store does not need a transmission range of more than 30 meters, whereas if a real estate agent wants to drive new customers to an open house 300 meters is ideal. The best Bluetooth beacons have a long-range of up to 300 meters are the most popular and versatile beacons in the market.
Another crucial factor is the battery life of the beacons. You do not want to be in the middle of a campaign and find out that your beacons have run out of charge. Now you can purchase USB beacons from Beaconstac and never have to worry about changing batteries. This plug-and-play beacon can be plugged into a USB port to start broadcasting proximity marketing campaigns.
There are different beacons suited to different locations. The most basic feature to note is if you want to deploy beacons outside, you should make sure your beacons are weatherproof.
Protocols supported (Eddystone/iBeacon):
Does your beacon support only iBeacon? Do you need Eddystone support? Buy beacons that support both to give you the maximum flexibility for deployment. For e.g. Beaconstac beacons can transmit both iBeacon and Eddystone protocols in an interleaved mode to give flexibility for deployment
When you buy beacons, you may get a platform that will only help you configure your beacons. However, if you are looking to run an effective proximity marketing campaign, you will need more than just a basic platform. Choose an end-to-end solution that offers you a comprehensive platform. Solutions like Beaconstac allow you to manage your campaigns through customizable content management systems, gather digital analytics, and organize related beacons simultaneously.
Beacons have been popular especially since they are not heavy on the wallet. Having said that it’s important not to invest in the cheapest one available on the market. Few factors that influence the beacon price include the volume of beacons being purchased, whether the beacons come configured, warranty on the beacons, whether they are white-labelled or not, time taken for fulfilment among others.
Beacons do not always have to be stationary. Smaller beacons that fit in the palm of your hand are perfect if you want to transmit on the go.
If it’s your first time buying beacons, then here are a few additional terms that you will encounter during your purchase decision that will influence what kind of beacons you should buy.
Additional factors to consider while buying the best Bluetooth beacons
1. Tx Power
It is merely the level up to which a bluetooth beacon transmits signals. This can be anywhere between -30dBm to +4dBm. The Tx Power affects the range of the signal. More your Tx power, further your range. However, increasing the Tx power is going to have an impact on the battery life as well. More the Tx power, more the drain on your battery.
2. Advertising interval
This is the interval that you can set for devices to receive your signals. So if you set it for 100 ms, every 100 ms all nearby devices will receive a notification. Shorter the advertising interval, greater the battery drain.
A protocol developed by Apple requires a relevant app to be installed on the phone or other device.
UPDATE: Nearby Notifications will no longer be supported on Android smartphones after December 6 2018. Please read this blog post to understand how you can continue running proximity marketing campaigns through beacons.
A beacon-compatible or a beacon-aware app is one that needs to be downloaded on the end user’s smartphone for them to receive notifications when they come into the range of a beacon. This could be a hardware-agnostic app like NearBee or your own brand app with SDK integrated into it.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for when buying beacons, consider Beaconstac, an end-to-end solution that allows you to buy beacons as well the platform. Beaconstac beacons are built keeping in mind your diverse needs. To make this simple, we’ve divided beacons based on several different factors. Just click on the different factors to know which is the right beacon for you. Or, take this free assessment.
[Assessment link – https://eddypro.typeform.com/to/Yh0qDi]
So, which Beaconstac beacon is right for you?
Based on Transmission Range:
Up to 25 m or 82 ft
Up to 50 m or 164 ft
Up to 80 m or 262 ft
Indoor Beacons/Outdoor Beacons/USB Beacons
Up to 300 m or 984 ft
Long Range Outdoor Beacons
Based on Battery Life*:
Long Range Outdoor Beacons, Indoor and Outdoor Beacons
*When set to default configuration. Battery life also depends on Tx power. These batteries can be replaced easily and you can monitor how much battery is left on the Beaconstac app.
USB beacon doesn’t use batteries so you don’t have to worry about the battery running out ever.
Based on the Use Case:
Sending information about a product inside a store
Helping guests check in at the hotel
Offering free Wi-Fi at railway stations
Navigation inside small stores
Checking availability of a product
Offering interesting details about an installation at Museums
Outside stores to draw in shoppers
At bus stops to notify travellers of bus timings
At billboards to attract new customers
Hotel grounds to notify guests of outdoor features
Sports venues to notify people of a shorter line at the concession stand
[Extensive proximity broadcasting]
Long Range Outdoor Beacons
Helping consumers navigate big retail stores
Outside real estate offices to draw in buyers
At billboards to send offers to people in the distance
At amusement parks to notify people of new rides and help them navigate
All Beaconstac beacons support both iBeacon and Eddystone protocols. This means you don’t have to buy iBeacons or buy Eddystone beacons separately. The minimum OS version on Android should be 4.3, iOS 7.1, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.7
Based on your budget:
The iBeacon/Eddystone beacon price mentioned below is for a pack of 3
Indoor beacons/USB beacons
Long Range outdoor beacons
Based on portability:
The keychain beacon or the USB beacon is your best bet if you want to transmit on the go. This lightweight, small-sized beacon can be used in several ingenious ways.
Can iOS devices receive notifications from an Eddystone beacon without an app?
At the moment, no. Google has removed support from Chrome which let iOS devices do that before. The workaround to this is to either have consumers install the relevant app or an app that supports Physical Web like Nearbee.
Do I need to know how to code to use the Beaconstac platform?
No, you don’t. You can launch your own campaign without knowing anything about coding.
Do the beacons need to be customized?
Beaconstac beacons work right out of the box. You can have your campaign up and running within 15 minutes.
How do I mount the beacons?
All the beacons come with double-sided tape to help mount them.
Wondering, where to buy beacons?
Based on your decision to start with only beacon hardware vs investing in an end-to-end solution, the options would vary. If you want to start with only beacon hardware, you could check out Kontakt or Estimote.
However, you will only get software that will allow you to configure beacons and not run campaigns. You could log onto the Google Beacon dashboard but you can make some basic campaigns at best.
Whereas, if you want to invest in an end-to-end solution, which has beacon hardware, software to create and manage campaigns, and a powerful analytics engine, then get started with Beaconstac. Beaconstac beacons work out-of-the-box and come pre-configured. You can have your campaign up and running in 15 minutes.
Since the Beaconstac platform is extremely intuitive, you can also send campaigns to consumers in their native language.
Beaconstac has 6 different kinds of beacons to offer
Range of beacons
Type of Beacon
Range (in metres)
Range (in feet)
Indoor Beacon/USB Beacon
Long Range Beacon
Start leveraging beacons to surpass your competitors and reach the right audience today. Or looking for an alternative that requires no app and also reaches your target audience? Try the QR code solution now.
Sneh is a Content Marketing Manager at Beaconstac. When she’s not obsessing over customized QR Codes, she can be found fawning over dogs or bingeing on Netflix. To discuss content marketing or anything else under the sun, reach out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.