Free vs Paid QR Code Generators (+5 Reasons Why Beaconstac Wins Over Free QR Code Monkey)
Find out why it’s ideal to invest in a paid QR Code solution such as Beaconstac over free ones like QR Code Monkey.
Last Updated:  May 16, 2022
You’re probably wondering: why pay for a QR Code generator when you can get free QR Codes elsewhere? Does Beaconstac offer enough value to justify a switch from a free QR Code generator to a paid one? Why not QR Code Monkey?
Having talked to numerous customers in the same boat, we completely understand where this sentiment comes from. We have our own free QR Code generator that anyone can use, no strings attached.
With Beaconstac’s free version, there is no cap on the number of QR codes you can create. You can customize QR Code designs however you like. Purpose your QR Code content for a variety of use-cases. Add logos and even download them in multiple formats. So, what’s the catch?
To explain just that, this post will dive into some of the key differences between free vs paid QR Code generators. We will also look at a more focused comparison between Beaconstac and QR Code Monkey.
The limitation with free QR Code generators is that they only let you create static QR Codes. Static, as opposed to dynamic QR Codes. Meaning they will not come with the kind of security, customization, analytics, ease, and integrations that dynamic QR Codes allow. Static QR codes are not trackable, do not give you the flexibility to update the QR Code content on the backend without reprinting, and pose security risks as well.
Beaconstac’s free version vs free QR Code Monkey at a glance
If you wish to stick with a free QR Code generator and can’t decide between QR Code Monkey and Beaconstac’s free version, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick, at-a-glance comparison of Beaconstac’s free version with that of QR Code Monkey:
Beaconstac’s Free QR Code Generator
QR Code Monkey
Create unlimited static QR Codes
Customize design & colors
Download QR Codes in multiple formats
Customize QR Code frames
Preview QR Code design in real-time
Free from any ‘donate now’ prompts
As you can see, QR Code Monkey stacks up poorly against Beaconstac’s free version.
If you’re using free QR Codes by Beaconstac, you will have the ability to use custom frames. Also, a quick real-time preview automatically shows you how the QR Code looks as you customize its design. You don’t get this with QR Code Monkey – if you want to preview, you’ll have to click a button every time. Talk about a tedious workflow!
In addition to the above, Beaconstac does not give you any donation prompts. Barring the occasional pop-up for trying our advanced features based on your requirements, we intend to deliver what we promise — a completely free QR Code generator without any commitments in return.
So that’s our at-a-glance comparison of QR Code Monkey and Beaconstac’s free QR Code generator. Hopefully, you now know which free QR Code generator to use!
We have a separate post comparing QR Code Generator Pro (the parent paid solution for QR Code Monkey) and Beaconstac. Be sure to check that out.
Free vs paid QR Code generators: feature comparison chart
Perhaps you’re still on the fence about the free vs. paid QR Code generator debate. For this, we have a little comparison table of different features to consider before you reach a decision:
Free QR Code Generator
Paid QR Code Generator
Static QR Codes
Dynamic QR Codes
Advanced QR Code design customization
Data analytics to track engagement
Security and data-handling compliance
Advanced QR Code content customization
Integrations to connect different applications
Tailored packages for enterprise needs
This should clarify things a little further. The takeaway is this: if you value security, analytics, and integration capabilities, free QR Codes are a big no-no. Regardless of whether you require a scalable solution, this is equally applicable to individuals, SMBs, and big enterprises.
Now, if you’re thinking about where we plug our product – here it is! These are the 5 reasons you should buy Beaconstac over a free QR code generator like QR Code Monkey.
Paid QR Code solutions like Beaconstac ensure that your data is safe and secure.
At Beaconstac, we realize that there are growing concerns about the safety of using QR codes. Despite the recent surge in QR Code adoption due to COVID, you might still be a little skeptical. We completely understand. Judging by the constant stream of QR Code breaches in the news, this is a perfectly valid concern to have.
Take the recent COVID vaccination passport system in Quebec for instance. Proof of vaccination is embedded in QR Codes obtained via the government app or website. These can then be used for travel, movement, and other permit-related purposes.
Hackers were able to gain access to the QR Codes and the medical information of prominent figures and citizens. They could edit the vaccination status of individuals. They also generated QR Codes with proof of vaccination for people who did not exist.
So, is it better to stay away from QR Codes altogether? Definitely not. There is nothing intrinsic to the technology that makes it any less safe than other Phygital™ marketing tools. Also, QR Code usage is only set to rise exponentially.
Adoption is not just an inevitable reality of a post-COVID world — it can also strengthen current marketing efforts. The answer is to find a reliable QR Code solution that places great emphasis on security.
With Beaconstac, customers get the best-in-industry security practices. We are SOC-2 certified and GDPR compliant. SSO login and two-factor authentication ensure that only those who are authorized can access the Beaconstac platform. In addition, features like password-protected QR Codes and a secure access management system provide any extra fortification you may need.
Hone in on attribution with Beaconstac analytics.
Remember that only dynamic QR Codes are trackable? None of the free QR Code generators online allow you to create dynamic QR codes. This means that you can’t track engagement and glean valuable information like location, time of scan, device, and so on. With marketing efforts becoming more data-oriented, having end-user data to optimize your campaigns can put you ahead of the competition.
When you log in to the Beaconstac dashboard, you not only have the in-house analytics that we provide. Wish to link your QR Codes to Google Analytics? No worries, we’ve got your back! With our simple-to-use GA integration, you can zero in on end-users who scan your QR Codes.
Also, QR Codes are an excellent indicator of intent that connects the physical and digital worlds. If someone scans your QR Code, rest assured that they make great candidates for retargeting purposes. Beaconstac allows you to exploit this. We’re the only paid QR Code solution out there that lets you retarget using Google AdWords and Facebook Pixel. Again, the process is simple — all you need is your Pixel/Adwords ID.
With Beaconstac as your QR Code partner, customize as you please!
The third reason you should invest in a paid solution like Beaconstac is that our customization capabilities are extensive. Be it QR Code design, embedded content, or advanced personalization settings, you get complete control over the campaigns you deploy.
With a free QR Code generator, you won’t get an exhaustive QR Code use-case list to choose from. QR Code Monkey is no different.
On the other hand, Beaconstac offers you a wide range of QR Code types and customizable mobile-friendly landing pages. We have a dynamic menu template that allows restaurateurs to update their menu items automatically based on the time of day. We have a dynamic forms template that enables hospital administrators to screen individuals based on symptoms for COVID-19. You have the option to change questions that end-users see based on the answers that they give. You can also assign numerical values to different responses and compute a final score at the end of the form.
When it comes to QR Code design, you get additional visual elements that allow you to represent your brand consistently. Add custom eyes, frames, logos, gradient colors, and so on. Set a custom error-correction level to make your QR Codes readable even after damage. Download them in any size and different formats based on the final medium that you plan to use. Match your QR Codes to your marketing material without any hassle!
If you wish to use a custom domain to remove Beaconstac branding altogether, you can do that too. With free QR Code generators like QR Code Monkey, URLs of landing pages usually contain random letters and number strings. This looks like spam and hurts your rates of conversion.
Beaconstac also allows you to personalize your campaign settings. Age-gate your QR Codes to prevent children from accessing adult-only content. Use password protection so that only select people can access the encoded information. You can even schedule the start and end times when engagement data is collected on the Beaconstac dashboard.
While we know that our product stands on its own merits owing to a rich feature stack, we want our customers to be as happy and satisfied with Beaconstac as they can be.
For the same reason, we place a lot of emphasis on providing quality customer support to our users. We want to ensure that using the Beaconstac dashboard is a seamless process. We’re available via phone, email, and live chat to quickly resolve queries. Read our reviews on G2 that are proof of this fact.
QR Code Monkey, on the other hand, is owned by the parent company QR Code Generator Pro. Reviews on G2, Capterra, and Facebook comments point to one thing — that the customer support quality is next to nothing. Customers complain about mishandled payments and no responsiveness.
Want a smoother workflow for your QR Code campaigns? Enter Beaconstac integrations!
What are integrations? Simply put, they’re nothing more than tools that allow different applications to talk efficiently and quickly with each other.
Take, for instance, an automation integration like Zapier. Zapier is a tool that lets users automate workflows across different applications. Beaconstac’s Zapier integration allows our customers to create seamless automated sequences from our dashboard to all applications supported by Zapier. These include Gmail, Google Sheets, Slack, Twitter, and so on.
Integrations ensure that workflows remain fast and uncluttered. Think of a Zapier sequence or ‘zap’ like this: an instruction that says when A happens, do B. In the case of Beaconstac, you might wish to define event ‘A’ as a user scan. ‘B’ could be any sequence that you want to trigger, like an email informing end-users about your business.
The Beaconstac dashboard provides other integrations as well. We have a plugin that allows users to bulk create QR Codes from within Google Sheets directly. You can learn more about our bulk-creation functionality here.
We have automation tools like Integromat and Workato. We also offer integrations with Webhooks, Google Analytics, and Slack.
So these are the 5 reasons why you should choose Beaconstac over QR Code Monkey! We hope this post has convinced you that investing in a paid QR Code solution is the way to go. If you wish to try out Beaconstac yourself, sign up for a demo here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I use a free QR Code generator?
While you can create QR Codes with free QR Code generators online, you can’t be certain about security. It’s likely that they come with added safety risks.
QR Code technology in general is inherently safe and does not warrant any security concerns. It depends on the specific free tool that you use — although free tools definitely fall short of paid solutions with SOC-2 certification and GDPR compliance.
Are there any free QR Code generators?
There are plenty of free QR Code generators that allow you to create unlimited static QR Codes. You can customize to your liking, add your company logo, and download in different formats.
However, for tracking engagement, full customization, flexibility to avoid reprinting each time, integrations, and more, you require dynamic QR Codes. You have to upgrade to a paid QR Code solution to avail these features.
Do free QR Codes expire?
Static QR Codes do not expire. They’re generated as a one-off QR Code that contains data embedded within it. And so for as long as they exist, they will direct scanners to the same embedded information.
Dynamic QR Codes, on the flip side, are tracking-enabled and give you the flexibility to update content on the backend without reprinting. You have to pay for dynamic QR Codes, and they expire when you unsubscribe from a paid QR Code solution provider.
Are free QR Codes free to use?
It depends on the type of QR Codes you require. Static QR Codes are free to use and do not require you to pay anything. Alternatively, dynamic QR Codes come packed with a host of features like tracking, extensive customization, flexibility, and more. You would have to upgrade to a paid QR Code solution for creating dynamic QR Codes.
Can you create a dynamic QR Code for free?
No — it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find a QR Code generator online that allows you to create dynamic QR Codes for free. This is because dynamic QR Codes are packed with features like full customization, integrations, flexibility, etc.
Are free QR Code generators safe?
There’s nothing inherent to QR Codes that makes them more vulnerable to scams, data breaches, or phishing attacks. It really depends on the free tool that you use. Most free QR Code generators online do not follow any data safety best practices and pose security risks. With paid QR Code solutions, you have extra security with SOC-2 certification and GDPR compliance.