Choosing an access control system is an important decision-making moment when developing the security protocols for your facility, but once that’s done, it is equally important to choose the right kind of access card for those systems. There are different kinds of technologies suitable for different clientele, use cases, or even areas within the same building. Let’s take a look at some of the typical access control cards you may come across and weigh the uses of each.
This is the kind of identification most people think of when they initially think about access control systems. These cards are easily attached to a belt or worn around the neck and work a bit like the chips on credit cards do. They are inserted into a reader which passes data onto the access system, checks the credentials, and grants access if the appropriate credentials have been presented. There are also cards with magnetic stripes or barcodes that are swiped instead of inserted, though these do suffer from wear and tear after prolonged use. Another downside is the “cloning” of the mag stripes or bar code, thus not as secure.
These cards work with radio frequencies and don’t actually require insertion. Instead, the card is presented in “proximity” or near a scanner that will read the credentials at a distance. The major drawback is that most prox cards contain “read-only” technology, limiting their overall use to simple tasks. It can also be difficult to find the sweet spot in the distance between the card and reader.
Contactless Smart Cards
These are newer versions of prox cards that can hold more data and are used for biometric templates, timestamps, and attendance data. If you like the idea of proximity-based cards but need something more robust in features than simple access moderation, contactless smart cards may be ideal.
Active Prox Cards
Similar to contactless smart cards, active prox cards are driven by an internal lithium battery. This helps with the distance between the reader and the card and allows for more possibility. Bear in mind that these only have a lifespan of about five years – driven by the battery life, making them a costly option, but they do offer the most flexibility in usage.
Get in Touch with FiberPlus
FiberPlus has been providing data communication solutions for over 25 years in the Mid Atlantic Region for a number of different markets. What began as a cable installation company for Local Area Networks has grown into a leading provider of innovative technology solutions improving the way our customers communicate and keeping them secure. Our solutions now include:
- Structured Cabling (inside and outside plant)
- Electronic Security Systems (Access Control & CCTV Solutions)
- Distributed Antenna Systems
- Public Safety DAS
- Audio/Video Services (Intercoms and Display Monitors)
- Support Services
- Specialty Systems
- Design/Build Services
FiberPlus promises the communities in which we serve that we will continue to expand and evolve as new technology is introduced within the telecommunications industry.
Have any questions? Interested in one of our services? Call FiberPlus today 800-394-3301, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our contact page. Our offices are located in the Washington, DC metro area, Richmond, VA, and Columbus, OH. In Pennsylvania, please call Pennsylvania Networks, Inc. at 814-259-3999.