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Difference Between A MIFARE And A Proximity Card

Businesses have made use of the fact that proximity cards and MIFARE can be used to control access. These tools make your work easier, save time, and make it safer.

Both technologies are based on almost the same essential parts, but some differences exist.

What are the main differences between a proximity card and MIFARE? This article closely examines both technologies and discusses their pros and cons.

What Is A Proximity Card?

A proximity card is a low-frequency card that you can use without touching the reader. It sends information to the reader using radio waves with a frequency of 125 kHz.

Unlike regular magnetic cards, proximity cards don’t have to be put into the reader’s device. The fact that you can’t slip gives you security and comfort.

If you put your card on the reader without touching it, it will pick up the radio waves and send the information to the reader in less than one second. Of course, the reader will make a sound if this sort of notification.

How do proximity cards work?

The cards have a metal antenna that stores all the information about the cardholder. The device sends data to the card reader at 125 kHz, a very low frequency.

The cards can only be read up to 50 cm away, which isn’t very far (or approximately fifteen inches). But this range is far enough to keep your card in your purse or wallet and still have the scanner read your personal information.

Most of the time, the card is used to let people into buildings and other designated places. If you want to know more about what these cards are for, here is an explanation:

This proximity card system is made up of the following essential parts:

  • A proximity card
  • A card reader that is already set up
  • Software for a system for analysing data

The cards have a unique number on them that a reader can read.

When the card is close to the reader, the information will be taken and sent to the software system.

The programme will look at the data to see if it matches any of the already programmed ones. If the reader recognises the number on the card, the doors will open to let you in.

What’s Mifare?

MIFARE stands for MIkron FARE Collection System. The NXP card is so small that it can fit in many places, such as wristbands, smartphones, plastic, and keychains.

Because MIFARE can be used for many different things, it has become very trendy for employee identification and transportation, controlling access at stadiums, and keeping track of library books. MIFARE uses the  ISO/IEC 14443 technology.

Uses for MIFARE Technology

MIFARE is used to identify, store, and verify the information. MIFARE technology is used in the following places:

  • Transportation.
  • University library identification systems
  • Controls for getting into the corporate building.
  • Hotel guest management.
  • Stadium management.

Proximity Card vs. MIFARE How do they differ?

There are four main ways a MIFARE card differs from a proximity card. These things are:

1. How often does something works

A MIFARE card works at 13.56 MHz, the same as a high-frequency RFID tag. On the other hand, the standard proximity card works at a rate of 125 kHz. So, a MIFARE card should be able to be read from further away than a proximity card.

2. How much memory/storage space does a device has

MIFARE has a memory built in that can be used to store information. It can keep important information about cardholders, which makes it a great choice for keeping track of inventory. Different models of MIFARE cards have different amounts of storage space. They can only hold 1 kilobyte of information, though.

There isn’t enough space on the cards to store data. Because of this, you can only use them to get into restricted areas with pre-set number codes.

3. Setting

A MIFARE card comes with a unique 32-bit serial number set up at the factory. This serial number is made up at random, and it doesn’t have the installation code in it. But you need an installation code for proximity cards with 26 bits.

4. Function

You can use MIFARE cards for more things than proximity cards. For example, you can use them for road tolls, contactless/cashless payments, identifying yourself to get into a building, and collecting fares.

You can also set up the MIFARE card to accept more than one piece of information. With this feature, you can change the information on your card to have all the information you need for different things. Also, MIFARE memory works with cash and membership cards that have already been paid for.

But You can only use proximity cards to control who enters a building. The cards don’t have any players’ personal information, which could be a security risk. Instead, they have fixed numbers that must match the reader’s programming. When the event is over, the player is given access.