What Technology Does the Access Control Card Reader Use?

Whether you have expensive equipment, work with confidential information, or simply want to improve the safety of your business, an access control system is the way forward.Access control can be beneficial to your business whether you have 5 employees or 500 employees – saving you time and money, and of course, improving your security. But what technology does an access control card reader use? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on to learn more about access control technology, as well as the benefits of implementing an access control system.

What is Access Control? 

Access control is a system that enables automated approval into access points for individuals with access. Ultimately, access control can negate the need for extra security officers – allowing certain security personnel to restrict access to certain areas within the workplace, whether it be floors, car parks, or even certain rooms. 

Essentially, it is a data security process that allows businesses to manage and authorise access to certain resources or data. Typically, people with access will present a card to a card reader in order to gain access. Read on to learn about the benefits of access control technology. 

The Benefits of Access Control Technology 

Regardless of the size or even nature of your business, there is a range of benefits of access control technology. First of all, access control systems can improve the security of your organisation. 

Employees can feel at ease knowing that strangers or criminals can not enter the building. Likewise, employees can easily access the areas they need to in order to complete their daily tasks, whether it be hospital rooms or office car parks. 

This can not only improve employee morale but can save you money on locks, printouts and additional security personnel. Access control can automatically verify a person’s identity, and give access as and when needed.

Likewise, access control can protect employees in the event of an emergency. For example, in the event of a fire, lock-and-key doors will need to be unlocked. However, fail-safe locks enable doors to automatically unlock in the event of a power cut – so employees and visitors can easily exit the building without needing to look for their keys. 

Access Control Technology Explained

Access control cards generally contain RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification). Access cards will contain a small microchip that holds data, which is then transmitted to an access control card reader when placed nearby. 

Once the access control card reader has picked up on this, it will either grant or deny access to the individual. The technology is known as contactless – you don’t need to physically place the card into the reader; simply place the card nearby to allow the transmission of data. 

Contactless cards can store much more data than magnetic stripe cards – in fact, RFID cards can hold close to 100 times more data. The technology is internalised, which means that outside factors will not damage the technology. They are durable, efficient options that can last for years without the need to be replaced. 

Typically, access control cards are either 125 kHz or 13.56 MHz. Higher frequency cards are considered a more secure option as opposed to lower frequency cards, as they are encrypted. Lower-frequency cards may be more vulnerable to being cloned as they are not encrypted. 

Proximity Cards vs Smart Cards 

Now you understand the technology used in access control readers, let’s discuss the differences between proximity cards and smart cards – the two most common cards used for access control. 

Both contain RFID chips that hold information, but they have different memory capacities and function differently. 

Smart cards have a high memory capacity and hold more information, and can be used for purposes such as cashless vending, access control, and many more. Proximity cards, however, have more limited functionality due to their lower memory capacity.