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There are various types of access control cards that are used along with card readers.  Together, they provide an audit trail and more control for folks who act as administrators of buildings.


Pictured above is an HID access card and card reader

Access cards have tremendous advantages over traditional keys.  Facilities managers, security directors and others are provided with data that inform them of who entered a room and when.

They can also restrict certain sections of entire buildings while leaving others accessible, and not only accessible to all, but to certain levels of authority only.

They can immediately restrict any employee from access if he or she were terminated.  This is a big advantage over traditional keys that would have to be retrieved from a potentially disgruntled employee.

Smart Cards are relatively more secure compared to most other access cards.  Information on a Smart Card is stored on a microprocessor (embedded integrated circuit chip) inside the card itself.

The card reader talks to the microprocessor inside the Smart Card and it also provides the microprocessor with its power.

They can store large amounts of data and combine several ID technologies.  Smart Cards are an advanced option over other types of cards.

An example of these other cards is a magnetic stripe, or "swipe", card with information stored in a black stripe on the back of the card.  The employee swipes the card and the card reader reads the info.

There are proximity cards or fobs, which do not need to be swiped through a reader; they simply need to be held near the reader.  These are typically referred to as RFID technology: Radio Frequency ID.  Radio waves are transferred from the card or fob with a unique code that is read by the reader.

Barcode technology, which is seen extensively in everyday use, is also used with access control cards.

And of course there is biometrics, where your fingerprints act as the card.  This technology holds an advantage over cards mentioned in this post because people wouldn't be able to use someone else's card to enter an area and make it appear as if it were that person who gained access.  As we know, fingerprints are unique.

So before you decide on which type of access control system and accompanying card is the right fit for you, be sure to consult with an experienced security company for a free assessment.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.

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