Access Control systemWhether you know it as an access card or proximity card these cards or fobs work with an access control system to unlock your office/building door, replacing a traditional key and lock.

Proximity Card Types

  • PVC Cards – these are simply made of white pvc and are about the size of a standard ID card.
  • Printable Cards – there are certain types of prox cards made from material that can be printed on. If you want your employee’s information or photo printed on their access card be sure it specifies printing available. HID is a common brand of prox card and refers to their printable cards as ISOProx.
  • Magnetic Stripe Cards – If you prefer cards that allow you to embed information in them, then choose mag stripe cards. These types of cards can store anything from payment information, student/employee information and more. These cards use a swipe card door access control system. Be sure to tell the locksmith which type of card you want when you call.
  • Composite Card – these cards are a bit more durable than the standard pvc cards mentioned above. They can withstand higher temperatures during the card lamination process. They are also the same size as a standard id card.
  • Key Fobs – these prox cards are designed to fit on your key ring and even come with a key ring slot. These are smaller than your standard cards but still work the same as a traditional prox card.
  • Clamshell Cards – these prox cards are larger than the other id card sized cards because they use two pieces of pvc snapped together with the access control transmitter in between. They cannot be printed on; however, you can print on an adhesive backed card and apply them to the clamshell card.
  • Adhesive Tags – this sticky backed small disks work exactly like a full sized prox card. However, they offer a unique feature because they can be stuck onto other object to turn them into a proximity card. If you currently have employee ID cards, you can use these to turn them into access control cards. These tags can also be used on phones, phone cases or wallets.

How do you program a proximity card?

Most prox cards are programmed when they are ordered from the manufacturer. Your locksmith will order them when the access control system is order for installation or upon determining which system you are currently using if you are ordering new cards. Regardless of whether your locksmith orders for you or you contact the manufacturer yourself, there are three things they will need to know – card format, facility code and card range number. This information allows your cards to work with your system.

How does a security card work?

Access control cards, also called prox cards, work using a wireless transmission of data to a card reader installed on your door or building. Once they get within range, the reader can read the data and trigger your access control system to unlock the door. Most prox cards use a 125-kHz frequency to transmit data and have an internal antenna built into the card (regardless of type).

Access Control Cards vs Biometrics

If you have done any kind of research on access control system than you no doubt have seen systems that use a prox card and ones that use a fingerprint or other bio-metric form of access. Despite what you may have read from bio-metrics companies, prox card system will continue to be the system of choice for most businesses.

Don’t get me wrong, bio-metrics have their place in access control and the technology is becoming more reliable and less costly. They will become more popular but the prox card will remain the preferable choice for several reasons. The most important being that the cards work! Test after test prox cards performed more consistently than a bio-metric scanner.

If you have questions about your existing or a new access control system, contact one of our specialists at 972-510-3554 or email us your questions and a locksmith will answer any questions promptly.

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