Monday, May 5, 2014

What are Proximity or Prox Cards?

Proximity Cards or prox cards as they are often called are growing in demand with today's tighter security for businesses, schools and organizations. 
The proximity card is used as an ID badge for employees, students, hospital staff and government agencies.  The individual's picture can be taken and placed on the front side of the badge along with their name and/or department name.  Sometimes the company or organization will also elect to have their logo placed on the badge as well. 
These prox cards allow access to certain doors, gates or specified locations within a business.  The cards are held up to a card reader which in turn reads the information encoded onto the card and deciphers it. The user will usually hear a beep or other sound to indicate that the card was read. Some proximity cards contain an additional magnetic stripe which can also be read by swiping it through a reader much like a credit card.  The magnetic stripe can also contain additional information such as bank funds, cafeteria funds, bookstore funds etc. 
Most often, the term proximity card refers to a 125kHz card or device.  The newer "smart card" technology consist of credentials which are a 13.56MHz contactless smart card.  The most common read format is the Wiegand 26 bit format however with newer demands the bit size has also increased to continue to provide unique number variations.  Often times, the first several bits can be made identical which is referred to as the facility code or site code.
There are various manufacturer brands who offer proximity cards.  Some of the most common are HID, Xceed ID, AWID, Identiv and Farpointe.  If you need help in deciding what options are best for you or which proximity cards will work with your present readers, please contact one of our sales associates at 865 771-9697 or at and we will be glad to assist you.
Posted by Cindy

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