What’s access control card reader and how it works?

According to the experts, access control card reader system is used to read credentials in physical security systems to provide access via access control points, which typically are locked doors. There are different types of access control readers in the market to suit every requirement. They are rather classified by its functions and ability to perform and through identification technology.

Access control card reader system types and their functions

1, Biometric access control readers

Access control employees biometric identifications of different types, like hand geometry, fingerprint, voice recognition, facial recognition, and iris. It is known to increase significantly system security level while eliminating issues like loaned, stolen or lost ID cards including forgotten pins. Each and every biometric reader mentioned above is said to work similarly. It is done by comparing the memory stored template to the obtained scan during the identification process. In case, higher probably degree is experienced that memory template is found compatible with a live scan, then the person’s ID number is sent to the control panel. The latter checks for user permission level to determine if access is to be allowed or not. Communication between the control panel and the reader takes place using the Wiegand interface.

2, Barcode access control reader

It is an alternating series of light and dark stripes read by an optical scanner. The line width and organization gets determined by the protocol selected bar code. Different protocols are present like the prevalent Code 39. The digits at times are represented by light and dark bars and printed to allow the print to go through the number without using an optical reader. This type is affordable and can easily and effortlessly generate credentials and applied to other items and cards. But this simplicity and affordability also make it susceptible to frauds, as there can be created fake barcodes easily. Using carbon-based ink to print barcode and covering it with dark red overlay can help to reduce fraud. An optical reader turned towards infrared spectrum can be used to read the barcode.

3, Wiegand RFID card reader

This patented technology is known to use embedded ferromagnetic wires which are positioned strategically, so as to develop a unique pattern to create ID number. To get read, it needs to be swiped. However, identification media, unlike as in other technologies have been embedded within the card and is not susceptible to tear and wear. Being difficult to duplicate and creating a high-security perception, it once had gained immense popularity but has lost popularity recently to proximity cards.

4, Access control Proximity card reader

They are still known as ‘Wiegand output readers’. However, they do not make use of the Wiegand effect any longer. This technology is said to retain Wiegand upstream data to ensure that the old systems are still compatible with the new readers. 1” – 20” electrical field is radiated by the reader around itself. Si8mple LC circuit is used by the cards. As the reader is presented with the card, its electrical field creates an excitement in the coil of the card. Then a capacitor is charged by the coil, which in turn powers up the integrated circuit. The card number is given to the coil by the integrated circuit output, thereby transmitting the same to the reader. 26 bit Wiegand is the common proximity format, which uses facility code, often termed as site code. This unique number is considered to be common for all cards belonging to a specific set.

5, Access control magnetic stripe swipe card reader

: This technology is commonly known as mag-stripe. It has derived its name because of the magnetic oxide tap stripe which is laminated upon the card. The magnetic stripe has been given three data tracks. The data, typically on each track tends to follow particular encoding standards. However, on any track, the encoding of any format is very much possible. When compared to other card technology, this type is quite easy to be programmed and also affordable. When compared to barcode technology, it can hold much more data. Although the generation of mag-stripe is difficult, technology to encode and read data is easier to be acquired and widespread. However, it is also suspected of data corruption, card wear and misreads and skimming.

6, Smart card access control card reader

The contactless and contact are the two smart card types present, with both having memory and an embedded microprocessor. The microchip used has only a single function which is to provide a reader with the ID number of the card. The embedded operating system is present on its processor to manage multiple applications like access control card readers, pre-paid membership card and cash card. The difference that exists between these two card types is the manner how microprocessor communicates with the external world. Contact card has 8 contact points that is to touch physically the reader contacts to convey information. The contactless card uses radio-based technology using a higher frequency of 13.56 MHz to allow more data transfer and communicating with different cards simultaneously.

Therefore, the above are the different types of access control card readers available in the market and their functions.

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