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A Guide to Smart Card Readers & Security

Last updated on July 2, 2020

USB Security Card Readers

A sophisticated, efficient security system will only benefit your business or workplace. By investing in the safety and organization of your building, you’ll be enhancing the environment for all personnel, including staff and clients. A smart card reader will be able to process information from identity, access, time tracking, and safety cards.

If you’re looking to increase the safety and organization of your workplace, you absolutely need to know exactly what’s-what when it comes to purchasing a smart card reader to accompany your identity or access cards.

Contact vs Contactless

The first question to ask yourself is whether you will need a contact or contactless smart card reader. A contact smart card reader is when you need to physically insert a card into the reader in order to activate access or record attendance. You can find these on large and small scales, from something to plug into your laptop to a huge scale, outdoors model.

This is also the case with contactless readers, which simply require cards to be presented or scanned on the reader’s surface.

What you should consider before you purchase your smart card reader

Business size

As with any investment decision, you have to consider the size and capacity of your company. If your business is small scale, with a more compact workforce, you can feel comfortable in selecting a smaller, lighter duty reader.

USB card readers are a great option for smaller-scale environments, they plug into any computer and are streamlined, serving all of the functions without any inconvenience.


Security needs

The reader that you select should fit the security needs in your business. This is different from business size, as it concerns what type of surveillance or scanning system you’ll use. If you’re a high-security environment, you need to choose a reader that allows your personnel’s cards to be inserted.

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This minimizes any breach risks and ensures that the security system notes each and every entry into the building. If your business’ system isn’t as high key, you can opt for a proximity reader. This will enable cards to be tapped, noting attendance and enabling access.

Your cards

Finally, when finding the right reader for your business, you need to consider the type of identity or access card that you’ll be using. If you already have your cards, you definitely need to select a reader that’s compatible with what they’re reading, otherwise, they won’t be able to communicate with one another.

So, if you’re using HID proximity cards and you purchase a smart card reader, they won’t talk to each other. For HID cards, you need an HID reader. If you’re starting from scratch and you have the luxury of pairing them together yourself, you have a little more freedom.

Investing in a security card reader is going to enhance your business to no end. Whether you need a fully stacked security system, or you’re more interested in smaller-scale, USB card readers are a great option for smaller-scale environments, by considering the size, security, and card needs of your company, you’re sure to make the right decision.

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