The Main HID Card Types You Should Know
HID Card / Credential Management Types
What many people new to access control don’t know is that HID is a brand name using different types of proximity, RFID or NFC cards. In the future, we might create a guide on different card types and link it from here but for now we only focus on HID branded cards.
A quick heads-up before we dive in: The cards differentiate by low-range or high range, that’s when you see the “khz” measure coming up and by technology used - as in RFID cards vs NFC cards.
Here is an overview and comparison of all main HID card / badge types:
- iCLASS® Seos
- iCLASS SE®
- HID Proximity
iCLASS® Seos access cards by HID include four subgroups, compatible with a number of readers and classified accordingly. All groups are SIO enabled, high-security, and applicable to both microprocessors and smartphones.
1. HID® iCLASS® Seos® 500x
- This is a high-frequency card which provides the option of a dual identity in a single credential, enabling physical and logical access control. Users can apply the same card at doors and for IT resources. It supports multiple applications as a part of a firewall architecture, as well as a One-Time-Password (OTP) feature.
- This card is most suitable for organizations in need of multi-application smart cards that are interoperable between applications and environments. They are easily programmable and come with a lifetime warranty, which means that they work best for organizations that frequently have the need for managing access to logical and physical information.
2. HID® iCLASS® Seos® + Prox Card 510x
- The card from this class supports the integration of former low-frequency (125 kHz) and modern high-frequency access cards with Seos technology. The card provides dual identity in a single credential, enabling physical and logical access control solutions. Users can apply the same card at doors and for IT resources. It supports multiple applications as a part of a firewall architecture, as well as a One-Time-Password (OTP) feature.
- The Prox Card 510x is most suitable for organizations with already existing conventional access control systems that are in need of a more advanced solution, but don’t like to reinvent their access control from scratch.
3. HID® 520X iCLASS® Seos®/iCLASS®/Prox
- In line with the card label, these cards are multi-purpose and work with readers from the following types: CLASS, iCLASS SE®, and Prox readers. They enable seamless integration and secure private access via OTP. They are a three-in-one solution.
- The card is most suitable for organizations that need a comprehensive solution compatible with multiple conventional access control systems. Organizations in need of upgrades toward better security, but limited budgets, can use these cards while taking steps to complete the full process.
4. HID® iCLASS® Seos®/iCLASS® 522X Card
- This is a dual-technology smart card that can operate with all iCLASS and iCLASS SE® readers, secure access via mobile device, and managing multiple applications. It also provides OTP access to a secure private network and can, therefore, be used for IT resources.
- These dual-technology smart cards are most suited for organizations that need a single solution for two technologies and undertake a step-by-step upgrade of traditional physical access control systems in line with the budgeting possibilities.
Looking for an alternative to traditional access control?
Kisi's Cloud Based Physical Access Control System operates purely in the cloud, making it easy to set up and highly scalable as you expand.
Admins are able to easily establish granular controls with group, user and time-based restrictions -- just to name a few. End users have a range of unlocking options, including mobile apps available on Android and iOS, key cards and fobs.
Get the full Kisi review, or a quote!
The card works with both high frequency and ultra-high frequency SIO-enabled credentials. It has eight subtypes, each including specifications such as:
- Possibility to upgrade from a 125KHz Proximity to iCLASS SE (13.56 MHz)
- Versatile interoperability.
- Long-range parking and gate control.
- Dual technology (SIO-Enabled MIFARE Classic (13.56 MHz) credentials + 125 KHz Proximity).
- Long-range parking and gate control with support for MIFARE® Classic applications.
- Open-standard compatible with multiple applications.
- Dual Technology (SIO-Enabled MIFARE DESFire EV1 (13.56 MHz) credentials + 125 KHz Proximity)
This is the broadest range of HID smart cards, consequently suited for organizations that have varied physical structure, environment, and climate, and convenient for both closed and open spaces.
This card is a high-frequency, highly-secure contactless smart card solution. It comes in nine subtypes, each with the following specifications:
- Multi-technology card with iCLASS, HITAG1 and HITAG2 for migration to iCLASS SE.
- Direct image and thermal transfer access card.
- High durability 13.56 MHz contactless smart card.
- Possibility to upgrade from an iCLASS reader to a more advanced access control system
- 3.56 MHz iCLASS smart Card with 125 kHz HID Proximity.
- Magnetic stripe card with a contact smart chip, and a PVC or composite card body.
- With or without 125 kHz HID Proximity and an optional contact smart chip module.
- Proximity, magnetic stripe, contact smart chip card with a PVC or composite card body.
The card is most suited for organizations in need of versatile technologies on multiple locations that are in the process of upgrading the existing access control system to a more current solution, but still cannot use a single technology or one type of card for all departments or locations.
Crescendo cards are highly-secure, multi-technology cards for converged access to doors and IT resources, available in six subtypes, many of which are developed to suffice the standards of the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology and the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure).
Each of the six subtypes comes with the following features:
- HID® Crescendo® C1100 Series is an open card for Identity Assurance Solution. It can be used on standalone systems and centrally managed. As a hybrid card it helps companies work with PKI based authentication, digital signatures, and data encryption.
- HID® Crescendo® C1150 Series is a contact-only, large memory, low power, high-performance hybrid card for logical and physical access control, compatible with Microsoft mini-driver based applications and HID's ActivIdentity products. It provides standard-based password protection, digital signatures, cryptography features based on symmetric and asymmetric keys, personal information, and network access.
- HID® Crescendo® C1300 Series is a dual interface card for advanced security installations, compatible with the HID Seos vault and HID iCLASS SE ecosystem.
- HID® Crescendo® 144K FIPS Series is a hybrid card with a U.S. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) FIPS 140-2 certification. It is compatible with Seos, iCLASS, MIFARE Classic or MIFARE DESFire physical access solutions.
- HID® Crescendo® PIV is a dual Interface card approved by the U.S. General Services Administration as a FIPS 201 compliant PIV credential.
- HID® Crescendo® Temporary Access Card is a PIV-like temporary access card applicable for visitors and contractors to PIV-compliant organizations
HID Crescendo Series are most suited for government organizations or enterprises that must work following U.S. federal security standards for physical and logical access control. Since they contain multiple standard-based technologies and are made of durable materials, they are convenient for employees who need to own several passwords and PINS.
HID Proximity cards are 125kHz cards that come in the following six subtypes:
- HID® Proximity 1351 ProxPass® II Active Tag is a long-range proximity tag for vehicles that can be encoded with HID format and numbering system up to 37-bits in length. It can be used in a six feet read range. It has a 2 to 5 years battery life.
- HID® Proximity 1336 DuoProx® II Card is an ISO-thin card, including proximity, magnetic stripe, and photo identification features on a single card.
- HID® Proximity 1598 Smart DuoProx® II Card is a multi-technology card with magnetic stripe technology according to the 4000 Oe High Coercivity standard. It can embed contact smart chips. It has a graphics quality surface optimized for photos and it comes in two materials: PVC or PVC/polyester.
- HID® Proximity 1597 Smart ISOProx® II Card is a multi-technology, contact-based, credit-card sized, smart-chip embeddable proximity card, including possibilities for personalization with photo ID, magnetic stripe, barcode, and anti-counterfeiting elements. It is therefore compatible for proximity access control, IT access, data protection, debit transactions, parking, health information storage, and photo identification with a single card
- HID® Proximity 1386 ISOProx® II Card is an ISO 7810 compliant card, with a nominal thickness of 0.03", including strong anti-counterfeiting features such as holograms, ultra-violet fluorescent inks, micro-printing, or custom logos.
- HID® Proximity 1326 ProxCard II® Clamshell Card is a cost-effective, universally compatible access card, which supports formats up to 85 bits, with over 137 billion codes. It comes with a PVC overlay that works with on-site image printers.
HID Proximity cards work best for organizations that need to have on-site identity management solutions with photographic identification, as well as the ability to check and discover genuine and counterfeit cards.