Common Types of Access Cards
- Magnetic stripe cards
- Proximity reader cards
- Smart cards
- Wiegand cards
Nowadays magnetic stripe cards are considered to be legacy keyless options. They have a magnetic stripe which gives access once a user swipes the card in the reader. These cards are easy to duplicate and can be damaged if placed near a magnetic field. They provide a low level of security.
Proximity cards contain a wireless antenna embedded in plastic and communicate with a reader without any physical contact.
Just like proximity cards, smart cards operate based on radio frequency identification (RFID) and are contactless. Their main advantage lies in the fact that they have a microchip embedded. Smart cards can be used in a variety of applications. For example, they can be utilized for access to an office and a laptop. Smart cards are hard to duplicate and they are more durable than proximity cards.
Wiegand cards contain a set of embedded wires that store employee identification information. Wiegand interface consists of three conductors: Data0, Data1 (transmission wires) and Ground wire. When no data is being sent, both DATA0 and DATA1 are pulled up to the "high" voltage level. When a 0 is sent the DATA0 wire is pulled to a low voltage while the DATA1 wire stays at a high voltage. When a 1 is sent the DATA1 wire is pulled to a low voltage while DATA0 stays at a high voltage.
Wiegand technology can function well in hostile environments and is an ideal choice for infield application.