How HID Prox Cards Work

Proximity Badges

An HID prox card allows a card with information embedded inside to activate and open a door so that the cardholder can enter a secure area. The proximity card does not have the capability of accessing an area within itself. The card with additional components, provides a complete system that provides security for a controlled area.

The card is normally combined with three other items to complete an access system. In addition to the cards, a system consists of a card reader, an access control panel and a computer. In combination with each other, the system is able to function as a security officer allowing authorized persons into a building at authorized times of the day or night.

The card does not have any additional item in it over an embedded binary code (ones and zeros) that are used in a specific sequence to identify the card holder. The format of the coding is able to be picked up by the card reader and transferred to the control panel for deciphering. The card usually does not have additional information stored in it outside of the formatted code. Occasionally, the card may contain an additional code that some readers will strip off and possibly use. The format however, transfers to the access control panel.

When the controller receives the data from the card reader, the controller begins the process of the information. Various steps are completed to determine whether the cardholder has access to the building. Some of the criteria a controller uses are to review the length of the data string and the format of the information. It may be possible that a card held up to a reader is in a different format that the controller can not process.

The controller then checks the facility code and site code for a match. If so, the card number is reviewed for a match in the database. If there, the card may be reviewed to see if it is authorized for that specific time frame and date. If so, the lock relay will be activated to allow the door to open.

If the card is not able to activate the door opener, some systems will provide a specific response from the controller. Other systems may not provide any response at all.

The computer which hosts the controller will provide a software application allowing authorized personnel to update cardholder information, configure the hardware that allows door access and provides reporting functions regarding the system use.

For more information about HID prox cards, proximity cards or smart card badge holders, contact our id card experts toll free at 888-485-4696.

2 thoughts on “How HID Prox Cards Work

  1. Pingback: iCLASS and MIFARE Authentication Process | SafeCardID.com

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