HID Access Cards – How They Work

An HID proximity card is a card with embedded information encoded inside. The information transmitted can allow door activation or login to a networked computer system. With access card systems, reports can be generated to provide specific details as to which card holders have attempted access and which cards have activated entry.

The HID Prox card holds information embedded inside and has capability within an access system to activate a door or log someone into a computer network. The proximity card does not have the capability of accessing an area within itself. The card within the framework of an access system will provide security and appropriate access to a controlled area.

The card is combined with a card reader, access control panel and a computer to form a complete access system. In combination, the system is able to function as a security officer that allows card holders into specific secured doors at certain dates and times.

The card holds an embedded binary code, which is a sequence of ones and zeros. These are used in a specific sequence to identify a card holder. The coding format is transmitted from the card reader to the control panel for deciphering. The card may or may not have additional code embedded in the card. The access control panel normally does not use extra coding, but reviews the formatted code utilized in the system.

When the controller receives the data, it begins the steps to verify if the cardholder has access to the building. The length of the data string is analyzed prior to proceeding. If the format is different, the control panel will not be able to process the request.
Once the format is verified, the controller can then check the facility code and site code for a match. If this is true, the controller moves ahead to match the card number. A matching card number will move the analysis forward. The information is then reviewed to see if the card holder has authorization to access during the date and time the access request is made. If so, the lock relay will activate and the door or network will unlock for access.

If the HID prox card is not able to successfully move through the above steps, access is denied. The system may provide a specific response from the controller or there may not be any response at all.

The software application processing authentication transactions can be accessed by authorized personnel to updated cardholder information, configure hardware and to generate reports of access attempts and successes.

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