125kHZ or 13.56MHz? When it comes to the end user, there is little visible difference between a 125kHz card and a 13.56MHz card. They present a card to a reader and access is either granted or denied. What happens behind the scenes is quite different however. Apart from the frequency that is used to transmit data, there are key differences in security and the card read range.
125kHz card mainly used as proximity card, key card for access control
The first of the proximity technologies was 125kHz. When a 125kHz card is powered up, it immediately begins to transmit its card number. In effect, this is very similar to the way the old mag-stripe readers worked. The problem is that being a proximity system, it is possible to create a device that will ‘power up’ a card from a distance, then read the data that is being transmitted. Once you have this, you can easily reproduce the card, making as many copies as you like. In many cases, you can even create cards in the same series with different numbers.
The one advantage of 125kHz is that due to the lower power requirements and small amount of data being transmitted, it offers a good read range (of around 10cm) and a short read time, allowing users to present, swipe, or wave their card in the general direction of the reader to get a successful read.
13.56Mhz card usually used as a ticketing solution for transport systems, and at the same time addressed the security issues in 125kHz technology by enabling two way communication between the card and reader. This saw the introduction of card encryption and the ability to store data on the card.
13.56Mhz cards store the card number in one of the storage areas on the card, known as sectors. When the card approaches the RF field of the reader, the card and reader begin a secure communication session using shared encryption keys. Once this is established, the card number is transmitted and the communication session is closed off. This process happens very quickly, however it does take slightly longer than a 125kHz based system and means that generally, a Mifare card cannot be simply swiped or waved at a card reader, but must be presented. Also, the two way process requires more energy than 125kHz, meaning a slightly reduced read range of around 7cm.
Along with the added security, the additional storage space on the card can be used for many applications, such as offline locking systems or the storage of credit for pay as you go systems.
Shenzhen Zhengdafei Smart Card Co., Ltd could offer various smart cards with LF 125Khz or HF 13.56Mhz with different chips, if you have any inquiry about the RFID smart cards, welcome contact us freely.
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