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The Complete ID
Printer Buyer's Guide

This guide walks you through all the important considerations you'll need to know when selecting an ID card printer.

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Smart Card Readers

Smart Card Readers

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Smart card is a general term that refers to several different types of advanced data cards. These cards can hold more data than a barcode or magnetic stripe, and have more flexibility for advanced uses.

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Smart Card Readers

There are several types of smart card readers, depending on the type of smart card – contact cards must physically touch the reader to work, while contactless cards only need to come within a certain distance of the reader to send data. Learn more about smart cards.

Proximity Card Readers

Proximity card readers take the prox card data and translate it into a format the reader can understand. There are several different types of prox cards, each using a different format and frequency to transmit data, so your readers will only work with cards with the same settings.

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This helps improve the security of your access control system, since only cards with your system’s settings will work. Proximity card encoding is controlled, so organizations are not able to encode their own cards in house. Your cards will come already encoded; you may wish to order a complete system that includes the cards and readers, or work with a security partner to install readers customized to your card type.

AlphaCard doesn’t offer proximity readers or complete proximity systems, but we do provide printing systems to print on proximity cards.

Need proximity cards for your existing proximity system? AlphaCard can provide compatible cards at very competitive pricing and fast turn-around times. Learn more about prox cards.