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How to Save on RFID Cards and Key Fobs
Posted on Thursday, May 7, 2020
How to Save on RFID Cards and Key Fobs

We know that RFID cards aren’t exactly expensive, but how many do you have in your project? And do you know what is better than low costs? No costs! You should know that an alternative to RFID cards is available.

This alternative is Bluetooth. In today’s article from the You should know column, we will be looking at projects where it is worth using Bluetooth over RFID.

Bluetooth as access control technology?
Just to make sure, let’s first remind ourselves how Bluetooth for access control works. Just like RFID readers, readers are also available with Bluetooth technology. Instead of RFID cards, users identify themselves with their smartphones. All you need is the installed application and Bluetooth switched on. The door opens and the user can enter.

Where are the savings?
There is no need to buy a mountain of RFID cards at the start of the project. Neither do you need to buy additional cards to replace cards which are bent or lost. Even the elderly cleaner has a smartphone these days, so even they can use it as ID and get into the building.

Isn’t a Bluetooth reader more expensive?
Yes, it usually is more expensive, but the overall costs for RFID technology are generally greater when you only have 25 RFID cards. In other words, for a project using up to 25 cards—RFID is cheaper. For a project using more than 25 cards—Bluetooth is cheaper. And don’t forget about the no additional costs to buy more cards!

Is it secure?
The security of our Bluetooth readers is comparable to internet banking applications. We use Bluetooth v4 (BLE) and encrypted communication between readers and phones. It is impossible to misuse the access data.

What if somebody’s phone is stolen?
You ask about that a lot. We usually respond with our own questions—what if somebody’s RFID card is stolen? What would the user likely notice sooner? We would say it would be their phone. You can set the Tap-in-app mode at the entrance door. In this mode, users have to unlock their phones before connecting to the Bluetooth reader. Most users protect the data in their phone with a fingerprint, PIN or gesture. A thief would be unable to unlock the phone and get access to the building. As well as this, and administrator can easily remove the stolen mobile phone from the access control system.

What about user-friendliness?
Users come to the door, take out their phone and open the door with a single tap. If that is not enough for you, we have one more option. Just go up to the reader and touch it. Yes, really. The reader searches for the mobile phone in the user’s pocket or handbag and opens the door.

Does 2N have a solution?
Yes! We’ve been revealing this to you slowly while you’ve been reading. Now, we introduce you to the products themselves. The 2N® Access Unit Bluetooth reader is a stand-alone unit used only to control access. Another option is the Bluetooth reader as part of the 2N® IP Verso intercom. The 2N® Mobile Key mobile application can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play and App Store.

Don’t want to force everyone to switch to Bluetooth?
We have thought about that too. We are ready for the situation that some people will use a mobile phone with Bluetooth to gain access and some will use RFID cards. To secure premises without the need for audio/video communication, we have the 2N® Access Unit Bluetooth & RFID. Just like the separate Bluetooth unit, we also offer a Bluetooth & RFID reader for the 2N® IP Verso intercom.