Access control card readers are one of the major component of an Access Control System. These access control devices are used in physical security systems to read credentials or the encrypted data on an access card and allow or deny access based on the card information with the feedback from the control panel. In other words, an access control reader is a devices used to electronically read the access card’s credential that allows access through access control points, typically a locked door, making them an ideal component in many access control systems.

Access control readers are usually mounted on the exterior (non-secured) side of a doors, gates, elevator or any other place that allows for access to be restricted. These readers are of various types with different levels or sophistication and can also support different access control cards. An access control reader can be a magnetic stripe reader, a barcode reader, a proximity reader, or a biometric reader. Access control readers are classified by functions they are able to perform and by identification technology:

Types of card readers available

Proximity card readers

Proximity card readers are the most common type of card reader, usually mounted on a wall or door frame. Proximity readers continuously transmit a radio frequency (RF) signal that provides energy to the access control card. When the access card is held at a certain distance from the reader, the RF signal is absorbed by a small coil inside that powers up the card’s microchip which contains a unique identification code. As the name implies, no direct contact is required between the access card and the access control reader for the security system to operate, the card must only be in the proximity of the reader. The read range depend primarily on the reader and upon the card/key fob being used. There is a great variety of access control proximity readers designed for different environments for maximum design flexibility.

Biometric Reader

Biometric readers are electronic devices that determine identity by detecting and matching physical characteristics. It recognizes a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. Among the features measured are face, fingerprints, hand geometry, retinal pattern, vein, and voice. Biometric readers offer very high security but are also the most expensive. However, this technology eliminates problems such as lost, stolen or loaned access cards and forgotten PINs. Airports, hospitals, hotels, grocery stores and even Disney theme parks increasingly use biometrics for added security. Modern advances in this emerging technology, coupled with big reductions in cost, now make biometric readers available and affordable to consumers, small business owner, larger corporations and public sector agencies alike.

Barcode reader

If you have ever scanned an item at the grocery store’s checkout, you know what a barcode is. Today, many building access control systems rely on employee badging with scannable barcodes to grant access via a barcode readers. Barcode readers use infrared (IR) technology to read and authorize a variety of different barcodes. A barcode is a series of alternating dark and light stripes that are read by an optical barcode scanner. Barcode reader allows you to read virtually all existing barcode cards. Barcode Reader provide the lowest-cost access cards of any access control technology. The advantage of using barcode technology is that it is cheap and easy to generate the credential and it can easily be applied to access cards or other items. Barcode readers can be used for both access control systems and purchasing.

Magnetic Stripe Readers

Magnetic stripe technology, usually called mag-stripe, is so named because of the stripe of magnetic oxide tape that is laminated on a card. Many organizations utilize mag stripetechnology to make photo ID badges for uses ranging from door access control and parking to cafeteria meals and book checkouts. Magnetic stripe readers require that access cards be swiped through the reader causing wear and a shorter life span. The cards are low in cost but are easily duplicated, are affected by outside magnetic fields, and the mag-stripe readers require occasional cleaning to remove any dirt buildup on the read heads. With changes in compliance, functionality and security, many companies have already transitioned existing mag-stripe systems to proximity card or new generation smart card access control systems.

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Keypad entry systems are security systems that require a PIN code for door or gate entry without need of access card or any credential. This access control applications are generally used for access control with low security and a limited amount of users with authorized access. Keypads can be connected in some different ways, mainly to a central access control system, standalon pin pads, key pads  on door locks or deadbolta or IP connected PIN codes.

Dicsan Technology has unparalleled experience with proximity, biometric, barcode, magnetic stripe, and smart card readers. Whether you need to control access to a single door or a complex multi-site facility, Dicsan Technology will provide you with complete end-to-end access control solutions and service. Our readers are affordable, integrate seamlessly with access control systems, and allow the use of multiple form factors, including smart cards, fobs and tags. Dicsan Technology also offers a comprehensive selection of credentials to complement these card readers, including proximity cards, smart cards, standard ID cards with magnetic stripes and key fobs.

We'll help find the right card reader for you!

At Dicsan Technology we understand that with the different technologies available and variables to consider, it can be difficult for you to choose the right access control card reader for your site. Our access control specialists will help you find the right access control solution for you application. Contact us or request your FREE Access Control Assessment and learn how to easily secure your premises.


In the fields of physical security, Access control is any mechanism or system that is used to control access into or out of any area through the authorization or revocation of rights to physical or logical assets within a business or home.


Access control card readers are one of the major component of an Access Control System. These are used to read the encrypted data on an access card and allow or deny access based on the card information with the feedback from the control panel.


The standard form of today’s access control is an “access card” instead of the standard metal key and lock system to grant access to the secured area. There are different types of access cards and each require an access control system card reader.


RFID stands for Radio-Frequency IDentification. The RFID device serves the same purpose as a bar code or a magnetic stripe; it provides a unique identifier for that object. RFID is fast, reliable, and can be read from up to several feet away.


Motion sensors are found everywhere today and function by detecting a vehicle or person approaching an exit and unlock the door. Due to their motion sensor they can trigger motion and thus unlock the door right when you walk up to the door to exit the space.


Access controllers are split through many types of control models an features, all of them providing the essential services of authorization, identification and authentication.


Every access control system needs a server where the permissions are stored in an access database. It is really the server which makes the decision if the doors should unlock or not by matching the presented credential to the credentials authorized for this door.


Magnetic locks and electric strikes are electrical hardware devices used to maintain the security of a door opening. Both of these devices can be activated by a range of tools, including passcodes, biometric readers, keycards or buzzers.


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