Smart cards, biometric keyless entry, proximity cards, and security tokens gained popularity for the convenience they offer for keyless entry. Key fobs are the latest additions to the class of small, programmable devices for enabling access to a physical area or object. They’re also called hardware tokens, serving as on-device and one-factor authentication for access to a device or system, such as a computer, a car, a network service, or a mobile device. You can also program a key fob to allow access to a restricted room or area.
Using a key fob, you don’t have to unlock something with a physical key. It may also allow remote-enabled access, making it more secure and convenient. Keep reading to learn more about key fobs.
A key fob uses a short-range radio transmitter or an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and antenna. It sends a unique coded signal to a device’s receiver unit using radio frequencies. The receiver also has an RFID tag with stored information. The fob adjusts based on the transmitter’s frequency when the reader’s transmitter emits a signal to it. The communication between the receiver and the fob occurs instantaneously when you press the button on a fob.
Key fobs have an RFID chip to transmit distinct RFID tag information to match the receiver device programmed to accept it. So, if you program a key fob to lock or unlock your car, it will perform those functions only with that specific vehicle.
An RFID key fob is programmable to transmit different commands. For instance, those used for vehicles can have specific functions for different buttons, such as the ignition, opening the trunk, disarming or arming the security system, and controlling automatic windows.
Key fobs can be authentication methods for devices that require multi-factor or two-factor authentication. That makes them helpful in safeguarding networks, data, applications, and devices. They are also practical for biometric authentication for added security.
One of the benefits of using key fobs is that they provide an extra layer of security. Passwords are easy to steal and intercept, but with a key fob, you can deter an attacker’s attempt to access a system or network. A key fob may also prevent attackers from reusing randomly generated passcodes. You can use back-end software to control connected RFID readers from a server, allowing an administrator to program multiple fobs remotely.