Key fobs are vital to some of the access control systems, as at times it is not easy to get access to physical keys, especially for cars, offices, and homes. Key fob works using the RFID technology which makes it far more efficient and superior to the physical keys we all use.
Physical keys are a security risk as employees can misplace them, make a copy of them or use it after office hours to gain access without your knowledge or steal your car.
We have been using the Key fobs since 1983, but as they can also be copied and hacked you do need to be careful they are not stolen. Nonetheless, they are efficient, secure, and programmable which makes them a reliable gadget to have.
It will help you track, manage and limit access to your premises without using the traditional keys. We bring you everything you want to know about key fobs in this article.
There may be several questions popping up in your head, we have tried to answer the most common that occurred to us.
Why is Key Fobs used for entry systems?
Compared to traditional keys, a key fob door entry system offers greater convenience and security. Rather than having to fumble around with fitting a metal key into a lock, users just need to hold or wave their fob by a reader to unlock a proximity or RFID key fob entry system.
Because security key fobs have unique identifying data, they’re more secure than a key that can be easily copied, lost, or shared. And if somebody loses their key fob, you no longer have to retool all the locks and reissue keys; all that needs to happen is to deactivate that single security key fob to ensure nobody else can use it to unlock the door.
RFID key fob entry systems are often a cost-effective access control solution, practical for allowing authorized users to unlock the door, and keeping unwanted individuals out.
How are Key Fobs used in commercial access control systems?
In commercial buildings, security is paramount to protecting people, data, and property. An RFID key fob entry system is a common way to keep offices, parking garages, warehouse facilities, college campuses, and apartment complexes safe. One reason many businesses choose to use an RFID key fob system in their commercial buildings is that it’s a great way to control and manage access for many users. Security key fobs are easily configured for each user, which means businesses can customize access for the right set of doors, at the right times. For example, a building manager for a multi-tenant office complex needs key fob access to all the doors on the property, while one of the tenant employees only needs access to the front door, building amenity spaces, and their own office.
In addition, the ease of management makes security key fob systems a good option to accommodate a changing roster of users. If somebody leaves the company, there’s no need to collect keys or reissue credentials to everyone. Instead, only that user’s access can be revoked by deactivating their security key fob. Similarly, issuing new credentials for an RFID key fob system is simple, which gives new employees or building staff the access they need with little downtime.
Can a Locksmith program a Key Fob?
Ideally when you have issues with your Key Fob, is it better to call your car dealership or the lock manufacturer. But will take time for things to start rolling for you. Also, it will cost you more money compared to calling a locksmith. A locksmith on the other hand would turn out to be handy, cost effective, and time-saving. A locksmith can easily show up your place or car in a short time and fix the issues in an hour or so working around the software codes etc.
So if you wish to save time and money, a locksmith can be your choice. It will also depend on how skillful the locksmith is and the key fob programming will depend on the model and the manufacturer of your vehicle. Ideally, it should not take more than a couple of hours to get things sorted out.
Can you Reprogram a Key Fob?
Yes, you can reprogram a Key Fob, each one of the key fob comes with a guide. The guide contains details on simple ways to reprogram any key fob. This will help you get around reprogramming the key fob.
At times you will have to make an extra effort in finding the exact information related to your specific car model before you start reprogramming. You can find such detailed key fob information from the car manual online or the one that comes with the car.
Is a Key Fob Door Entry safe?
There are many benefits to using RFID key fob systems for securing commercial buildings. Security key fobs and key cards are unique to each user, which is far more secure than a traditional key that everyone who needs access has a copy of. In addition, RFID key fob systems for business and commercial buildings offer trackable access activity. This is important for security monitoring, so you know who accessed the space, which doors they unlocked, and when the event occurred.
However, there are also disadvantages to security key fobs to be aware of. Security key fobs are still easy to misplace, so unless the fobs are deactivated immediately, there’s a chance an unauthorized person could gain access to the building. While it’s more difficult to copy a security key fob than a Weigand card or physical key, it is still a security risk. One way to mitigate copy threats is by investing in more secure key fobs with added encryption.
Key fobs are still a physical credential that needs to be issued in person, which requires more planning and face-to-face interaction. Another safety concern for RFID key fob entry systems is that they are not all touchless or hands-free—something that people now look for in the post-COVID era.
Can you Copy a Key Fob?
It is a lot more complicated to Copy a key fob than the normal physical keys. It involves encoding work, which can be done by the dealership or a locksmith company. You can get your key fob replaced online through them. Generally, if your key fob operates on 125khz, it comes with an option of buying an RFID writer, this will help you copy the original key fob information onto a blank unit.
Broadly speaking you get your Key Fob copied in these three ways
- Using Online Key Fob Copying Service
- Contacting the Locksmith or the Manufacturer
- Using an RFID Writer
Can Key Fobs be Tracked?
Key Fobs constantly emit signals and these can certainly be tracked and hacked. If someone wanted to break into your apartment or steal your car. They are constantly under attack by cover entry specialists, law enforcement agencies, criminals, and hackers. Even the most sophisticated key fobs built for secure high-end vehicles manufactured in Germany can be easily replicated through the infrared port in the ignition and plugged into a laptop by hackers. More attention is being given by car manufacturers towards the design defects in their wireless entry systems and we can see better solutions showing up for sure.
How to Change Battery in Key Fob?
Last but not least you don’t want to end with your key fob not responding to you when you touch or have trouble recognizing the proximity or going dead. All you need is a flat-tipped screwdriver and a new battery.
- Find the notch to open the Key Fob
- Use the screwdriver to pop it open
- Remove the battery, check the specifications and replace it with a new battery with the same specs.
- Snap the Key Fob to shut.
What are Alternatives to Key Fobs?
If an RFID key fob system isn’t secure enough for your building, there are many alternatives to key fob technology that offer better security and more functionality. Mobile and keyless door access solutions are quickly becoming the go-to for commercial building security, as they offer greater flexibility, scalability, and ease of implementation. With mobile credentials, the user’s smartphone is their key, and many systems offer touchless unlock capabilities using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data signals. Mobile systems eliminate the need to issue any physical credentials, with the ability to make changes to access permissions or create new users instantly. Keyless door access is also more convenient for users, who no longer have to remember to bring a fob or swipe a key card at the door.
While key fob door entry is a popular option, it’s simply not at future-proof as newer physical security systems. Keyless and mobile systems that run on cloud-based software are able to adapt quickly and roll out new features or system upgrades without the hassle of rolling up a truck or servicing individual readers in person. This means less downtime, and lower maintenance costs over time.