NFC vs RFID

5 point differences between NFC vs RFID.

5 point differences between NFC vs RFID. - Table of contents:

Today NFC vs RFID are known as modern technologies. Maybe you have a smartphone with NFC. But what does this mean?

This post will answer a few questions about NFC vs RFID technology and will show the differences between both.

NFC vs RFID

What is RFID?

RFID is the method of uniquely identifying items using radio waves.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a wireless, non-contact based technology that uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags.

An RFID system comprises a tag, a reader, and an antenna.

NFC vs RFID

RFID works by placing a physical tag on an object, such as a truck. This tag uses radio waves to send data to a remote reader. The data could include location details, delivery time, and more.

RFID tags are either Active or Passive. Active RFID tags contain their own power source giving them the ability to broadcast with a read range of up to 100 meters.

Their long read range makes active RFID tags ideal for many industries where asset location and other improvements in logistics are important.

NFC vs RFID

What is NFC?

NFC or Near Field Communication is also a wireless technology, but, compared to RFID, it only enables short-range communication between compatible devices.

NFC requires at a minimum one transmitting device and another to receive the signal. So how does NFC work and how is it different from RFID technology?

One of the reasons why it’s easy to confuse NFC vs RFID technology is that the former works on a frequency of 13.56 MHz. Some high-frequency RFID readers operate on the same frequency level – hence the confusion.

NFC vs RFID

NFC standards and protocols are based on the existing RFID standards including ISO/IEC 14443, FeliCa, ISO/IEC 18092, and those defined by NFC Forum.

So, in other words, NFC technology builds upon the existing high-frequency RFID and is often used in proximity access control solutions.

NFC tags are small chips that store data and are often incorporated into stickers, magnets, or labels.

Most smartphones and android tablets are able to read the data in NFC tags at a short-range (about four inches).

The system based on NFC technology is usually comprised of an initiator (a reader) and a target (tag, card, sticker, or key fob). NFC tags contain data and tend to be read-only. These tags can securely hold personal data, with memory ranging between 96 and 8,192 bytes.

As with RFID technology, NFC communication tends to be categorized as active and passive.

The 5 point Differences between NFC vs RFID.

Despite both technologies appearing similar on the surface, there are 5 point differences between both technologies.

Reading Range

NFC technology operates on a reduced range, often called proximity. RFID, on the other hand, can read tags at distances going up to 10m, which makes it the best solution for vehicle identification and access.

Communication

NFC is capable of two-way communication, and as such can offer unique and complex solutions such as card emulation and peer-to-peer.

NFC vs RFID

Speed

Unlike RFID tags, only one tag can be read at a time with NFC technology. This can limit its use cases and means that RFID tags are often better suited to environments where there are a lot of trackable components.

Data

NFC technology stores and transmits multiple types of data. Due to their larger storage space, NFC devices can store and transmit more data than RFID devices that can only carry simple ID information.

This makes NFC better suited to environments where payment details, membership, ticket, etc. information needs to be transferred.

Cost Effectiveness

Due to their reduced reading range, NFC-based readers tend to be cheaper than long-range RFID solutions. This makes NFC a great solution for companies that are on a tight budget, but still, want to employ a high-quality solution.

Purpose use of NFC and RFID:

RFID technology is generally used for identification. Examples include:

* Asset tracking
* Race timing
* Attendee tracking
* Inventory management

NFC technology is generally used for communication. Examples include:

* Contactless payment
* Information/data sharing
* In-store check-ins
* Post-sale product experiences (such as scanning QR codes on posters for additional product information)

NFC vs RFID

Summary

NFC is best used to securely transfer a range of data over short distances, hence its prevalence in access control and payment applications.

On the other hand, RFID is more suited to faster-moving environments with lots of moving parts and is most often used for vehicle access control and asset management purposes.

Unmarked pictures come from Internet, and source: wlius.com

RFID is the method of uniquely identifying items using radio waves.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a wireless, non-contact based technology that uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags.

An RFID system comprises a tag, a reader, and an antenna.

NFC or Near Field Communication is also a wireless technology, but, compared to RFID, it only enables short-range communication between compatible devices.

NFC is best used to securely transfer a range of data over short distances, hence its prevalence in access control and payment applications.

On the other hand, RFID is more suited to faster-moving environments with lots of moving parts and is most often used for vehicle access control and asset management purposes.

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