Key fob systems have been around for quite some time now. Originally, it was intended to replace car keys to improve user convenience and accessibility. Over the years, the concept of using key fobs have also been adapted for other uses, including homes and apartments. Apartment key fob systems are relatively new in comparison to car key fobs. However, these devices are also intended to perform the same way and provide the same set of advantages and benefits to the users. In this article, we are going to talk about encrypted key fob systems. We are going to explain the fundamentals of a key fob system, including the concept behind it, the technology behind it, and the benefits it provides to the users.
What is a key fob system?
A key fob system is an access system where users are given full control of allowing or restricting access to their property. This system is usually applied in cars but is now being adapted for household and residential use in houses and apartments. Key fobs are meant to replace the traditional lock and key system. Instead of having to manually insert the key into the keyhole and turning it, users can just place their key fob near a scanner or press a button on the key fob to unlock or open a door, for example.
How does it work?
A key fob system works via a set of devices that can emit and read radio frequencies. In such a system, the key fob sends out and transmits the radio frequency, also known as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and the receiver, which is the scanner or reader, processes the RFID and unlocks if the RFID matches. Do note, however, that, due to the nature and intended design of key fobs, it only works within a certain range. Typically, key fobs work anywhere within 5 to 20 meters from the key fob to the reader.
What is an encrypted key fob?
Although key fobs make use of RFID, which may sound like a secure way of doing things, it is actually very prone to hacking and interception. Most key fobs today are actually not encrypted, which means that hackers can easily use scanners to intercept the RFID being sent out and copy it to their own custom key fob. Since key fobs are designed to be highly programmable, this issue becomes all the more damaging. For example, hackers can just wait in parking lots with their scanners and wait for people to unlock their cars. Once the scanner intercepts a custom non-encrypted RFID, the hacker can then copy this RFID and program it into their key fob. Effectively, the hacker’s key fob can now also unlock the door of said car. This is where encrypted key fobs come in.
A lot of newer and more modern key fobs are now encrypted. This encryption often comes in a lot of varieties but the most common one is a rolling code. Essentially, a rolling code means that a unique code or RFID is generated every time the fob is engaged. This rolling code is programmed to be easily readable and compatible with the reader and so no one code is regularly repeated. This prevents the issue of code or RFID interception, which makes key fobs a lot more secure. Do note that this is just one example and the illustration is rather basic so it might benefit you to do additional research regarding this topic.
What are the benefits of key fobs?
The benefits of key fobs are primarily geared toward convenience and security. Convenience in a sense that users would not have to bring their bulky keys with them everywhere they go. Also, since they would not have to insert and turn the key, entry and exit can be a lot faster. It also avoids issues regarding wear and tear of locks, which could potentially result in problems and errors during access. In terms of security, key fobs are designed to be a lot more safe as compared to traditional lock and key systems. For one, encrypted key fobs are much harder to hack and duplicate. Unlike traditional keys that can get stolen, easily duplicated using pictures, or frequently go missing, key fobs are generally a much better overall solution for controlling access.