Understanding the 26-Bit Proximity Card Format

Jun 16 , 2022

Josh Murray

Understanding the 26-Bit Proximity Card Format

What is a 26-bit proximity access card, and how does it work?

The 26-bit format is the most popular card reader format in the access control industry, and for good reason. 26-bit access cards and key fobs are highly affordable and are compatible with many existing access control systems. Take a minute to understand the 26-bit proximity card format and learn why it’s a secure, reliable option for your business.

Why Use 26-Bit?

There are several proximity card systems on the market, from 26-bit to 40-bit, and a range of proprietary formats in between. However, because the 26-bit format is so commonly used, it may be compatible with the access control system you already have in place. 26-bit prox cards and fobs are also highly cost-effective and easy to use.

5-Digit Serial or Start Numbers

All 26 bit cards and fobs are assigned a 5 digit card code often referred to as a serial number, or start number, and are used to identify the individual using it. That number can range between 0 and 65,535. With employees’ names and serial numbers at your fingertips, you can assign unique security privileges to each person. Employee 3,662 may not have access to restricted areas within the building, while employee 877 does.

Facility Codes

Think of facility codes as an extra layer of security in addition to the 5-digit card serial number. A standard 26-bit key fob is programmable with facility codes ranging from 0 to 255. The facility code you select will be specific to your building access control system. Facility codes that you have not authorized in your system will be denied access even if the 5-digit card code is a match. In other words, utilizing facility codes will greatly enhance building access security.

If you’re in the market for an updated access control system in your building, consider investing in the 26-bit proximity card format. When you understand how the system works, it’s easy to program the fobs with a unique code for your building and assign unique privileges to each employee. Implementing high-tech security solutions in your business has never been simpler or more affordable.


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