Why 26 Bit Proximity RFID Cards are Still the Best Access Cards

RFID Cards

If you’re trying to set up a security system at your business, you’ve probably come across a lot of confusing big words like “access control,” “proximity cards,” “RFID cards,” “H10301,” etc. But what do these words, letters, and numbers mean? What will protect your business the best while also being the most versatile and secure? When it comes to securing your business, 26 bit proximity RFID cards are hands-down the best choice, and this article will explain why.

What is a proximity card?

A proximity card is a certain type of card that works with access control systems and can have a variety of business functions associated with them. For example, they could grant an employee access to a building, or be used as a badge. As the name suggests, the cards use a technology called RFID—Radio Frequency Identification—which, through the use of a 125 kHz frequency, enables the card to be scanned without ever having to come into physical contact with the reader (hence the name ‘proximity’ card). In fact, you would not even need to take the card out of your wallet in order for the card reader to identify the card and its functions!

What is the 26 bit format?

The 26 bit proximity card is a certain format of proximity card, also known as H10301. The H10301 26 bit format is a particularly popular format of proximity card because they are so customizable; indeed, the 26 bit format has become the basic industry standard for proximity cards. Using the 26 bit / H10301 format allows businesses to go into their security system and program each card to perform specific functions or contain different types of information, depending on the needs of the business. For example, a business could program cards differently for different levels of employees in such a way that one type of employee might be allowed access to one facility, but another would not. Additionally, each 26 bit card has a unique and customizable serial number and facility code, making each card distinct.

Facility Code and Serial Numbers Explained

The 26 bit / H10301 card utilizes facility codes and serial numbers that are translated into a binary code that has 26 bits (or ‘parts’). The first set of bits make up the facility code, and the last sequence is the serial number.

The purpose of a facility code is to associate the card with a facility or building. This essentially means that a random Joe who bought a 26 bit proximity card online cannot just walk up to your business, swipe his card, and be granted access. The security system at your facility will only recognize its associated facility code. In total, there are 255 possible facility codes.

A serial number, also known as card number, is in a way like a social security number. It is a unique sequence of numbers associated to one employee within your facility. This adds an additional level of security because you can give each employee certain privileges within your facility. There are 65,535 possible serial numbers. This means that there are more than 16.7 million possible combinations of facility codes and serial numbers alone (that is a lot of employees!).

There is one final part that puts the 26 bit proximity card together: parity bits. These parity bits are like a third level of additional security and are found at the beginning and end of the binary code. They ensure that the binary code adds up to an odd or even number which makes the validation process quicker when scanning your card.

In all, there are 26 bits in the proximity card: 8 facility, 16 serial, and 2 parity bits.

Why 26 bit proximity is the best

Now that we understand what exactly the 26 bit proximity card is, why is it the best in the industry? When searching for the best for your company, there are three main things you need to consider: versatility, customizability, and security. The 26 bit / H10301 card excels in each of these three categories.


A business can program its 26 bit proximity cards to have many useful functions. For example, each card can double as a means of access in a building and as an ID badge. The cards can easily be printed on, meaning that if you wish to add a barcode for an alternative function that is easily accomplished.


As shown above, this card will only work at a specific facility it is customized to work at. These cards can easily be altered to associate with one facility code and a series of numbers that correspond one unique employee. Furthermore, the 26 bit format doesn’t just come in cards; it can also come in the form of fobs, wristbands, and even rings! This technology can be customized to work with what your system and employees need.


These cards have three tiers of security programed in the 26 bit binary code. Each tier can be altered to allow access to certain parts of the building. This means that only the card you program will work with your facility.

Accessibility of 26 bit H10301 cards

Lastly, the 26 bit / H10301 format is easily transferable to your security system. This card is the most used and available in the security system industry, and most card readers and security systems can accommodate it. Moreover, the programmability of the 26 bit card means that they can be programed to work with any modern security system. The 26 bit H10301 card can be purchased from any supplier and will work with your access control system when used correctly. This makes the cards easily available and cost-effective. It truly is a profitable trade-off to have a security system that is cost-effective, available, and secure.

It should be noted that there are other forms of cards such as 37 and 40 bit proximity cards. The 26 bit card, however, is much more accessible and user-friendly. In addition, the 37 and 40 bit proximity cards are harder to find and more expensive; they are constantly being taken off the market and are not sold by many suppliers. While some think that the rarity of the 37 and 40 bit formats makes them more secure, it is important to acknowledge that businesses are living and growing; when your business needs more cards, you don’t want to have to wait months or waste time finding the one card that will work with your system. A security system isn’t very secure if you have no cards that work with it!


Security systems can often be hard to navigate and understand. There are many phrases and words that are not common lingo for most. However, this is an obstacle that must be overcome because security systems are a necessity in a business. Not only does a security system protect your product, but it can also protect the lives of your employees. Technology is tricky and things can go terribly wrong, which is why it is important to choose a system that can be easily taught and accessible. 26 bit proximity RFID access cards are the best format because they are the most versatile, customizable, secure, and accessible.

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