A Beginners Guide to MIFARE Cards

By | July 15, 2019

MIFAREMIFARE cards are an amazing addition to really any business, building or access system, with such widespread use this type of card definitely isn’t going away soon. If you’re curious to know more about MIFARE, or you’re thinking of making the wise decision to incorporation them into your workplace, consult this complete beginner guide to MIFARE Cards:

MIFARE Technology

MIFARE is actually a type of RFID chip which is most commonly used in access cards. These cards can be contactless or smart, smart cards are an older technology that is still used in a few everyday functions. You can also find MIFARE chips elsewhere, including security tags, wristbands and key fobs too. MIFARE enables a card, key or tag to carry a uniquely encrypted number which communicates information about the carrier to its reader.

For a MIFARE chip to be read, it has to communicate with a MIFARE reader. These chips won’t be able to be read by a proximity card reader or a smart card reader, as their frequencies do not align. If you’re looking to secure MIFARE cards, you have to prepare to invest in the correct reader.

There are three types of MIFARE card available on the market at the moment, these are:

MIFARE Classic: The classic range is created with ease of use in mind. They were not made to be implemented as a security measure, instead, the MIFARE classic is targeted more towards car park access, event entry, membership cards and public transport.  

MIFARE Plus: The plus was designed to bring high levels of security to contactless card technology. The plus range can be used for ticketing, tolling, access control and car parks.  

MIFARE DESFire: DESFire was built with a specific focus on speed and safety, which is what MIFARE is known for. These are best used for identification, secure accessing and membership. The DESFire range is considered the most advanced and secure MIFARE chip and therefore it’s the best option if you’re looking to up the safety of your workplace.


MIFARE can be used anywhere and everywhere. Whether its security, festivals, transport or payments, you’ll find MIFARE pretty much all around you.

MIFARE vs. Proximity Cards?

MIFARE cards and proximity cards are very similar, if you’re trying to choose between the two, consider their differences before making your decision:

Data: MIFARE withholds is data in the form of encrypted code, this comes programmed on the card when you purchase it and the number is entirely unique to the card. Proximity cards, on the other hand, use a facility code, meaning that their data springs to life when it enters its reader’s electromagnetic field.  

Memory: Proximity cards don’t have the ability to withhold past information and access attempts. Whereas MIFARE records the history of all communications with a reader, successful or unsuccessful. This is amazing as it records and stores information about the holder and can be used in the instance of a misplaced or misused card.

Frequency: These two cards operate at different frequencies. Proximity with 125KHz, MIFARE with 13.56 Mhz. Be sure to find a 32-Bit reader if you’re going to secure yourself MIFARE cards, a proximity reader won’t be compatible.

MIFARE cards are the more developed, sophisticated choice. Be sure to find the correct reader for your MIFARE cards and you’ll be experiencing enhanced security, efficiency and functionality in no time! Consider the needs of your business, building or system to ensure that you pick the right range of MIFARE for you. If security is your priority opt for MIFARE DESFire.