What is a Fob System and How to Choose One

In a world where security plays a pivotal role, the fob system stands as a beacon of technological advancement. These intelligent systems don’t just unlock doors but open a wide array of possibilities for enhanced security, convenience, and control. Ready to step into the future of access control? Let’s dive in.

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What is a Fob System?

In the realm of access control systems, a fob system shines as a smart solution. It uses electronic devices like key fobs or cards to grant or deny entry to buildings or specific areas. Imagine having a small device that, when presented to a special reader, unlocks the entrance to your building – a seamless keyless entry system.

But fob systems aren’t just about opening doors. Some systems require an access code along with the fob for two-factor authentication, further bolstering security. The benefits of such a system, which can also be a key card system, reach far beyond enhanced security to include ease of use and cost efficiency.

Overview of fob entry systems

Key fob entry systems are locks that employ key fobs or smart cards for access control. These key fob entry system options are a leap forward in security, offering improved security, convenience, and adaptability over traditional lock and key systems. Think of them as advanced security guards that restrict personnel to areas relevant to their duties, effectively creating restricted areas within a facility.

The magic of fob entry systems lies in their key components: hardware units, a unified management platform, and software. For an added layer of security, they can be integrated with video surveillance or motion sensors. Even key fobs can come with two-factor authentication. Now that’s a security system with a vision!

Why use fob systems over keys?

The question isn’t why, but why not? Fob systems offer improved security, ease of management, and adjustable access levels, making them a favored choice for commercial and residential properties. They reduce the risk of unauthorized access, are hard to counterfeit, and make system administration a breeze.

One of the major perks of key fob entry systems is that administrators can easily assign and deactivate key fob access. Plus, fob systems allow for customizable access, meaning personnel can be restricted to areas relevant to their duties. In a nutshell, fob systems are like having a personal security team at your fingertips.

Types of Fob Systems – RFID, Encrypted Fobs, Mobile Readers, Wiegand, OSDP

Fob systems come in many flavors, each with its own distinct features and security levels. Some examples include:

  • RFID key fobs: electronic devices that use an RFID tag to interact with card readers via radio waves.
  • Encrypted fobs: key fobs that use encryption technology to enhance security.
  • Mobile readers: fobs that can be accessed through a mobile device.
  • Wiegand door key fobs: the oldest form of access control key fobs, which transmit small amounts of data through a specialized magnetic field.
  • OSDP fobs: fobs that use the Open Supervised Device Protocol for communication.

These are just a few examples of the different types of fobs available.

The choice of a fob system depends on your unique needs and security requirements. Whether it’s the portable convenience of RFID key fobs or the robust durability of Wiegand key fobs, each type has its advantages and potential challenges. The key is to weigh your options and choose the system that suits your business or property the best.

Types of Fob Entry Management System – On-Premise vs Cloud

When it comes to fob entry management systems, the choice is between on-premise and cloud-based systems.

An on-premise system offers:

  • Increased control
  • Scalability
  • The ability to manage access locally
  • The power to control access right from your hardware store

Cloud-based systems provide the following benefits:

Cloud Access Control vs. On-Premise

Both types have their strengths and are suited to different needs and circumstances, so consider your specific requirements when choosing a system.

Advantages of Implementing a Fob System

Integrating a fob system into your security measures offers numerous advantages. Some of the benefits include:

  • Enhanced security
  • Simplified administration
  • Remote access
  • Integration with other security systems

With a fob system, you can also limit access to specific areas, thereby increasing the protection of sensitive information.

The administrative convenience of fob systems is another major benefit. These systems offer:

  • Easy installation, use, oversight, and modification
  • Simple repair or upgrade if issues arise
  • Remote access to monitor your building from any location
  • Ability to maintain the security system and perform maintenance remotely

Key Components of a Fob Access Control System

At the heart of a fob access control system are its key components.

  • Readers
  • Controllers
  • Locks
  • Access management software

Much like a well-orchestrated symphony, each component plays a crucial role in ensuring the system functions smoothly. The software, in particular, is responsible for programming fob access keys with the appropriate access permissions for each user and logging each unlock attempt for auditing purposes.

The security team or building operator holds the baton in this symphony, programming the fob access keys with the appropriate permissions for each user and maintaining them. With each component working in harmony, the fob access control system ensures the security of your premises, making you feel secure.

Integrating Fob Systems with Other Security Measures

Fob systems don’t work in isolation. They can be combined with other security measures, such as video surveillance, alarm systems, and biometric security systems, to create a comprehensive security solution. This integration forms a strong line of defense against potential security breaches and enhances the overall security of your premises.

But what about risks such as lost fobs or system malfunctions? Proper management and additional security measures can mitigate these risks. Some measures to consider include:

  • Using an RFID-blocking sleeve to cover the fob
  • Taking advantage of the latest security technology to create a secure environment
  • Layering these technologies to ensure premises are safe and defended

Top Fob System Companies

When it comes to fob systems, several companies stand out. Some of the leading providers of fob systems in the market today are:

  • Swiftlane
  • Brivo
  • Doorking
  • LenelS2

Each of these companies offers a unique set of features and has earned a reputation in the realm of fob systems.

Swiftlane Mobile Enabled Key Card, PIN Reader and Key Fob Readers

For instance, Swiftlane and Brivo provide features like access control, visitor management, and analytics as part of their offerings. Similarly, Doorking and LenelS2 offer a variety of features that include access control, visitor management, and analytics, to name a few. Choosing a company depends on your specific needs and the features that align best with your security requirements.

Choosing the Right Fob System for Your Needs

Choosing the right fob system is like choosing the right suit – it needs to fit your specific needs perfectly. Factors to consider include:

  • Security requirements
  • Usability
  • Scalability
  • Adaptability
  • Integration possibilities
  • Cost

Whether it’s the user experience or integration capabilities, every aspect matters.

The choice also depends on your building or business type. For instance, a residential building might require a different fob system than a corporate office. It’s important to consider all these factors and consult with a professional if needed to choose the right fob system for your building or business.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations

Installing a fob system is not a DIY project. It requires professional installation to ensure that wiring and programming are executed correctly, thereby preventing unauthorized access. Regular maintenance is equally important to ensure the reliability and longevity of the system.

The cost of a fob system can vary depending on the size of the installation, the number of hardware units required, and the existing physical security infrastructure. The cost of installation depends on how difficult the task is. It also varies depending on the system being set up.

Maintenance costs, on the other hand, depend on the type of system, its features, and any required software or hardware updates.

Addressing Common Concerns and Risks Associated with Fob Systems

While fob systems offer numerous benefits, they also come with potential risks such as lost fobs or system malfunctions. But fear not! These risks can be addressed through appropriate management and supplementary security measures.

For instance, to safeguard against fob hacking, utilizing an RFID-blocking sleeve to cover the fob is recommended. Alternatively, transitioning to a system that does not transmit information to a hacker’s reader, such as a rolling code or challenge-response approach, can also be effective. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the many benefits of your fob system without worry.

Upgrading from Traditional Locks to Fob Systems

If you’re still using traditional locks, it’s time to step into the future. Upgrading to a fob system can offer enhanced security, convenience, and simplified management. Plus, it eliminates the risk of lost or stolen keys and can be integrated with other security systems for a comprehensive security solution.

When planning the switch, consider factors like the size of your facility, the number of users, and the type of access control required. It’s also important to plan for regular testing of the system and update the software and hardware as necessary.

Transitioning to a fob system might seem like a big step, but the benefits are worth it.

How Swiftlane Works

Companies like Swiftlane are a manufacturer of the key fob access control system. We are a technology and security hardware company, focussed on building the end-to-end product for security systems for apartments.

Swiftlane is a cloud-based system that provides key card access control for multifamily and office buildings. It supports a variety of cards and readers to provide high-security solutions for every property and access point.

Our goal is to create best-in-class products that work reliably and increase safety and convenience. Companies like Swiftlane are incentivized to create best-in-class product and customer service so that people will trust them and buy them.


Throughout this blog, we’ve explored the world of fob systems, their advantages, how to choose the right one, and how to mitigate potential risks. We’ve seen that fob systems are not just about opening doors, but about enhancing security, convenience, and control. Whether you’re a small business owner or a property manager of a large residential building, the right fob system can make a world of difference to your security measures. So why wait? It’s time to embrace the future of access control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a key fob for apartment?

A key fob for an apartment is a physical Access Control credential used to gain entry to the common areas of the building. It can also be used to open garage and vehicle doors from a distance.

How much does a FOB system cost?

A key card and key fob access system typically costs between $1,000-3,000 per door, plus an additional $3 to $10 per card or $5 to $50 per fob.

How to use a fob key?

To use a fob key, simply hold or wave it in front of the reader to open the door. Key fobs contain microchips with unique frequencies that communicate with readers to allow access levels for various uses.

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