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NFC vs Mifare: The Battle of Contactless Technologies Unraveled

NFC vs Mifare

In the modern world of smart buildings and connected technology, contactless access control systems have become increasingly important for security and convenience. Two major players in this field are NFC (Near Field Communication) and Mifare. These technologies have distinct differences that impact their use in intercom systems. In this article, we will explore the key differences between NFC and Mifare, discuss the advantages of each, and introduce you to the BAS-IP UKEY and CR-02BD readers that support both access methods.

NFC vs Mifare: Understanding the Core Technologies

NFC and Mifare are both contactless technologies that use radio frequency identification (RFID) to enable secure communication between devices at close range. However, they differ in several ways, including their frequency range, data transfer rates, and security features.

Operating Frequency13.56 MHz13.56 MHz
Data Transfer RateUp to 424 kbpsUp to 106 kbps
EncryptionBuilt-in encryptionVarious encryption schemes (e.g., Mifare Classic)
RFID Card EmulationYesNo
Smartphone CompatibilityCompatible with most smartphonesRequires dedicated Mifare card or key fob
UsageAccess control, mobile payments, data transfer, public transportation, IoT, advertising, healthcare, and morePublic transportation, access control systems, event ticketing, loyalty programs, campus cards, parking
CompatibilityCompatible with existing systemsRequires specific Mifare infrastructure
Read RangeShort-range communication, typically within a few centimetersShort to medium-range communication, typically up to several inches or a few feet
Application DevelopmentSupports app development on various mobile platformsLimited application development options, primarily focused on specific Mifare-compatible systems
StandardsNFC is an international standard governed by the NFC ForumMifare is a proprietary technology developed by NXP Semiconductors
Memory OptionsProvides different memory sizes and configurations for storing dataOffers various memory options, including Mifare Classic (typically 1KB or 4KB) and Mifare Plus (typically 2KB or 4KB)
Security LevelsOffers secure element options and supports secure transactionsSecurity levels vary depending on the Mifare variant, with Mifare Classic having known vulnerabilities
CostGenerally more cost-effective due to widespread adoption and smartphone integrationCosts may vary depending on the specific Mifare variant and system requirements

Advantages and Disadvantages of NFC and Mifare

Understanding the pros and cons of each technology can help determine which is best suited for your intercom needs.

NFC Advantages:

  • Versatile, allowing for communication between various devices
  • Smartphone compatibility simplifies access control management
  • Secure encryption ensures data protection

NFC Disadvantages:

  • Slower data transfer rate compared to Mifare
  • Limited range, typically up to 10 cm

Mifare Advantages:

  • Faster data transfer rate
  • Established and widely used technology
  • Array of products available, including cards, key fobs, and readers

Mifare Disadvantages:

  • Less versatile than NFC, primarily used for access control
  • Security concerns with Mifare Classic encryption
  • Requires dedicated hardware for access

BAS-IP UKEY and CR-02BD: Dual Support for NFC and Mifare

NFC Mifare Reader

BAS-IP, a leading provider of IP intercom solutions, has developed two innovative products that support both NFC and Mifare contactless access methods: the UKEY keyless entry reader and the CR-02BD reader. These devices allow for seamless integration of both technologies, ensuring maximum compatibility and convenience for users.

BAS-IP UKEY Keyless Entry

  • Supports both NFC and Mifare
  • Smartphone-enabled access control
  • Easy installation and management
  • Compatible with various BAS-IP intercom systems

BAS-IP CR-02BD Reader

  • Supports both NFC and Mifare
  • Designed for use with BAS-IP access control systems
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor installations
  • Highly secure and reliable performance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use my smartphone as an NFC Mifare reader?

Yes, most modern smartphones with NFC capabilities can be used as an NFC Mifare reader. You may need to download an app or configure your device settings to enable this functionality.

Q: Are NFC and Mifare cards interchangeable?

While both NFC and Mifare cards operate at the same frequency (13.56 MHz), they use different data transfer protocols and encryption methods. Therefore, they are not directly interchangeable. However, devices like the BAS-IP UKEY and CR-02BD readers support both technologies, allowing you to use both NFC and Mifare cards with a single system.

Q: Which is more secure: NFC or Mifare?

Both technologies offer secure encryption methods, but NFC typically provides stronger encryption than the widely used Mifare Classic. However, other Mifare variants like Mifare DESFire and Mifare Plus offer enhanced security features.

Q: Can I upgrade my existing Mifare access control system to NFC?

Yes, you can upgrade your existing Mifare access control system to support NFC by integrating compatible readers like the BAS-IP UKEY or CR-02BD. These devices will allow you to use NFC-enabled smartphones and devices alongside your existing Mifare cards and key fobs.


In summary, both NFC and Mifare contactless access methods offer unique advantages and disadvantages for intercom systems. By understanding the core differences between these technologies, you can make an informed decision when choosing the best solution for your access control needs. With devices like the BAS-IP UKEY keyless entry reader and the CR-02BD reader, you can enjoy the benefits of both NFC and Mifare technologies in a single, versatile system. These innovative products provide seamless integration, security, and convenience, making them ideal choices for modern intercom and access control systems. As technology continues to evolve, embracing devices that support multiple contactless access methods will ensure that your system remains compatible and up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field.

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