Guidelines for a good choice of NFC readers for your application

Which NFC readers are most commonly used for the development of information solutions with NFC technology?

09. October 2023
NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is used in various information solutions, including mobile apps, desktop software, and embedded system solutions. It allows wireless communication between devices equipped with NFC chips, which occurs over short distances, usually a few centimeters.

When selecting an appropriate NFC reader, we must consider which NFC functionality we want to achieve with the reader, compatibility with the operating system, supported standards, design robustness, price...

Main features and possibilities enabled by NFC technology include:

Wireless communication: NFC allows wireless data exchange between two devices with NFC chips, usually achieved by a simple touch or proximity of the devices.
Fast data transfer: NFC enables quick data exchange, useful for text messages, photos, videos, contacts, web links, etc.

Mobile payments: NFC is often used for mobile payments, where users utilize smartphones or other NFC devices to make payments by simply placing the device near the NFC payment terminal.

Advertising and promotions: NFC enables businesses to create interactive marketing campaigns. With NFC tags, users can easily tap their devices to access more information, web links, or discount coupons.

Electronic tickets and cards: NFC is used for electronic event tickets, flight tickets, public transportation, etc. Users can simply tap their devices on NFC readers for entry.

Access control and identification: NFC is used for access control in buildings, transportation, etc. Devices with NFC chips identify people and grant or restrict access.

Internet of Things (IoT): NFC is increasingly used to connect IoT devices, facilitating communication among smart home devices, cars, wearables, and other IoT devices. NFC technology is becoming more popular because of its ease of use, quick data transfer, and a broad range of daily life applications.

NFC reader usage depends on specific requirements and applications under development. Most commonly, for NFC technology-based information solution development, the following types of readers are used:

Mobile phones and smart devices: Mobile phones are among the most common devices with NFC readers. Developers can use integrated NFC functionalities in these devices to create apps that enable NFC communication.

NFC readers for desktop and tablet computers: There are external NFC readers that can connect to desktop or tablet computers via USB or other connections. These readers allow developers to test and integrate NFC functionalities into their apps.

Embedded NFC readers: These can be used in various devices like POS terminals, vending machines, smart locks, smart tags, medical devices, etc. Developers can collaborate with device manufacturers to integrate NFC functionalities into their information solutions.

Development kits (NFC development kits): NFC technology manufacturers offer development kits that include readers and necessary software for NFC technology application development and testing.

In choosing readers for NFC technology-based information solution development, it's essential to consider the project's specific requirements, the type of devices the solution will work with, and the functionalities you aim to achieve using NFC technology.

When selecting an NFC reader, consider the following factors:

Compatibility with devices and operating systems: Check if the NFC reader is compatible with the devices and operating systems you intend to use.

Range: NFC works over very short distances (typically a few centimeters). If you need slightly more extensive range, choose a reader that offers this.

Transfer speed: Depending on the application, data transfer speed may be essential. Check the reader's read/write speed.

Security: If you're using NFC for payments or other sensitive transactions, choose a reader with advanced security features.

Supported standards: Several NFC tag standards exist, such as NFC-A, NFC-B, NFC-F, etc. The reader should support those you intend to use.

Robustness and design: If the reader is to be used in tough environmental conditions, choose a durable model. Also, consider size and shape if space or portability is crucial.

Price: Price is always a crucial factor in decision-making. Reflect on your investment amount and which features are paramount.

Expandability and interfaces: Check which interfaces the reader uses to connect to devices (USB, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.) and if it allows for easy upgrades or added functionalities.

Manufacturer support: Good technical support and regular firmware or software updates are crucial for the reader's long-term reliability and performance.
Additional features: Some readers have extra features like the ability to read other RFID tags, built-in displays, keyboards, or other interfaces.

At, we have the most experience with NFC readers for desktop and tablet computers.

Those users who want to use the reader solely for reading the NFC chip ID usually order USB readers of the R80UF type. These readers work as a keyboard simulator and, upon connection to a computer or another device, simply type out the chip's programmed ID code. This reader reads the chip's ID code in the same way a mobile phone or tablet does (a 14-digit code in hexadecimal format).

The Syris RD200-M1 operates by default as a keyboard simulator but includes software tools with which its mode of operation can be customized. It can be set to read the ID code on the Virtual COM doors, supports writing to chips, and includes SDK tools for integration with software.

The Syris RD300-H1 is a more powerful version of the Syris RD200-M1 NFC reader, which has a slightly longer chip reading distance and also supports operation according to the ISO15693 protocol.

The NFC reader ACR1252 is a PC/SC reader (Personal Computer/Smart Card). PC/SC readers are designed to be compatible with a wide range of smart cards, allowing developers to write software that works with different cards and readers without having to write specific drivers for each reader or card.

ACR1252 can operate in three modes: as a card reader/writer, card simulator, or in peer-to-peer communication mode. The peer-to-peer function allows the ACR1252U to communicate with other NFC devices, such as mobile phones or tablets. The card simulation function allows the reader to behave the same as a standard contactless card.

If you don't have a specific application, you need some programming knowledge to call API commands with this reader. There is no software included with the reader; the list of API commands and documentation can be found on the manufacturer's website.

Those developers encountering this type of reader for the first time often also order the ACR1252U SDK development kit, which includes an NFC reader, some smart cards, and sample code snippets in various programming languages.

If you are looking for a wireless NFC reader, also check out the ACR1255U-J1 Bluetooth reader.

If you have any questions send an email to or call +38641 884 124 and we will be happy to help you.
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