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Key Fobs

Key Fobs 101: What You Need to Know

It’s a funny name, but key fobs are serious business. Similar to keyless devices for cars that are used regularly these days, a key fob is a keyless remote device that allows entry into a building or restricted area of a building.

Key fobs are personal devices, which are small enough to be kept on a key ring or in a pocket. They are used with access control systems programmed to manage entry through one automatically locked door or throughout an entire facility.

How Key Fobs Work

These pocket-sized security tokens have built-in, one-factor authentication. When the key fob is within close proximity to the access device reader, the system unlocks the door or gate to allow entry only for those who are authorized. Each fob has a personal identification number and the access system can be programmed to limit or block entry at any time.

Applications for Key Fobs

Key fob systems can be a convenient and secure solution for gated communities, apartment complexes, parking garages, offices with many employees or buildings with restricted areas, such as a stock room, technical space, or a laboratory. Fobs are used widely to grant access to gym clients, neighborhood members with a shared pool facility, and students on campus, just to name a few.

Fobs are also growing in popularity for private residences. They provide homeowners with the ability to grant access to guests or service providers, such as babysitters, cleaning personnel and dog walkers, while still keeping a close eye on who is entering the home and when. Key fobs can also be a great solution for vacation or short-term rentals.

Advantages for Keyless Entry

There are five main advantages to using key fobs or another keyless entry device: increased security, access records, selective entry, the ability to program customized special features and overall convenience.

Increased Security

Traditional keys become problematic for business owners and homeowners whenever they go missing. The biggest advantage of key fobs, and keyless entry systems in general, is that a fob can be immediately blocked if it has been lost or stolen. When an employee is let go, a tenant moves out, or a service is discontinued, simply program the system to deny entry for the fob with that particular ID number.

For an even higher degree of security, some companies regularly change access codes for the main entry point or certain restricted areas. A keyless entry system can also be integrated with a CCTV or commercial security system.

For most businesses and public buildings, the extra security of the facility, sensitive information, valuable products and equipment is more than enough to outweigh the cost of up-front investment.

Access Records

Keyless access systems automatically make a full record of who enters the building and the time of entry. This valuable information is helpful in tracking visitor data, employee attendance, the movement of staff members and the presence of people in case of an emergency.

Selective Entry

When multiple copies of keys are required to grant access to a number of people, key fobs are advantageous. They offer extremely customizable, secure access management. By programming the system, you can easily allow access to particular people or restrict entry during certain time periods.

Selective entry is recommended for research labs, industrial sites, product development facilities, rooms with computer servers and anywhere where access should be restricted to authorized staff. With residential use, homeowners can grant access to cleaning crew, for example, during just a few hours of the day.

Special Features

Key fobs are also popular because they are very customizable options. They can control a lot more than entry into a building. For example, a fob can be used at the company vending machine or copy machine, gym lockers, hotel supply closets, pharmaceutical stock and medical equipment rooms.


Depending on the brand, fobs are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace if they are lost, stolen or worn out. The access system will need to be reprogrammed to block the old fob and grant access to the new one with a new key ID.

Plus, with key fobs, you can avoid the expense of rekeying the property and inconvenience of reissuing new keys to everyone each time one is lost.

Interested in a Keyless Entry System?

Ask Great Valley Lockshop for a consultation about keyless entry to see if it’s the right solution for your business or home.

We’d be happy to answer all your questions about key fobs, remote entry brands and hardware, programming and installation. GV Lock has years of experience designing and installing keyless and remote entry systems in Chester County and beyond.

Give us a call at (610) 644-5334 or fill out our online service request form.

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