The 10 Best Smart Card Readers
We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Smart cards are widely acknowledged as one of the most secure and reliable forms of electronic identification, and are beginning to attain widespread use in a variety of civil and military applications. But to get at their data, you'll need one of these readers. Some of our selections offer additional functionality with their ability to read multiple formats of digital memory storage. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smart card reader on Amazon.
10. HID Omnikey
The HID Omnikey is solidly built and comes with an attachment sticker, so it is great for stationary use alongside a business computer. It's highly reliable and never struggles to read data, even with federal government security.
- fits in a laptop case
- top-feed slot is easy to access
- some computers will require software
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
9. SCM MicroSystems SmartFold
The SCM MicroSystems SmartFold folds down to nearly half its size when not in use. It comes in a discreet white color, and hugs the side of your laptop tightly so it's hardly noticeable, making it great for confidential work.
- has a loop for a key ring
- flips open with a push of a button
- materials aren't very durable
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. SCM Microsystems SCR3310 V2.0
The SCM Microsystems SCR3310 V2.0 is a popular way to read not only Department of Defense IDs, but also most major payment cards, thanks to its Level 1 EMV certification. Its low cost and light weight make it an effective solution for on-the-go digital authorization.
- adheres to industry standards
- may be difficult to set up on macs
- some units have a short lifespan
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
7. IOGear GSR202
The IOGear GSR202 is useful for a range of applications, including healthcare, transportation and secure network logins. Members of the Navy love it because it can read their protected files from the NKO on their personal computers.
- no software downloads required
- rubber base won't scratch your desk
- some computers can't register it
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
6. Gemalto IDBridge
The stylish and small Gemalto IDBridge supports national IDs from every country. It also features a professional-looking clear exterior, which offers peace of mind because you can watch it work and know it isn't damaging any cards.
- finds required drivers automatically
- holds ids firmly while reading
- extra-long usb cord
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
5. Rocketek RT-SCR1
The inexpensive Rocketek RT-SCR1 provides users with a quick way to read official identifications or credit cards using its automatically-installed software and USB interface. It accepts all types of military-issued CACs and includes lifetime technical support.
- 90-day money back guarantee
- use with any operating system
- supports a wide range of id formats
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
4. SCM 3340
Using the 54mm ExpressCard format, the SCM 3340 is a good option for verifying IDs when all the USB ports on a laptop are occupied. It's smaller, lighter, and operates at a higher speed than many other choices, making it an effective solution when you're on the go.
- approved for use by the military
- easy plug-and-play installation
- designed for use with windows os
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
3. Dell SK-3205
Conveniently scan your CAC and log in to secure networks using the Dell SK-3205, a standard, 104-key USB keyboard that features a built-in reader. It plugs in via USB and includes all the drivers needed to install on most systems.
- compatible with windows pcs
- ergonomic palm rest
- easy-access top-mounted slot
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Rocketek SCR10
The Rocketek SCR10 weighs only 0.3 oz and, since it doesn't require any cords, it fits in a pocket and is very portable. In addition to smart chips, it supports extended-capacity SD cards with the ability to read up to 2 TB of data.
- simple driver-free installation
- short-circuit and thermal protection
- great value at the price
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Saicoo Common Access
The Windows- and Macintosh-compatible Saicoo Common Access comes with lifetime tech support and has received high marks from the military's official CAC guide. It's sold as either a vertical, desktop model or in a more portable, flat design.
- low failure rate
- very affordable cost
- covered by 18-month warranty
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|