card reader : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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card reader

A device, that usually connects to a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port, that can read one or more of the following types of card:

Card readers that can read smart cards are called smart card readers. Card readers that can read memory chips are called memory card readers.

They are commonly used for identification to control financial transactions or door locks.

USB devices automatically find and install device drivers. The difficult part is finding documentation on how to interface with the driver.

Card readers are often integrated into keyboards. This saves space and USB connections.

USB Flash Drive vs Smart Card

In theory, there need be no sharp dividing line between a USB Flash drive and Smart Card but in practice they each serve a different niche.

Differences between USB Flash drives and Smart Cards
Feature Flash drive Smart Card
Purpose transporting data ID and electronic commerce.
Capacity 32 or 64 gigabytes of RAM Only 300 bytes to 32K bytes.
Software Requires no software other than the driver automatically installed when you insert the flash drive into the USB port. Requires a driver for the reader and application software to control login, the lock, access to files etc.
CPU has no CPU or a CPU that does nothing but guard the contents of the drive with a PIN and possibly encrypt/decrypt data transparently. has a CPU that can digitally sign, verify, encrypt and decrypt messages. It may be custom programmed at manufacturing time.
private keys can store the private key of a digital certificate, but it is just ordinary data. The owner of the drive can look at it or change it. has private keys for digital certificates burned into the hardware in a way that is completely inaccessible or modifiable by the owner. He can digitally sign, verify, encrypt and decrypt messages with those keys however.

Products

electronic product image recommend electronic⇒IOGEAR SD/MicroSD/MMC Card Reader/Writer GFR204SDto electronic home
asin B0046TJG1U
Green/Grey. It looks like a USB flash drive, but you can insert memory cards into slots on the side. It handles Secure Digital Card (SD), MultiMedia Card (MMC) or MicroSD cards.
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Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock
electronic product image recommend electronic⇒IOGEAR 56-in-1 USB 2.0 Pocket Flash Memory Card Reader/Writerto electronic home
asin B001AWAT3K
Reads pretty well anything. It is compatible with 56 types of memory card. Supports CompactFlash Type I, II SD/SDHC/Mini SD/MMC Olympus and Fuji Film flash memory Micro SD/Micro SDHC/T-Flash Memory Stick/MS Duo Memory Stick Micro (M2) USB 2.0 transfer speeds up to 480Mbps.
American flag amazon.com bestbuy.ca Canadian flag
Canadian flag amazon.ca canadacomputers.com Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de ncix.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es newegg.ca Canadian flag
French flag amazon.fr staples.ca Canadian flag
Italian flag amazon.it tigerdirect.ca Canadian flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk bestbuy.com American flag
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staples.com American flag
tigerdirect.com American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock
electronic product image recommend electronic⇒Cherry TC1100 Stand Alone PCSC/EMV Contact Smart Card Reader Black Usb JT-0100WB-2to electronic home
asin B00OG58SPY
Cherry chipset. Reads smart cards that have a chip and require contact. The more expensive ST-1275 model can also handle contactless cards.
American flag amazon.com bestbuy.ca Canadian flag
Canadian flag amazon.ca canadacomputers.com Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de ncix.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es newegg.ca Canadian flag
French flag amazon.fr staples.ca Canadian flag
Italian flag amazon.it tigerdirect.ca Canadian flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk bestbuy.com American flag
India flag junglee.com ncixus.com American flag
UN flag other stores newegg.com American flag
staples.com American flag
tigerdirect.com American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock

Books

book cover recommend book⇒Smart Cards, Tokens, Security and Applicationsto book home
by Keith Mayes and Konstantinos Markantonakis 978-1-4419-4426-9 paperback
publisher Springer 978-0-387-72197-2 hardcover
published 2008-01-07 978-0-387-72198-9 eBook
  B001AQMN9Y kindle
Overview of the many card systems and solutions that are in practical use today.
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Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.

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