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FAQ’s

Frequently asked questions

What is fob or RFID duplication?

Fob RFID duplication is the process by which the barcodes and other elements which go into making a duplicate fob for use for offices or private residences. When copying a fob, it's only the code and signal which are duplicated - no personal information is duplicated.

There are many nuanced points to this process, given the different types of fobs and RFID chips there are, the amount of time it takes to properly clone each one, and the actual manufacturing process. Like each individual fob key itself, the process can be a bit different every time, but the essential process is the same—that is, taking the data and coding which allows you access to your residence or place of business, duplicating it in physical form, and likewise duplicating the plastic/metal portions of the fob key itself.

What is the difference between RFID and a Fob?

These are two terms which you’ll often see used interchangeably, and with good reason. Fob keys, in recent years especially have made extensive use of RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology.

So what’s the difference? Simply put, a fob is the actual key itself while RFID pertains to the actual technology used to make it work, in the same way a remote control works by way of infrared light.

That said, while a great number of fob keys work by way of RFID technology, there are exceptions, so you’ll want to be sure as to what kind of technology powers your fob—it makes the job easier on us and quicker for you!

What does RFID stand for?

RFID stands for “Radio-Frequency Identification.”

A key difference between this and standard barcode technology is the fact that, unlike conventional barcodes, you don’t need to have the coded item perfectly in line with the reading device, as the technology works by way of radio wave recognition. RFID units fall under the broader purview of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology. These units contain electronically stored information which is then sent, received, read and verified by a corresponding reader.

Among the many benefits of RFID technology include improved security and ease of use, especially when compared with other, barcoded systems.

If the fob duplication does not work will I have to pay?

No, you do not if you bring your fob to us in person.
There can be few things more frustrating from a business owner or general consumer’s perspective than paying for something that doesn’t work as promised, or indeed, at all. As such, we completely understand the difficulty that can arise from such a situation. That said, sometimes fob duplication just doesn’t work for one reason or another. We always put our customers first, and pride ourselves on the efficiency of our fob duplication process. If, however, we are not able to duplicate your fob key you do not have to pay (applicable to in-person only).

What is the chance of successfully duplicating my fob?

When looking to order any kind of service, a success rate is of course going to be one of the first things you look at as a discerning consumer. We are pleased to say that in most cases, we are able to replicate key fobs successfully, and have satisfied numerous clients. This is due to a variety of factors, not the least of which is the fact that we are able to duplicate many different kinds of fob keys, RFID and otherwise, as well as our quick turnaround time, and of course our fantastic success rate.

Why can’t you duplicate my fob?

We’re proud of our success rate when it comes to fob key replication, and our overall quality control. However, there are just some cases where we cannot duplicate a fob. Why is that? There are a variety of possible explanations. If your description of the key does not match its actual style or composition, if the nature of your request would be problematic from a legal standpoint, or if it simply isn’t a kind of fob with which our replication process is compatible, we won’t be able to duplicate your fob.

Why is it my fob can’t be duplicated? Why does this happen?

There are a variety of reasons why we may not be able to duplicate your fob, not the least of which being issues with compatibility. We are proud to offer compatibility with many different kinds of key fobs, check with us first to make sure your brand is compatible. However, that said, there are some brands and types of key fobs that we simply cannot replicate.

There is also the possibility of your original key fob being damaged or its data corrupted. If that is the case, we of course will not be able to duplicate the key fob in question.

Is it legal to duplicate my fobs?

FAQs usually give general, concise answers to commonly asked questions—none of which is all that compatible with a question like this. It will surely come as a great shock to you that issues of the law and legality can be, at best, nuanced and, at worst, tangled beyond belief. Suffice it to say that while the general answer to this question is that we have never come across a legal issue with any of our customers in this specific regard, you should ALWAYS check with your employer, landlord, and/or local, provincial, and federal regulations on the particulars of fob key duplication.

Will a magnet erase the information on my fob?

Back in the days of VHS types (how many of us still own a dust-laden VCR?) it was well-known that magnets were indeed used for erasure when it came to the use of that ancient technology. Magnets have also been used to erase various electronic devices—so what about key fobs? Thankfully, magnets are almost never a problem in this instance. While a magnetic field can influence electronic data, you would need a far more powerful magnet than is generally exist in public to interfere with the RFID or other sensitive data storage and sharing elements of your key fob.

What should I do if I lose my fob?

Electronic or otherwise, it’s the classic panic moment—reaching down into your pockets and finding your car, home, or business key missing. What should you do in such an instance, besides taking a deep breath, searching again, retracing your steps and all that jazz? For one thing, you’ll definitely want to contact your employer or landlord if the key in question belonged to them or was used to access their property or place of business. For our part, we’ll work with you to see what we can do in the way of duplicating or otherwise replacing your key fob, assuming we have a record of it and the means to do so.

How many fobs are in Toronto?

And here we come to everyone’s favorite answer to a question – “It’s hard to say.” After all, tracking down each and every last fob key in a given area – let alone one as big as the Greater Toronto Area – is simply not feasible, with a completely accurate answer akin to finding a needle (or fob?) in a haystack. That said, we can give a broad estimation given the amount of different businesses, apartment complexes, condos and so on that the likely answer will be somewhere in the tens of thousands at least, and given the popularity of the technology, likely to grow over time.

How many fobs are in Vancouver?

Ah, here we go again. Unfortunately, has to be something of a guess. To track down the answer to this one, you’ll again want to look into all the different venues which might use a fob key – apartments, places of business, condominium complexes, etc. – in the Greater Vancouver Area. You might also consider checking in with the different agencies which might keep track of that sort of thing, though that in and of itself can be time consuming. Asking companies themselves as to what their retail rate in the area is might be another way to go. Our guess is tens of thousands.

Can someone duplicate my RFID chip in my credit card? Should I be worried?

With all the fear concerning copied credit cards and the broader liability of identity theft, it should come as no surprise that this would be one of the leading concerns for those with items containing an RFID chip. While it would take a great deal of sophistication to duplicate the RFID chip of a credit card, it is technically possible. Thankfully, there’s no need to be worried. If you find that you have misplaced your fob key or otherwise have had it stolen or duplicated, you can call to have both the key deactivated. If the code for the original key is deactivated, any duplicates with that code will likewise cease to work.

What are the biggest RFID producers?

So, what are the biggest producers of RFID technology? The answer will vary depending on whom you ask, but some of the biggest names in the industry include Alien Technology, Applied Wireless RFID, ThingMagic, GAO RFID, Mojix, NXP Semiconductor CAEN RFID, and Impinj. Motorola is the biggest producer of Gen-2 compliant, ultra-high frequency RFID technology such as readers, and so definitely deserves mention here.

What is the safest RFID technology?

There is no doubt that RFID technology is one of the most dominant presences in the fob key industry. That said, safety is of course of paramount concern when considering FID technology, so which options are the safest? You will want to check sites such as www.consumerreports.org, but as a rule of thumb there are a few things you’re going to want to look out for when it comes to searching out the safest RFID, you always want to go with an established brand whenever possible. You don’t want to be shortchanged by poor encoding or security encryption services. Treat RFID technology as you would milk—if the option you’re reviewing doesn’t quite past the smell test, chuck it out and start fresh.

I am a condo developer, what RFID technology would you recommend?

Well first, let us just say thanks for dropping by, and remember we’re always at your disposal for all your key fob needs! (A little promotion never hurts, right?) There is no one “best” kind of RFID technology, so our answer here is that your own best option is going to depend on what it is you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something relatively easy to find and mass marketed, Motorola’s RFID technology ranks among the market leaders. As a rule of thumb, you’re going to want RFID technology that is on the more recent side of “current,” so shy away from out of date models, which may be more susceptible to hacking.

Can you mass copy or supply RFIDs?

We sure can! When it comes to copying whole fob keys, at least. While such an order would, of course, be great business with us (always a good thing!) if you’re looking for a mass distributor of the raw technology itself, you’re probably going to want to look to Motorola or another of the aforementioned leading RFID manufacturers. If you have more than 25 units, you will qualify for bulk shipping, so you’re going to be on the lookout for that. In addition, you should keep in mind that if we make many copies of one fob key, and said key is then deactivated, all duplicates will follow suit.

I am a business owner I am interested in fob duplication technology. How should I start?

You’ll want to begin by looking into the different kinds of fobs that are out there on the market to see which best suits your ends. Not all key fobs are operated by RFID technology, so you’ll want to see if that suits your aims, or if another option might work better. In addition, you’ll want to consider looking at the rest of this FAQ section and consulting experts such as ourselves for further assistance. For example, duplicating one RDIF key will lead to all duplicates being dependent on that key insofar as the deactivation of that one will lead to the rest becoming deactivated as well.

Can I change my fob? I give access to someone, now what?

First, be sure that you’re matching your needs to the right duplication process. It will be far more difficult to change your fob as the result of a mistaken order than taking the time to ensure you’ve ordered the type of fob you need. You can indeed change your fob, but remember that for each item we duplicate we need an original. If you gave access to your fob to others, or otherwise had copies made and no longer wish those keys to work, you can have them deactivated. However, that requires all fob keys with that coding to be deactivated, meaning that if your key and the copy you wish to have deactivated share the same code, both will be deactivated.

My fob reader does not work well. What can be the problem?

If your fob reader is not working, there may be several problems. In the first place, you’re going to want to ensure that it is, in fact, your fob reader which is malfunctioning, and not a fob key or duplicate thereof. With that checked and squared away, there can be several issues which might cause a fob reader to malfunction, from wear and tear to an issue with the coding recognition software to data corruption to external items interfering with the reading procedure. You will want to contact the manufacturer of your fob key reader to see which of these, if any, applies to your specific reader.

Can someone copy my fob without me knowing?

Given the obviously sensitive nature of fob key and RFID recognition readers and coding, we do our best to ensure the safety of our clients. We do not keep your fob's RFID and it is erased immediately after we have successfully made your copy or copies. That said, no system is perfect, if someone has stolen you fob key and other identifying information – i.e., the order and/or credit card information you used to place the duplication order – they can, in theory, copy your fob. Still, cases of RFID theft are rare, especially when it comes to fob keys, as it’s incredibly difficult to scan a card both at a distance and without your knowledge.

How can I protect my fob from being copied without me knowing?

While identity theft via long range RFID scanners remains an unlikely phenomenon, there are still plenty of ways in which you can protect your card from being copied. You’ll of course want to be sure to keep your wallet and cards secure in your pocket, and not exposed, thereby making it easier to scan (or, indeed lose on your part). Carrying fob keys in your front pockets as opposed to the back pockets can make them harder to scan without your knowledge. In addition, some have suggested that foil can help protect fobs’ coding. Of course, the most practical and useful manner of protection is generally some form of warranty and identity theft protection measures.

What is the history of RFID?

Ah, the long and proud history of RFID…one that stretches all the way back to 1945 (pre-iPod, and thus prehistoric, right?) and the end of WWII. RFID developed as an outgrowth of Soviet and Allied research into radar technology and radio wave-based advances of that time. This technology continued to develop throughout the coming decades, again in part because of US/Soviet competition. Steady advances were made with each passing decade, with 1971 marking the demonstration of a device which served as one of the precursors to RFID technology, with 1983 marking the first time “RFID” was used in an actual registered patent.

Is my garage door opener also RFID technology?

Without actually stopping by in person to inspect the ins and outs of your garage door opener, we obviously cannot say for certain whether or not it is an example of RFID technology. That said, there are indeed garage door opener systems which do work by utilizing RFID technology, and these are definitely gaining in popularity, meaning that if yours doesn’t work by way of RFID, the chances of your being able to acquire a system which does should increase in the coming years. For the real tech heads in the audience, there are also plenty of DIY guides online about constructing RFID systems on your own.

How secure is it having my front door locked or opened by RFID technology?

Metal keys and locks have been in use for centuries, so deviating from tried and true formula for protection requires a good reason. Thankfully, RFID technology and key fobs provide one—namely, an even greater degree of protection than their metallic counterparts. A lock which is operated and locked by way of RFID and other code recognition technologies are on average harder to crack and thus more protected than keys which protect by merely physical means. Barring the theft of your key (which can happen with a standard metal one, of course) or code (which is extremely difficult) this may well be a safer option for your place of business.

How much does it cost to install RFID reader technology?

No matter the effectiveness of any security ore lock system, this is a question that always looms large—and with good reason. After all, you’re not made of money, and protection has to be cost effective. So how much might RFID technology run you? That’s going to vary wildly depending on the system you choose, what brand you choose, the full extent of your security plan, the type of keys and encoding in use, etc. Suffice it to say that RFID protection services sufficient for most residential homes can run anywhere from the low to middle hundreds, with small housing or building units slightly more.

How much does it cost to install an RFID reader technology for a commercial venue?

We need to preface our answer by saying that your true cost here is going to vary based on a variety of different factors, from the brands and types of RFID technology in question to the full extent of their implementation and so on. For a building with 100+ units, this is likely going to run in the low thousands.

What is the best and worst place to install an RFID reader?

As with real estate, this question’s all about location, location, location. When it comes to everything concerning safety and RFID, even the best measures can be undone by a lapse in placement. A basic answer here would be to exercise common sense (ex. don’t install a reader where coding may be exposed or otherwise too easily pirated.) There are different pros and cons for installing an RFID reader for an apartment as opposed to a business door, that is, having one master reader or a series of readers for each individual door, and this will depend greatly on the layout of your own place of business. What’s secure for one company may not be for another, so check, double check, and when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

Where can I copy my fob in Toronto?

Fobcopy is conveniently located downtown, 1 block from Sherbourne Station, at Sherbourne and Bloor Street East. We can copy many different kinds of fobs. See the full list.
If we are unable to copy your fob, you can make use of Clone My Key's mail-in service.

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