The Best CAC Card Reader: The 10 Top Picks

by John Sanderson

What are the best card readers? That is a question that many business owners ask themselves when deciding what type of credit card reader to purchase. If you’re looking for an easy, quick answer, then this blog post has it. We have compiled the 10 best picks for CAC card readers in the industry today!

Are you searching for the CAC Card Reader within a short time, then the table is for you:

Product
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader, Compatible with Mac Os, Win (Horizontal Version)
ZOWEETEK CAC Card Reader Military, Smart Card Reader DOD Military USB Common Access CAC, Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux
Rocketek DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader/CAC Common Access Card Reader Writer for Military|ID Card/IC Bank Chip Card Reader, USB Smart Card Writer Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/11, Mac OS
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader, Compatible with Mac Os, Win (Horizontal Version)
ZOWEETEK CAC Card Reader Military, Smart Card Reader DOD Military USB Common Access CAC, Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux
Rocketek DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader/CAC Common Access Card Reader Writer for Military|ID Card/IC Bank Chip Card Reader, USB Smart Card Writer Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/11, Mac OS
Product
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader, Compatible with Mac Os, Win (Horizontal Version)
saicoo DOD Military USB Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader, Compatible with Mac Os, Win (Horizontal Version)
Product
ZOWEETEK CAC Card Reader Military, Smart Card Reader DOD Military USB Common Access CAC, Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux
ZOWEETEK CAC Card Reader Military, Smart Card Reader DOD Military USB Common Access CAC, Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux
Product
Rocketek DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader/CAC Common Access Card Reader Writer for Military|ID Card/IC Bank Chip Card Reader, USB Smart Card Writer Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/11, Mac OS
Rocketek DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader/CAC Common Access Card Reader Writer for Military|ID Card/IC Bank Chip Card Reader, USB Smart Card Writer Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/11, Mac OS

Top 10 Best CAC Card Reader Reviewed

1

The Caicoo CAC USB smart card reader is a compact and portable device that provides a simple way for DOD military personnel to access their Common Access Cards (CAC) on their laptops or desktop computers. The Caico0 CAC USB smart card reader is compatible with Windows.

2

It provides an excellent alternative to bulky, expensive smart card readers currently available on the market. It supports modern standard security protocols, including PIV, EMS, ISO-7816 & EMV2 2000 Level 1, CE, FCC, VCCI, and Microsoft WHQL certifications.

3

The Rocketek DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader is a pocket-size smart card reader that can scan and read any ISO7816 Class A, B, and C (5V/3V/1.8V) smart cards. It is designed for US military and government users who need to access their DOD ID cards on computers with no built-in smart card readers or for those users who want to use the same smart card in multiple machines without having to carry multiple readers around.

4

ZOWEETEK ZT-CAC is a USB smart chip card reader that is designed for DOD and USG users. It can be used on computers, Android mobile phones, and Android tablets (Note: Android phones and Android tablets need to support OTG). ZOWEETEK ZT-CAC features a compact design with a user-friendly interface, easy operation, and high security. With the help of this device, you can easily manage your CACs without any driver or software installation on Windows.

5

The DOD Military USB Smart Card Reader is a smart card reader that is used to read the data from your Common Access Card (CAC). The DOD military smart card reader can be used on any Windows computer with a USB port. This CAC reader will allow you to access all of your information from your CAC, including your personal identification number (PIN), biometric fingerprint data, and digital signature.

6

If you are looking for a multi-functional card reader, this is it! It’s compatible with CAC (Common Access Card), ID cards, SD/SDHC/SDXC/Micro SD/T-Flash/MMC/Micro SDHC, and Micro SDXC. This product is the perfect solution for those who need to read multiple types of cards at once.

7

USBDOD CAC Smart Card Reader is a USB smart card reader for DOD Common Access Cards (CAC). It enables you to read, write and store data on your CAC. You can take it anywhere you go easily and use it whenever you need it. The compact and portable design makes it space-saving and a good partner for you.

8

This CAC DOD Military Smart Card Reader is for Government ID, National ID, ActivClient, etc. This chip card reader can be used with almost all contact chip cards and PC operating systems. Great for use in high-security federal government applications, online banking, and credit card payment apps Windows authentication.

9

DOD Military USB C Common Access CAC Smart Card Reader is a high-speed card reader that transfers data at up to 5.8Mb/s and supports the latest U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) standard for smart cards used for identification and authentication purposes. It also works with virtually all contact chip cards and PC operating systems, including Windows 7 / 8 / 10, Mac OS X, or Linux.

10

MMUSC CAC Smart Card Reader is a USB smart card reader that can be used as a standalone device or with client software supporting the PC/SC standard. The MMUSC CAC Smart Card Reader is designed to support the latest computer security technologies and provide secure access to your agency’s network resources.

5 Things You Must Know While Choosing The Best CAC Card Reader

1. COMPATIBILITY WITH EXISTING SYSTEMS

The first item on your list should be compatible with existing systems. Suppose you’ve enrolled in Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and/or Common Access Card (CAC) Reader Registration System (CCRS). In that case, you’ll be using the CAC reader to access that information – which will need to be compatible with those systems! Vehicle registration, on the other hand, may require a different type of system. Be sure to check with your local system administrator what type of CAC card reader is needed for your department/agency’s existing computer networks, especially if you’re working in a mixed platform environment. If not already done so, some research should be done on what types of readers are available and what they do before making a purchase.

2. DURABILITY A CAC

The reader is bound to take a beating in a combat zone – is it durable enough to meet your needs? According to the DoD documentation about CAC readers, they should have an average life span of 5 years when fully operational in a combat environment under ordinary conditions. Does this mean that if you usually work in an office but occasionally need to go out into the field for training or other operations, you should get one designed for durability (such as Mil-STD 810F)? Or does it mean that if you’re regularly doing high-risk activities like air assault operations and MOUT operations that you’ll need to get one designed for heavy use (such as Mil-STD 810G)? What about frequently putting lots of wear and tear on your equipment (like climbing in and out of vehicles or carrying gear)? How you use your CAC reader will greatly affect how often it needs to be replaced, so make sure you know what durability level is needed for your line of work.

3. SECURITY

Next up on your list should be security. Does your installation/organization have a policy requiring encryption of data once transferred to the computer system? Do you need logging capabilities that record who accessed which files when? How about the ability to keep the card reader on all the time without draining batteries too quickly, allowing file transfers even while offline? These are some questions to think about before making a purchase. Some readers may not offer some of these features – do not assume that a reader will have them. It’s a good idea to ask your system administrator what is needed before purchasing a CAC card reader, and even better yet, check the manufacturer documentation before buying anything.

4. EASE OF USE

Like most equipment, ease of use varies from product to product. Suppose you’re not familiar with how things work in general. In that case, you may want to consider if this specific type of equipment is something that could cause problems later on, with end-users complaining that it doesn’t work properly or consistently. Also, consider how comfortable your users are when it comes to technology issues and support – do they prefer things to be simple or more complex? Is this their first time using a computer/equipment like this? What about how familiar they are with the Windows operating system?

5. PRICE

Last but not least, you should consider the price. Do your research on what similar equipment is being offered for – shops like Army/Navy surplus stores (that may not be authorized to sell CAC card readers to the general public), eBay, Craigslist, or even certain computer parts manufacturers can be great places to find these types of items at sometimes drastically reduced prices. Just make sure purchasing the reader from an unauthorized source doesn’t violate any laws.

Advantages Of CAC Card Reader

1. The DoD’s Web site says that “a new DOD ID contains multiple integrated technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Magnetic Stripe Technology.” The fact that these tasks are now combined into one makes daily activities simpler. Your CAC Card can be used to log onto your computer, making it easier to enter secure sites. It can also be used for online postage at USPS Post Offices.

2. For service members who take their responsibilities outside the office, the new DOD ID card offers a convenient way to keep track of vehicle registration and insurance information. The smart chips that store this data are embedded in the back of each card and can be read by an electronic device that is capable of scanning such cards.

3. For those who obtain prescriptions from military treatment facilities, the CAC Card’s functionality includes electronic medical data storage and retrieval capabilities – which means you no longer have to carry around pieces of paper with prescription information on them, and you don’t have to worry about misplacing them.

The Bottom Line

With so many different types of CAC readers on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is best for your business. Our list covers something for everyone–from those looking for a budget-friendly option with great features to more expensive readers with the latest technology and connectivity capabilities. You deserve nothing but quality when you’re using this device! We hope you find your desired product from our list.

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