Pros & Cons of RFID Technology

by Nicole Martinez, studioD

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips have been used by organizations as large as the United States military as well as small businesses. You can use them to move to a new home, keep track of your family pet or pack personal belongings for a trip. However, RFID chips aren't without cons, many of which involve cost and privacy.


One of the pros of RFID tags are how easy they are to use. Unlike barcode or QR code readers that can only scan a single code at once, RFID readers are able to communicate with multiple tags at once, which makes them more convenient. Furthermore, RFID scanners do not need to point directly at the code, so you can scan tags in packages or even embedded in animals with ease. The small size of RFID tags also makes them convenient as they are smaller than barcodes. RFID chips are available in different materials and sizes. Finally, a tag can be used to identify unique items, unlike barcodes that mark all like items with the same code.

Ruggedness and Effectiveness

RFID tags are relatively rugged, which means you can use them in harsh environments. An RFID chip can be used in an animal, and this is the basis of microchipping pets. RFID tags and signal boosters can be used to allow scanners to work within a building. However, when these tags come into contact with certain metals or liquids, their effectiveness is sometimes diminished. The individual ranges for tags limits how far away the tag reader will work with the RFID tag.


Security is of special importance when it comes to RFID tags because they are so easy to access. Unauthorized users with scanners can readily gain access to information on a chip in an inconspicuous manner. You should encrypt sensitive data before putting it onto an RFID chip. Furthermore, consumers might want to protect themselves from hidden tags that are difficult to locate without a scanner.

Cost and Deployment

RFID technology may be beneficial to some businesses, but owners may find the high startup costs do not pay off in the long run. This is also true for individual use because chips tend to be more affordable when you purchase them in bulk. While this technology has been around for more than 50 years, a lack of standardized infrastructure means that some businesses may have a difficult time incorporating RFID chips into the supply chain. You may notice that your employer lacks the planning to make RFID use efficient.

About the Author

Nicole Martinez began writing in 2010 and has since been published on various websites. She primarily writes about computer- and internet-related topics, especially those concerning website maintenance and programming.

Photo Credits

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