IDSecurityOnline blog en-us Copyright 2008 - 2020 IDSecurityOnline Blog IDSecurityOnline blog 10 COVID-19 outbreak -1COVID-19-outbreak Wed, 01 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0400 The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting all of us in unprecedented ways. While we are currently in full operation, we continue to monitor this situation and have implemented precautions to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers.

Some of these precautions include:

  • Advisories of personal hygiene and social distancing techniques;
  • Provisioning our workplace with sanitary supplies to inhibit the spread of the virus at work and in the community.
  • Work-from-home options have been instated where possible for our staff.

We anticipate more adjustments will be made as we monitor the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We are dedicated to serve healthcare facilities as quickly as possible to help them get the supplies that they need in these difficult times. Some of the products that are available include:

  • Visitor management supplies such as visitor badges, sign-in books and expiring dot sets.
  • ID card printers and supplies, including card printer ribbons, films, and laminates.
  • ID cards and badges such as PVC cards, Proximity cards and HID cards.
  • Lanyards and badge reels – standard or custom.
  • Colored wristbands – standard or custom.

For more information, please call 800-897-7024 or email .

Thank you & be safe!

Questions you should ask before buying the MAGiCARD Prima 8 -1ask-before-buying-MAGiCARD-prima-8 Mon, 09 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0400 The Prima 8 is MAGiCARD’s updated version of the Prima 4. It’s a high-end retransfer ID card printer with top-of-the-range encoding and printing technologies. In fact, it can print ID cards that meet some of the highest U.S. federal government standards. Like other MAGiCARD printers, the Prima 8 comes with a host of optional features to extend its utility.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best candidate for all applications. Here, you’ll find answers to the most critical questions you may have before investing in the Prima 8 for your organization’s card printing needs.

What can you expect from the Prima 8’s printing quality?

The Prima 8 utilizes retransfer printing technology. Retransfer printing involves printing on a transparent and flexible film. The film is then adhered to the card print side down. As the cutting-edge in printing technology, it has several advantages over conventional direct-to-card printing, for example:

  • Tamperproof: As the printing is underneath the film, the film will need to be removed to alter the visuals.
  • Durability: it takes longer for wear and tear to affect the actual graphics. The film also serves as an extra layer of protection for the physical card.
  • Flexibility: Retransfer printing is suitable for printing on uneven or irregular cards as a result of the versatile film.
  • Over-the-edge printing: Unlike direct-to-card printing, the film can apply right to, and over, the edge of the card. Not only does this look more professional, but it also protects your card better.

The standard Prima 8 prints in high-definition 300dpi, but a 600dpi option is available if maximum resolution is of the utmost importance. At 600dpi, you’ll be able to print CJK characters down to 1.3pt size.

With high-resolution and YMCK-color printing, you can expect top-quality graphics with crisp definition and sharp colors. This is vital for security cards with photo identification as well as a high-quality appearance.

Adherence to federal identification standards

The Prima 8 is FIPS certified, meaning it meets the U.S. federal government requirements for printing personal identification verification (PIV) cards. Featured on the GSA Approved Products list, you can rest assured that the Prima 8  will keep your business on the right side of compliance measures for security card issuance.

What is the Prima 8’s performance like?

The Prima 8 comes with both 100 card input and output hoppers to simplify the printing workflow. With a hopper-feed system, you won’t need to facilitate the printing process manually. In terms of speed, the Prima 8 can print up to 100 single-sided full-YMCK cards per hour. For double-sided cards, the speed will halve to about 50 cards per hour.

Without needing to be present for the actual printing, you could merely refill and empty your hoppers every hour for high-volume jobs. A printer lock will keep any unauthorized parties from accessing your already printed cards.

The latest in secure and practical encoding technologies

Prima 8 makes use of a range of the latest technologies to improve its utility and versatility in the face of the ever-expanding ID card printing needs of today’s businesses. The Prima 8 can produce cards according to MIFARE®, DESFire®, and iClass® smart card encoding technologies.

For magnetic stripe printing, the Prima 8 comes with ISO 7811-standard HiCo and LoCo encoders.

  • Single or dual-sided printing
  • Various encoding options:
    • Smart chip
    • Smart contactless
    • Magnetic stripe
    • And, any combination of the three
  • Holographic or UV film
  • EMV for inline personalization of payment cards

Other features you can upgrade your Prima 8 with are:

  • An inline laminator for single or dual-sided printing

Simple access logic can also be built into smart cards for more sophisticated security solutions.

The Prima 8 can also print invisible photographs or security stamps using special dye-sublimation Ultra-violet ribbons. This print isn’t visible to the naked eye and is an effective countermeasure counterfeiting of your high-security ID cards.

What type of cards can it print?

The prima 8 accepts ISO CR80 cards (85.6mm x 54mm or 3.375? x 2.12”), which is the industry-standard size for security, payment, or identification cards. The Prima 8 is also capable of printing on a range of the most common card materials, such as PVC, ABS, PET, PVH, and polycarbonate ISO blank cards.

As mentioned above, you’ll be able to create a range of different cards, such as contact, contactless, or magnetic stripe cards. Extra anti-counterfeit measures can be added using holographic or UV-film technology.

As such, the Prima 8 is ideal for producing identification within the enterprise, government, and payment spheres.

How do you interface with the Prima 8?

The Prima 8 comes with drivers and compatibility with most modern Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.1, 10 (32 and 64 bit) as well as Windows Server 2003 (R2 SP2), 2008, and 20012.

You can connect to the Prima 8 with either USB (1.1 or 2.0) or Ethernet cables. In the latter case, the Prima comes standard fitted with a secure IPSEC ethernet port. Via USB, the Prima 8 can support speeds of up to 480 Mbps.

In terms of physical dimensions, the Prima 8 has a height of 320mm (12.6?), width of 343mm (13.5?), and length of 330mm (13?). It also weighs 15.5kg (34.1lbs). The ideal operating conditions for the Prima 8 is 15ºC to 30ºC (59ºF to 86ºF), which goes well beyond the typical range for a temperature-controlled office.

Does it come with a warranty and after-sales support?

MAGiCARD is known for its excellent after-sales support. Each Prima 8 printer comes with a 3-year MagiCoverPlus warranty, which includes phone and online support. The warranty fully covers any replacement of the printhead for the duration of the warranty.

If your printhead does fail, they will ship a loan printer overnight until it has been replaced. This shouldn’t take long as the printhead consists of a field-replaceable unit that can be swapped in and out with ease by a trained technician.

What improved from the Prima 4?

In almost all regards, the Prima 8 is virtually the same product as the Prima 4. It features the same capacity, printing speeds, encoding technologies, optional features, and printing technology. It’s also compatible with the same operating systems and features the same interfacing technologies.

The dimensions, weight, and appearance are also unchanged while you get virtually the same 3-year warranty. However, the naming did change with MAGiCARD dropping the “Uno” and “Duo” monikers.

Is the Prima 8 the right printer for you?

Finally, how do you know whether the Prima 8 is the best solution for your ID card printing needs?

First of all, starting at over $4,000, the Prima 8 is a higher-end printer. If your organization doesn’t need top-of-the-range ID card security (e.g., with FIPS 201 adherence), you will be able to find cheaper MAGiCARD alternatives, like the 300 or 600.

The Prima 8 is also not the fastest MAGiCARD model. The 300 or 600 might also be more suitable if you regularly face tight deadlines or need to print at exceptionally high volumes.

However, if you have the budget, the Prima 8 features some of the most secure printing capabilities you can find. Invisible UV-film printing is an effective anti-counterfeiting measure, while FIPS 201-certified printing will put you in line with the strictest governmental standards.

The wide range of optional encoding technologies also makes it suitable for large enterprises with multi-tiered security protocols.

The Prima 8 is one of the best options for governmental agencies. However, it’s an equally suitable solution for corporate organizations or those in need of producing payment cards.

Don’t Forget Your Retransfer Printer Supply Essentials -1retransfer-printer-supply-essentials Sun, 16 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0400 It might seem like a small matter to some, but the quality and security of your ID printing solution is of great consequence to government agencies and organizations where security is paramount. The line item is not the place you go to find budget savings and second tier solutions are unacceptable. If that sounds like your organization and you are tasked with procuring such a system, then retransfer printing is your end objective. If you are unsure if this is headed, then might we suggest you run through a quick checklist.

  • Do you need high definition printing for small and complex characters?
  • Is it essential for you to know if an ID has been tampered with?
  • Are you looking for laser engraving or the application of tactile security features?
  • Do you envision embedded electronics such as chips or antennae?

If the answer to any or all of those questions is “yes”, then retransfer printing technology is in your future. When you need to print high-quality secure IDs and do so by the thousands, you grab a retransfer printer like the Fargo HDP6600 Retransfer Single Sided ID Card Printer with Flattener. Sure, that’s a long name to say in one breath, but that’s just because it’s a magnificent machine with all the cool extras you will need. That being said, there are some additional components that you will need to secure along with your printer. So let’s get right to the point and offer a guide to everything you will need to keep your retransfer printer up and running.

Retransfer Printer Basics

For those that may be a little new to the printer industry, let’s cover a few basics first. ‘After all, you might be the new procurement manager who was tasked with ordering more printer supplies. You need to look like you know what you are doing, but you could use a little help to impress the boss on day one. When we say retransfer printer, it refers to the process of putting the image on the card itself.

Utilizing transfer film, the printer will print the desired image on the underside of the film. It will then apply the film to the surface of the card. This places the image between the card and film which offers a healthy layer of protection. You still get a stunning, high-quality image that will now last a little longer. It also allows for an array of security elements to be featured flawlessly.

In addition, retransfer printers like the Fargo HDP6600 mentioned above can print at blazing speeds  of 230 cards per hour (YMCK with transfer). Printers like the Datacard CR805 Single Sided Retransfer ID Card Printer are not quite as fast, but it can still print at a pace of 100 cards per hour (CMYKP). Both printers are capable of printing at resolutions of 600 dots per inch. Long story short, if you are the new procurement manager, then you can’t go wrong with a retransfer printer. Just click order and tell your boss you got it covered with confidence. We’ll then back you up with some amazing technology. Now let’s talk about the supplies you will need addition.

Quality Retransfer Film

Your high-tech retransfer printer is going to have a pretty hard time retransferring anything without an ample supply of Quality Retransfer Film. We’ve got a healthy selection, regardless of what printer you choose.  Remember, this is the essential element that not only secures the image to the card, but that also protects the end result. Depending on how many cards you intend to print, it is a good idea to have a healthy supply of film on hand. Essential organizations like healthcare institutions and government agencies can’t take a day off to resupply.  If you run out of film, your operation goes down.

Quality Color Ribbon

Look, you could print in black and white if you wanted to, but don’t do it. Printer technology has come too far for you not to embrace the vivid colors that it can produce. The color also adds an element of professionalism and high-end quality that you want to display. So you’ll want to sort through our array of Full Color Ribbons and decide which product matches your model of retransfer printer. Once again, this is an essential element so best to have plenty in stock at any given time. Beyond just aesthetics, color IDs are more difficult to forge due to the need to match the colors precisely.

Don’t Forget the Card Itself

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often companies spend a great deal of time on selecting a printer, but forget the cards themselves. Once again, if you are the new procurement manager, this is not a mistake that you want to make. We offer a broad selection of quality PVC cards that come in different depths and sizes. Now here is where you have to pay attention. Due to the high temperatures created by retransfer printers, we strongly recommend using composite PVC cards. These cards are 60% PVC and 40% PET which makes them more durable under the heat.

Retransfer Printer Cleaning Kit

Finally, don’t forget a printer cleaning kit to keep your printer at the top of its game. Your printer is a tool and any tool that gets a lot of work will need some regular maintenance. So it is important to show your printer the proper respect from time to time by keeping it clean. If you take care of the machine, the machine will take care of you. We offer comprehensive cleaning kits that come with everything you need. If you just need more any particular item, we sell individual pieces like cleaning rollers and cleaning cards on their own.

In Conclusion

A retransfer printer is a great tool and a great solution to your organization’s ID card needs. This is especially true where quality and security are placed at a premium. You’ll still need to decide which ID card software you want to use as well as other accessories like lanyards and more to complete your package. Don’t worry, we sell those too. However, if you stick to the above retransfer printer essentials, then you really can’t go wrong. If you still have questions, just reach out to us and we’d love to help. We have an elite team of customer support specialists ready to guide your organization down the right path. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our ID Card Printing Solutions and enjoy the rest of your day.

In 2020, Secure ID Cards are more Important than Ever -1in-2020-secure-id-cards-more-important-than-ever Mon, 13 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0400 Card Printers ID Cards The year 2020 has arrived and it is a new year full of new hope and opportunities. Unfortunately, if history is any indicator, criminals feel the same way. Those who would do you or your organization harm are working up new methods and tactics to commit some of the world’s oldest crimes. Theft, fraud, and acts of violence are nothing new, but the strategies behind them continually evolve with the times. That’s why secure ID cards are more important than ever, because what worked for your organization last year may not work in 2020. If you are in the market for a solution to make your organization a harder target for the bad guys, it starts right here with a secure ID card system.

Secure ID Cards Make a Harder Target

There are those who would muse that an ID card does not prevent certain acts of malice or thievery. They point out outliers and masterful capers as evidence for their claim. While it is true that a determined criminal will often find a way, the goal of individual and organizational security is to simply make yourself a harder target than the next guy. Criminals often flow towards the path of least resistance. A secure ID card system gives them a reason to skip you and go to the next guy.

A criminal is less likely to attempt forgery on an ID card system when they recognize that each card comes with its own unique holographic laminate. One is less likely to choose a location for acts of violence when they realize each door is locked down with its own proximity card access system. Simply putting a photo ID on the card means the criminal will at least have to make a basic attempt to look like the actual person. Criminals hate effort, so make them exert the maximum effort and they will move on.

Secure ID Card Solutions

Now that you’ve heard the justification for secure ID card solutions, let’s start discussing some of the actual solutions. The first step in securing your organization is to include a photo ID on the card. An ID card without a photo is not really an ID card, but more of a glorified and easily forged business card. Any of our ID Card Printing Solutions can pull this off and more. However, anyone can throw on a wig or a fake mustache. Including a photo ID really just scratches the surface of security.

Slightly more difficult than putting on a wig, the next step for a criminal is to attempt to forge the ID in their own liking. An excellent method to remedy this attempt would be to include a secure watermark or hologram on the ID. Printers like the Magicard Ultima Dual-Sided Retransfer ID Card Printer utilize up to 10 secure Holokote watermarks. It uses wavelengths of dye film to fluoresce under UV light for added security. This is extremely difficult to replicate and forge. Meanwhile, printers like the Fargo HDP5000 will put a durable layer of HDP film over the ID. If you try to separate the layers, the images become unusable. That’s a ton of added security for very little extra effort or cost.

Technologically Secure ID Cards

The next step in ID card security would be get technical with it all. Many organizations in the healthcare industry utilize HID Proximity Cards because it allows them to offer unique access to particular floors or departments. When the card is in range of the reader, it unlocks the door and gives authorized persons easy access. This type of technology can be of vital importance in hospitals or institutions of education where active shooters pose a significant threat. There is little effort needed to lock down the location as lockdown is its default setting.

In addition to proximity cards, one can add a magnetic stripe or even a smart chip the card that hosts an array of unique identifiable information. The data on these cards can be read at entry control points and offer a history of an individual’s access to sensitive locations. This type of technology is regularly employed by Government Agencies where security is paramount. Regardless of which ID card solution you pursued in the past, criminals are working hard to exploit it in the future. So take a proactive stance and survey the full array of ID card solutions we offer at IDSecurityOnline today and protect yourself against the threats of tomorrow.

Accessories to make your organization's ID badges more efficient -1organization-id-badges-more-efficient Mon, 09 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0400 If you’re considering ID badges for your organization, simple ID cardholders with lanyards are the first to mind. However, no work environment is the same, and you should consider the factors that can impact how ID badges are used in your situation.

Different types of accessories can change how to use ID badges. On top of speeding up identification and verification, they can streamline your workplace and even impact safety.

As these accessories are also inexpensive, they are a smart investment for organizations that rely on badges. Both your employees, your customers, and your bottom-line will thank you for investing in the right ID badge accessories.

Badge Holders

To protect your cards, make them harder to lose, and improve their lifespan, a badge holder should be the first accessory you get. However, you should carefully consider how the cards will be used before choosing the right kind of holder.

First of all, there are both horizontal and vertical badge holders, depending on the orientation of your card printing. Secondly, you can opt for flexible, semi-rigid, or rigid holders depending on how much protection you require.

Badge holders also come with different types of attachments. You can get armband holders, luggage tag holders, standard lanyard holders, keychains, and bulldog or swivel-hook clips.

Consider any special functions you need. There are cardholders for magnetic stripe cards, proximity cards, waterproof holders, or multi-card holders. Convertible or automatic badge holders can even adjust to accommodate different card types or sizes.


Lanyards are the default option for most when it comes to how to carry their ID badges. They are easy to wear/remove, can hang openly for quick identification, and are easy to use with a swipe or proximity reader. They are a great option when employees work in a customer-facing environment for open identification.

Lanyards also come in a surprising number of styles and functions. There are no-flip lanyards that always face the same way, adjustable lanyards, anti-microbial lanyards, etc. Lanyards can affordably be customized with brand visuals for a sense of professionalism and pride.

Although convenient, lanyards aren’t suitable for all situations. For example, where machinery is involved, it might become a choking hazard if it hangs freely.

Badge reels

Where lanyards may be unsafe to use, a badge reel can be a superb alternative. These accessories can be retracted so that the badge stays close to your personage until you need to extend it for identification or scanning.

Badge reels are a useful option for schools and students because they can be clipped to bags. Despite being easy to store, ID cards can also be openly displayed by clipping the badge reel to a shirt pocket or belt.

Badge reels come in various shapes and styles and can also be customized with your branding. Make sure to pick a badge reel with your preferred type of cord and clip, especially for sports or rugged environments. Carabiner, alligator, and magnetic clips are the most popular choices.

Strap clips

If you always want your ID badges to be closely attached to the body, then an inexpensive and effective strap clip is in order. The most common type of strap clip uses an alligator clip to grip the card with a 1 to 4-inch strap that can loop around and attach to clothing or other straps. The clips are usually an NPS-type clip with nickel plating and 1 or 2 holes.

They can easily be fixed to belt loops, lanyards, and bags, or briefcases. Because of their short strap, they always face in one direction, making them ideal for quick identification. Rubberized or vinyl coated tips reduce wear and tear on your badges or badge holders.

Luggage accessories

If travel forms part of your business and you regularly need to identify luggage, then you should look into luggage attachments. Because luggage undergoes rough handling and a lot of traveling, these attachments need to be tough and durable. Otherwise, employees might lose their identification or access cards on the way.

Leather luggage straps with brass or nickel-plated knuckles add a touch of class on top of being durable and adjustable. On the other end, simple elastic loops are inexpensive and can be obtained in a range of colors.

Adjustable plastic strips with T-locks fill the gap between these two. Make sure that you also get a badge holder that attaches to these types of straps. Rigid plastic cardholders with clear faces are popular because they offer easy identification, and cards can be easily removed/inserted on the go.

Neck or wristwear

If you’re looking for something different, there are other types of attachments for wearing badge cards on your wrist or around the neck. Beaded neck chains, like on military dog tags, give a certain aesthetic and are more discreet than lanyards. The same goes for thin elastic cords with alligator clips on the end.

For quick flashing of cards, wrist coils with keyrings are a versatile and handy option. They can quickly be worn, removed, or passed around and are always on hand for presenting.

Alternative pins, clips or magnets

Various types of loose clips or attachments are available to replace worn-out ones or two modify your existing cardholders.Pin clips are versatile because they can be used to attach your card to any material. Badge clips with a flat, square adhesive or clip face are useful for attaching to pockets or belts.

You can also opt for a ribbed or embossed design or different plating (like nickel, matte, brass) for aesthetic reasons.

Belt clips, pull-apart steel key rings, crimp pins, military ribbon bars, magnetic badge findings, and j-hooks all have their applications. Adjustable neck cord looks are great for locking the length of cords in place to suit your environment.

Don’t compromise when it comes to your ID badges

Although they seem inconsequential, ID badges can become a bottleneck in your operations if not properly deployed. With just a little bit of foresight and planning, you can choose the optimal ID badge accessories. This decision will improve your employees’ jobs, improve customer satisfaction, and lead to a more comfortable work environment. So, look over your options and choose wisely.

Secure your company resources the easy way with proximity cards -1secure-with-proximity-cards Wed, 04 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0400 When you manage a business how do you ensure that each of your employees only has access to the areas of the building and the equipment that you want them to be able to access? You could employ a team of security men to guard sensitive areas or patrol your building but that is expensive, labour intensive and not 100% effective. A much more effective means of controlling the physical access of your employees is through the use of proximity cards. By issuing each member of your staff with a proximity card you can be assured that access to your high-security areas or company equipment is not compromised. Everyone will be able to go where they need to go but no further.

What are proximity cards?

A proximity card can be thought of as a type of smartcard. The cards have a built-in antenna which enables them to be read when they come within range of a designated reader. The reader checks the ID of the proximity card to see whether or not a particular employee should be granted access to the area of equipment. Card readers can be easily attached to doors, computers or any other company resource, such as web access, email encryption, or even access to the company car park. They are ideal for use anywhere you might wish to restrict access.

Reading your proximity cards

Proximity cards will typically  work at a range of 2.5" to 20" depending on the type of reader you choose, this means that you don’t have to waste time inserting the card into the reader or pressing it against the reader, the card just needs to be in the general vicinity of the reader to operate. This flexibility has allowed the cards to find a wide range of uses. The majority of proximity card readers use rechargeable batteries, although others are fitted with a battery back up system meaning that you normally don’t need to worry about situating them near an electricity supply since they will work anywhere.

Getting started with proximity cards

If you are considering using proximity cards in your business then one of the first decisions you must make is what type of proximity card you wish to use. HID Proximity Cards are a good choice. They offer a consistent read range and provide a straightforward and affordable way of securing your company resources. These cards are not impacted by environmental conditions or body shielding. They will still work even if kept close to metal objects such as coins or keys. HID proximity cards are durable and available in either PVC or heat resistant composite construction. The cards are available in a range of ISO thicknesses between 0.027" to 0.033" and can include standard anti-counterfeiting and visual security features to help secure your business. Optional extras include logos, ultra-violet fluorescent inks, and holograms. If you wish you can create proximity cards that are thin enough to fit in a wallet, or you might prefer to combine your proximity cards and photo ID cards into a single piece of plastic.

Choosing the right format

When setting up your proximity card system you must get the technology side right as it can be expensive if you to change at a later point. The industry-standard format for proximity card readers is the 26-bit  (H10301) this offers 255 potential facility codes with each code containing 65,535 possible unique card numbers. However, there is a wide range of other formats available include proprietary 37-bit format, and Corporate 1000 format. Some of them are dedicated to access control systems and some will work with other formats. If you are in any doubt about which you should choose it’s important to check with your supplier before you make a purchase.

Consider using QuickShip for your proximity cards

When you need your proximity cards programmed quickly then the most effective solution is to use the IDSecurity Online QuickShip program. ID Security Online program all QuickShip proximity cards onsite which allows them to provide you with a rapid card delivery service. The service is designed to be very affordable and all QuickShip cards are shipped within two business days so you will be able to issue the new cards to your employees without delay.

Which cards are available as ‘QuickShip’

One of the advantages of using QuickShip to purchase all of your programmed proximity cards is that not only do they ship to you quickly but there is a full range of proximity cards available just waiting to be programmed and sent out to you. You can choose from cards made from either PVC or PET/PVC composite whichever is right for you. If you work with a retransfer printer then composite cards would be your best option while PVC cards are best used with a direct-to-card printer. In addition to the material from which the cards are made the QuickShip option also allows you to select cards with or without a magnetic stripe so you can be confident of finding exactly the cards, you need to affordably keep your business safe and secure. 

Understanding the value of ID cards for manufacturing company -1understanding-value-id-cards-manufacturing-company Mon, 11 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0400 If you are responsible for the security of a manufacturing company or any industrial premises then you will understand how important it is that you know who is on the premises at any time. You must know whether your employees have arrived for work or if they have gone home for the evening. You will also want to be sure that anyone you find walking around the site is authorized to be there, and it not a member of the public who could be potentially be injured by the machinery, or be someone with criminal intent. The easiest way to achieve all of these aims is by issuing authorized people with photo ID badges.

Why ID badges are the right choice

You could choose to employ security guards to patrol your premises but unless your company is small they probably aren’t going to know every staff member by sight. You could rely on your employees to identify people who shouldn’t be on the premises or who access areas that they shouldn’t, but your employees can’t be everywhere at once, and there will probably be visitors or contractors who you want to enter, but who your employees don’t know. Without a simple way to conduct a visual or electronic check on any individual valuable time will be lost, and your company could be exposed to unnecessary risks. By introducing an ID badge program you can print a card which will allow you to know who is on the premises and whether they have a right to be where they are.

Designing your ID card system

Creating perfect ID card badges is not as complicated as you might think. There are at least three different uses to which you could put your cards. You could choose to print an ID card with a single function or you could combine all three functions into a single card. Printing your ID cards gives you the flexibility to build a system that is right for you. The right printing system will let you create a card that does exactly what you want without over-complicating your business systems.

Simple ID cards

Sometimes all you need is a basic photo ID card for your employees, visitors, and contractors so that you can be sure exactly who is on your site. Purchasing a photo ID printer system will enable you to quickly print all of the ID cards that you need so that everyone on your premises will know who your visitors are and what tasks they are there to do.

Access cards

How do your employees access your building? If they need to pass through a security check then equipping them with access cards is essential. Is the entrance the only location that needs a security check? Do you have different security levels for different areas of your building? Perhaps your building contains a secure research area, or somewhere where only specially trained personnel are allowed to enter? A smart ID card will provide a vital electronic record but it can also be worn to offer a visual check by which anyone can identify the wearer and know whether they are an employee, a contractor or a visitor and what their security level may be. ID photo printers make it possible for your cards to contain a photo of the individual, along with basic information in plain view. More extensive information including the right of access can be encoded directly onto the card.

Attendance records

Do your employees clock in each morning and clock out in the evening at the start and end of their shifts? If they do then you will be aware of how useful it is to know who has arrived, who is consistently late, and who has left the building. Clocking employees in and out of the building is convenient for calculating your payroll since you can tell exactly how many hours each person has worked but the tricky part for many employers has often been managing the clock cards. If you opt for paper punch cards then you need to manually enter the data into your computer system. You could try standard swipe cards but that can lead to problems such as the wrong card being swiped, or cards being misplaced. By combining a clock card with an ID card you can solve these problems. The card the employee swipes doubles as their ID card so that they will keep it with them at all times and it won’t get lost or swiped by the wrong person.

What do you need to start printing ID cards?

The most obvious part of a printing system is the printer but you will need more than that to get started. Alongside the printer, you can’t do without an ID camera to produce the photos for your cards. You will also need the appropriate software so that you can design your cards and integrate your printer with your existing systems. Finally, you will need a stock of consumables such as the blank PVC cards for printing, a ribbon for the printer, and perhaps film to cover the cards if needed. By purchasing all of this together your company can get the Photo ID system you need to protect your company.

Which printers could you use?

If you are thinking about starting to print your ID badges then you must choose a printing system that is right for your needs. At ID Security Online we stock a range of suitable printers. Here are three that could be perfect for your needs.

The Magicard Rio Pro 360 card printer

Featuring great print quality combined with a fast print speed the Magicard Rio Pro 360 boasts the all-new LYNK onboard CPU with a wide color spectrum to produce truly vibrant color printing with crisp, clear print and accurate photography reproduction. It is ideal for producing a high volume of cards at a reasonable cost.

The HID FARGO HDP6600 card printer

With a 600 dpi resolution, the sharper images and brilliant colors offered by the HDP6600 are immediately noticeable on your printed ID cards. There will be no more squinting to try and decipher the wording since it can be easily read at a glance.

This printer is the quickest desktop-based retransfer printer available for purchase. It can print up to 230 ID cards in a single hour, with simultaneous printer and retransfer ability.

For increased security, the HDP6600 comes with standard password protection and optional hardware locks so that only those personnel authorized by you can access the printer and no-one can print fraudulent cards and breach your company security.

The Datacard CR805 ID card printer

If you want the ability to affordably create great looking cards that stand out from those used by your competition then the CR805 may be the perfect choice for you. With 600 dpi over-the-edge printing and retransfer technology this printer offers great value for money. It allows two layers of retransfer film to be applied to create additional card durability. You can choose to purchase either a single or dual-sided model depending on which best suits your requirements.

Whatever type of ID card system your manufacturing company would like to implement ID Security has the perfect ID printer for your requirements.

Seven steps to ID card printing success -1seven-steps-to-id-card-printing-success Thu, 24 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Card Printers There are plenty of photo ID systems available and at times the choice can appear to be almost overwhelming. How can you work out what you need when faced with so much choice? Here are seven things that will help you to choose the most appropriate card printing system for your needs.

Check what’s included

With an ID card printing system, the printer is going to be the most obvious item that you need to purchase but it probably isn’t the only item. You should also think about the camera you want to work with the printer along with the ID software you will use to design and perhaps some supplies such as a ribbon and the cards which you will be printing. When comparing ID card printing systems it is always important to check that everything you need is included in the box. If you discover something isn’t included as standard you can then calculate how much extra it will cost to add it to the base price.

Think about the software you will need

Your software is an essential component of your chosen ID card badging system. You will need to consider whether your printer will have to interface with existing software and how that software is configured. Think about whether you have or require visitor management software, access control software, or badge creation software to complete your ID card system. Making your ID cards function correctly will depend not just on the printed words on the card but also on the data the card will contain and how that data is read. This information could be contained on the card or drawn from a database and brought in using the software, so it is essential everything works together properly to create the completed system.  

Decide how your system will be connected

Your camera will probably be connected to your printer via a USB cable, but how will your printer be connected to the network? You could use a USB cable but that isn’t always a practical option, particularly if your card printing system needs to be mobile at any time or must be situated away from a network connection. If you cannot be sure of always having a physical network connection available then the ability of your system to use an ethernet connection is vital.

Decide between single or dual-sided printing

It can be tempting to purchase an ID card printing system based on your immediate needs without considering any changes you might need to make in the future. Your ID card printer is an investment that you should plan to use for many years so it’s important that your purchase is fully future-proofed. While your immediate needs may only require plain cards printed on a single side what plans do you have for future growth? Will you want to introduce a magnetic strip or a chip to allow more data to be stored? Will you want to simply write on both sides of the card? It is always better to buy a printer that is going to be suitable for the longer-term, or which is at least capable of being upgraded if required. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can buy a single-sided printer and manually turn over the card and print on the other side. Flipping over cards rarely works and can result in distorted images and even damage to the printhead. It’s better to buy the right printer for your needs.

Calculate the volume of card production

One of the key considerations with any system will be the number of cards that can be printed and the length of time it takes to print them. ID card printers vary significantly in the volume of cards they can quickly produce so consider carefully how many cards you will need and how quickly you will need to produce them. There is no point opting for the cheapest system if it is unable to keep up with the amount of work required. The result is likely to be a broken printer as it eventually gives up under the strain leading to expensive repairs. If you want to print a large number of cards at one time then along with the speed of the printer you should also take into account the size of the hoppers since the capacity of the input and output hoppers will dictate the length of time that you can leave the printer unattended.

Consider the longevity of your cards

When planning your card printing system you will have to consider how long you require your cards to last. If your ID cards will only have a limited lifespan then you do not have to worry much about the durability of the cards but if you expect your printed ID cards to operate for more than 3-5 years without replacement or want the cards to be regularly swiped through a card reader then it is worth looking for printer systems which include options such as lamination to extend the card life. In addition to lamination, you might want to think about whether it is worth using a retransfer printer which prints the desired image onto a film which is then heat-rolled onto the surface of the card. With retransfer printing the final print is far more durable than with conventional card printing.

Ensure the security of card printing system

Plain ID badges for visual inspection require one level of security while an access card will need to be more secure. There is a range of security options that you could consider for your ID cards but they all depend on purchasing the right type of card printing system.

You could consider:

  • Tactile impression
  • Custom holography

When you are thinking through the security of your cards you will want to be certain that the cards are tamper-proof but you will also want to be certain that only authorized personnel has access to the printer so features such as password protection and locked ribbon access should also be on your list of priorities.

By carefully considering each of these points you will be able to find the perfect ID card printing system for your organization.

What features do you need in your next ID card printer? -1features-in-your-next-id-card-printer Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Ensuring the security of your company is about far more than remembering to lock the door when you go home and posting a security guard to patrol the building at night. Securing your business should certainly involve those things but security must cover every aspect of your business from physical security measures to deny intruders access to enhancing your networking protocols and firewalls. One of the most effective ways of ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to your building and that visitors are clearly identified is the use of ID card badges.

How ID cards can secure your business

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of using company ID cards is that you can tell at a glance who an individual is and whether they should be where they are. However, the advantages of ID cards go far beyond that. ID cards can be used to grant access to different areas of the building, ensuring that only duly authorized employees can enter secure areas or access sensitive data.

Producing your ID cards

It is possible to purchase ID cards for your staff from a range of distributors but that approach can present many problems. In particular, it causes delays in issuing the cards and it limits the amount of customization that is possible. By producing your ID cards in-house you can create unique cards that are just for your company. You can adjust the cards any time you need to accommodate new data and change authorizations for members of staff as many times as you wish. Best of all you can do all of this in only a few minutes using your own printer.

Which features do you need?

Each business is unique and ID card needs can vary significantly. Some organizations will need to produce a high volume of ID card badges and so the speed of production will be a determining factor. For other organisations the amount of cards required will be much lower and so obtaining a printer at a competitive price becomes more important. Another company may want to include a lot of data on each card and therefore value the opportunity to purchase a printer that can print on both sides of the card simultaneously. Three of the most recent additions to the ID card printer market are the Magicard 300 ID card printer which comes in single and dual-sided versions. The Zebra ZC100 ID single-sided card printer and the Fargo HDP6600 printer. Let’s compare the features of each and see which organizations would benefit from using each of them. Each of these printers is fast and efficient but there are some important differences between them. The first two are intended small and medium enterprises while the Fargo HDP6600 would be more at home in larger enterprises or government departments.

Print quality

For any printer, the ability to create a high-quality printed card is the most basic consideration. All of these printers are capable of producing crisp, clear text and images on the card and using a wide color spectrum. The Magicard 300 is capable of printing at 300 x 300 dpi and the Zebra ZC100 prints at a print resolution of 300 dpi. However, the clear winner for print quality has to be the Fargo HDP6600 which can print both text and images at 600 dpi creating the highest image and text quality available. This high resolution means that even the smallest text or complex characters can be clearly reproduced and defined more crisply than ever.

Print speed

If print speed is important to you then the fastest of the three printers is the Fargo HDP6600 which can print up to 230 full-color single-sided cards in one hour. TheMagicard 300 can produce 160 full-color cards each hour while the ZC100single-sided card printer is capable of producing 150 color cards in an hour. If color printing is not a concern for you then the ability of the ZC100 to create to 700 monochrome cards in an hour and the Magicard 300 to print 720 cards per hour could be a deciding factor. If you use the Fargo HDP6600 to print double-sided cards then you will be able to print around 126 cards in an hour.

Encoding abilities

One of the most useful features of an ID card is the ability for each card to carry unique information, this information might relate to levels of security clearance, personal data, or financial records. There are several ways that this data can be encoded on to the card. The most common way is through a magnetic strip such as that commonly seen on credit and bank cards, more recently smartcard encoding has become a viable option.

The  Magicard and the Fargo HDP6600 offer both smartcard and magnetic stripe encoding. While the Zebra ZC100 offers these along with a third party contactless encoder integration kit.

Driver compatibility

Before settling on a new ID card printer you must be certain the printer can be seamlessly integrated into your network. The Zebra ZC100 and Fargo HDP6600 printers are compatible with the Windows operating system. They can be used on everything from Windows 7 upwards. The Magicard 300 has superior driver compatibility since it can be used not just on Windows but also on Mac OS X 10.9.0 upwards and Linux with CUPS support.


Each of the three printers is supplied with software features that help to make using the printer straightforward. The Zebra ZC100 comes with CardStudio a feature-rich card design software that makes card design simple. The Magicard 300 is supplied with technology to print a HoloKote security watermark across the card surface to ensure the authenticity of each card. There are three standard designs and the ability to create three custom designs of your own. The Fargo printer comes with the Fargo diagnostic utility featuring Color Assist spot-color matching.

Card capacity

Sometimes when you are printing a batch of cards then the ability to leave the machine unattended for a short while is important. No-one wants to give their undivided attention to loading and unloading cards while there are other tasks to complete. In terms of card capacity, the Magicard 300 has a 100 card feeder and a 70-card stacker while the Zebra ZC100  allows for 100 cards in both the input and output hoppers. The Fargo printer has a capacity for 100 cards in the input hopper and 200 cards in the output hopper.

Which printer is right for you?

Ultimately the right printer for your organization will depend on the way you use the printer. If you require dual-sided printing then the Magicard 300 or Fargo HDP6600 would suit you. If you only want a small volume of single-sided cards then the Zebra ZC100 would be perfect, while if you need the highest possible quality of printing for a high volume of card production then the Fargo HDP6600 is an obvious choice. Before making your choice consider carefully the way you plan to use ID cards, how much use your new printer will get and how it will fit into your existing office environment.

How to Print the Perfect Loyalty Card for Your Business -1how-print-perfect-loyalty-card-your-business Mon, 30 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Does your business operate a loyalty card scheme? Most people are familiar with schemes where special deals or discounts are provided for customers who can present their store loyalty cards are the checkout. If you haven’t yet embraced the loyalty card idea then perhaps it is time you considered the benefits. Loyalty card schemes can be matched to almost any retail environment including grocery stores, luxury gift shops, and department stores. While the benefits of such schemes for the customer are obvious many retailers do not appreciate that there are also significant benefits for them which come from issuing loyalty cards.

Why run a loyalty card program?

Running a loyalty card program offers a lot of advantages for retailers, two of the most important are:

  • Data gathering - Issuing loyalty cards allows you to gather data and easily identify which products are purchased most frequently, which brands are most likely to be purchased and how much individual customers are spending.
  • Increased customer retention - If a customer can be persuaded to be loyal to your brand then they are likely to shop with you more frequently, and spend more, simply because they know they will be rewarded for it. Increasing customer retention is vital for the success of your business. Even a small 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a revenue increase of 25% or more. Retaining your existing customers and encouraging them to spend more is always cheaper than attracting new customers.

Starting a loyalty card program

To begin your loyalty card program you will need to purchase appropriate software and then integrate it with your existing POS system. Once you have the loyalty card software set-up you will need to think about printing your loyalty cards and issuing them to your customers. At first glance, you might think that creating your own, unique secure loyalty cards in sufficient volume is going to be difficult and time-consuming but it doesn’t need to be.  

Printing your loyalty cards

Loyalty cards can be quickly created and encoded using a conventional ID card printer such as the Fargo DTC1500 ID Card Printer which can print monochrome loyalty cards in only six seconds and full-color loyalty cards in just sixteen seconds. Using this printer allows the inclusion of superb security features such as custom overlay watermark and resin scramble data protection so you can be sure that your cards cannot be duplicated and all of the data encoded onto the card remains secure.

Another, equally secure, printer which you could use to create your new loyalty cards is the Magicard Rio Pro 360. This new Rio Pro 360 is the fastest printer yet created by Magicard and can create up to 200 full-color cards in a single hour. The Pro 360 allows the rapid creation of vibrant, color-rich cards which will create a quality impression of your business and provide your customers with a loyalty card they will be able to use for many years. Whether you opt for a Fargo or a Magicard printer you can be sure getting a professionally printed loyalty card. Fargo YMCKO ribbons can print your cards in full color on one side or two sides of your cards. If you prefer just to have color on one side and black text on the other then a YMCKOK ribbon would be ideal. If you opt for the Magicard printer then make sure you purchase the matching Magicard color ribbon since these ribbons are specially calibrated to suit the single or dual-sided Magicard printers.

Both of these printers are supplied with a comprehensive warranty so you can have complete confidence that should anything go wrong there is no risk to your business, and the printer will soon be printing great loyalty cards once again.

If your company is considering implementing a loyalty card program then we will be happy to suggest the most suitable solution for encoding and printing your loyalty cards. Call us today to find out how easy it is to print great loyalty cards for your customers.

The Ultimate Guide to Decide Whether You Should Buy a Retransfer Printer -1ultimate-guide-retransfer-printer Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400 If you’ve been browsing for a new ID card printer, you’ve probably come across phrases like retransfer, or reverse transfer printing. As you want to make the best choice for your business, you are probably wondering what this all means and how these printers differ from regular ones.

More importantly, can they satisfy your exact printing needs?

Retransfer printers are a relatively new technology in the ID card printing industry. However, they are already very popular, and for good reason.

Let’s look at whether a retransfer printer is right for you, by answering questions you should ask when browsing ID card printers.

What is retransfer printing? How is it different?

Typical ID card printers use a method we call direct to card (DTC) printing. In this method, the printhead comes in contact with and prints directly on the card surface. Through a process called dye-sublimation, the printer vaporizes panels on a three-color dye-based ribbon and fuses it directly on the card. These printers can create up to 1.6 million colors at 300 dpi.

Retransfer printers work by printing the image in reverse on a transparent ribbon. The ribbon is then thermally fused to the card print side down. The printhead never makes contact with the card surface. Because the image is first printed in reverse, this is also sometimes called “reverse transfer printing.” Re-transfer printers can print up to 600dpi.

What are the advantages of retransfer printers?

Retransfer printing has a number of practical advantages over DTC printing, such as:

  • Card durability - The film acts as a protective layer over the card and the print. The print fades less with time and is less likely to be damaged
  • Fraud protection - It offers more tamper protection because the entire film needs to be scraped off to make changes to the image.
  • Printer reliability - The printhead never comes into contact with the card, so there is much less wear and tear.
  • More card options - The flexible film can adhere to cards with uneven surfaces like embedded, punctured, or proximity cards. You can also print on thicker cards, up to 40 mils.
  • Print quality - Retransfer printers can produce higher-definition images with richer colors.
  • Security Options - Retransfer printing allows for using more security measures on your cards, such as watermarks or extra lamination.
  • Over-the-edge printing - DTC printers can’t print right to the edge of the cards and always leaves a thin edge. Retransfer printers can print right to and even over edges.

What are the disadvantages of retransfer printers?

Retransfer printers have some undeniable advantages for some ID card printing needs. However, just like with everything else, you’ll need to compromise in other areas:

  • Most retransfer printers will cause PVC cards will cause the cards to bend and warp because of the extra heat.
  • Retransfer printers can be more expensive to use over time because they require more consumables.

What kind of cards can I print with a retransfer printer?

Retransfer printing is more versatile than DTC printing because it prints on a flexible film instead of on the card surface. That makes retransfer printers more suitable for printing on the following types of cards:

  • Smart cards or cards with embedded electronics
  • Pre-punched cards for lanyards or other attachments
  • Thicker cards of up to 40 mil
  • non-PVC cards like multilayered or composite PVC/PET or Polycarbonate cards. PVC cards are generally not recommended.

Because retransfer printers can print in higher resolution and with more saturated colors, they are preferred for instances where image quality is of the utmost importance. If you need to print photo-quality images that may be used for identification, you should consider a retransfer printer.

You can also print other cards, such as magnetic stripe cards, access cards, watermarked cards, or cards with contactless or dual-sided coding. These are available with both DTC and retransfer printers but depends on the features of each printer.

Fargo produces highly modular printers, and you can usually plug in any of these capabilities, whether you buy a DTC or retransfer printer.

How fast can a reprinter card print?

Depending on the needs of your organization, printing speed can be of the essence. If you regularly need to print a high number of cards in a short amount of time, you need your printer to be up to the task.

Luckily all printers can print cards in a matter of seconds, so it doesn’t matter that much on an individual scale.

To compare, let’s look at two printers from one of the top card printing companies, Fargo. Both are regarded as some of the fastest ID card printers in their class:

  1. HDP6600 - a retransfer printer
  2. DTC1250e - a DTC printer

The HDP6600 takes 16 or 29 seconds per card, depending on the color quality. That tallies up to either 230 or 190 cards per hour.

The DTC1250e prints cards at 6, 8, or 16 seconds per card. This depends on whether you print on the K, KO, or YMCKO setting.

As you can see, retransfer printers are still capable of printing a high number of cards per hour. However, the HDP6600 is a high-end retransfer printer, and others are probably slower.

What are the costs of a retransfer printer?

For any individual or organization, the cost of your equipment is an important consideration. It doesn’t help you buy something with features you don’t need if compromises your finances.

Retransfer printers fall in the higher-end price ranges for ID card printers. Prices for them generally start at over $3,000. DTC printers are much more affordable, and prices start at under $2,000.

That being said, Retransfer printers rarely have the expensive printhead problems DTC printers may be prone to. DTC cards are also less durable and only last 4-5 years if well taken care of while retransfer printed cards can last much longer. This means you might have to reprint all your organization’s cards much more frequently with a DTC printer.

Retransfer printer supplies

You may need to factor in the cost of replacing these consumables if you buy retransfer printer:

  • Transfer film: As the printer prints on a film that’s then adhered to the card, these can be used up. They usually cost around $100 for anywhere upwards of 1,000 uses.
  • Color film: This film is used to produce the graphics, barcodes, or photos on your cards. This costs from about $200 to $500 and you can buy sets that bundle re-transfer and color film together. You can avoid YMCKO cards because the retransfer film already provides the protection to replace the ‘O’ layer.
  • Composite PVC/PET cards: PVC/PET cards cost slightly more than plain PVC cards, and you can buy stacks of 500 for about $100.
  • Cleaning kits: It’s essential that you have a cleaning kit to properly care for your card printer. That will result in better quality cards, a longer lifespan, and more savings.

If you add it all up, the cost per card should be around $1 without factoring the printer itself. That’s not too bad.

So, is a retransfer printer for me or my business?

Of course, every organization’s needs are different. And, even among re-transfer printers, there is a huge variety of printers to consider with very different features. It’s safe to say that retransfer printers definitely are a superior budget if you have the means to afford it.

They offer:

  • Better print quality
  • More durable, tamper-proof cards
  • Longer printer lifespans and maintenance
  • Extra options to add security to your cards

The only drawbacks are lower printing speeds and that you can’t use cheaper PVC cards. However, if security and print quality are crucial for your needs, they are the best choice.

Magicard 300 vs. Magicard 600 - A Complete Breakdown -1magicard300-magicard600-complete-breakdown Mon, 09 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Card Printers Choosing the right ID card printer for your needs is no joke. If you’ve already managed to narrow down the options and set your sights on a Magicard, you now have to hone in on the exact model you want. The 300 and 600 are two new and exciting additions to the Magicard family.

In this breakdown, we compare the main similarities and differences between the two, as well as other popular printers. This should help you see where these printers fit in, and whether they are the most appropriate choice for you or your organization.

Printing Quality

There’s nothing to choose between the two as both feature 300x300 dpi single-sided printing (600x300 for dual-sided). This high resolution is suitable for printing photos as well as to clearly print small company logos, etc.

As both come from Magicard, they feature the company’s optimized color profile technology. The printers’ firmware analyzes both the colors sent by the drivers as well as the film, so no wastage occurs.

In terms of print quality, that makes both printers good enough for the most demanding jobs.

Print Speed and Capacity

Both printers' standard models offer a 100-card feeder and 70-card stacker capacity. However, this can be increased with official Magicard extensions. It’s slightly inconvenient of both to not provide a feeder and stacker with the same capacity, but it’s definitely no dealbreaker.

Where the 600 does cement its place as a higher-end model is when it comes to printing speed. Here is a breakdown of their printing rates:

Single-sided Monochrome

Single-sided Colour

Magicard 300

Magicard 300 Single Sided ID Card Printer

6 seconds per card / 720 cards per hour

23 seconds per card / 160 cards per hour

Magicard 600

Magicard 600 Single Sided ID Card Printer

5 seconds per card / 720 cards per hour

19 seconds per card / 190 cards per hour

The difference is not astronomical, but it can tally up with time. Both printers also feature dual-sided printing which you can expect to be significantly slower, especially for the 300.

Other Features and Options

Both ID printers also feature superb built-in security to protect your organization, and your users, information. The most important are:

  • Digital Shredding™: Once data has been used, it’s irrecoverably fragmented so that others can’t lift it from the printer.
  • HoloKote® printing: Send up to three custom HoloKote® visual watermarks to your printer to be printed on ID cards.
  • Magnetic stripe: Both printers can print ISO 7811 standard magnetic stripes with HiCo encoding.
  • Smart card: Both printers can create iClass, Mifare, Desfire, or contact chip smartcards.

Keep in mind that magnetic stripe and smart card encoding are paid extras but can be purchased and downloaded later.

While the 300 only supports ethernet connections, the 600 can connect to your network via wifi as well.


Purely looking at the price tag, the 300 is significantly cheaper at just over two-thirds the price of the 600. If your organization is sizeable, the difference shouldn’t be too much. However, a difference of about $800 will make a big difference to individuals or small companies.

You also won’t have to sacrifice on printing quality, encoding options, or capacity for the more affordable 300. However, you’ll need to compromise slightly on print speed and convenience as the 600 has wifi and is slightly lighter.

How do They Compare to Other Popular Printers?

Magicard Enduro3E

Magicard Enduro3E Single-Sided ID Card Printer

Another model from Magicard, the Enduro3E is in the same price range as the 300. It also comes as a single-side and double-side printer. Some of the key features it shares with the 300 and 600 are:

  • 300 dpi color dye sublimation printing
  • Custom HoloKote® security watermark
  • Magnetic stripe and smartcard encoding options

However, there are also some key differences:

  • It prints 100 color cards per hour or 500 in monochrome, much less than the 300 and 600.
  • It comes standard with a 30 card stacker instead of 70
  • Like the 300 it features ethernet but not wifi connections

Zebra ZC350

Zebra ZC350 Single Sided ID Card Printer

Only slightly more expensive than the 300, the ZC350 is still a way more affordable than the 600. However, if the presentation is at all important, it lacks the elegant styling of the other two printers. It also comes in both dual-sided and single-sided models with wifi and certain encoding options as paid extras.

Here’s what it has in common with the Magicards:

  • Dye-sublimation printing at 300 dpi
  • Various magnetic encoding and smartcard technologies

And, here’s what’s different:

  • A 100-card feeder but an improved 100-card holder which is more convenient
  • A 2-year only warranty, instead of a 3-year warranty like Magicard offers
  • Features YMCKO and YMCKOK printing
  • Prints up to 1000 cards per hour in monochrome and 500 in color

Fargo DTC4250e

Fargo DTC4250e Single Sided ID Card Printer 100 Card Input Hopper

Fargo is another huge name in the card printer industry known for its printers’ superior printing quality. However, they are a higher-end brand, and the DTC4250e is no different at a significantly higher price point. There are four base models with single-sided, double-sided, ethernet, and magnetic coding as optional features. An advantage of Fargo printers is their modular design that allows for extensive customization.

Despite some significant underlying differences, there are still some similarities:

  • 300 dpi dye-sublimation printing
  • A sprint speed of up to 6 seconds per card
  • A 100-card hopper

And here are the most important differences:

  • YMCKO and YMCKOK printing
  • A SmartScreen™ graphical display for improved user-friendliness and notifications
  • Unfortunately, it also doesn’t feature wifi connectivity

Magicard 300 vs. Magicard 600 - Which is the Right One for You?

If you’re sold on settling with one of these models, there’s plenty of good news.

No matter which one you end up going with, you’ll have the same printing quality and decent printing speeds. You can also print cards with various types of magnetic or smartcard encoding for security or specific applications.

The most significant differences between the two are the price and certain conveniences. The Magicard 600 is easier to position and move around with wifi connectivity. Although negligible when printing in monochrome, the color printing speed will only be a factor under intense circumstances.

That being said, both are suitable options for educational institutions, government organizations, small to medium-sized companies, and businesses in the events industry.

The Ultimate Fargo Series ID Card Printer Comparison -1ultimate-fargo-series-id-card-printer-comparison Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 In the world of ID card printing, Fargo is an industry leading brand with a stellar reputation. However, within the Fargo universe there are still multiple options that can make selecting the right printer difficult for those new to the conversation. Whether you are your organization’s procurement specialist looking to impress with your first major purchase or an owner/operator simply looking for the best option, we’ll walk you through some of the basic comparisons. In this article we’ll be looking at the Fargo DTC1500, Fargo HDP5000, and the Fargo HDP5600. So let’s jump right in.

Quality Printing with every Fargo

First off, we should note that whatever Fargo printer you choose, you’re going to get an elite product that produces top notch results. All three printers utilize colors of up to 16.7 million/256 shades per pixel. This gives you vibrant colors and amazing images. However, there is only one of the three printers that can claim the prize of top resolution. Both the Fargo DTC1500 and the Fargo HDP5000 can only print in 300 dpi with (11.8 dots per mm.) The Fargo HDP5600, on the other hand, can print in 600 dpi with 23.6 dots per mm.

The bottom line is that with the Fargo HDP5600 produces superior imagery and cleaner text. If your organization values the aesthetics or simply needs clear and concise text for quick identification, the HDP5600 would be your best bet. However, don’t forget that both the Fargo HDP5000 and the DTC1500 produce amazing imagery as well. It’s just that the HDP5600 is king of the hill when it comes to print quality.

Printing Technology

One of the next aspects to consider when comparing the three printers would be the printing technology itself. Here, the DTC1500 stands out from the HDP5000 and HDP5600. The Fargo DTC1500 is a direct to card printer that utilizes dye sublimation and resin thermal transfer technology. This means the printhead comes into direct contact with the card which can allow for more wear and tear. However, the speeds are amazing as it can print a (YMCKOK) card in just 24 seconds.

Meanwhile, the HDP5000 and HDP5600 are reverse-transfer printers. They too use dye sublimation and resin thermal transfer, but the printhead never comes in contact with the card due to the reverse transfer process. It takes a reverse image and prints it on the underside of HDP film before fusing the film to the surface. This means there is less chance of debris collecting on the printhead which reduces the risk of damage.

Affordable and Guaranteed

Finally, let’s break down the price structure of each. The more affordable of the three would be the DTC1500. This is in part due to the features and technology. An “upgrade” would be considered the HDP5600. It simply allows for more features through its modular design. Meanwhile, the elite printer of the three would be the HDP5600 and it is priced accordingly.

Yet, all three printers are quality options and they are all given Fargo’s world class three year guarantee. However, the DTC1500 only guarantees the printhead for three years due to the direct contact that takes place. The HDP5000 and HDP5600 offer a lifetime warranty of the printhead. However, all three Fargo options are affordable, reliable and guaranteed. Don’t forget to check out the rest of your printing needs at IDSecurityOnline as we are your one-stop shop ID printing solution. 

Want to buy a Fargo HDP5000? Here's what you need to know -1want-to-buy-a-fargo-hdp5000 Sun, 18 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Card Printers Looking for a new Fargo HDP5000 to take care of your organization’s card printing needs? You might, understandably, be surprised and overwhelmed with the number of considerations you need to make. Who knew card printers could be this complicated?

Here are the most important factors to consider:

  • The quality and durability of the printing
  • The speed of the printer/time per card
  • The types of printing or encoding it can do
  • The warranty and after-sales support

With so many factors in play and so many printers to choose from, there’s no one-printer-fits-all solution. Yet, with high-definition printing, a superb selection of add-on features, and an attractive price tag the HDP5000 is one to consider.

Reverse Transfer High-Definition Printing for Superb Images

This is the most noteworthy feature of the Fargo HDP5000. This technique involves printing on the underside (or opposite side) of a transparent film that’s then adhered to the card. This technique is at the cutting-edge of printing technology and has many vital advantages:

  • Tamperproof: Any attempt to scratch or remove the film will destroy the image.
  • Durability: The film acts as an extra layer of protection between the card print and the world.
  • Flexibility:Film can easily mold itself around uneven surfaces due to embedded chips or electronics.
  • Over-the-edge printing: This allows these benefits to be applied to the entire card, not just the front and the rear surface.

Fargo has been using HDP technology for some time, and have come close to perfection with the HDP5000. It’s also their most affordable HDP model to date. The images it creates are crisp with no smudging and accurate, vibrant colors. The use of reverse transfer printing also means that images stay that way for longer.

What kind of cards can it print?

It doesn't help much if you buy a printer that can’t create cards compliant with your local facilities. It’s a good thing then that the HDP5000 works with the most commonly used card size: CR-80 (3.370˝ L x 2.125˝ W / 85.6 mm L x 54 mm W).

The HDP5000 will be able to print the entirety of these cards as well as over the edges. The same goes for lamination.

Without any extra modules, you’ll only be able to produce cards for visual identification. However, with the right modules, you’ll be able to create magnetic stripe cards, smart cards, and more.

Customizability that adapts to your business

The Fargo HDP5000’s modular design means you can add-on features as your needs grow. The default model comes with HD single-side printing only, but you can add all of the following modules:

  • Dual-side printing
  • Single-sided or dual-sided card lamination
  • Magnetic stripe encoder
  • Smart card encoder for contact/contactless reading
  • An expanded 200 dual-card input hopper
  • Door and cartridge locks, and
  • A printer cleaning kit

Fargo has considered their customers with this design. If you only need a card printer that can produce high-quality, single-side printing, you can save a lot of money by just buying the printer. As another example, if you need a magnetic stripe reader, you’ll only have to purchase this module, and won’t have to pay extra for a smart card encoder.

That makes the Fargo HDP5000 one of the most versatile and adaptable card printers, both in terms of features and your budget.

Usability that slots into the modern organization

Unlike most card printers, the Fargo HDP5000 comes with an LCD control panel to provide important status updates and messages. That is great if you’ve ever struggled to memorize the cryptic flashing light messages of some printers.

Conveniently for larger organizations, the HDP5000 features an ethernet port and internal print server so that it can integrate into your computer network. This will allow you to issue print jobs across printers in your network, perfect for high-volume production from a central location. For universities or corporate campuses, the applications for this are nearly endless.

Fargo also supplies their Workbench software to help you set up your printer and manage security, firmware updates, and to run diagnostics. On top of that, the printer supports almost all leading card creation and issuance management software as well as Azure ID applications.

Great value for various budgets

The HDP5000 is Fargo’s most affordable HDP card printer to date. However, the refined printing and versatility of this device make it clear they didn’t compromise on quality. The modularity of the HDP5000 also means you can customize it to fit your needs and your budget. You can start with only the base model and then purchase extensions as your needs grow.

Although there are cheaper ID card printers out there, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that delivers the same cost-effectiveness. With reverse transfer and HDP printing,

Print Speed and Capacity

If you want a printer that can keep up with the demands of your organization, the HDP5000 doesn’t disappoint. With a top speed of around 150 cards per hour (YMC with transfer), it’s among the best. Of course, that time goes down depending on what kind of printing you want to be done:

  • YMCK with transfer: 124 cards per hour / 29 seconds per card
  • YMCK with transfer and dual-sided lamination: 102 cards per hour / 35 seconds per card
  • YMCKK with transfer: 90 cards per hour / 40 seconds per card
  • YMCKK with transfer and dual-sided lamination: 75 cards per hour / 48 seconds per card

That means you can print up to 936 cards in a 12-hour window. Even at its slowest, you’d still be able to put out 576 cards in the same amount of time. The HDP5000 should cut it for relatively large events with a few thousand people with enough of a head start.

Other handy features that will help you optimize a long printing process are:

  • A 100 dual-card input hopper cartridge to print multiple types
  • A 200-card hopper output cartridge

Warranty and Support

We’ve all faced the frustration of subpar after-sales service that can bring your operations to a standstill.

Fargo has your back with a standard 3-year warranty for every component with 1-year of free loaner support. That means you don’t have to put your business on hold just because your printer is in for repairs.

The printhead itself is designed for durability and never comes into contact with the cards’ surfaces (or anything else for that matter) and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

A versatile card printer for your organization

The Fargo HDP5000 seems to be ideal for large businesses where many people come and go. It can be used to supply ID cards for identification and security, particularly for access control to sensitive areas.

With that in mind, the HDP5000 is ideal for the following institutions:

  • Government agencies
  • Higher education institutions
  • Corporate businesses
  • Research laboratories
  • Gift or loyalty cards for retail stores
  • Health care facilities and hospitals

As it’s not the fastest printer around, it might not be ideal for concerts, seminars, or other events where thousands of cards need to be produced in a short time. However, using multiple printers in a network can overcome this obstacle.

How to Shop for an ID Card Printer with Confidence -1shop-id-card-printer-with-confidence Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Card Printers It’s not quite as difficult as shopping for a used car when you have zero mechanical know how, but shopping for an ID card printer can be a little overwhelming if you lack technical knowledge. In the ID printing industry,  we use enough jargon acronyms to drive the novice shopper mad. So let’s take a quick moment and talk about the key features you need to know when shopping for an ID card printer. At the end of the day, choosing a printer is most often based on three key features. That’s speed, image quality and card security. Certainly there is more to learn if you so desire. However, if you can master a basic understanding of these key features you’ll be able to shop with confidence. So let’s take a look at three of the best retransfer printers in the industry and use them as a guide down the journey of understanding.

A Need for Speed

Perhaps the easiest of the three critical components in ID card printing would be speed. Discovering how much speed you require for operational efficiency is the first step. So let’s say you have a major need for speed as printing IDs in bulk is part of your normal routine. This could be for large complex organizations with many employees or perhaps a standard large scale event requiring massive amounts of ID badges in a short time. The Fargo HDP 6600 can print up to 230 cards per hour (YMCK with transfer).

Now, that might sound like a lot, but consider if you have an event with 10,000 attendees at a major stadium all of who require a special access badge. That’s nearly 44 hours of continuous printing. However, you’ll take comfort in knowing that at 230 cards per hour the Fargo is still one of the fastest retransfer printers in the market.

On the other hand, if your printing needs are limited to 10 to 20 new ID cards a week then you may not need to pay a premium for that speed. Both the Magicard Prima 4 and the Datacard CR805 will print cards at a rate of 100 per hour. Perfectly sufficient for most organizations, but hardly fast enough for high demand and high volume jobs. Ask yourself, do you have a need for  speed?

Beautiful Imagery and Crisp Letters

Once you’ve identified your need for speed, let’s talk aesthetics. Truthfully, the detailed imagery a card printer can produce goes beyond just what looks good. It’s a matter of offering clear displays that allow for quick recognition and identification. Comparing our three retransfer printers, the two that allow you to print at beautiful 600dpi are the Fargo HDP 6600 and the Datacard CR805. The dpi stands for “dots per inch.”

The difference between 300dpi and 600dpi can most aptly be recognized with the ability to print small text and crisply defined barcodes with better resolution. If imagery and fine detail is not a priority for you, then the Magicard Prima 4 will deliver just fine for you at 300dpi. Simply ask yourself how important fine detail and beautiful imagery matters. Then, look for the dpi printing resolution to guide you down the right path.

Secure Cards for the Modern Era

Finally, you need to understand what security features you want in a card and find the printer that offers the best options. Most printers come with added options that will enhance the security features such as adding a holographic overlay or magnetic encoding. For instance, the Magicard Prima 4 Uno Reverse Transfer Printer requires an extra lamination module to add holographic laminates. The same is true for the Fargo 6600.

However, the most basic security feature used by most organizations would be the simple magnetic swipe. For the Datacard CR805 Single Sided Retransfer ID Card Printer, you will need to add this feature. With all three printers, you have the ability to print right up to the edge of smart cards allowing you to add this feature without losing any of its quality imagery.

At the end of the day, if you can interpret speed, print quality, and security, then you can select your next ID card printer with confidence. However, all three printers will deliver you a durable ID card that will last. For some it’s just a matter of preference, while for others it is a matter of organization necessity. If you still have questions, never hesitate to reach out to our elite customer services team. We are ready to guide you down the right path to your perfect ID card printing solution.