Do you know about a tiny magical device that fits in the palm of your hand and is capable of granting you access to hidden realms with just the press of a button or a wave? This extraordinary gadget that unlocks doors goes by the name of “key fob”!

Key fobs have revolutionized the way we access buildings, cars, or secure areas. Don’t let its size fool you. The key fob has amazing powers of access control. In this blog, we’ll unlock the secrets behind this compact electronic wonder and discover what makes it one-of-a-kind. 

What is a key fob?

A key fob is a small electronic device that allows you to remotely control access to your building, vehicle, or other secure areas. It typically functions as a wireless transmitter, communicating with a receiver to grant or deny access. It is now used as an alternative to the traditional key. Incepted in the early 1980s, the key fobs have undergone drastic changes in technology to make them secure and convenient. From granting access with a simple wave to customizing privileges and tracking entries, modern key fobs have transformed the way we interact with security systems.

What are the types of key fobs available?

There are various types of key fobs available, depending on your specific needs. Let us note down some of the common types. 

  • Proximity key fobs use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
  • Smart key fobs use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Programmable key fobs can be customized for different access levels. 

Where can you install a key fob entry system?

A key fob entry system can be installed in a wide range of settings, including residential buildings, commercial premises, hotel rooms, gated communities, parking garages, hotels, and even vehicles. They are preferred due to their convenience and secure access control wherever required. 

How does key fob access control work?

Broadly speaking, the key fob consists of two main components: the key fob itself and a receiver or access control panel. When you present the key fob near the receiver, the receiver receives a unique signal transmitted by the key fob, and the system authenticates it. If the signal is valid, the access control system grants you entry. It is a quick and efficient way to control access without the need for physical keys. 

Now, let us go into some more specifics about a key fob entry system and how they work in tandem to control access.

Key fob

As mentioned above, a key fob is a small device that typically fits on a keychain. It contains an embedded chip or RFID tag that communicates with the access control system. The key fob is assigned to an individual and acts as their credential for accessing secured areas. 

Receiver/ Access control panel

The access control panel, also called the receiver, is the main component of the system. It is installed at the entry point or access control hub and is responsible for receiving and validating the signals transmitted by the key fob. 

Signal transmission

A user presents the key fob near the receiver whenever they want to gain access to a building or vehicle. The key fob emits a unique signal containing identification data, such as a specific code in encrypted form. 


The access control panel receives the signal from the key fob and verifies its authenticity. It compares the transmitted information with pre-programmed data stored in its database or associated software. 


If the received and authenticated signal matches the credentials in the system, the access control panel grants access by activating the unlocking mechanism for the door, gate, or other entry points. This allows the user to enter the secured area.

Denial of access

Now, in circumstances where the access control panel does not match or recognize the received signal, it denies access and keeps the entry closed. This ensures that only individuals with valid and authorized key fobs can gain entry. 

System integration

Some advanced systems integrate the access control system with other security components such as surveillance cameras, alarms, or intercom systems. This provides an additional security layer and helps with comprehensive monitoring and control of the secured area. 

Management software

A good key fob access control system typically includes software that enables administrators to configure and manage access privileges. By doing so, the administrator can add or remove users, assign different access levels, track entry logs, and generate reports. 

Remote administration

The advanced systems offer remote administration capabilities. This allows administrators to manage access privileges and monitor the system from a central location, providing convenience and flexibility. 

Combining these components and functionalities gives users the flexibility to choose a key fob access control system that suits their requirements. A key fob thus provides convenience, customization, and enhanced security compared to traditional key-based systems. 

What is key fob programming?

You now know that key fob access control requires the key fob to transmit a valid and authentic signal to the access control system to gain entry. Sometimes, a key fob requires programming when it needs to be synchronized with a specific access control system or receiver. 

Key fob programming involves configuring the key fob to communicate with the specific access control system. A professional locksmith service will help you synchronize the key fob with the receiver, ensuring it functions correctly and grants access when authorized. 

So, when is key fob programming required? Let’s see some common scenarios when you may require a locksmith service near you for key fob programming.

Initial setup

When installing a new key fob entry system, the locksmith will program the key fob to work with the existing access control system. This involves configuring the key fob’s unique identification data or codes into the system’s database. 

Replacement key fobs

Key fob programming is essential when you have lost or misplaced the key fob and want to replace it with a new one. The locksmith programs the key fob to replace the previous key fob’s credentials with the new one in the access control system.

Additional key fobs

Key fob programming is required when you have to grant access to new individuals or expand its user base. This ensures that the new users have the necessary credentials to gain entry. 


In some cases, you may need to modify access privileges or user permissions. In such a scenario, the locksmith updates the existing key fob programming to reflect the changes in access levels. 

System upgrades

Again, when there are upgrades or changes to the access control system itself, existing key fobs may require programming to ensure compatibility and seamless functionality. 

The process of key fob programming is carried out by professional locksmiths who have the expertise and knowledge to configure the key fobs and access systems properly.    

What are the benefits of a key fob access control system?

Now that we have tried explaining how a key fob works, you might have gotten hints of its benefits over traditional lock systems. Key fobs indeed offer several advantages when it comes to access control. 

Increased security

Key fobs use encrypted signals, making them more secure than traditional keys. It is difficult to duplicate, which greatly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. 

Customized privileges

You can program key fobs to grant different levels of access to different individuals. This allows you to customize access privileges based on roles and responsibilities. 

Easy management

With key fobs, you can easily add or remove access privileges without the need to replace physical keys or rekey locks. It simplifies access management and saves time. 


Key fobs are a cost-effective solution in the long run. They reduce the expenses associated with rekeying locks and provide enhanced security without compromising convenience. 

Entry tracking 

Key fob access systems have the option for logging capabilities, allowing you to track who accessed a specific area and when. You can access this report for security and accountability purposes. 

As you can see, a key fob system has many benefits, and you should consider it when you need a security upgrade for your building or vehicle. 

What is the cost of installing a key fob entry system?

The cost of installing a key fob entry system depends on several factors, such as the size of the property, the number of access points, and your specific requirements. You can consult a trusted locksmith service near you by telling them of your requirements. They will schedule a site visit to help you get an estimate.   

Wrapping Up

With a key fob in hand, you now hold the power to effortlessly unlock and secure your world. It’s remarkable that a small electronic device has such a profound impact on our daily lives, enhancing security, simplifying access control, and providing peace of mind. 

So, next time you need to install or upgrade your key fob entry system, all you have to do is contact your trusted locksmith service near you. 

Desert Locksmith is one such professional locksmith service provider proudly serving Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding areas. We are certified residential and automotive locksmiths whom you can rely on for key fob access control installation, upgrades, and key fob programming. We have extensive knowledge and experience in key fob entry systems.

Contact us today at 602-301-5243, and we will be thrilled to discuss your specific requirements further and provide you with a detailed proposal for your key fob installation project.