• Priyank Patel

Active RFID vs. Passive RFID: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Short Answer:

Passive RFID systems use tags with no internal power source and instead are powered by the electromagnetic energy transmitted from an RFID reader. Passive RFID tags are used for applications such as access control, file trackingrace timing, supply chain management, smart labels, and more. The lower price point per tag makes employing passive RFID systems economical for many industries.


Active RFID systems use battery-powered RFID tags that continuously broadcast their own signal. Active RFID tags are commonly used as “beacons” to accurately track the real-time location of assets or in high-speed environments such as tolling. Active tags provide a much longer read range than passive tags, but they are also much more expensive.

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