Differences between RFID and NFC
  • Created the 29 from January from 2021

Differences between RFID and NFC

The Dipole blog we have been publishing articles that are very useful when it comes to knowing the basics of how RFID technology works, as well as discovering some of its most important benefits and applications.

In this particular article, we will go over the essential features of these technologies and explain the differences between RFID and NFC.

What is RFID

As we already established in our article What is RFID? , this technology is based on the use of radio waves to identify products, objects or people. It has a series of essential components to guarantee its correct operation, among which are the antennas, readers and RFID tags.

There are various RFID technologies, and within their classification we find the NFC system.

For this reason, instead of explaining the differences between RFID and NFC, we will explain the differences between the systems that make up this radio frequency identification technology: Ultra High Frequency (UHF), High Frequency (HF), Low Frequency (LF) and Near Field Communication (NFC).

Differences between UHF, HF, LF and NFC

The main differences are in the type of frequency used and the applications that each of them have.

Low frequency

The LF system has a short frequency range, from 125kHz to 134kHz, consequently it has a short-range reading of about 10cm.

The applications that stand out in this technology are mainly focused on the identification of products in the food industry and in industrial environments with a lot of metal and water.

High frequency

The HF system, which, as its name indicates, the frequency is higher than the previous one, having a range of 13.56 Mhz, so it can read from 10 cm to 1 meter.

The applications that stand out in this technology are, mainly, the authentication of products and the tracking of their movements, either in a library or in a laboratory.

Ultra-high frequency

The UHF system is the technology that uses the highest frequency with a range from 860Mhz to 960Mhz. Your readings can exceed 12 meters away.

This technology has a multitude of applications, most of them are dedicated to the identification of objectives wirelessly, among which are the supervision of incoming and outgoing goods, inventory management, or the control of production lines.

Near Field Communication

The NFC system is also a technology based on radio frequency in the 13.56 MHz range, the same as the HF system, but, on the other hand, the NFC has a power lower than 15 mA, so its reading range is lower, of 10 to 20cm.

It achieves an easy and secure interconnection between devices for their authentication or the transmission of information, these applications include payment by mobile phone, product authentication, and in the industrial sector the communication of an object with machinery.


If you need more details on how an RFID system works, take a look at the article we wrote about it.

Comparative table between the different RFID technologies

Now that you know a little better the differences within RFID technologies, in the same way that you can come to understand why NFC is within the term of RFID. At Dipole we have been working with the latest advances in RFID technology for years, and we encourage you to get in touch with us to discover all the benefits that our products and customized solutions can bring you.