Asset Tracking
Major Difference Between Active Vs. Passive RFID for Location Tracking

Major Difference Between Active Vs. Passive RFID for Location Tracking

Major Difference Between Active Vs. Passive RFID for Location Tracking

RFID has been used for asset tracking for a long time, especially those organizations which are asset-intensive. RFID technology is used in the form of a tag or label. Although there are two types of RFID that are Active RFID & passive RFID. In this blog, we will know what the difference between Active and Passive RFID is & which one is a better option for your business. So, let us begin!  

What Is RFID Technology?  

RFID technology is one of the asset tracking technologies. It is helpful to organizations in keeping track of assets and equipment. It is a wireless technology and uses electromagnets.

The market for RFID is huge, according to Allied Market Research, “The global RFID market size was valued at $10.41 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $25.47 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 9.6% from 2021 to 2030.”  

Every RFID has 3 components which are an antenna, transceiver, and transponder. Antenna and transceiver work as a reader. This reader scans the RFID tag.

For activating the tag, a signal is transmitted. It uses radio waves after that tag waves back to the antenna and this is where data is transmitted.  

What Is the Difference Between Active RFID and Passive RFID?

Below we have discussed the difference between Active RFID and Passive RFID:

1. Active RFID has its own power source such as a battery whereas passive RFID has other sources such as an antenna, and reader.

2. Active RFID has a longer scanning and reading range compared to passive RFID.

3. Passive RFID has a short range of up to 10m whereas active RFID has a communication range of up to 100m.

4. Passive RFID can operate on low, high, or ultra-high frequency whereas active RFID has high frequency only.

5. Active RFID is costly, that’s why it is less utilized whereas passive RFID is more utilized as it is cost-effective.

6. Active RFID chips have more capability and are larger in size than passive RFID.

Recommend To Read: RFID Technology Benefits & Drawbacks: Active, Semi-Passive & Passive

What Is the Difference Between Active RFID and Passive RFID in Terms of Location Tracking?

Active RFID vs. Passive RFID

Active RFID and Passive RFID are both helpful in inventory tracking and avoiding theft & misplacement of inventory. However, active RFID is more powerful than passive RFID as it provides real-time information.

It can be used with a real-time information system (RTLS). It means that you get updated information all the time, but active RFID is costly. That is why lots of organizations choose passive RFID.

However, when an organization has a high budget, it can go for active RFID. The same goes for your organization if you are just starting or the budget is limited you can go with passive RFID. It is also an effective technology as lots of organizations choose passive RFID.

What Is Low Frequency, High Frequency, and Ultra-High Frequency RFID?

Low-frequency RFID covers frequencies from 30 kHz to 125 kHz. Low-frequency RFID has a slow reading speed, but it has a better capability of transmitting or receiving Frequency.

It has a short reading range of about 10cm. It is widely used for the purpose of tracking & avoiding theft. Low frequency and high-frequency RFID work fine in moist conditions.

High-frequency RFID covers frequency from 3 MHz (Megahertz) to 30 MHz. High-frequency RFID has a reading range of around 1 meter. It is used in transfer payment & ticketing systems.

Ultra-high frequency RFID covers frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 (Gigahertz). It has a reading range of 10-12 meters. Ultra-high frequency RFID is faster than low & high-frequency RFID. However, it is expensive as well.


Active RFID & passive RFID tags both have their advantages and disadvantages. As per your requirement, it is crucial for you to figure out which one will suit your business.

RFID technology is helpful in asset & inventory tracking. When you utilize it with asset management software you can achieve the best result with minimum effort. RFID helps in automating work procedures and increases speed as well.

It makes employees more efficient as it increases the data transfer rate. With this RFID technology, you get enhanced inventory visibility. This software will alert you when inventory is about to expire or finish.

Most importantly it improves business operation by reducing inventory shrinkage and avoiding stock-out problems. Investing in automated software will improve your business and productivity.

Also Read: How to Effectively Track and Audit Your Assets with RFID Tags?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 - What Are the Various Industries Where RFID Is Utilized?  

Every industry which is equipped with inventory & having issues in inventory tracking and management can use RFID asset tracking. It is widely used in warehouses, retail, pharmaceuticals, hospital, hospitality, oil & gas, automotive, food & beverage, education, manufacturing, etc.  

Q.2 - What Are Some Use Cases of RFID Technology?  

RFID is widely used for asset tracking, but assets may vary. For instance, organizations use to keep track of equipment some organizations keep track of employees, and some track their livestock such as goats, cows, etc. It is helpful to owners and organizations as RFID provides valuable data that help them in measuring productivity. With data, they can also know how to improve productivity. Most importantly RFID provides real-time location of each asset.

Another example of RFID technology can be seen in the hospital sector. Hospital management uses RFID for keeping track of their patients such as heart patients. These patients need to be tracked every minute to know their health status and where they are! RFID wristbands are just like a watch, they are linked to the software so that nurses & doctors can check them. You can also know if they have taken their medicines or not!

Q.3 - Does RFID Provide Data?

Yes, it helps in providing data and organizations make decisions based on the data. Usually, an RFID tag has 2000kbps space. So essential information is put so that information is helpful in future.

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