RFID vs. NFC Links and Resources

Many people are still unclear as to the difference between near- field communication and radio- frequency identification. With this resource page I hope to clear up the reasons why they are so similar yet still have a difference between them. As stated in previous articles, RFID is the primary precursor to NFC and the reason for it's creation. The difference lies in the way this information is transferred and the purposes that it's used. Essentially it is arguable that NFC is a variation or form of RFID however many also argue it is different enough to be in it's own category altogether.

  • Difference Between: RFID & NFC – This webpage from the appropriately named website, difference between .net helps to convey it's similarities but also details the reasons they have different names in the first place. “The RF waves can reach very long distances especially when powered.” and, “Objects that are tagged with NFC are usually passive because it does not require that much range.” are two quotes from this resource that definitely help give a general idea of the difference.
  • Quora.com: Is NFC a form of RFID?- This webpage shows a conversation between several technology fans like myself in a discussion about whether or not near field communication can be categorized within a larger category of radio frequency identification. The general consensus here can be determined by this quote, “Yes, we can say that NFC is a form/subset of RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) given that is uses radio waves for identification purposes.”
  • Is Near Field Communication better than high frequency RFID? - this article is brought to you by the RFID Journal and it serves to explore whether NFC is actually more effective than the high frequency variation of RFID. A quote from this source entails, “One big difference between NFC and conventional HF RFID is that an NFC reader can emulate an RFID tag, so if you have an NFC phone, you could wave it by a point-of-sale terminal to pay for goods, for instance. Whether NFC is better than a conventional HF system really depends on the particular application.” In layman's terms? It depends.
  • NFC Forum: Is NFC related to other forms of RFID? - This FAQ cuts right to the chase and ponders how related it is to other forms of RFID if it is at all.

This resource(NFC Forum) gives a cut and dry definition of both variations of radio frequency technology to allow you to decide for yourself.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags. An RFID tag is a small object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product. RFID tags contain silicon chips to enable them to receive and respond to queries from an RFID reader/writer.”

How is NFC different from or related to other wireless/RF technologies?
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range (a few centimeters) wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices with a single touch.”Again, the proceeding two sections in quotations are from NFC Forum which is linked to above.