NFC: what it is, what it is for and how to activate it

What is NFC? Most smartphones on the market are now equipped with NFC technology, a cable-free data transmission system that not everyone knows or knows how to use.
Transferring data securely and quickly without the use of cables, making contactless payments, starting playback from an audio device or printing from a wireless printer are just some of the reasons why it is important to know the meaning of NFC and what is needed.
Here is a complete guide on NFC technology useful for understanding what it is, how to activate it on your device and above all what to use it for.
Guide to NFC NFC technology: what is it? What is NFC for? 1) Transfer data with NFC 2) Pay contactless with NFC 3) Connect audio devices with NFC 4) Program NFC tags 5) Authenticate with NFC 6) Request SPID with NFC How to activate NFC Differences between NFC and Bluetooth Advantages and risks of NFC NFC technology: what is it? The acronym NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” and can be translated as “proximity communication”.
This is a type of short-range data transmission that uses the wireless network to send and receive data.
Thanks to NFC it is possible to transfer data between two smartphones if placed in a close position.
Transmission can only take place if the two devices are at a maximum distance of 10 cm, although in many cases this distance drops to 4 or 5 cm for reasons related to security and privacy.
Data is transmitted at a speed of 424 kbits per second with lower power consumption than that used to transfer data via Bluetooth.
To send data via NFC there is no need to pair two devices, if they are close together the connection is instantaneous and does not require entering a PIN, password or carrying out any other type of action to complete the pairing.
What is NFC for? Once you understand what NFC technology is and what it consists of, it's time to understand what it is for and what all the practical applications of this type of communication technology are.
1) Transfer data with NFC Let's start with the functionality that makes NFC technology most similar to that of Bluetooth, i.e.
data transfer.
Thanks to NFC, transferring data between two smartphones or between a smartphone and a tablet is very fast.
To transfer data between two devices via NFC you need to: activate NFC on both devices; bring the two devices closer together; choose the photo, document or any type of file you want to send; select the “share” option and set “NFC” as the sharing mode; wait for the file to arrive on the receiving device.
This procedure does not only concern smartphones and tablets, but also cameras and printers.
If the latter are equipped with NFC technology it is possible, for example, to transfer photographs taken with a camera to your smartphone or start a printing process from any device using wireless printers.
2) Pay contactless with NFC One of the most used features of NFC technology is the one that allows you to make contactless payments with your smartphone without having to use cash or cards.
To use this functionality you need to download specific applications including: Google Pay for all Android devices; Apple Pay for Apple devices.
read also Huawei, NFC payments begin on HMS with Stocard: what are the advantages To start paying via smartphone using NFC technology you need to: open the Play Store or Apple Store and download the appropriate application for your device; before starting the app configuration, activate NFC; open the app, enter and save your payment information; start making payments via smartphone by bringing the device close to the POS.3) Connect audio devices with NFC Some latest generation audio devices, speakers, mini-speakers and earphones are equipped with NFC technology.
Pairing between the source device, often the smartphone, and the audio device via NFC is much simpler and faster than pairing via Bluetooth.
To perform pairing you need to: open "Settings" on your smartphone; go to the “Wireless and Networks” or “Connection and sharing” section; open “Additional settings”; move the lever to "activated" under NFC; wait for the audio signal of successful connection from the earphones, speaker or any other audio device.
We remind you that NFC only takes care of the pairing procedure, audio transmission always takes place via Bluetooth NFC.
4) Program NFC tags A very interesting and little-known feature of NFC technology is the one that uses the NFC tag, a kind of electronic tag equipped with an NFC chip.
The tag is programmed in such a way as to transmit data or commands to any device with active NFC that reaches the minimum distance for pairing, i.e.
the pairing between two devices.
Tags can be programmed by companies and positioned in strategic places, such as businesses or museums, but not only.
Anyone can program an NFC tag and place it at the entrance to their home or office so that it sends certain commands to the smartphone when it reaches the minimum distance for connection.
Here are some examples of the use of NFC tags: placed in shops to send advertising messages; placed in offices or professional studios to share your virtual business card; placed at the entrance to your home to deactivate Wi-Fi on your smartphone; placed in the office to set your smartphone to silent; placed near museums or places of interest to send information to visitors about their surroundings.5) Authentication with NFC A very interesting scenario for using NFC technology is represented by the possibility of using cards or USB sticks equipped with NFC chips to allow the authentication of a user to a device or site, such as that of the bank.
6) Request SPID with NFC NFC technology greatly facilitates the procedure for obtaining the SPID.
In fact, if you have a smartphone and an identity document or electronic passport you can carry out the necessary recognition to obtain the SPID in a few minutes.
To do this you need to: download the MyInfoCert application; choose the type of electronic document (identity card or passport); take a photo of the front and back of the document; bring the smartphone closer to the front of the document; confirm the data received via NFC; confirm the expiry date and document number; take a selfie and record a short video in which you will have to show your face, your document and say the phrase: "I want to have a SPID digital identity with InfoCert".
How to activate NFC Activating and deactivating NFC on your device is very easy, generally it is sufficient to open the notifications curtain.
Otherwise you can activate it by following these simple steps: open "Settings" on your smartphone; go to the “Wireless and Networks” or “Connection and sharing” section; open “Additional settings”; move the lever to "activated" under NFC.
To deactivate NFC just follow the same procedure.
It is important to remember that for data transmission to occur successfully, devices must not be located near metal surfaces or other conductive materials.
Differences between NFC and Bluetooth NFC and Bluetooth are two very similar technologies, but not entirely the same.
Let's see what the differences are between NFC and Bluetooth: range: NFC has a much shorter range than Bluetooth.
NFC performs pairing at a maximum distance of 10 cm, while Bluetooth has a maximum range of 10 meters; power consumption: NFC consumes much less power than Bluetooth; pairing: NFC does not need to be paired manually, it occurs automatically when two devices are at a close distance; areas of use: Bluetooth, unlike NFC, cannot be used to make contactless payments to send signals to audio devices or wireless printers.
Advantages and risks of NFC The advantages represented by NFC technology are many, first of all the convenience of contactless payment, but also printing files directly from the smartphone or quickly pairing with Audio devices make this technology really useful and convenient.
Let's summarize all the advantages represented by NFC technology: convenient and easy-to-use technology; fast and secure payments via smartphone; automatic and instant pairing; possibility of using wireless printers; possibility of sending photographs taken with a camera to your smartphone; low energy and battery consumption.
However, some risks associated with using NFC exist.
Let's see what the two biggest risks to take into account are: any hacker who is near a device with an NFC chip could install malware on it; When transmitting data from one device to another, anyone within a sufficient distance can tamper with the transmission, interrupting it, deleting data, or intercepting and stealing payment data.
To protect yourself from these risks, it is advisable to always turn off NFC when not needed.
Furthermore, you should be careful not to lose your smartphone or payment cards used for contactless payments and frequently check your bank and credit card transactions.
read also How to connect Bluetooth earphones to your smartphone? The guide

Author: Hermes A.I.

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