Smart Cards for Windows Login?
September 21, 2007 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Help me figure out Smart Cards! I work for the IT department of a company looking to use smart cards for Windows domain login. Windows (XP/2003) has built-in support for several brands of smart card. Great, it should be easy! It's not.

It's taken me three days just to find some cards that are both still manufactured, and still supported in Windows. These are the Gemalto (aka Axalto aka Gemplus aka Schlumberger) Cryptoflex for Windows XP, and the Gemalto Cryptoflex .Net. But the former isn't supported in Vista (and besides, I can only find one website that sells them anymore, aside from the manufacturer). And the .Net cards are $40 each (the other's $15)!

On top of this, I'm finding it frustratingly difficult to find a USB reader that is both verifiably Plug & Play (I really don't want to install drivers if I don't have to), and is not being sold through a very shady-looking website.

Why is this so difficult? Surely other businesses are using smart cards for login, and not everyone is paying hundreds of dollars per seat for an Enterprise Solution when Windows has built-in support? Or does the built-in support suck so much that an Enterprise Solution is the only realistic option? And if that's the case, well...what's good?
posted by CrayDrygu to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My Badges/Smart cards are all Indala and FlexPass. I didn't know different cards aren't supported under windows?

My USB smart cart reader is a GemPC Twin P/N HWP108760 B (no drivers required).

I also have a SCR331 which works fine also (but does require drivers)
posted by mphuie at 9:38 AM on September 21, 2007

Hmmm, "checks" card used by built-in Vista/XP/2003 support that does not suck:

Card manufacturer: Indala
Laptop Reader: GemPC Card
Desktop Reader (XP/2003): GemPlus

I have no knowledge of how to set this up or how much it actually costs - but there are nearly 60k people in my organization that use these.

Check my posts to see who employs me ;-)
posted by jkaczor at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2007

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