CAC readers are an essential component for government and military personnel. If you’re a new Macbook user, you may find it troublesome to pick a good CAC reader compatible with your iOS device. Most CAC readers only work best with Windows and may run into software issues when installing them on any Apple device.
Keeping that in mind, we have curated a list of our top picks for the Best CAC reader for Mac to ease you of any trouble or hassle of finding the right choice and making your work fluent in carrying instead of looking around for one which is compatible with your Macbook.
With many choices of CAC readers and preferences of using them specifically over the desk or the portable ones for when you’re carrying out a business, this list will guide you in making the right choice to pick your CAC card reader for Mac.
6 Best CAC Readers for Macbooks
1. ZOWEETEK CAC reader
For a portable CAC reader compatible with the Macbook, the ZOWEETEK Type-C CAC reader is an excellent choice at an affordable rate. It can be used easily on mobiles, tablets, pads, computers, and laptops that exclusively work on macOS or iOS operating systems and with Windows OS series.
The CAC reader comes in a great design that offers a minimal approach and nothing too complex for users not to understand.
Consumers can use the reader for multiple purposes ranging from online transactions, business sector, signing-in, and even digital-signing amongst the many other uses.
Using the CAC reader on Mac is very basic as you can connect the device to your Macbook via the USB cable, and it works for three different card types, including 5V, 3V, and 1.8V smart cards.
This CAC reader is highly recommended for users looking for a compatible device to work in remote situations and basic operations with low-light emission.
- Easy connectivity
- macOS and Windows compatible
- Portable and simple
- Compact design
- Low light intensity
- Faulty drivers
2. MMUSC CAC Smart Card Reader
The MMUSC CAC Smart Card Reader is a versatile CAC reader that works well with Mac and provides a wide range of usage if you own different photo memory cards. The plug-and-play simplicity of this CAC card reader for Mac makes your work easier and manageable at a cost-effective rate.
With a 480 MB per second data transfer rate, you can expect a rapid response time using the CAC reader to conduct different approaches like scanning credit cards, digital signing, etc.
It comes with three hardware interfaces: USB 2.0, USB, and microSDXC making it easy to install and use.
Using CAC on Mac becomes hassle-free, and robust security promises great working in federal departments, online banking, credit card payment, Windows/Mac authentication, and SSO.
The multi-system compatibility of the MMUSC CAC Smart Card Reader lets you easily switch devices from Windows, Linux, and macOS without any connectivity problems.
The CAC reader can read almost every card, including Government ID, Nationa ID, SIM card, DSO, etc. This CAC reader for Mac does its job as said, so it is an excellent pick as a portable device.
- Multi-purpose use
- Wide compatibility
- Smart reader
- Portable and compact
- High-speed data transfer
- Nothing in particular
3. Saicoo Military compatible CAC reader
The Saicoo CAC smart reader for Mac is an easy-to-install and use CAC reader compatible with almost every operation, including online banking and digital signature using USB-based connectivity. It is approved by military CAC for its performance and safety to use.
It has a simplistic built of plastic and comes in a square shape with accessible insertion space for every card. The sleek and ergonomic design comes with a glossy finish making it appealing to the eyes and fits in any situation and even in work.
The small size can fit in your pocket, so it makes the device portable and lightweight. The Saicoo CAC reader for Mac is compatible with US military and Government DOD IDs, making it secure to use and giving a quick reading.
With the order, you get the CAC reader, a CD driver, and a year-long warranty with lifetime support if you chance upon some issues regarding the CAC reader. At a very reasonable rate, it passes to be a great military CAC reader for Mac.
- Wide compatibility
- Supports banking, ID check-in, and chip cards
- Portable and lightweight
- Quick reading
- MilitaryCAC approved
- Driver issues or incompatibility
4. Rocketek smart CAC reader
The Rocketek USB is an all-in-1 DOD card reader housing four card slots for reliable read and data transfers. It supports various devices such as SDXC, SDHC, SD, Micro SD, SIM card, and many more to work with your Mac.
This CAC card reader can get some serious work done as it supports Government ID, National ID, Disa Enterprise Email, etc.
It is also well suited for various intelligent card operations such as online banking, post office, and even chip cards issued all over the country.
It is also compatible with everyday smart card operations such as Network ATM transfer, payment, balance inquiries, Tax, water, electricity payment, Credit card bill payment, and much more.
The Rocketek USB card is compatible with many platforms and devices such as Windows, Mac OS, MacBook Pro, Mac Air, and other USB connection-based laptops and computers.
Designed for federal government operations and online banking and transactions, it boasts impressive security features such as Windows authentication, SSO, Network login, and much more.
The card reader also supports high-speed transfer with the efficient transmission, thus significantly saving your time to be one of Mac’s best military CAC readers.
- Great compatibility
- Slim design and portable
- Can read every kind of card
- It can be used for various purposes
- Incorrect driver manual
5. ZOWEETEK smart CAC reader
The Zoweetek smart card reader is a military-approved CAC reader supporting various operations such as online banking, federal government operations, and digital signatures. It is straightforward to use with a USB 2.0 interface; it is pretty much a plug-and-play device.
With a simplistic build, the Zoweetek card reader gives a minimalistic vibe, thus fitting any workspace, be it your home or your office. It has a simple square design with a slot on the top for any card.
It supports various cards such as 5V, 3V, and 1.8V Smart Cards and ICC ISO/IEC 7816 Class A, B, and C. ZOWEETEK smart CAC reader is also compatible across Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, though the Mac OS requires Java to be installed from the official website.
The DOD and USG users also require a third-party CAC Enabler program to function.
The card reader can perform a wide variety of smart card chip operations-ActivClient, AKO, OWA, DKO, JKO, NKO, BOL, GKO, Marinenet, AF Portal, Pure Edge Viewer, and much more, making this product an absolute steal for the price and makes your average day-to-day tasks more manageable.
- Wide OS compatibility
- Can be used for all card-based activity
- Easy to install and use
- Ergonomic build
- USB 2.0 connection
- Not any
6. Recbot CAC smart reader
The grid textured military CAC reader for Mac comes with all the features you need when using a CAC on Mac, along with high-grade compatibility at a meager price.
Using a CAC card on Mac becomes more accessible with Recbot smart card reader, and the only software you need for the CAC reader to work on Mac is the Java software to make your work fluent and smooth to carry out.
The Recbot CAC smart reader comes with a Mac driver for easy installation and works via a USB cable compatible with Macbook. One must note that SIM card reading is only viable on Windows.
Apart from this, it works with almost every kind of smart card ranging from IDs, banking, signatures, SSO, etc. With Recbot CAC reader, you can make working convenient and easy for a great working experience.
It also comes with a small light output to denote its working and has a straightforward design that is aesthetically pleasing and well-thought-out.
A portable and lightweight approach makes it the best CAC reader for Mac with various functions to choose from and makes it easy for you to carry to your workplace without taking up much space.
- USB 2.0 connectivity
- Support banks, post offices, chip cards issued all over the country
- Can be used for CAC (Common Access Card), Government ID, National ID
- Grid-textured build and portability
- Suitable for all-card related operations
- No SIM card compatibility for Mac
How to use a CAC reader on a mac
After figuring out the best Military CAC reader for Mac, it is essential to know how to use a CAC reader on a Mac. Using CAC on Mac is a straightforward process, and here we have given a guide on how to do so:
1. Buy a CAC card reader for Mac
We mentioned all our best picks for CAC reader for Mac in the list, which will guide you to choose the perfect one for you, whether you wish it to be permanently installed on your desk or a portable device to fit easily in your bag.
Most CAC readers for Mac are budget-friendly and can easily be bought from Amazon at prices as low as below $20.
2. Plugin and authorize the CAC reader.
After buying your CAC reader, plug it in your Mac and ensure that your Macbook recognizes the device.
You can even verify the drivers by installing them and checking whether it works for your Macbook or not.
All the CAC readers mentioned in this list are fully compatible with macOS and only require Java software to operate, readily available on their website.
If you face any issues regarding the authorization of your CAC reader, then you may want to install the appropriate drivers before proceeding ahead.
3. Update DOD certifications
DOD certification is essential when using a CAC card reader on Mac because you may not access any card reading through CAC web pages without it.
For Chrome and Safari:
- Type Shift + Command + U to open Utilities
- Navigate and Double click “Keychain Access.”
- Click on “Login” and then “All Items.”
- Download the five files listed and install them in your Keychain access:
- When you double-click the Mac Root Cert 3 and 4, you’ll always need to tell your browser to trust them.
For Firefox browsers:
The previous steps are similar to the ones carried for Safari and Chrome, but there are a few more steps that need to be conducted for DOD certifications for Firefox:
- Download All Certs zip and unzip all 39 files included in the link.
- Launch Firefox, click “Firefox” on the top left,” then “Preferences.”
- Then select “Advanced” > “Certificates” > “View Certificates,”
- Go to “Authorities” and select “Import.”
- Before confirming the import, you have to import every file individually from the “All Cert” folder and click on all three checkboxes in the popup window.
4. Download and install the CAC enabler
After setting up the right CAC enabler for your macOS, you are ready to access CAC from your Macbook. All you have to do now is log in to a CAC-enabled website via a CAC user and password and continue with whatever purpose you are using the CAC.
Why is my CAC reader not working?
There are specific criteria that need to be met for a CAC reader to work on your Macbook. Currently, there are only four types of CAC cards that can work on your Mac which we have listed down:
- G&D FIPS 201 SE 3.2
- Oberthur ID one 128 v5.5 Dual
- GEMALTO DLGX4-A 144
- GEMALTO TOP DL GX4 144
If your CAC reader still does not work when reading the card, we recommend switching your reader or trying a few more times to insert your card.
CAC readers are prevalent in business, government, and military sectors for quick ID scanning, digital signature, and quick payments via credit and debit cards. With the popularity of Macbooks increasing in such sectors, it is essential to pick the right CAC reader for macOS as not all are compatible with the device.
In this article, we brought you our top picks for the best CAC readers for Mac that will give you optimal functioning and no problems. If you are still unsure about your choices, then we recommend ELETRAND CAC.