If you prefer using a Mac to a PC, it can be difficult to find the right CAC card reader to work well with your machine.
So many CAC readers that might work well with Windows run into problems with Apple software and products. This is often despite the manufacturer claiming their product is Mac friendly.
To save you the trouble and frustration of purchasing a CAC reader that ends up not working for you, we’ve put together some of the best CAC readers for Mac users. Each product on this list has been confirmed to be Mac compatible by real CAC users. While a lot of products may claim compatibility, the ones on this list have been tried and tested by real Mac users.
OpenSC is supposed to work with any supported smart card (see SupportedHardware for a list) if you have a driver for your card reader or USB token. If you’re unsure, you need a PC/SC driver, which 99.9% of vendors provide for at least Windows platform. If you are going to purchase a CAC reader, and have a Mac, we recommend the SCR-3310 v2 (above), or SCR-3500 (below). SCR-3311 Heavy base USB Smart Card (CAC) Reader driver. Gemalto IDBridge CT40 Smart Card reader.
The default shells in mac OS X are installed inside the bin directory so if you want to change to the default zsh then you would use the following chsh -s /bin/zshIf you're using different version of zsh then you might have to add that version to /etc/shells to avoid the nonstandard shell message. The command to change the shell at startup is chsh -s. Zsh macos path.
Depending on your situation, you may prefer a CAC reader that is primarily intended for desk use, or one which is lighter and more portable. With this in mind, we offer you two lists ranking the best Mac compatible options. Don’t automatically assume the top product is the best for your situation. You might have a specific set of needs which makes another product a better fit. The tables are intended as an overall representation of the best CAC readers for Mac, but you should still consider how suitable each product is for your own purposes.
After the rundown of the best products, we have some general tips and advice on CAC usage for Macs.
Best CAC Card Readers For Mac – Desk Use
As the above table shows, the Saicoo V1 has been chosen as the best desk based CAC reader for Mac. This is our pick due to the fact that the Saicoo V1 has a good review score over a large number of reviews. The product is affordable, reliable, and has an unobstrusive, discrete style which will look good on almost any desk.
The Saicoo V2 has been chosen for the second place spot as it is slightly more expensive than the V1. However, if you definitely want a vertical standing CAC reader for desk usage, the V2 is the way to go. It has a good review score and the cost is only slightly higher than the V1. This small price increase is worth paying to get a good quality vertical standing CAC reader for Mac desk use.
Best CAC Card Readers For Mac – Portable Use
For portable CAC readers with tried and tested Mac compatibility, our top pick is the RT-SCR3 from Rocketek. The 4.5 average review score over a large number of reviews is testament to the product’s overall quality. The design means your CAC card is visible while inserted into the reader, which means you’ll never accidentally forget it.
The SCR-10 from Rocketek is the second choice pick for Mac compatible portable CAC readers. Although it is slightly more expensive than the SCR3, and has a slightly lower review grade average, the SCR-10 has a few extra features, such as built-in SD card compatibility. If you require the extra features, or anticipate needing them in the future, thge SCR-10 is a great choice of portable CAC reader.
CAC Card Readers For Mac Advice
Now that you’ve seen the best desk and portable CAC readers for Mac, please take a moment to consider the following advice.
- Always double check if the specific CAC reader you want is suitable for Mac use, specifically with your version of MacOS. There are some CAC readers that work well with older Mac versions, but not with the current iteration.
- Make sure that the seller will be happy to refund you if your CAC reader doesn’t work properly on your Mac
- Check that all of the correct drivers, security certificates etc. are in place before you throw in the towel. Sometimes, your Mac might not be the problem, it could be an issue with something else.