Difference Between AFIS And Biometric Fingerprint Systems

Comparisons, Knowledgebase

Last Updated on November 25, 2022 by mdmtool

AFIS and biometric fingerprint are used for investigations. These identification systems are used by law enforcement agencies and police to investigate the criminals. There uses and method are different from each other.

What is AFIS?


Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) are computerized systems law enforcement agencies use to store and compare fingerprints. When suspects are arrested, their fingerprints are scanned and entered into the system. The system then searches for matches in its database. If a match is found, the system will provide information about the individual, such as their name and criminal history.

What Is A Biometric Fingerprint System?


A biometric fingerprint system is a computerized system that uses fingerprints to identify individuals. The system stores fingerprints in a database and compares them to those of individuals trying to access the system. If a match is found, the individual is granted access.

Difference Between AFIS And Biometric Fingerprint Systems

What is AFIS

There are a few critical differences between AFIS and biometric fingerprint systems.

  • Application: AFIS is typically used by law enforcement agencies to track criminals, while biometric fingerprint systems are more often used in commercial or industrial settings.
  • Types of fingerprint: AFIS uses rolled fingerprints (taken by pressing all ten fingers onto a scanner). Biometric fingerprint systems use flat fingerprints (taken by placing just the fingertips or tips of the fingers onto a scanner).
  • Cost: AFIS is generally much more expensive to maintain and operate than biometric fingerprint systems.
  • Accuracy: Biometric fingerprint systems are generally more accurate and reliable than AFIS systems. Because biometric systems use other physical characteristics, such as facial recognition, iris scanning, and fingerprints. This makes them more accurate than AFIS but also more expensive to implement.
See Also:  Difference Between AC And DC

What is Biometric fingerprint system

How Does AFIS ​Help

  • Law enforcement: AFIS, or Automated Fingerprint Identification System, is a technology law enforcement uses to identify individuals based on fingerprints. This identification process is helpful in criminal investigations, where fingerprints may be found at crime scenes and in non-criminal situations, such as when someone is trying to obtain a driver’s license or passport.
  • Criminal investigations: AFIS, or the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, is a database of fingerprints that can be searched by law enforcement to identify suspects in criminal investigations. The system matches the unique patterns in an individual’s fingerprint to those in the database. This can help investigators narrow their search for suspects and provide additional information about the individual in question.

What Advantages Of AFIS Over The Biometric Fingerprint System?

  • One of the main advantages of AFIS over biometric fingerprint systems is that it can track criminals more effectively. This is because AFIS contains a known criminal database, making it easier for law enforcement agencies to identify and track them.
  •  AFIS is more accurate than biometric fingerprint systems in identifying individuals. It rolled fingerprints are generally more detailed and clear than flat fingerprints, making them easier to match with the prints in the AFIS database.

How Does AFIS Operate?

AFIS is a computerized system that uses algorithms to compare fingerprints submitted by law enforcement agencies with those in its database. The system relies on fingerprint patterns and ridge characteristics to make matches. When a match is made, AFIS can provide investigators with the identity of the individual who left the prints at the crime scene.

See Also:  Difference Between Relay And Circuit Breaker

What Is An AFIS Database?

An AFIS database is a computerized system law enforcement agencies use to store and match fingerprints. The system can be used to identify individuals who have been arrested or are under investigation for crimes.

When Biometric Systems Fall Short

While a biometric system may be able to identify an individual based on their physical characteristics, there are several ways that these systems can fall short.

  • Biometric systems are often fooled by those who know how to spoof them. This can be done in many ways, including using a fake finger or even a photograph of a finger.
  • Another issue with biometric systems is that they often require individuals to cooperate to work correctly. This can be an issue when people are unwilling or unable to participate, such as when someone is trying to access a locked device.
  • Biometric systems can be less reliable than other identification systems, such as AFIS. This is because they often rely on a single physical characteristic, which can be affected by age, injury, or disease.

Disadvantages Of Using AFIS

  • As mentioned above, AFIS is generally much more expensive to maintain and operate than biometric fingerprint systems.
  • AFIS can be less convenient since it requires law enforcement agencies to access a central database.
  • In some cases, rolled fingerprints can be more challenging to obtain than flat fingerprints, making them less reliable for identification purposes.


AFIS and biometric fingerprint systems have advantages and disadvantages. This is because biometric fingerprint systems use more sophisticated algorithms to match fingerprints and capture a higher-quality fingerprint image. As a result, biometric fingerprint systems can better identify individuals, even when there are variations in the fingerprint.

Leave a Comment


A website that provides helpful guides and solutions for tools. We aim to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, so that you can make the best decisions for your selecting the right tools for your business.

Tool Categories


Measuring Tools


Our Moto

At MdmTool.com, we believe that everyone should have access to the best tools available. Whether you're a professional tradesman or a DIY enthusiast, we want to help you find the right tools for the job.

More questions? Get in touch