Using Military CAC Cards From Home
There are many times that someone may need to use their military CAC ID card from home to access a particular website or to get to your official email. This can be done in several different ways, depending on the type of compute and the browser that you are using. In Windows PC computers, most of the following options will only work with Internet Explorer, and not with FireFox or Mac computers.
Installing CAC Readers
First, one of the most important things you must have in order to use a military CAC ID card at home is a SmartCard CAC reader. These may be installed on a keyboard or you can use an external SmartCard reader. Both are easily purchased both online and in some retail stores, but be sure that you are getting one that is compatible with your CAC card.
One of the most common external CAC readers used is the SCR-331 CAC reader, which looks like this:
If you have this reader, it may be necessary for you to update its firmware. This is very simple to do.
Installing the DoD Root Certificates
The next step is to download and run the DoD root certificates, which you need to identify your CAC card and for security reasons. As of this writing, the most current DoD root certificate is: DOD InstallRoot 3.16a issued on 22 February 2013. You can find this certificate at: InstallRoot_v3.16a which gives several websites to choose from to get the latest DoD root certificate software.
Installing ActiveClient Software
In most cases, you will also need to install the latest version of Active Client Software, but some users may be able to use a CAC without this software if they are running Windows 7 or 8. These directions will also be provided in this article. ActiveClient can be either downloaded from official military sites (however, this requires being logged in so you will have to do it from your job) or you can purchase it online at https://www.scbsolutions.com/express/index.php?cPath=32&SCBsid=f78e71ad07065ca819a28cce9c63160c for $29.95. You can also check with your IT person at Using Windows 7 and 8 Without ActiveClient Software
Depending on the type of CAC ID card you have, it may be possible to access sites without the hassle of installing ActiveClient software. In order to do this you must have Win 7 or 8 Professional, or Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit editions. You need to have a CAC card that is PIV-II-compliant. The CACs that work are: Gemalto TOP DL GX4 144, Gemalto DL GX4-A 144 and Overthur ID One v5.5 Dual.
You can tell what kind of CAC you have by looking at the top of the card as shown in these photos:
Next, insert your CAC into your CAC reader. If it is the right kind of CAC, then it will show up as an identity device in Device Manager listed under the smart cards section as shown below:
Next, open the Internet Explorer browser and go t Tools, then Internet Options, then Content, and then certificates. There should be three certificates in view if you had the right kind of Smart Card. It may look like this:
Then, Voila, you should be able to sign in using your CAC ID card at home for all of your work.