Important Considerations When Choosing Access Control Systems

Access control systems are used in businesses and residential properties throughout the world. These are used to improve security, keeping occupants safe. There are so many different choices available from card readers to keypads to biometrics, which include fingerprint scanners and more.

There are a number of factors you have to take into consideration whether you’re choosing access control systems for your business, for an apartment complex or for your home.

The first thing you need to take note of is the ease of use. If you’re getting home late from work, what is the easiest system to use to gain access to your property? When you’re dealing with a hundred or more people in an office building, what is the easiest solution to ensure that everyone can gain access without issues and that you can track who is coming and going.

Smaller businesses and homes tend to choose keypads. They are given a unique code, which can be changed regularly to improve security. This code can be given to multiple family members or employees. Changing the code regularly ensures that the code isn’t handed to someone else offering them access and compromising the security in the property.

Card readers are exceptionally common in residential and office buildings. Each person has their own unique card that they swipe to gain access. Most of these cards have a barcode, which enables the security team to monitor who is coming and who is going. Once a person leaves the company, you can delete the card from the system, eliminating the ability for that person to gain access.

Biometrics is used in homes and also in high risk businesses, such as government building server rooms and banking institutions. Fingerprint scanners, retina scanners and other high tech systems are used to only allow the person with approved access to get into a specific room or gain access to a certain property.

Looking at the access control systems you feel is the right match for what you need, it’s advisable to ensure it’s expandable, especially if you are a business and may add new team members as the business grows moving forward. Being able to add new cards for the card reader, ensuring it’s easy to add new people to biometrics and the ability to add more scanners and systems to different rooms, linking back to the main database are all very important considerations to factor into your decision moving forward.

If you want to allow visitor access, determine how this can be incorporated into the system. Card readers give visitors their own unique card which they sign for, this way you have the visitor’s information and who they are visiting in the building. They also hand the card back when they leave, so you know they have left the building and your security has not been compromised.

With keypads, you can include a buzzer system. Your receptionist can push a button to unlock the door to visitors, giving them access. They can then sign in or a diary can be kept with who is coming and going.

Always pay very close attention to the warranty that comes with the access control systems. You want a long warranty that covers any manufacturing defects or issues, this way the repair or replacement cost is not your problem, saving you money.

See if the company you have chosen to purchase your access control system from offers a service agreement. These systems do require regular maintenance to ensure they are operating at their best, having this included in a service agreement can help you budget more effectively.

Access Control Systems to Protect Your Business

Are your assets secure? Has your business or home ever been broken into, or have you ever had people get into places they shouldn’t be in? While a lock and key used to be the answer, advancements in technology have granted us several alternatives to carrying around giant, cumbersome key rings. Now automatic doors and security gates make entrances and exits much easier to use and more secure, and automating control of these systems has brought forth a plethora of access control technologies.

Keys themselves have changed quite a bit since their inception as the premiere method of access control. These days, hotels, businesses and even gated communities use key cards instead of metal keys to grant access to visitors, employees and residents respectively. But even the term key card is a little vague considering the different styles of key cards out there.

Magnetic stripe cards utilize a magnetic stripe (like that found on the back of a credit card) that is swiped through a reader to convey the information necessary to grant access to an area. This is typically done by having the reader release an electric or magnetic lock allowing the door to be opened, or having the “magstripe” reader activate an electric gate operator that will open a security gate granting vehicle access. These cards allow for more specific programming creating different levels of access and eliminating the need to worry about collecting keys from ex-employees or residents by giving you the ability to deactivate them from a central location.

Wiegland cards and proximity are similar except that the information is stored inside the card reducing the cards susceptibility to wear. These cards are placed next to a reader and the information is transmitted through airwaves.

Smart cards allow extra data to be stored on the card itself such as biometric information or key codes. These cards can be contact cards the require contact with the reading device or non-contact cards that don’t even need to be removed from the wallet or purse to activate the reader. A bar code reader uses one or more lasers to read bar codes on plates or stickers allowing vehicles to pass freely through an entrance without even requiring the vehicle to stop.

Biometrics are the latest advancement in access control technologies, requiring person specific information from the person requesting entrance. Fingerprint readers read your fingerprints, iris readers scan your eye to find a match, and even facial recognition systems scan your entire face to make sure you have authority to proceed. Biometrics can be used in conjunction with other access control methods for maximum protection.

But let’s say you just want something simple for your home residence. Automatic doors or electric gate operators can be activated through various methods, such as key pads, telephone entry systems, even remote control. Keypads can just require a certain sequence to be entered, while telephone entry systems dial into a network to contact someone with the power to grant you access. Remote control gate transmitters allow you to open a gate with the click of a button, and are available in various sizes from small key chain sized transmitters to clickers you can clip to the sun visor in your vehicle.

More basic methods of access control include pneumatic pads, motion detectors, and buttons. These methods are very low security and are more for convenience, air conditioning retention or one-way access control. Pneumatic pads are pressure sensitive and activate a door when weight forces air out of them. These are commonly found at grocery store entrances. Motion detectors activate when someone walks through a specified area. Buttons can be used to release a lock or activate a door opening sequence, based on the situation. Exit buttons are located inside a secure area and allow pedestrians to exit, but there is no way to reenter from the other side.

A final method of access control is the good old turnstile. Turnstiles are available for either access control or traffic control. Traffic control turnstiles would be waist high turnstiles or pedestrian barriers. They restrict access but don’t necessarily prevent it. These would be the turnstiles you see at theme parks or mass transit stations. Full height turnstiles on the other hand are usually part of a fence or wall and allow access to only one person at a time. These are usually paired with an access control device of some sort to restrict access to government properties or corporate facilities. Another form of turnstile is an E-gate. These devices verify credentials (such as ID or passports) before granting access to pedestrians.

By securing your home or business with an access control system, you’ll rest easier knowing that your property is safe and secure.

How Do Finger Print Access Control Systems Work and What Are The Benefits?

Finger print access control systems provide homeowners and business owners alike with the ultimate keyless entry system that can’t be foiled by making duplicate keys. Since each individual has unique fingerprints no one other than an authorized person can gain access. This eliminates the hassle of lost or forgotten keys.

Print access control systems work by using sensors that read the print and match it against a digital representation of the print in a database. There are two phases to the fingerprint recognition process. The first phase is one of establishing an association of a particular person to a particular print. This phase is only done when a person is first entered into the system. Once that is established, that particular user is identified by the system by their print. Based on the permissions assigned to that particular print, access is granted or denied. This can be set up to allow access only to certain areas or zones, or the user can be granted “all access” to all zones. Since there is virtually no way to re-create someone’s fingerprint, this method of access control has a minute margin of error and provides heightened security levels.

Although fingerprint recognition systems have been around for a while, they until now have been limited to government buildings or other areas requiring higher levels of security. As the technology has progressed and costs have come down, now many mainstream businesses and homeowners are able to afford this technology which improves security for the home or business. In the case of businesses, the system can act in a duel capacity as a time clock as well as a security system. This eliminates employees clocking in and out for each other as the system obviously requires the person to be present.

Print lock systems are ideal in situations where there are many people that need access and keeping track of keys or an access badge has become administratively difficult. Instead of assigning a badge or key, the person needing access is simply fingerprinted and then their prints are added to the system as being authorized. There’s no need to remember access codes or carry a badge or key. Simply placing their hand in the reader allows the person to enter. Not only suitable in a corporate setting, a fingerprint reader can be ideal for apartment buildings, health clubs, parking structures or front gate access.

With standard card reader access systems, there’s additional cost associated with replacing lost or stolen cards. The finger print lock systems eliminate this cost when each person has their own form of identification. In many cases, if an employee leaves the company, they may or may not return the card. Over time, this results in a good portion of the cards having to be replaced. In the case of keys, all of the locks will have to be replaced to prevent unauthorized access. With fingerprint recognition, the user is simply removed from the database thereby denying access.

Electronic door locks with access controlled by finger prints is one of the most secure methods of insuring that unauthorized access doesn’t take place. There are other types of biometric access controls available, however, the finger print method is still the most cost-effective method available. Other methods such as face or eye recognition require devices that are not as easily portable as a fingerprint reader which makes these other methods of access security are generally a little more expensive.

As technology moves forward, it’s likely that finger print access control systems will gain wider acceptance and will show up in many areas where keys or access cards are now used. There are some car manufacturers that are now using a fingerprint reader for access to the vehicle. Admittedly this is in higher end vehicles but should slowly make its way into vehicles now being purchased by the average consumer. With auto theft being a major concern for those who own popular cars, adding this extra security feature should make it that much more difficult for the car to be stolen. Not only used for gaining access to the vehicle, these systems can also prevent a car from starting unless a matching print is read.

As theft and fraudulent activities are done with more sophistication, security systems are forced to keep pace. It’s no longer effective to simply lock the door. Simply put, the old style of securing a business and home is a thing of the past. Electronic door locks and heavy-duty hardware combined with a fingerprint reader are more effective in preventing a thief from gaining entry.

Finger print access control systems are the way of the future as many people are looking for better ways to keep their home and business secure. Fingerprint recognition provides an almost foolproof way to provide higher levels of security as well as peace of mind.