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You will likely need to speak with a company representative about your specific needs before you can receive an accurate estimate of what your access control system will cost. Looking for an access control system for your business? Click the Compare Quotes button below to have Business.

What Features Do You Need? We looked at each access control company for the features we believe are most important to your business's access control and security. We examined the technical aspects of their products and checked to see if they offered certain services. We gathered this data by browsing these companies' websites and contacting them anonymously to gather information and gauge the level of customer service we received. Keep Your Employees and Your Business Safe Security should be the most important factor when choosing an access control system.

Door readers and physical credentials come in many varieties, but the best services include readers with their own memory and processors for making decisions, as well as credentials that incorporate some form of encryption. Proprietary technology, rather than open source, is more secure and less likely to be taken advantage of.

The door access readers themselves should be physically secured with specialty screws, and the wiring tucked away and protected. Some readers even have tamper alarms that go off if they are physically altered or removed. Door hold alarms can alert you when select doors are held open too long. Options for different types of credentials, as well as allowing multiple credential authentication, are a must.

Crucial safety protocols include fire and carbon monoxide alerts, along with break-in alarms. In case of emergencies, you should be able to customize lockdown scenarios, programming the system to automatically open and lock selected doors on such occasions.

Protection 1 does well in providing this optimal setup, easily integrating these added security features with their access control systems.

While some companies on our list don't offer these security features, they becoming increasingly standard for access control providers. The best access control software integrates with surveillance cameras, recording the instances when an employee used a credential to open a door.

The Best Access Control Systems of 2018

These records are useful when investigating suspicious activity, allowing you to verify if it was indeed an employee who used the credentials. The best systems can store these records indefinitely, so you can go back to any date and examine the history. This is extremely useful if you must perform an audit on security or are investigating an event that happened at your business.

If you're away from your business a lot, opt for services that allow you to manage your access control from mobile devices. If your company regularly receives visitors, your system should have options for allowing temporary access to such guests. Consider also whether you want your access control system to tie into your time and attendance systemwhich some services do.

Best Access Control Systems

Installation Nearly all the companies we evaluated provide professional installation, either by their own professionals or through third-party installers or dealers. The number of doors that a building access control system can cover varies by company. Some companies cover as many doors you need but are limited by how many door readers each control panels support.

  • The second, newer method of access control is called an IP system;
  • IP Systems There are two prominent types of access control systems;
  • The best access control software integrates with surveillance cameras, recording the instances when an employee used a credential to open a door.

You may need to install multiple control panels if you need to cover more than just a few doors, and that can be costly and take up space. Other services have the capacity to host unlimited doors. In most cases, systems can accommodate an unlimited number of employees, with a few exceptions.

It's also rare that a company does not push free firmware updates to the system once they are released. Help and Support We tested customer support thoroughly, looking to see if customer service representatives for the companies were knowledgeable, transparent and accommodating.

A company that conducts training for employees on how to use the system is a must. Access control companies are typically also security companies and offer a bevy of resources on their websites on how to improve your security. Additional Tips Enhancing Your Security Security professionals recommend that businesses do a yearly review of their security and access control.

Consider your security needs and how your current system has served you.

If there have been any security incidents over the past year, reflect on whether your current system is at fault and if it could be more secure.

As part of your company's routine security inspections, regularly examine the hardware involved with the access control system and check door readers, along with the wiring that connects them to the system, for signs of tampering.

If the system is connected to a control panel, be sure it is installed in a secure location and that it remains locked at all times. You can enhance your security by setting up what is called an anti-passback. This can protect against cases of copied cards, cards being passed to others after opening the door or passcodes falling into the wrong hands.

State of the Industry Access Control: IP Systems There are two prominent types of access control systems. The first is the traditional method of access control where control panels act as hubs for door readers, door locks, cameras and the system's interface, usually a PC.

The door readers and control panels connect with proprietary power and communication wiring. The second, newer method of access control is called an IP system. This type of system connects the door readers directly to a network, usually through Ethernet or wireless signals. Instead of control panels, these systems run usually through a less-bulky and easier-to-install network hub.

While IP systems are newer, there is still contention in the security market over which method is better.

  • We gathered this data by browsing these companies' websites and contacting them anonymously to gather information and gauge the level of customer service we received;
  • State of the Industry Access Control;
  • Working with Credentials There are three forms of authentication;
  • In most cases, this error can be avoided by adding conditionals, or revising code logic, to ensure that an attempt to access a deleted object, or an object with a value of Nothing, is avoided;
  • The second, newer method of access control is called an IP system;
  • It's also rare that a company does not push free firmware updates to the system once they are released.

IP systems are much simpler to set up, usually just needing Ethernet connections to your company's network rather than serial connections to multiple control panels. Critics say IP systems are less secure than the proprietary traditional versions of access control since network outages can affect performance and they are more susceptible to hackers.

Ultimately, the system that would best suit your company depends on your needs. Some access control services offer both options and will work with you to determine which type would work best. Working with Credentials There are three forms of authentication: Biometric credentials are becoming more popular. Many of the companies though not all offer biometric devices. Another method of authentication that is emerging is mobile phone credentials, which involves using a phone app in place of a card.

For optimal security, use at least two of these methods for authentication. If an employee leaves the company, whether they resigned or were terminated, their credentials should be voided immediately.