Access control System overview

Access control system as overview allow the free movement of authorized personnel while restricting unauthorized intrusion.  A device that stops you from getting from A to B unless you are authorized to do so.

The device or devices could be:

  • Mechanical, Electric or Motorized Locks.
  • Turnstiles and Tubestiles.
  • Mechanical and Electric Gates, Barriers.
  • Mechanical and Electric Code Locks.
  • Audio and Visual Door Entry Systems.

Benefits of Access Control :

  • Protect property.
  • Protect revenues and assets.
  • Protect staff.
  • No need for keys.
  • No need for security guards.
  • Management reports.
  • Protect privacy.
  • Reduce operational costs

These are many different card technologies. In most applications, proximity technology is the preferred solution.

Barcode Technology

Employs a pattern of bars and spaces of varying widths to represent the user information. This is the same technology that is used by stores for inventory control and checkout counters. Since the bar code is visible it is easy to duplicate and as such is not considered to be a good choice for systems where security is a major concern.

Magstripe Technology

Same technology as credit cards. Magnetic stripe technology requires the card to come in direct contact with the reader head causing wear and a shorter life span. The cards are low cost but are easily duplicated, can easily become damaged, and the readers require cleaning to remove any dirt build-up on the read heads

Proximity Technology

The proximity technology reader constantly transmits a low-level fixed RF signal that energizes the card. When the card is held at a certain distance from the reader, the RF signal is absorbed by a small coil inside the card and powers up the card’s microchip, which contains a unique identification code. Once powered, the card transmits the code to the reader. The whole process is completed in microseconds.

Proximity with Keypad combination

Keypads should never be used by themselves as it is too easy to give away Pin codes to others.
Keypads however can be used in conjunction with other technologies to increase the level of security.Lost or stolen cards can not be used to gain access without the use of the Pin code.
Proximity & Pin should be installed on all external doors and also higher security doors

Biometric Technology

System measures some physiological properties of the user such as hand geometry, Iris pattern, finger print pattern or voice pattern.

These types of devices offer very high security but also are the most expensive and require that the user be present in order to be enrolled into the system.

Use of biometrics requires careful considerations in terms of environment, speed and suitability

Card & Reader Compatibility

Some cards are only compatible with certain readers. For example SensorProx card, will only work with SensorProx readers,  HID cards will only work with HID readers

Access Control Operation

Both the reader and the electronic locking device are connected to the Controller.

The Controller is programmed via a PC with the GuardPoint software. The information programmed into the Door Controller include: The unique card number, Access rights and time zones applicable to that card (Who, Where and When).

A cardholder presents the card to the reader. The reader then transmits the card details to the controller it is attached to If the card is valid the Door Controller will release the locking device securing the door. If the card is not valid the Door Controller will not release the locking device securing the door. To come back through the door there are the following options:

  • Use a Request to Exit button.
  • Use another reader, on the same door. Known as read IN, read OUT.
  • Use a mechanical handle (dependant upon the device securing the door).
  • Use a Break Glass unit in the event of a fire.

Basic Access Control Types

  • Stand Alone :

This method of controlling Access control System overview to the door does not utilize software, all programming, deleting, adding is done from the device itself. No reporting or networking is available at that level.  If multiple doors are required to be controlled, then programming needs to be done separately at each door. 

  • PC Based :

This method allows the user to control the whole system using software. Multiple doors and sites can be controlled centrally, with full reporting and scheduling available. With this version you can have the software installed in a PC locally or have the software hosted remotely.

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