Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Looking for the best Access Control Software? One of the primary tasks of a physical security system is to allow authorized personnel entry, while restricting access to everyone else. Access control systems have changed a lot over the last 10 years with the advent of cloud technology, but some of the added functionality comes with increased costs as well. Here is a list of the best access control software available today to help your buying decision.
What is Access Control?
Here is a basic definition of access control:
Note that IT professionals also use “access control” to refer to security measures put in place to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to data. This article is restricted to physical access control systems. However, both ultimately have the same goal: keeping valuable assets secure but accessible.
Types of Access Control Systems
There are three main tiers of access control systems:
- Cloud based
- Network based
Cloud-based access control systems
Cloud-based access control systems offer remote monitoring and auditing capabilities. They also allow you to add/remove users from anywhere and integrate your access control and video surveillance systems.
Network-based access control systems
Network-based access control systems are the on-prem version of the above. While there is no remote access and auditing capabilities, all access points are connected to a local server. These provide greater security than standalone systems, but they usually don’t provide the ability to integrate with other systems.
Standalone access control systems
Standalone systems are little more than smart locks. Individual codes can be programmed into the units, but there is no auditing function. Every access point is separate, so a new user will need to have their door code programmed at every door manually.
These systems are generally considered obsolete and are rarely used outside of residential and small business buildings.
What are the benefits and use cases of access control software?
In an increasingly security-conscious world, the importance of controlling physical access to buildings and sensitive areas cannot be overstated. Physical access control software, with its array of benefits and versatile applications, has become an indispensable tool for safeguarding assets, enhancing safety, and managing access efficiently.
In this article, we explore the multifaceted benefits of physical access control software and its diverse use cases across various industries. From securing office spaces to protecting data centers and even ensuring the safety of healthcare facilities, this technology plays a pivotal role in elevating security measures and streamlining access management.
Access control benefits
The following are some of the benefits of installing access control software:
- Enhanced security: Physical access control software ensures that only authorized individuals can enter specific areas, reducing the risk of unauthorized access, theft, and security breaches.
- Improved safety: These systems can be used to restrict access to hazardous areas, ensuring that only trained personnel can enter, which improves safety measures.
- Access audit trail: Many access control solutions maintain detailed logs of who accessed a particular area and when, providing an audit trail for security and compliance purposes.
- Efficient access management: Physical access control software allows for central management of access permissions, making it easier to grant or revoke access to employees and visitors as needed.
- Integration capabilities: Many systems can integrate with other security components such as video surveillance, alarms, and intercom systems, providing a comprehensive security solution.
- Customization: Users can define access rules and permissions based on roles, departments, or individual needs, providing flexibility and customization.
Access control use cases
The following are some access control software use cases across industries:
- Office buildings: Control who can enter office spaces, server rooms, and other sensitive areas within a building. Manage access for employees, contractors, and visitors efficiently.
- Manufacturing facilities: Restrict access to production lines, equipment, and areas with sensitive machinery to authorized personnel only.
- Healthcare facilities: Ensure that only authorized healthcare professionals can enter patient rooms, operating theaters, and areas containing medical records and drugs.
- Data centers: Protect critical IT infrastructure by limiting access to data centers and server rooms to authorized personnel.
- Educational institutions: Manage access to classrooms, laboratories, and administrative offices. Enhance campus security and protect students and staff.
- Retail stores: Secure stockrooms, cash handling areas, and other high-value locations to prevent theft and maintain a safe shopping environment.
- Government facilities: Control access to government buildings, sensitive documents, and classified areas to ensure national security.
- Residential communities: Use access control systems for gated communities, apartment buildings, and condominiums to enhance resident safety.
- Airports and transportation hubs: Regulate access to restricted areas, such as baggage handling, control towers, and security checkpoints.
- Hotels: Manage guest access to rooms and amenities while ensuring that only staff can access restricted areas like maintenance rooms.
In summary, access control software provides a robust solution for enhancing security, ensuring safety, and efficiently managing access to various physical spaces across different industries and sectors.
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19 best access control software solutions
Here are 19 access control solutions available on the market today.
Brivo’s cloud-based access control solution revolutionizes how businesses manage physical security. Leveraging the power of the cloud, Brivo offers a highly flexible and scalable system that allows organizations to control access to their facilities with unprecedented ease and efficiency.
With Brivo, users can remotely manage access permissions, monitor entry points, and receive real-time alerts, all through an intuitive web-based interface. This means that whether you have a small office or a large multi-site enterprise, Brivo can adapt to your security needs.
One of the standout features of Brivo’s solution is its seamless integration with various access methods, from traditional keycards to smartphone apps, enabling convenient and secure access for employees and visitors alike. Additionally, the cloud-based nature of Brivo eliminates the need for costly on-site hardware and maintenance, reducing both upfront costs and ongoing expenses. By providing a robust and user-friendly platform, Brivo empowers businesses to enhance their security posture while simplifying access management in a modern, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
ADT’s cloud-based access control system is designed to provide businesses with advanced security and access management capabilities. It allows organizations to centrally control and monitor access to their facilities through an online platform. With this system, administrators can easily grant or revoke access permissions, view activity logs, and receive real-time alerts, all from a web-based dashboard. ADT offers all day professional monitoring and a mobile app.
One key advantage of ADT’s cloud-based access control is its integration with other security services and devices, such as video surveillance and intrusion detection, creating a comprehensive security ecosystem. This can enhance situational awareness and streamline security operations.
Johnson Controls, a global leader in building technologies and solutions, offers a robust cloud-based access control system known as “Tyco Cloud.” Johnson Controls’ cloud-based access control solution is designed to provide organizations with a highly flexible and scalable approach to physical security.
Tyco Cloud allows businesses to manage access permissions, monitor entry points, and receive real-time alerts through a user-friendly online interface. It offers the advantage of remote accessibility, enabling administrators to control and oversee their security system from anywhere with an Internet connection. Similar to other large, enterprise-focused security integrators, Johnson Controls is an ideal partner for large organizations looking to scale their cloud access control system.
One notable feature of Johnson Controls’ Tyco Cloud is its ability to seamlessly integrate with other building management systems, such as fire and life safety systems, video surveillance, and HVAC controls. This integration enhances overall security and operational efficiency by providing a holistic view of building management.
Bosch’s cloud-based access control system is designed to provide businesses with a highly secure and efficient way to manage physical access to their facilities. It offers a user-friendly web-based interface that allows administrators to remotely control and monitor access points, grant or revoke permissions, and receive real-time notifications for security events.
This cloud-based approach eliminates the need for on-premises hardware, simplifying system management and reducing infrastructure costs.
Bosch offers intrusion alarms, conference systems, public address and voice alarms, fire alarms, and other related security products and services. Fingerprint scanners, card readers, secure readers, and access keypads are all offered access control system options.
Stanley Security is known for providing comprehensive security solutions, including cloud-based access control services. Stanley Security’s cloud-based access control system is designed to offer businesses an advanced and convenient way to manage their physical security. The system allows administrators to remotely control access permissions, track access events in real-time, and receive alerts through a user-friendly online platform.
By leveraging the power of the cloud, organizations can reduce the burden of managing on-site hardware and benefit from the scalability and flexibility of this modern approach to access control.
One of the notable advantages of Stanley Security’s cloud-based access control is its ability to integrate seamlessly with other security and building management systems. This integration allows for a holistic approach to security, combining access control with video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other services for enhanced situational awareness and efficient security operations.
KISI is a leading provider of cloud-based access control solutions designed to modernize and simplify how businesses manage physical security. KISI’s cloud-based access control system offers a user-friendly and highly flexible platform for organizations to control and monitor access to their premises. It provides administrators with the ability to manage access permissions remotely, view real-time access logs, and receive instant notifications, all through an intuitive online dashboard.
KISI’s cloud-based approach eliminates the need for on-site servers and infrastructure, making it a cost-effective and scalable solution suitable for businesses of all sizes.
One of the standout features of KISI is its focus on mobile access. The platform allows users to use their smartphones as digital keys, providing a convenient and touchless way to access secured areas. KISI also emphasizes integration, offering compatibility with various building management and security systems, enhancing overall security and operational efficiency.
Honeywell Access Control Systems are a comprehensive suite of solutions designed to enhance security and access management for businesses and organizations. They provide a range of options, from traditional card-based access control to more advanced biometric authentication methods.
With these systems, organizations can efficiently manage and monitor access to their facilities, granting or revoking permissions, tracking entry and exit events, and receiving real-time alerts through a user-friendly interface. Honeywell’s solutions are known for their scalability, making them suitable for both small businesses and large enterprises.
Honeywell offers single door controllers, web-based controllers, hybrid access control panels, proximity readers, smart and Bluetooth readers, and barcode readers.
ISONAS is a well-known provider of access control solutions that offer innovation and simplicity in access management. ISONAS specializes in IP-based access control systems, making it easy for businesses to deploy and manage secure access across their premises. One of the key features of ISONAS’ access control solutions is the use of a Pure IP approach, which eliminates the need for traditional control panels. Instead, ISONAS leverages Power over Ethernet (PoE) to connect door controllers directly to the network, simplifying installation and reducing infrastructure costs.
ISONAS’ cloud-based access control platform, known as Pure Access, provides users with a highly intuitive and scalable system. With Pure Access, administrators can manage access permissions, monitor access events in real-time, and receive alerts from a user-friendly web-based interface. The platform also emphasizes mobile access, enabling users to use their smartphones as credentials for entry.
ButterflyMX specializes in cloud-based access control solutions for residential and commercial properties. Their access control system is designed to streamline the process of managing visitors and granting access to buildings. ButterflyMX offers a video intercom system that integrates with a mobile app, allowing residents, tenants, and property managers to remotely grant access to authorized visitors. This touchless and convenient approach to access control enhances security while offering a user-friendly experience.
One of the key features of ButterflyMX is its ability to provide virtual keys and access codes to authorized individuals, eliminating the need for physical keys or keycards. The system also includes video recording and monitoring capabilities, enabling property managers to maintain a visual record of access events for enhanced security and monitoring.
ButterflyMX’s cloud-based access control system has gained popularity for its modern, smartphone-centric approach to property access and visitor management.
ProdataKey (PDK) is a provider of innovative cloud-based access control solutions that cater to businesses and organizations looking to enhance their security and access management. PDK offers a feature-rich platform that combines the convenience of cloud-based access control with robust security features. Their system is designed to simplify access management for administrators, allowing them to control and monitor access to facilities, grant or revoke permissions, and receive real-time notifications through an intuitive web-based interface. PDK also places a strong emphasis on mobile access, enabling users to utilize smartphones as credentials for entry, enhancing convenience and security.
One of the notable aspects of ProdataKey’s solutions is their flexibility and scalability. Whether you have a small office or a large enterprise with multiple locations, PDK’s cloud-based access control can adapt to your needs. It’s also known for its integration capabilities, allowing seamless integration with other security systems such as video surveillance and intrusion detection for a comprehensive security ecosystem.
Vanderbilt Industries is a reputable provider of access control and security solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of businesses and organizations. Vanderbilt offers a range of access control systems that leverage both traditional and advanced technologies to enhance security and streamline access management.
Their solutions typically include card-based access control, biometric authentication, and cloud-based access control options. Vanderbilt’s systems are known for their flexibility and scalability, making them suitable for a wide range of applications, from small businesses to large enterprises.
NetMotion is a recognized provider of secure access solutions, primarily focusing on helping organizations enhance the connectivity, security, and management of their mobile workforces. While NetMotion doesn’t offer traditional access control solutions for physical facilities, it specializes in access control and management for mobile devices and remote workers. Their solutions enable businesses to establish secure and reliable connections for employees working on the go.
NetMotion’s platform allows organizations to monitor, manage, and optimize the performance of mobile devices and applications, ensuring that remote workers have secure and efficient access to company resources from anywhere.
One of the key features of NetMotion’s access control solutions is their ability to maintain connectivity in challenging network conditions, such as when transitioning between Wi-Fi and cellular networks or moving through areas with weak signal coverage. By providing continuous and secure access, NetMotion helps organizations maintain productivity and security for their mobile workforce.
LenelS2 is a renowned provider of comprehensive access control and security solutions for businesses and organizations. Their access control systems are designed to deliver advanced security features and ease of use, making them a popular choice for a wide range of applications. LenelS2 offers both on-premises and cloud-based access control options, giving customers flexibility in choosing the best solution to meet their needs.
Their systems typically include features like card-based access, biometric authentication, and integration with other security and building management systems.
One of the notable strengths of LenelS2’s access control solutions is their scalability. Whether it’s a small office or a large enterprise with multiple facilities, their systems can adapt to the size and complexity of the organization.
Gatewise is relatively new access control software. It is a mobile-based access control system designed for multifamily properties. As such, it integrates with several property management systems, including Entrata, Yardi, and Resman.
Gatewise offers a lifetime warranty on hardware, solid technical support, and an online management portal.
HID Global is a well-established leader in the access control industry, known for its comprehensive and versatile access control solutions. HID’s access control systems provide businesses and organizations with the tools to secure and manage access to their facilities effectively.
HID offers a wide range of access control products, including card-based access control, biometric authentication, and mobile access solutions. Their systems are designed to cater to various needs and security levels, from small offices to large enterprises.
One of the standout features of HID’s access control solutions is their commitment to security and credential management. They provide secure and encrypted communication between access control devices and centralized management systems, ensuring data integrity and protection.
Envoy is primarily known for its visitor management and workplace experience solutions. While Envoy does offer features related to access control within its platform, it is not primarily focused on traditional access control systems for securing physical facilities. Instead, Envoy’s access control features often revolve around managing and monitoring visitor access and enhancing the overall workplace experience.
Envoy’s access control features allow organizations to pre-register visitors, provide them with digital badges or QR codes for entry, and track their movements within a facility. Additionally, Envoy’s platform can integrate with certain access control systems and technologies to streamline the visitor check-in process and enhance security.
Alarm Lock is a standalone electronic lock access control system. While most of the above systems are cloud based with a few network-based solutions included, Alarm Lock, along with the following two, are standalone lock systems.
Although many businesses need a full-featured cloud-based access control system, these standalone digital locks allow for individual doors, for example to maintenance closets, or security cages, to have enhanced security without spending a lot of time or money on further access control solutions.
Codeblocks is another standalone lock system. Unlike some other standalone systems, it can be integrated with software, for example Remotelock, to provide audit trails, further boosting the security value of the locks.
Thanks to their lower price point than cloud-based solutions, ease of installation, and simple functionality, small business owners may find these a favorable entry point for access control. If you don’t need multiple egresses to be networked, then Codelocks might be a good option for you.
Schlage CO locks are another standalone access control system. The companion app, Schlage Engage, gives them enhanced functionality over many traditional standalone lock systems. Schlage CO comes in keypad and kaycard versions and is designed for both interior and exterior door installation.
Improve access control software with video integration
Integrating access control software with video surveillance is a powerful strategy for enhancing security and accountability in any facility. While access control software manages and records the permissions for individuals to enter and exit premises, it often falls short of providing a complete audit trail of who exactly has entered or exited. Paired with video surveillance, access control systems can provide concrete visual evidence of every access event, offering a comprehensive and accurate record of individuals’ actions.
Video surveillance integration not only increases the accuracy of access logs but also strengthens security measures by enabling real-time monitoring and quick response to security incidents. It provides a more robust solution for auditing, investigation, and incident management, offering peace of mind and improved situational awareness for organizations seeking to protect their assets and personnel.
In today’s security landscape, the synergy between access control and video surveillance is essential for organizations looking to maintain a high level of security and accountability in their facilities.
To see how Solink helps you get the best out of your access control software, sign up for a demo today.
Timothy Ware is Solink’s Content Manager. He brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to the job. When he isn’t writing about security, loss prevention, and asset protection, he’s enjoying his newest board game. His work has appeared on many B2B SaaS websites including Baremetrics, Security Today, TeamPassword, Cova, and SignTime.