Which types of security gate systems for buildings are best?
Good security starts right at the gate. That’s why it’s key to understand the different types of building security gate systems, and how to choose the right gate access control for your property. Many traditional gated community entrances still lack the advanced security and conveniences of modern commercial gate access control. Access control for gates should be more robust than the garage openers used for single-family homes. Just like any button-activated garage or gate opener, many gate security system remotes simply work by being in the vicinity of the gate’s proximity reader, and do not hold any unique tokens or data to know who is requesting access. To offer the most secure gate entry system for tenants, visitors, and staff, choose one of these gate control systems instead.
PIN and keypad gate access systems
With a keypad gate access reader, a user needs to type in a passcode or PIN to unlock the gate. Gate entry keypads are easy to use, and generally less expensive than other types of gated community gate systems. Visitors can easily type in a code, and delivery drivers can be given a unique code to use as well. But PIN readers have some drawbacks to be aware of. If the gate entry keypads use the same passcode for all tenants, this could pose a security risk. Plus, security teams won’t know which individual opened the gate if there’s an incident. Unique codes solve these issues, but makes the gate access controls more cumbersome to manage, especially for large communities with high tenant turnover.
RFID gate systems
In this type of gate security system, the readers use credentials with embedded RFID tags to authenticate. RFID credentials range from key cards, to fobs, to mobile apps and devices, which are all convenient and easy to use. Key card gate access control is the most popular for commercial buildings, as the credentials are usually inexpensive and easy to replace. However, card access gates require every user to have their own credential, which can add costs over time, especially for buildings with shorter lease terms or organizations with fluctuating workforces. If the gates and doors in the property use different commercial security systems, tenants may need to carry multiple key cards and fobs to access all their permissioned entries.
Keep in mind, too, that guests will need to be given key cards in order to unlock the gate, or have staff onsite and available to let verified visitors and vendors inside. If you install an RFID gate access control system, make sure tenants and guests have a way to access the property if they forget their card or fob, too. This may require access control for gate entries to be remotely accessible by staff 24/7.
Cellular gate access control
Modern commercial and neighborhood gate systems can eliminate the need to pass out physical credentials by using the phones people already carry with them. While not as intuitive, learning how to open the gate with a phone is simple. Users simply download an app, and tap a button to unlock the gate. With advanced mobile gate access control systems like Openpath, users won’t even need to wake up the phone or open an app to be able to unlock the entry gate system – a simple wave of the hand or phone at the reader will suffice.
One advantage of mobile access control for gate operation is the ability to open gates remotely for visitors, without having to be within proximity of the gate. Mobile gate security systems are often more secure than card access gate systems, as people are less likely to lose or lend out their smartphones than a key card.
Wired or wireless gate entry systems: which one is better?
In addition to the type of reader and credentials used, access control for gates can be either wired or wirelessly operated. In a wired system, the gate, reader, and gate access controller must have a physical wired connection. This can be costly and disruptive to install, especially when the gated community entrances are far from the buildings or security stations. Wired security gate systems can run on the local network, and use onsite servers for a stable connection.
A wireless gate access control system, on the other hand, can reduce the price of installing gate access controls and security systems. A remote controlled gate opening system won’t need to be wired all the way through the property, and can often be configured and activated from any web-connected device using a cloud-based management platform. However, it’s important to ensure wireless signals are reliable throughout the property so that readers don’t become disconnected from the gate access controllers.