What is the best access control system hardware?
One of the most important factors when choosing access control system hardware is the size and scope of your deployment. If you only need to secure a single door, your needs are going to be very different from a multi-site enterprise application. With any deployment that features more than a few doors, a networked access control system is a smart update. Compared to standalone systems, which feature isolated security on each door (like a physical lock and key), a networked access control system centralizes your solution, usually via a wireless connection. Networked access control makes it easier to add or remove entries from the system, and can communicate with other building systems.
When budgeting for your access control hardware, choose the best access control system that supports the number of entries you need to secure. For example, if you have a retail store with a front and back door, you don’t need an expensive control board for 8 doors. A Single Door Controller like the one offered by Openpath would be a better, more cost-effective solution. However, if you have a larger deployment, or anticipate future growth, select an access control provider that offers larger controllers and hardware designed to scale with your business. Don’t forget about your ancillary structures too—not all access control companies can support elevators, parking garages, and turnstiles in addition to your doors.
A thorough access control system review should also cover installation methods. For buildings with existing access control hardware, any new systems should be backwards-compatible with legacy control panels, and use plug-and-play wiring to make installation quick and efficient. For new builds, you have a little more flexibility. However, a system with standard wiring and plentiful input/output options offers a future-proofed installation in case you need to make updates down the road. The last thing you want is to leave your business vulnerable to a security breach because your access control deployment is taking longer than anticipated.