Brivo access control and card reader review

See which cloud-based access control customers prefer for their building security.

Openpath vs. Brivo Access Control

Cloud-based access control offers businesses a smarter way to manage and secure their offices and buildings. Brivo is an integrated access control provider with cloud-based software solutions. Brivo offers a line of access control hardware including controllers and readers, and a mobile app for smartphone credentials. Both Brivo and Openpath are open systems, meaning they can integrate with other apps and security products. Integrated commercial security systems and mobile credentials can be used across a wide variety of applications, including in offices, multi-family buildings, commercial real estate, fitness centers and more. Modern security systems offer added flexibility and streamlined management compared with legacy access control.

Quick look: key differences between Openpath and Brivo
Brivo
Openpath
Video capabilities

Openpath intercoms and readers feature built-in camera and access functionality

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Touchless access

Openpath achieves 99.9% unlock reliability with the Wave to Unlock technology

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Interoperability

Openpath offers more integrations with leading software tools, apps, and systems

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Intercom functionality

Brivo requires integrations to third party systems to provide intercom functions

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Digital visitor access

Brivo does not have digital access and needs add-ons to provide this function

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Openpath’s reliable video access control
  • Multi-tech readers support mobile, key cards, fobs, and more

  • Touchless and remote unlock backed by 99.9% reliability

  • Intuitive cloud software with real-time remote management

  • 5MP video and smart AI intercom with mobile monitoring

  • Open standards for frictionless integration across all systems

  • Scales to secure a single entry or entire enterprises with ease

  • Standard wiring and PoE options with easy snap-in installation

  • Automatic updates, offline sync, and encryption at every level

Comprehensive Brivo access control and security system review

Most people prefer mobile credentials as a method for building access, as it’s more convenient to use your smartphone than a badge or PIN code. Brivo’s mobile access control also uses a mobile app to unlock entries, which relies on BLE signals. The Brivo system readers are compatible with backward-compatible prox cards, but not all their readers will work with mobile credentials or other access methods. Brivo also offers a cloud-based management software, and an open API for integrations. Brivo’s video capabilities, however, are limited to Eagle Eye Networks, which is owned by the same parent company. 

If you’re looking for a more reliable mobile access control experience, consider swapping Brivo systems for Openpath. Openpath’s Smart Readers and Pro Series Video Readers offer a more versatile and convenient unlocking experience. The sleek, sophisticated readers support hands-free Wave to Unlock, mobile or watch apps, tablet apps, encrypted keycards, fobs, and Cloud Key access, all on one piece of hardware. Openpath’s patented Triple Unlock technology races Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data signals simultaneously. Whichever signal reaches the reader first unlocks the door. This makes for a fast, reliable unlocking experience every time. Openpath readers alert against tampering, and are also equipped with fail safes and backup power to withstand power failures and Internet outages.

Touchless access control

Touchless technology has gone from a nice-to-have amenity to an essential business solution. When selecting the best door access control system for your building, ensure that the provider allows you to create touchless entry and exit, too. Just because an access control platform is compatible with smartphone credentials, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s touchless. 

Brivo access control reviews say that the system can be made touchless by using Siri for voice activation, or via their new Fluid Access product. The quick-fix to create touchless access via voice activation isn’t a great user experience. If the readers are in a loud area, such as outside a main entrance near a street with traffic, the voice activation feature may not function properly. Similarly, in a quiet office environment, such as in a medical facility, it’s disruptive to shout out “Hey Siri! Open this door!” While the Fluid Access method on the new ACS100 reader/controller hybrid allows users to leave their phone in their pocket, they’re still required to touch the reader to trigger an unlock and set up the feature.

Openpath uses unique Bluetooth technology and motion activation for a more secure and reliable touchless entry experience. Users simply wave their hand or phone in front of the reader to unlock the door. No need to even open the app. Plus, Openpath can integrate with door opener hardware for a 100% contactless entry solution, without sacrificing convenience or security.

Access control hardware review

When looking for a complete access control system, the software and access methods are only one piece of the puzzle. Hardware is just as important to your building security. Especially when you factor in installation and maintenance, access control hardware can be an expensive investment for any size business. When selecting access control hardware for your space, make sure it is compatible with any existing systems, and can scale up or back with your business. At the time of this review, Brivo offers the following hardware:

  • Controllers for single and 2-door deployments (primarily for residential applications)

  • Control panels for up to 30 doors

  • Single gang smart reader 

  • Mullion smart reader 

  • Keypad smart reader

In reviewing Brivo hardware, they outsource their production, meaning the controllers and readers are manufactured by another company. In comparison, Openpath maintains full control over its hardware line. This allows greater visibility and quality assurance that the product is up to Openpath standards.

Openpath offers a more complete line of hardware to meet the needs of every business. With controller options that can support anywhere from a single door up to 16 entries, plus elevator boards, smaller businesses aren’t overpaying for doors they don’t have. Openpath’s Smart Reader Line also includes the Pro Series Video and Video Intercom Readers for all-in-one security applications, and a versatile Embedded USB Smart Reader for enrollment, printers, turnstile, elevators, and architectural applications. 

Openpath hardware is designed with convenient wiring for easy installation, and is backward compatible with legacy systems. Most importantly, because Openpath creates its own hardware, it is able to remotely service and roll out new features, so that devices are easily adaptable to future security and safety needs.

Integrating video surveillance and access control

Many businesses choose to integrate their access control provider with video surveillance for enhanced security. In addition to access control, Brivo offers a line of security cameras, and integrates exclusively with Eagle Eye Networks and Milestone for video management. However, if you needed to use other video surveillance cameras or a different VMS provider alongside Brivo, you’d have to manage them in disparate platforms. 

Openpath is a more versatile option for companies looking for interoperability, or who want video built into their access control solution. Openpath’s Pro Series Video and Intercom Readers come equipped with a built-in, 5MP video camera, adding visual verification to the secure multi-technology reader functionality. For organizations that want traditional video surveillance alongside their access control solution, Openpath’s open software platform offers an extensive list of out-of-the-box integrations for video surveillance. You can seamlessly integrate your access control with any VMS application via the open API or mobile SDKs, and manage the entire system from a single interface. 

In addition to video surveillance, Openpath seamlessly integrates with 15+ leading safety and wellness partners to ensure a healthier building environment. Enable features such as occupancy tracking, wellness questionnaires, temperature checks, and contact tracing, all with simple setup and remote management. The Openpath App Marketplace features more than 40 apps with top technology companies and providers, making it easy to create a best-of-breed security solution with the tools you want to use.

Secure visitor entry and management

While Brivo does have a separate software tool for visitor management, the company does not have any native intercom capabilities, and does not support digital guest credentials for visitors. Brivo Visitor requires a separate subscription. Brivo can be integrated with 2N IP Verso intercoms for directory sync and remote unlocking capabilities. However, in order to get live video, access control, and door intercom functionality, you need to have a Brivo controller, an active security camera connected to Eagle Eye Networks, and the 2N intercom system connected and integrated. 

Openpath’s Video Intercom Reader Pro combines all of these functions into a single easy-to-install device. One of the most powerful edge devices on the market, it features a multi-technology Smart Reader, high-definition camera, and two-way audio with echo reduction. Visitors simply press the doorbell, and the AI-powered voice system routes them to the correct tenant. Custom user directory paths allow organizations to set schedules, create unique receptionist and delivery profiles, and allow visitors to leave a voicemail. Everything is monitored conveniently from the Openpath Control Center or any mobile device: video calling, remote door unlock, plus real-time and on-demand video playback.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

Learn everything you need to successfully future-proof your physical access control system with this buyer's guide.

Alternatives to Brivo access control

Openpath is the leading access control solution for businesses that want to create smarter, future-proof spaces. If you want greater flexibility and a complete access control provider, Openpath has more hardware options to support every entry type and access need for commercial and residential spaces. Touchless access methods such as Wave to Unlock are increasingly requested, plus, the patented Triple Unlock technology ensures a hassle-free unlock, giving you confidence that your system will always work when you need it to.

Another benefit of Openpath’s cloud-based access control system is the fully open platform. With the ability to seamlessly connect to the tools and apps you use every day, you can customize your system to work for you. Openpath offers out-of-the-box integrations with the most video surveillance, visitor management, tenant management, communication, and safety and wellness tools on the market. The interoperable system streamlines management and eliminates manual operation with robust automated processes.