Openpath vs. Kisi Access Control

See why customers choose Openpath over Kisi to provide future-proof access control and building security.

Kisi access control review

Kisi is an access control provider with software and hardware solutions, including a reader, controller, cloud-based management platform, and a mobile app. Kisi access control employs mobile credentials via a smartphone app, and the reader also supports keycards. Cloud-based access control and mobile credentials are great for commercial real estate, office buildings, and multi-family residential applications, as they offer more flexibility and simpler management compared with legacy systems.

Quick look: key differences between Openpath and Kisi access control

  • Unlock reliability: Openpath’s access control solution has 99.9% reliability with patented Triple Unlock technology, which uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data signals to ensure a fast, secure unlock with any access method. 

  • Scalability: Kisi’s access control hardware supports a limited number of doors, making it hard to scale for larger deployments. Openpath offers hardware for anywhere from a single door up to hundreds, making it easy to scale for any door density.

  • Video capabilities: Both Kisi and Openpath can support video through integrations with third-party video surveillance providers such as Cisco Meraki. However, only Openpath also has multi-technology door readers with a built-in camera for visual verification of access events at the door.

  • Entry type support: Kisi’s solution is designed primarily for smaller office spaces and only secures doors. Openpath offers access control solutions for additional entry types, including elevators, turnstiles, and parking garages.

Openpath’s reliable, future-proof mobile access control

  • Multi-technology readers support mobile, keycards, fobs, RFID and Apple Watch

  • Intuitive, open software platform with remote management, dynamic access permissions, and real-time customizable reporting

  • Built-in, high-definition video capabilities with real-time remote monitoring

  • Powerful safety features for occupancy tracking, anti-tailgating, and emergency lockdown activation

  • Scalable hardware and software that secures a single entry or an entire multisite enterprise with ease

  • Integrates seamlessly with existing security hardware and software via open standards

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

Important access control features and capabilities

When comparing access control systems, there are specific features and capabilities to look for to make sure you’re getting the best access control system for your building. 

Access control speed and reliability

When selecting the right access control for your building, reliability is one of the most important factors of your system. You’re depending on your access control system as your first line of security, as well as to make your life easier. If your access control is only as reliable as the WiFi signal, you may run into trouble. Kisi’s access control reader uses WiFi signals to communicate with credentials, followed by BLE and NFC if the WiFi fails. But being locked out of your own office in the rain while your access control system tries to find a working signal is both hugely frustrating, and a security risk. Openpath readers provide a fast, consistent unlock experience with patented Triple Unlock technology, using WiFi, cellular data, and Bluetooth signals simultaneously; whichever signal reaches the reader first triggers the unlock. For the best access control method, readers also need to be able to work, even when the Internet is down, or if the power goes out, which is why Openpath readers feature built-in fail safes to withstand power and Internet outages.

Mobile credentials as an access method

Access methods, or how users will be able to unlock the door, is also a factor in choosing an access control system. Mobile credentials are the favored access method for most tenants and employees in today’s digital age, as users can unlock a door by using their smartphone. Similar to other access control companies' door unlock process, to use Kisi’s mobile credentials, a user needs to open the Kisi app on their iOS or Android device, and either tap the phone to the Kisi reader, or select the appropriate door in the app to gain entry. When using Openpath mobile credentials, the readers communicate with the smartphone once the device is in-range, and the users don’t need to have the app open or even take their phone out to gain entry.

Touchless access control

With touchless entry and exit quickly becoming a necessity for building security in the post-COVID environment, having an access control system that supports a hands-free access method is an important consideration when choosing your system. Users need to have their phone out to operate the Kisi app, and the system operates best by touching the device or your hand to the reader. Openpath access control, for comparison, uses BLE and motion-detection to allow users to wave to unlock, without needing to take their phone out of their pocket or bag at all. The touchless option is also configurable to different distances depending on the application. Plus, having a hands-free option makes accessing the property more convenient for users, as well as enhances the safety of the entire property.

Go 100% touchless with Openpath's unique Wave-to-Unlock feature

Video surveillance and access control

Many organizations want to add video surveillance to their access control systems. Providers like Kisi only offer video capabilities as an integration with third-party surveillance systems. While this is a great way to add security monitoring throughout a space, traditional security cameras still have some limitations, and require additional hardware installation and maintenance.

To have a more complete picture of security in your space, using a door reader with a built-in camera is the smarter option. With the camera mounted at eye level, you have a clear view of access events exactly where they are happening. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro combines all the security features of the multi-technology Smart Readers with the power of real-time, high-definition video all in one device. Plus, the Openpath system still integrates with the leading VMS providers right out of the box for a complete, clear picture of what’s happening in your entire space.

Hybrid access methods 

Mobile credentials are a great alternative to more traditional keycards and fobs, as they offer greater security and flexibility. While keycards are prone to becoming lost or stolen, a user is less likely to leave their phone behind, and a phone often has built-in layers of protection like passwords or biometric recognition. If you do want to still offer keycards as an access method for your building, ensure yours are encrypted for greater security. Both Kisi and Openpath offer 128-bit AES encrypted keycards. If you need branded company keycards, Openpath offers an integration that allows you to use a customized card design, with the same level of security and protection. Openpath is also backwards compatible with legacy systems, so you can use Openpath credentials alongside existing hardware.

Scalable access control hardware for small and large deployments

For the best access control overall, your system should be able to accommodate all the entries in your building or campus without adding extra costs to your security building. When doing an access control system comparison, check the number of entries and readers that are supported on controller hardware, and see how it measures up with your property. 

Kisi makes a simple to install and configure 4-door controller. This device is a well-designed and solid controller that gets the job done, much like Openpath’s similar 4-door controller. For most small businesses or offices, somewhere between four and eight entries is typical, to accommodate main entrances, storage and server rooms. 

If you need 20 or 30 doors supported, however, you are going to be mounting between 5 and 8 different Kisi controllers on the wall in your IT closet to support the required door density of your building. A more cost-effective solution is using controllers that support more doors. Enterprise businesses will need a system with greater flexibility to accommodate multiple floors, and secure additional buildings such as parking structures. Openpath’s highly configurable suite of enterprise-ready door controllers support from 2-24 doors, or up to 48 elevators floors. The Openpath Core Series Controller alone can support up to 24 doors on a single network uplink, allowing you to expand and scale your system more efficiently. 

If you only need one or two doors to be secured, a 4-door controller would be unnecessarily expensive. In this case, a Single Door Controller, like the one offered by Openpath, would be a better and less expensive option. Openpath offers a variety of door controller options that allow you to support the smallest to the largest door densities without sacrificing wall space, labor cost, wiring fees or upfront capital. 

Cloud-based access control software

There are many benefits to using a cloud-based access control platform over a traditional on-premises legacy option. By eliminating the need for on-site maintenance, a cloud-based system like Kisi or Openpath allows businesses to get real-time updates to software. Additionally, both Openpath and Kisi support remote management, giving administrators the flexibility to unlock doors remotely, issue visitor credentials, and receive system alerts from anywhere. Openpath has the added benefit of allowing you to troubleshoot hardware directly in the control center, without needing to be on-premises.

Discover the award winning design of Openpath Smart Readers

Openpath's sleek multi-technology Smart Readers and Pro Series Video Readers mount flush wherever you need them, and only require minimal space.

Native emergency and safety features

Kisi’s cloud-based access control will require additional third-party integrations to provide added security benefits such as emergency systems and occupancy management. Openpath actually has these features already built into the cloud-based software and mobile app, while still offering powerful integrations if you choose to use your existing systems. For example, Openpath offers an award-winning Lockdown feature. Fully customizable plans can trigger a systemwide lockdown, or lockdown specific entries and override locks. This robust security feature is vital for safety and security, especially in schools and places of worship.

Interoperability with elevator, turnstile and parking systems

Because Kisi’s access control is designed primarily for small offices and co-working spaces, options for integrating with larger building systems are limited. For businesses operating on multiple floors or across multiple locations, an enterprise-level access control system offers more interoperability. If you have a requirement for your mobile credential to control your elevators, turnstiles and parking garages, Openpath provides a more comprehensive and proven solution, with touchless capabilities for all of them. Openpath leverages industry-leading middleware technology to integrate with all the leading Elevator systems including Otis, Schindler, Kone, Mitsubishi & ThyssenKrupp. Plus, Openpath’s open architecture makes integrating with existing platforms a seamless experience.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

Learn everything you need to successfully future-proof your physical access control system with this complete resource.

Alternatives to Kisi access control

Openpath offers additional capabilities and features that make it a better access control choice for many organizations. Openpath readers are unique in that they support a completely hands-free, touchless entry and exit experience. With the wave to unlock feature, a user simply waves their hand in front of the reader to gain entry, without needing to even take their phone out or open the app. Plus, with patented Triple Unlock that races WiFi, cellular data, and Bluetooth signals, unlocking the door is always fast and reliable—it works even when the Internet goes down or if cellular data is spotty. Having backup methods and fail safes in place is vital to the security of your building, and keeps users and tenants happy. 

Another benefit to Openpath access control is the scalable system components. With different controller options that support a wide range of entries and connection types, and multiple reader designs, Openpath can support any number of doors, and easily scales up or back with your business.

Ready to learn more about Openpath? Contact our team to schedule a demo and compare our security features.

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