Choosing the right access control system
Your access control system shouldn’t make your life more complicated. Physical security is the first and most important aspect in how you choose the best access control system for your needs.. If your new solution isn’t interoperable with the access methods, applications, and building systems you use, however, it’s not a future-proof option. Here’s what to look for in a future-proof access control system:
Cloud-based system—Running your access control platform in the cloud gives you greater flexibility. Cloud access control eliminates the need for on-site servers and maintenance. Both Proxy and Openpath use cloud-based management software for instant upgrades and remote management of the entire platform. Plus, you’ll be able to activate the newest features instantly, without needing a technician to come on-site for setup. However, because Proxy still relies on third-party systems, you may be limited in the types of features you can deploy based on your existing hardware.
Open architecture—Selecting access control with open API and mobile SDKs, like Proxy or Openpath, allows for easy integrations with other applications and IoT systems. Integrated building systems help businesses create a more complete security solution by connecting user directories, tenant management platforms, operational systems, and video camera technology to your access control system. Everything can be managed from one interface, rather than disparate platforms. Many access control solutions have native integrations that are ready to use right out of the box, so check to make sure your provider can connect to the programs you use.
Credential support—Before you choose an access control system, make sure it can support all the access methods you want to use now and in the future. Some mobile access control providers are unable to support legacy credentials like key cards and fobs. Openpath multi-technology Smart Readers and Video Readers support hands-free mobile credentials, as well as unlock via the smartphone app (iOS and Android), Apple Watch app, tablet apps, plus legacy key cards and fobs.
Backwards compatibility—If you don’t want to rip and replace your existing access control system, a solution like Proxy or Openpath is a great choice, as they are backwards compatible with legacy systems. Proxy actually requires existing access control system hardware, and only provides the entry and exit experience with readers and mobile credentials. As of the date of this Proxy Access review, Proxy is compatible only with controllers that support Wiegand/OSDP, and a Proxy Mobile Access Connector will likely be needed for the system to function. If your building is running on a different system, Proxy will not be compatible.
Hands-free and touchless access
To optimize the experience in your building, choose a system with touchless access. Touchless entry and exit are both more convenient, and more hygienic than key cards or PIN keypads. Both Proxy and Openpath offer hands-free, touchless capabilities using BLE signals. Proxy’s touchless access control uses Bluetooth signals to recognize users and trigger an unlock, but there’s no way to show intent of unlocking the door. This could pose a security threat. For instance, a tailgater could wait for the door to accidentally be unlocked by a user passing by, and sneak right in.
Openpath’s touchless access uses the same reliable BLE signals, in addition to Wi-Fi and cellular data, for its wave-to-unlock capabilities. However, it’s more secure because the user shows intent to enter by waving their hand in front of the reader. This safer alternative ensures the door is only unlocked when somebody actually requests authorization. It’s still convenient, as the app doesn't need to be open and the user doesn’t need to take their phone out. Make sure your system also provides protection for data. Openpath’s system is encrypted end-to-end, with no data stored locally on the reader for enhanced security.
Proxy hardware review and costs
Proxy access control products consist of reader hardware and a cloud-based software platform. The cloud-based Proxy system requires existing access control servers and controller hardware to be installed, as they do not provide the backend hardware. The Proxy readers are installed and connected to the existing system via Weigand protocol, so you are limited to the security of the existing access control system. Proxy also offers a Connector product that allows you to connect disparate access control systems in the same building to the Proxy cloud platform. Proxy access control cost breaks down to $349 upfront cost for the Mobile Reader Pro, plus $19/month software fee for each reader. The Connector is $129/month for each connected system.
This may seem like a good solution if you’re already running one of the access control systems Proxy integrates with. However, if you’re starting a project from the ground up, or using backend hardware that doesn’t easily integrate with Proxy, you will have to deal with a separate vendor for anything server or maintenance-related.
Select a provider with a complete access control solution for a better experience. With an access control manufacturer that offers the full line of hardware and software products to install and manage your access control system, you’ll have one less headache to deal with. Openpath provides its customers with modular controller hardware, plus Smart Readers that are award-winning for design, and Pro Series Video Readers with a high-definition camera built directly into the reader. The cloud-based software platform is easy to configure, and allows you to manage the entire system remotely. The Openpath solution offers a complete, customizable system for any size organization.
Video options with Proxy Access
Access control and video surveillance are essential to physical security, especially as remote building management becomes more prevalent. This is why it’s vital that your access control system can support a fully integrated VMS. Proxy’s API does allow for some integrations. However, at the time of this Proxy Access review, there are no native video management or video surveillance integrations available. In addition, Proxy hardware only has door reader capabilities, with no options for visual monitoring.
Organizations that want the power of visual verification throughout their space would have a better experience with an access control solution built to support video. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro comes equipped with a video camera built into the reader, so you only have to install a single device at the door. Plus, with out-of-the-box integrations with leading VMS providers including Cisco Meraki, Milestone, Camio, Rhombus Systems, and Ava, Openpath gives teams a more complete view of what’s happening throughout their space.