Ubiquiti access control, smart door lock, and camera review

See why customers prefer Openpath’s mobile, touchless access control for their security.

Openpath vs. Ubiquiti Access Control

Ubiquiti is most known for its Wi-Fi products and IP-enabled camera line. As more businesses make the switch from legacy access control systems to modern solutions, there are more factors to consider when choosing the best product for your space. Features like touchless entry are becoming increasingly popular access methods in workplaces around the world, as using a smartphone to unlock the door is more convenient (and often more secure) than key cards or fobs. It’s also important to consider all-in-one access control solutions that meet the needs of your business. 

At the time of this review, the new Ubiquiti access control line includes a single door controller, two door reader options, and NFC key cards, and the system is managed in UniFi’s cloud portal. The brand’s mobile app and Bluetooth access control feature are set to be featured in future releases, making it a contender for modern deployments. However, where Ubiquiti offers a few access control solutions, Openpath’s hardware can combine a variety of access control solutions in one smooth, easy-to-integrate installation. Before choosing a new access control system, take a closer look at the benefits and potential challenges of the Ubiquiti access solution.

Quick lock: key differences between Ubiquiti and Openpath
Ubiquiti
Openpath
Multi-functional access

Ubiquiti does not currently have intercom capabilities or other access methods

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Touchless entry

Openpath features secure contactless entry and supports more access options

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Cost-effective pricing

Ubiquiti supports limited door density, making it costly to install and scale

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Open integration

Ubiquiti only allows integrations within its own network of products

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Hacker-resistant system

Unlike Openpath, Ubiquiti systems are vulnerable to hacking and data leaks

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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

Complete UniFi Ubiquiti access control and door lock review

When comparing access control systems for your space, review the different hardware options to ensure the access control company has products to accommodate your doors. The first thing to check for is the number of entries that you need to secure. At the time of this access control review, Ubiquiti offers a door controller that supports one door, with additional user-facing accessories for authentication control. If you only have one or two doors to secure, such as in a small office environment, this may be a good option for you. However, if you need access control for a larger deployment, a system like Openpath with more hardware options is a better fit.

Openpath’s Single Door Controller is comparable to the Ubiquiti controller, but offers additional flexibility, supporting up to two entries, and includes port interfaces for two relays, two Openpath readers or two Wiegand readers, two REX sensors, two USB ports, and two contact sensors. The Openpath Single Door Controller also works with 12V and 24V power supplies. It’s important to note that Ubiquiti’s access hub product only supports 12V locking hardware. Many magnetic door locks are 24V, so check your doors and locking mechanisms to make sure UniFi Access Control is compatible with your building’s doors.

If you have a lot of doors and multiple locations to secure, Ubiquiti isn’t a great option due to the limited hardware selection, which restricts scalability. You’re better off going with a system that has flexible hardware configurations to support larger deployments. Openpath offers a line of Smart Hubs in 4-door, 8-door, and elevator board options to accommodate larger buildings, with multi-technology and video readers to fit any mounting space. In addition, the Openpath system is backwards compatible, so you can use Openpath readers without having to rip and replace an existing access control system.

If you want the benefit of a video surveillance system at your door, Ubiquiti’s system requires you to also install a separate UniFi security camera or doorbell alongside the reader. This is a cumbersome and often expensive solution and doesn’t give you as much flexibility for installation. A better option is an all-in-one reader and video camera, like Openpath’s Pro Series Video Readers, which combine all the functionality and security of the multi-technology smart readers with the power of a built-in, high-definition camera for visual verification right where access events are happening. The Openpath Video Intercom Reader Pro merges together video functionality, smart reader security, and an AI technology door intercom system for initiating live calls and communication.

Security of cloud-based systems

Information, identity, and data protection should be top of mind for any security provider. Data leaks and breaches cost businesses millions per incident, so choosing an access control company that takes proactive steps to protect customer information is essential to keeping data secure. While relying on cloud-based systems offer greater flexibility and remote functionality, not all companies implement smart security processes to protect against cloud system vulnerabilities. Last year, Ubiquiti became the target of a widespread access control hack and data breach, in part due to inadequate internal security policies around multi-factor authentication and access privileges.

Because a data breach is the last thing any business wants when it comes to their security system, Openpath was designed to be secure by default. Openpath ensures system security at every level through policies including enforced end-to-end encryption, limiting account access permissions, mandatory multi-factor authentication, plus constant third-party and internal vulnerability testing to protect against ever-evolving threats. Applying the most advanced protection available, plus the ability to roll out security updates to all access control hardware over the cloud, gives Openpath customers greater peace of mind that their data and system is safeguarded from potential threats.

Ubiquiti access control pricing

When comparing Ubiquiti access control pricing, the system may be an affordable option for a small retail or office deployment. At the time of this access control review, Ubiquiti offers a “starter kit” with a control hub, one of each reader option, and 20 NFC key cards for $499. However, to manage the system via the Ubiquiti software, you also need to purchase a Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro (retailing for $379) or the Cloud Key Gen2 Plus (retailing for $199) to run UniFi Access. If you have multiple doors to secure, keep in mind that the Ubiquiti access hub only supports one door. At $199 per hub, the Ubiquiti solution may be cost prohibitive for a larger deployment. 

Depending on the number of users that need access to your space, Ubiquiti could be an expensive option. At the time of this review, their mobile app is still in development, so all users will need an NFC card to unlock the door. Ubiquiti only offers its encrypted NFC cards in packs of 20, which cost $40. If you have hundreds of users, you’ll not only need to order enough card packs for all your users (and probably extra for visitors or the inevitable lost key card), you’ll also need to meet in person to issue the new credentials.

Openpath’s mobile credentials are easier to manage: Once you enter a user into the system, all they need is the Openpath app to get in the door. Issuing and revoking credentials is instant—no need to hand over key cards or fobs, or replace lost credentials.

Flexible, all-in-one access methods

When it comes to security, many businesses want multiple ways to control, monitor, and audit who’s at the door for flexible, secure entry. Ubiquiti falls short in multi-faceted solutions for all entry needs, where Openpath thrives with unique, all-in-one solutions. With intercom calling, touchless entry, video monitoring, and an easy-to-use mobile app, Openpath’s hardware and software brings all of these solutions into one intuitive system. 

Ubiquiti provides two different reader options: The Access Reader Pro, offering authorization via NFC card and Bluetooth and featuring a built-in camera and touchscreen functionality, and its Access Reader Lite, an extension to the Pro for additional NFC credential reading. At the time of this Ubiquiti access control review, the door access app is not available for use yet, so only NFC cards are supported for entry. In addition, Ubiquiti currently does not offer intercom call functionality, nor a combined video and audio intercom. Rather, Ubiquiti’s Access Reader Pro features a small touchscreen to grant access via user-specific PIN codes or to use as a doorbell. 

On the other hand, Openpath’s hardware features state-of-the-art technology that can work together for a comprehensive access control solution. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro combines touchless access via the patented Triple Unlock with Bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular data, along with a 5MP camera that supports WDR. And Openpath’s Video Intercom Reader Pro includes all of these key features, plus an AI-powered intercom for smart entry assistance and clear two-way audio streaming. 

Touchless configuration considerations

Touchless entry has also become a new top priority for many businesses and their employees, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Ubiquiti Lite reader features touchless capabilities for exiting secured premises, it at no point authenticates the credential, making this a very insecure option for commercial spaces. The Pro reader relies on a touchscreen for alternate authentication such as entering an employee-specific PIN code, or guest access like doorbell functionality. While users will, in the future, be able to unlock the door via a mobile app, they still need to have their phone in-hand and open the app for the unlock to work. This is not only inconvenient, but also not a hands-free experience. 

Openpath offers a truly hands-free, keyless door entry experience with Wave to Unlock capabilities. You can leave the phone in your pocket or bag, and the app doesn’t even need to be open for the system to recognize authorized credentials and unlock the door. In addition to the contactless Wave to Unlock method, Openpath also supports unlock via an easy-to-use smartphone app, Cloud Key credentials, Apple watch, tablet apps, mobile guest pass, as well as highly secure key cards and fobs with DESFire EV1 128-bit AES cryptographic protection. Openpath uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data signals in our patented Triple Unlock technology to ensure a fast, reliable unlocking experience that’s encrypted from end-to-end.

Cloud-based access control with open architecture

Ubiquiti and Openpath both run their access control software via a cloud-based platform. Operating in the cloud gives you the benefit of being able to easily make changes and manage the system remotely. By eliminating the need for on-premise servers, cloud-based access control is a space-saving option for many businesses. When new software features and fixes are available, updates are done instantly over the cloud, rather than needing to roll up a truck to perform expensive, time-consuming maintenance.

Another benefit of the cloud-based system is that it’s easy to connect and manage other building systems alongside your access control. While Ubiquiti does operate in the cloud, the company is limited in their interoperability. They are only able to support native integrations with other Ubiquiti products and systems at this time. If you have existing systems, such as directory tools, tenant platforms, security cameras, or visitor management systems, you won’t be able to connect them to Ubiquiti access control, and they’ll still need to be managed in a separate interface.

Openpath is built on a truly open platform to maximize interoperability and flexibility. Companies can utilize Openpath’s API and mobile SDKs to connect other building systems, apps, and tools. Integrations help you streamline your building management and operations, saving your team time and hassle, and reducing expenses over time. Openpath is designed for seamless integrations, with an extensive library of native and out-of-the-box integrations with some of the most widely used tools across industries, including G Suite, Active Directory, Okta, Camio, Milestone, Envoy, Cisco Meraki, Ava, Avigilon, and more.

Customer support 

When choosing an access control company for your space, you want to be sure that you’ll be able to get the service and help you need, when you need it. Look for access control companies that offer 24/7 customer support and have received good reviews for responsiveness. Openpath is known for great customer service. Receive a fast response and work with a network of highly trained, certified access control installers and technology partners that provide the best experience. Openpath also has an extensive library of helpful how-to guides, troubleshooting articles, and informational content to help you make the most of your Openpath system.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

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Alternatives to Ubiquiti Access Control

If Ubiquiti isn’t the right access control company for you, there are alternative solutions available. Openpath offers reliable, secure mobile access control with robust security features and maximum flexibility. The Openpath access control system is backed by patented Triple Unlock technology for a consistent unlocking experience that works even when the power is out or the Internet is down. Plus, Openpath lets you choose your way in, with flexible access methods that all work on the same system, including 100% touchless Wave to Unlock, app-based unlock via smartphone, tablet, or Apple watch, and encrypted key card door access. Openpath’s all-in-one video intercom reader introduces even more ways to manage entry, with high-resolution video and AI-powered call routing for easy visitor management, reception functionality, and beyond.

Openpath’s hardware and software can support any size deployment, from a single door up to hundreds of entries across multiple locations. The subscription-based software also easily scales up or back to meet your needs, and keep you on budget. Openpath is an excellent choice for businesses looking to future-proof their space using security technology available today, and tomorrow.