Ubiquiti access control review

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

Openpath vs. Ubiquiti Access Control

Ubiquiti is most known for their 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. Mobile credentials are an increasingly popular access method 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. Ubiquiti will offer both mobile and NFC key card credentials for their access control system, making it a contender for modern deployments. At the time of this review, the new Upbiquiti access control line includes a single door controller, two door reader options, and NFC key cards, and the system is managed in the UniFi® OS cloud portal. Before choosing a new access control system, take a closer look at the benefits and potential challenges of the Ubiquiti access solution.

Quick look: key differences between Ubiquiti and Openpath

See what factors most differentiate these cloud-based providers in access control reviews. 

  • System cost. Because Ubiquiti’s access control hardware supports limited door density, it would be costly to install and scale the system beyond one or two doors. Openpath offers greater flexibility, with hardware designed to support anywhere from one door up to 24 on a single network uplink, making it a more cost effective solution. 

  • Touchless entry. Currently, Ubiquiti’s touchless entry method does not include secure authentication, and their mobile app is still in development. Openpath’s unique Wave to Unlock feature gives users a contactless mobile entry experience, and also supports a wider range of access methods than Ubiquiti.

  • Integrations. While both systems can support integrations in the cloud, Openpath runs on a truly open API architecture for limitless integration capabilities. Ubiquiti only allows integrations within their own network of products.

  • Video capabilities. Ubiquiti’s UniFi door access control does not offer built-in video or camera capabilities at this time. Customers have to install separate UniFi security cameras and connect them to the security system. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro features a built-in, high-definition camera to add visual verification right at the door.

  • System security. Recent disclosures of inadequate security policies within Ubiquiti’s internal teams have left the company’s cloud-based platform and customers’ information vulnerable to malicious hacking attacks and significant data leaks. Openpath takes extra steps to ensure security across the entire operation, proactively protecting customers’ personal information with end-to-end encryption, rigorous testing, limited internal access, and multi-factor authentication to prevent system vulnerabilities.

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

Access control hardware 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 a few inputs for other systems like their UniFi cameras or a door alarm. 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 2 Relays, 2 Openpath Readers or 2 Wiegand Readers, 2 REX Sensors, and 2 Contact Sensors. The Openpath Single Door Controller also works with 12V and 24V power supply. 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, for example, 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 video security 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.

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 offers greater flexibility and remote functionality, not all companies implement smart security processes to protect against cloud system vulnerabilities. Ubiquiti was recently 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 reader hardware over the cloud, gives Openpath customers greater peace of mind that their data and system is safeguarded from potential threats.

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.

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 UDM Pro, currently retailing for $379 on the Ubiquiti website. 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 their 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, and more convenient. 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, with no need to hand over a key card or replace lost credentials.

Flexible access methods and touchless configurations

Ubiquiti’s access control solution has two different reader options: Lite, which is a slim NFC and Bluetooth reader; and Pro, which is a round NFC and Bluetooth reader that also includes a high-definition camera and touchscreen functionality. At the time of this Ubiquiti access control review, the door access app is currently in development, so only NFC cards are supported for entry.

The Ubiquiti access system is not as flexible when it comes to access methods and safety features in the post-pandemic workplace. With the onset of COVID-19, many property owners and businesses are prioritizing touchless entry as a way to make the workplace safer. The Ubiquiti Lite reader features touchless capabilities, but does not authenticate the credential, making this a very insecure option for commercial spaces. The Pro reader relies on a touchscreen for guest access and intercom functions. While users will be able to unlock the door via a mobile app (once released), 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, touchless 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.

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

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.

Unlike some access control companies, 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, and more.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

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

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. Fast response and work with a network of highly trained, certified access control installers and technology partners to 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.

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 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 with the best security technology available today, and tomorrow.

To learn more about Openpath and set up a free product demo, contact our team.

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies allow us to remember you, customize your browsing experience, and analyze web traffic. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.