Openpath vs. Verkada Access Control

Understand why customers prefer the mobile, cloud-based access control solution from Openpath for their building security.

Verkada access control review

Verkada access control is a new product from the video management solution and surveillance camera company. The Verkada access control product consists of a cloud-based management platform, mobile credentials via a smartphone app, and a 4-door controller. Similar to Openpath, the Verkada system gives admins remote access to the cloud platform for easy management, and has features including remote unlock, custom access schedules, and detailed activity logs. Before you install Verkada access control, review the following features of the system to determine the best access control solution for your building or workplace.

Quick look: key differences between Verkada and Openpath

  • Cost: Openpath is less expensive per door than Verkada, and offers both monthly or annual billing options for their software.

  • Deployment and hardware: Verkada offers a single ACU, compared to Openpath’s wider range of hardware, including a Single Door Controller and expansion boards. Openpath’s Smart Hubs also feature more input/outputs than the Verkada option.

  • VMS Integrations: Verkada makes their own cameras that pair only with their proprietary access control, but everything is sold and managed by a single provider. Openpath’s open API can integrate with a wide range of VMS providers, including a native integration with Cisco Meraki.

  • Video reader capabilities: To get visual verification at the door with Verkada, you’d need to install both a Verkada reader, and a Verkada security camera. Openpath’s Video Reader Pro combines access control and video surveillance into one easy-to-install device.

  • Touchless mobile access: Openpath offers a truly touchless unlock experience. Verkada users still have to open the mobile app on their phones to unlock the door.

  • System vulnerability: The Verkada video surveillance camera system has security weaknesses that make them a target for hackers. As shown in a recent data breach involving 150,000 Verkada cameras, hackers were able to gain access to video footage from Verkada customers including Tesla Inc. and Cloudflare, Inc., as well as hospitals throughout the nation.

Mobile credentials and touchless capabilities

Mobile credentials are the most-requested feature for access control systems. And it’s easy to see why: mobile credentials are more secure, more convenient, and easier to manage. Both Verkada and Openpath offer mobile credentials via a smartphone app. Openpath supports iOS, Android, Apple watch, tablet app, RFID keycards and fobs. 

The Openpath system offers a completely touchless user experience with a unique wave to unlock feature. Users can leave the phone in their pocket or bag, and simply wave a hand in front of the reader to unlock the door. The app doesn’t even need to be open on the phone for it to work. Backed by patented Triple Unlock technology, this provides a reliable, fast entry and exit experience that works even when the internet is down.

Plus, Openpath’s backwards compatibility allows you to mix and match the credentials you want to use, and they all work alongside the mobile credentials and Openpath Smart Readers. Because Openpath is a complete access control provider, you can create your own branded keycards and fobs, if desired. 

Verkada relies on third-party readers, so if you want to use keycards or fobs, you’d have to get them through another company, and integrate them into the Verkada system. Depending on the readers you have, this could limit your credential options.

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

Available access control integrations

One of the benefits to using access control that runs on an open platform is the ability to integrate with other technology systems. Verkada’s platform supports integrations with their own cameras and video management system only. Other than a few common Single Sign-On providers, Verkada does not currently support any third-party integrations. If you’re looking for a more flexible system, they may not be the best option for you. For example, if your building has an existing video surveillance system or you have a specific VMS provider in mind, Verkada’s access control solution would have to be managed in a separate platform, and you won’t get the benefit of an integrated VMS. 

For access control that runs on a truly open platform, integrating with the tools you already use and will need in the future, Openpath is a preferred option. Built with open API architecture and convenient mobile SDKs, Openpath lets you easily connect any system you need to run your business. You can integrate your access control to user management tools, video surveillance systems, tenant management and communication platforms, visitor check-in applications, and even business tools like Slack and Zendesk. With an extensive library of native and out-of-the-box integrations, the Openpath access control platform is flexible and customizable to fit your specific needs. 

Access control hardware review

Access control systems have two main components: the management software, and the physical security hardware. When comparing the hardware for Verkada access control reviews, it’s important to note that they currently do not offer any door access readers. Verkada’s access control hardware line consists of one door controller that supports up to 4 doors, and is offered at $1599 per unit (as of the date of this review), with additional licensing fees per door. If you’re interested in connecting other systems like alarms or elevators, note that the Verkada controller has only 2 input ports, and no output ports, which may limit your options. The Verkada controller uses standard Wiegand wiring connections, as well as Wi-Fi support. If you are using legacy access readers, this makes for easy installation. However, Wiegand is not a secure connection.

For the best in security and building protection, you need a complete access control system. With solutions that only offer part of what your system needs, you’ll likely run into frustrations with dealing with multiple vendors. A Verkada access control review reveals that they don’t make their own readers, or even offer any as part of the system. Because Verkada relies on third-party readers, you’ll need to contact a different company to install, service, and maintain your readers. If you’re using existing legacy readers that are already installed in your building, the Verkada access control can integrate with them. However, you’re also increasing your risk of a security breach, as older reader hardware is prone to hacking and tampering. Not to mention, older readers are often cumbersome and bulky. Relying on third-party readers also increases the chances of issues down the line. Adding new doors or buildings onto your access control network may be a problem if you also have to install new readers.

Openpath’s hardware line features a range of Pro Series Video Readers and Smart Readers and controllers to support any size deployment, including a Single Door Controller, plus 4-door and 8-door controller options, all with a lifetime warranty. The system also has convenient wiring architecture for plug-and-play installation, with ports for Openpath readers and extra outputs to allow additional sensors or Wiegand devices. The Openpath Smart Hubs are also designed to be tamper-resistant and fail safe. If the internet goes down, your Openpath hardware will still work, and the CloudSync feature means your data will still be available once power is restored.

The award-winning Openpath Smart Readers come in two designs, standard and mullion, made to fit any space, even narrow doorways. The Video Reader Pro has all the access control functionalities of the multi-technology Smart Readers, with the addition of a high-resolution, built-in camera to record live video of every access event at the door. Plus, the sleek, slim profile mounts flush, and gives your space a sophisticated, modern look. More secure than legacy readers, the Video Reader Pro and Smart Readers are tamper-resistant and store no sensitive data. Cloud-based diagnostic tools also allow you to troubleshoot any hardware issues online, without needing to roll up a truck or accommodate on-site maintenance personnel.

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.

Cost considerations for enterprise scalability

The limited Verkada controller offering is cost-prohibitive for businesses that one have one or two doors to secure, as they’re paying for extra outputs they don’t need. It’s also not the best solution for larger deployments. Because Verkada’s system is only available with a 4-door controller, scaling for all the doors in your organization could add up fast. When you’re trying to secure multiple floors or an enterprise organization, the number of controllers you’d need, plus the licensing fees for each door, could be very expensive. Not to mention you also need to factor in the cost of your readers, whether you’re maintaining existing hardware, or installing new ones. Verkada’s system also does not currently have a product to support elevator deployments.

Openpath offers more cost-effective options for scaling. The Single Door Controller, 4-door controllers, 8-door controllers, and an Elevator Smart Hub all work together seamlessly across all your locations. The hardware is designed to be modular and easily expandable, and manufactured to meet Openpath’s strict compliance and quality standards. You can also use Openpath for destination dispatch elevators, turnstiles, and parking garage applications. Mix and match to get the right fit for your business—all Openpath products are easy to configure and connect, which makes adding new doors or locations effortless, without breaking the bank when compared to other access control companies.

The Ultimate Guide to Access Control

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

Access control during COVID-19

When preparing your building or space to meet the challenges of a pandemic, your access control system should enable a safer, more secure workplace. Whether you’re switching to staggered shift schedules to reduce office capacity, or simply need to make sure your empty offices are secure while you’re working from home, the right access control solution can help. 

Verkada does allow you to set user schedules to accommodate flex scheduling, however there aren’t many additional features for COVID-19 building safety built into their system. Due to limited integrations, you won’t be able to connect the Verkada system to other application and technology partners offering products like occupancy sensors, health questionnaires, and automatic door openers. 

Openpath has partnered with 15+ leading technology partners to give you a suite of integrations built to enhance the safety and wellness of your staff and space. Choose from a range of technology apps and seamlessly integrate with the Openpath access control system to automate and enforce your policies. Plus, Openpath features a built-in occupancy dashboard to help you monitor capacity levels by zone, as well as 100% touchless entry and exit with our unique wave to unlock capabilities.

The cloud-based system also makes remote management easy, which is essential when the majority of your staff is working from home at least part of the time. With remote unlock, easy door schedule changes, and a streamlined user interface, Openpath’s portal lets you spend less time managing your access control, and more time on running your business.

Alternatives to Verkada access control

While Verkada gained early notoriety for their video surveillance tools, their access control solution may not have all the features you need. Openpath offers a complete, touchless access control system that’s customizable to fit your exact security requirements. With a range of reader and controller hardware, plus feature-rich cloud software, the Openpath system is built to scale effortlessly from a single door to hundreds of entries, all backed by a lifetime warranty.

When it comes to choosing the best access control for your space, reliability is a top concern. Your access control system should work, even when the internet goes down or if cell service is spotty. Openpath’s system is backed by patented Triple Unlock technology that uses three different signals to unlock the door, ensuring the unlock experience is fast and consistent, every time. Openpath’s hardware also comes equipped with fail safes to withstand power failures, and optional backup battery power.  

To get the most out of your cloud-based access control system, you want to be able to connect your other apps and business tools. Seamless integrations will streamline your operations and reduce the burden on your administrative and IT teams. Openpath’s open API makes it quick and easy to integrate with and video surveillance system, user directory tools, visitor and tenant management platforms, communication apps and more. Plus, the touchless entry and exit with Openpath’s wave to unlock capabilities create a premium, frictionless user experience.

To learn more about Openpath and schedule a free virtual demo, contact our team.

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