Choosing an Access Control Identification System

User and personal identification is just one facet of the complicated and technically detailed world of access control, and it can be hard for those maintaining a commercial or professional property to determine what the best access control identification system is to suit their unique security needs. Here’s a guide to choosing an access control identification system, as prepared by the access control installation experts here at

Advantages of Access Control Identification Systems.

Access control systems allow you to maintain control over who enters or exits your facilities based on what time they should be allowed to access it. Different types of recognition technology exist, of varying degrees of stringency – but they all render the use of keys somewhat unnecessary. Usually, visitors simply need to approach the identification terminal with a keycard or key fob. If key cards or key fobs are lost, they simply need to be remotely deactivated. Access control identification systems allow you to limit the access workers have to facilities.

Deciding on an access control identification system:

In order to make this important choice, you need to measure the differences between safety and practicality. In many cases where the access control identification system is super easy to use, this convenience may trump actual security stringency. However, the more secure biometric or combined biometric/token access control systems are usually much more inconvenient to use – as new users have to be registered into the system in person which can take some time. So – base which access control system you install based on what area it’s supposed to protect – less secure areas can be served well with simple token based access control identification systems, while more secure areas should be protected with biometric systems.

Types of Access Control Systems:

Keypad Access Control  

These systems utilize input of a code or pin number in order to verify access permission for users. They are cheap and easy to use, as they require no key fobs or keys. However, they do have the disadvantage of insecurity due to the possibility of users sharing the code with others, so when you have these systems in place it’s important to make sure your employees don’t share the code with anybody.

Proximity / Radiofrequency Based Systems

These systems work with a specific object, usually a key fob of some sort. Proximity systems require a key fob to be brought to touch, or nearly touch the reader system (these devices rarely require any maintenance.) Radiofrequency based systems, usually used in garages, can be controlled from a command at a distance.

Biometric Systems

These systems allow users to identify themselves with a fingerprint, handprint, and more rarely, a retina scan. These systems are more costly, but provide heightened security, as the permission criteria is truly unique to each user with authorized access, eliminating the possibility of access credential sharing as is common with code pad based systems. The only disadvantage of these systems is inconvenience, as the entrance flow will be made more slow in high traffic areas protected by biometric scanners.

Combined Systems

Ideal for the most secure environments, these systems combine aspects of the above systems for a more strict security protocol. These systems require users to confirm their credentials in multiple ways, usually through a combination of a proximity token and a fingerprint, or a proximity token and a keyed in keypad code.


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