Your Ultimate Guide To Understanding Access Control SystemsTaofikat Idowu
What Is Access Control?
Simply defined, the term “access control” describes any technique used to control passage into or out of any area.
The standard lock that uses a brass key may be thought of as a simple form of an “access control system”.
Access control systems are most commonly used to control entry into exterior doors of buildings. They may also be used to control access into certain areas located within the interior of buildings.
The purpose of an access control system is to provide quick, convenient access to those persons who are authorized, while at the same time, restricting access to unauthorized people.
There are many benefits of implementing access control in your building such as increase ease of access for employees, keeping track of people coming in and going out of the building, protecting your building, visitors and residents from unwanted personnel and much more.
Basic Components of Access Control Systems
Access control systems vary widely in type and complexity.
However, most card access control systems consists of at least the following basic components:
The access card may be thought of as an electronic “key”.
The access card is used by persons to gain access through the doors secured by the access control system.
Each access card is uniquely encoded.
Most access cards are approximately the same size as a standard credit card, and can easily be carried in a wallet or purse.
Here’s an example of an access card.
The image above shows an access card and a card reader
2. Card Readers
Card readers are the devices used to electronically “read” the access card.
Card readers may be of the “insertion” type (which require insertion of the card into the reader), or may be of the “proximity” type (which only require that the card be held in a 3″ to 6″ proximity of the reader.
Card readers are usually mounted on the exterior (non-secured) side of the door that they control.
Here are various card readers we have available.
3. Access Control Keypads
Access control keypads are devices which may be used in addition to or in place of card readers.
The access control keypad has numeric keys which look similar to the keys on a touch-tone telephone.
The access control keypad requires that a person desiring to gain access enter a correct numeric code.
When access control keypads are used in addition to card readers, both a valid card and the correct code must presented before entry is allowed.
Where access control keypads are used in place of card readers, only a correct code is required to gain entry.
4. Electric Lock Hardware
Electric lock hardware also known as smart door locks is the equipment that is used to electrically lock and unlock each door that is controlled by the access control system.
These types include electric locks, electric strikes, electromagnetic locks, electric exit devices, and many others.
The specific type and arrangement of hardware to be used on each door is determined based on the construction conditions at the door.
In almost all cases, these smart door locks are designed to control entrance into a building or secured space.
To comply with building and fire codes, the electric lock hardware never restricts the ability to freely exit the building at any time.
By partnering with one of the leading manufacturers of door locks, we have helped home, office and hotel owners improve their building security. Check out our inventory of ZKTeco door locks here.
5. Access Control Field Panels
Access control field panels (also known as “Intelligent Controllers”) are installed in each building where access control is to be provided.
Card readers, electric lock hardware, and other access control devices are all connected to the access control field panels.
The access control field panels are used to process access control activity at the building level. The number of access control field panels to be provided in each building depends on the number of doors to be controlled. Access control field panels are usually installed in telephone, electrical, or communications closets.
6. Access Control Server Computer
The access control server computer is the “brain” of the access control system.
The access control server computer serves as the central database and file manager for the access control system; and is responsible for recording system activity, and distributing information to and from the access control field panels.
Normally, a single access control server computer can be used to control a large number of card-reader controlled doors.
The access control server computer is usually a standard computer which runs special access control system application software. In most all cases, the computer is dedicated for full-time use with the access control system.
How Do Access Control Systems Work?
The key elements of the system are
- the tag
- the reader
- the controller
- the lock
Each user has a tag which will be authorized on certain doors at specific times by the system administrator,
This is on the controlled side of the door (both sides if control is in and out). The Tag is presented in the proximity of the reader and, if authorized at that time on that door, the door lock will be opened.
This is the core of the system, it stores all the authorization information, which it receives from a PC. When it receives a Tag ID from a reader, it release a door lock if that Tag is authorized at that door.
This can be any electro-mechanical locking device, fail safe or fail secure.
We have partnered with leading access control system manufacturers to provide commercial and residential building owners with access control systems to improve security, comfort and luxury.
Check our our e commerce store to find a product that meets your security needs.