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Access control as we know it in the security industry, is a process designed to limit access through doors and other portals such as gates, turnstiles, and barriers.
This is done by person, by vehicle, or asset, by day, by hour, by minute, and can be used to manage access and other registration needs such as Time and Attendance, Visitor Management or Asset Tracking.
An access control system typically comprises of the following components:
Cards are used to associate people to the system. Readers will read the cards that are presented and based on the system's programming will grant or deny access to the area. Next-generation cards and readers utilize smartphones that are significantly more secure and more convenient for the user. Bluetooth readers support Multi-Mode Identification: Card mode, Remote mode, Tap Tap mode, Hands-Free mode, Slide mode
Controllers are the brains of the system and store all of the information necessary to grant or deny access to the doors connected to it. The controller is programmed using the Host interface, and once programmed, the system can operate without having to be connected to the host. Next-generation controllers utilize PoE+ technology to make it easier for the installer to pull just one cable for power and data. In addition, these next-generation controllers use open standards that have been defined by the industry.
The host is typically software that is running on a computer or virtual environment that manages the controllers. The host typically has an interface that users can interact with to program the system.
Next-generation solutions are providing the host in the cloud, which provides a significant benefit over on-prem solutions that require staff to maintain the system. Cloud-based hosts do not require the user to maintain the system and can be programmed remotely from any internet-connected device.