What is Access Control?
Here at LocksOnline, we get asked this question a lot so we thought it may be best to write an article on 'What is Access Control?'.
From back when the Romans occupied our fair lands there has been a need to secure one's belongings. The first recorded use of a key dates as far back as when the Pharaohs ruled the River Nile.
Controlling access or restricting people access through a door is what we do every day. The very minute we lock a door we are controlling access through that door and restricting it to only persons that have a right to gain access.
Based on this simple statement, all of us use a form of Access Control every day of our lives.
Over the last thirty years or so, engineers and the companies in the security world have looked into introducing an electronic form of door locks that can be controlled by other means away from a traditional mechanical key.
The use of electric or pneumatic systems opens up the possibilities to control access in loads of different ways.
When you are looking into wanting to control access outside the remit of using a simple key the industry has coined the term Access Control for this application of security.
If you are thinking of implementing this form of security, you need to break the job down into a few parts.
The considerations are the electro/mechanical locking of the door, its control and the ability to power the system.
Electric Locks come in a load of different forms, these days Electric Magnetic Locks are probably the most popular, then Strike releases, and finally a whole myriad of electrically operated locks.
All these locks have their uniqueness based on the application, for an example, a magnetic lock would be ideal to lock an office door or for use in a passive security application. Meanwhile an electric lock would need to be fitted in the door, which may look a lot nicer on the door than a Mag Lock sitting at the top of the door. Strike releases can work with mortice night latches or our traditional Yale type rim night latches.
Even modern day UPVC and Composite doors have a range of locks that can incorporate access control.
Whatever version of electric lock you get once this has been decided you now have the power to control it whichever way you deem fit.
To view some options of products, here are some links
Electric Door Locks: - Click Here
Electric Magnetic Door Locks: - Click Here
Electric Solenoid Door Bolts: - Click Here
Electric Strike Releases for door latches: - Click Here
Electric Door Locks for UPVC and Composite Doors: - Click Here
There are a few basic ideas available, and each one of these ideas can be expanded on and can be limitless.
Door Intercom Systems.
These systems allow a person inside a property to talk with someone at the front door. The person then can press a button and send a signal to the electric door lock chosen, which will then release the lock to allow the person into the property.
Proximity Access Control
This type of access control is an incredibly common form these days where you may see individuals with fobs on their key chain, or perhaps an ID badge around their neck. They would present the card or fob to the reader, and the system would then send a signal to the electric door lock to release the door.
This type of system is normally a touch pad with the ten digits on it 0 - 9, perhaps a star and an asterisk also, punching in the correct number will trigger the electric lock to open the door.
This is, when you use the human body parts to control access - face recognition, finger print and retina scan are just a few examples. In most cases this is one of the most secure forms of access control as you would need a body part to gain access. The downside with this technology is it is still quite an expensive solution and used in high-security applications and may be considered a bit overkill for someone's house.
Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, home automation IoT (internet of things)
This is a new era of security where mobile apps control home automation systems and as a by-product of home automation these systems can control electric door locks, meaning you can from anywhere in the world press a button on your smartphone and open the door.
GSM (mobile networks)
Systems like GSM switches and GSM door intercoms allows a person at the door to talk you, and the person controlling the access (e.g. you) can respond from anywhere in the world. They, then by pushing a button on their phone can allow the door to open. You can also call the door via a GSM switch, and open an electric lock on a door simply by calling it.
Not dissimilar to the above options, but you can have stand-alone systems that allow your smartphone to open a door or a gate, by simply being in the proximity of the door or by entering a code on your mobile device.
This is being introduced into the world of access control and using integrated Wifi as the medium between the door electric lock, the person wishing to access and the person controlling the access. An example of this is our Wifi Door Intercom system that allows you to see the person at the door over a data network on your mobile phone and then control the lock for tapping a button on the screen of your smartphone.
Stand Alone Access Control Solutions
Some manufacturers have recognised a gap in the market and have developed a keypad into the lock as an all in one complete solution; some have incorporated proximity access control into the very lock on the door that is battery driven as a complete stand alone idea to restrict access. These types of access control lock solutions are ideal for some applications but by their very nature can limit other possibilities.
These systems are just some ideas, and it is imperative to note that you are not limited to the above systems, and there is absolutely no reason why you cannot incorporate a few of the above ideas at the same time.
Finally, you do need electricity to control these systems, and therefore, we would always try to consider a source of energy that has a backup battery if indeed the access system that you wish to use is the primary locking and access solution for you.
Here are some links to various product groups for more information.
For Electric Keypads: - Click Here
For Proximity (Card and Fob) Systems: - Click Here
For Door Intercoms: - Click Here
For Bluetooth Door Controllers: - Click Here
For standalone wooden doors solutions: - Click Here
For Accessories for Access Control Solutions: - Click Here
So to recap, you'll need to ask:
1) What is the door that you wish to secure? Have a look as to what lock is best for this application.
2) Consider how you wish to control this lock or system? Do you want card entry, keypad, intercom, or a combination of these systems?
3) What power supply do you need to control the access solution and the electric locks?
LocksOnline with tech support has over 30 years experience in this field and therefore we can take all the guess work out of the options as to what lock is best for what application. Most of our customers simply pop over a few images of the door and let us know how they wish to control the door and then based on budget and complexity we will provide a list of options specific to the project in hand.
There is not one electric lock that will fit all applications; it is to a degree a bit specialised, but with LocksOnline we can take the mystery out of it all and find you the best solution - simple and easy!
Electrical Engineers and Home DIY customers use us on a regular basis to help with projects that they may wish to install themselves, or they have a customer looking for a specific application. Either way, we can help you control your security.
Access Control is the modern door locking device.
I hope this short article gives you an idea that you do not need to in these days control your security with a piece of metal; you can do it with your mobile phone, you body, or a piece of plastic.