There are different types of access control systems ranging from the simplest (a lock on the door which allows only those with the key to enter) to technologically advanced network solutions that report events in real-time and can support different reading technology combinations such as card & pin, card & biometric, etc.
Standalone Access Control Systems
Standalone access control systems are the most basic form of access control available in the industry now. The term ‘standalone access control system’ refers to a method of access control that is used in a single location, and is not networked with similar locations. For instance, a house that has a single access control keypad at the entrance, or a bank ATM located away from the branch, that allows only cardholders to enter. Standalone access controlling systems typically feature not more than 10 access points. These points are not connected to a central network (or a ‘host’), and are programmed to function separately.
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Networked Access(TCP/IP) Control Systems
The term ‘networked access control system’ refers to a method of access control that comprises one or more access points, which are individually controlled and are connected to a central host or server. They transfer information in real-time about door access. The whole system is networked in such a manner that the operator finds it easy and simple to manage from a central location.
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Standalone access systems generally require less expense in comparison to networked access systems. Network systems can be configured by the user to suit the requirements, and monitored through a computer. Standalone access systems are used in smaller organizations or where lower grade security is required. Networked access systems, on the other hand, are used by larger organizations where the need for security is greater.
An organisation might secure up to ten doors with a standalone access system, but the access points will have the same type of control. Networked systems on the other hand, can have varying degrees of security for different access doors. They can also be integrated with video surveillance systems for a more comprehensive package.