What are Access Control Systems and Access Control Readers?

Access control systems and access control readers are electronic devices designed to gain control to a certain network or facilities. Having an access system allows you to limit the number of people who can use the facility or certain computer software for security reasons. If it is installed for a physical security, it can serve as the second protective layer of the structure. The system can be applied or installed to a physical building or in computer-based types of information systems.

There are a lot of access control systems that can be found around us. You may not be conscious about it, but it surrounds our daily activities. The pin codes in our ATM accounts are a simple example of access control. Physical access control systems are those that controls who are only allowed to enter the premises, where they will exit and when they can use the facility, but before, these were done with locks and keys. The problem is, when one lost his keys, he will also lose his access to the premises and will need another set of keys, not to mention the fact that the wrong somebody could be in possession of your keys. This problem was solved when computer-based electronic access control systems were made.

In electronic access system uses a wide variety of credentials or identifications as keys. The credential (can be a card or pin or any form) on hand will be offered to an access control reader, where the data presented will be compared to the list of access controlled list.

Access control readers can be categorised to different types and functions that it can do:

  • Basic Readers – It only reads simple credentials like PIN codes or card numbers, and then sends it to a control panel. This the most common types of readers. Usually, the Wiegand Protocol is used in the control panels of this kind of reader.
  • Semi-intelligent readers – This type of reader is usually connected to a control panel via RS-485 bus. It usually control door hardware, but do not make direct access decisions. When its connection to the controller is broken it may not function well.
  • Intelligent readers – These are readers that have all the necessary programs to provide access decisions by itself. It has inputs and outputs to door hardware.  Same as semi-intelligent readers, it also sends information to its control panel via the RS-485 bus. A new production of intelligent readers has systems with IP readers. These types communicate directly to a computer that serves as a host.

Access control readers may have LCD and some function buttons and other features for data collection like camera, microphones, smart cards and clock in or clock out for events. It can also be classified according to the identification technology that it reads, like barcodes, biometrics, magnetic stripes, Wiegand card, smart cards, and proximity cards.

At Tandem Security we understand that the security of your family or employees is of the utmost importance which is why we offer our clients top of the range access control readers and solutions. Should you require more information about what we can do for you, simply contact us directly.