Which access control system is right for you?

Electric gates Access Control Intercom Articulated Arm Operators

 

We have all been disturbed early in the morning by annoying door to door sales people or others making unsolicited visits. The installation of an intercom system integrated within your electric gates means that you have control over exactly who can, or cannot enter your property.

With a vast choice of access control systems available- which system is right for you?

There are many variables to take into consideration and your choice will be limited by the range (distance from the door station at your gate to your home) environment, your requirements and of course budget.

Gate access control equipment generally fall into the following categories-

Hard wired Access Control- audio only-  Average cost inc fitting £350 + 

Pro’s- Offer a low cost, robust solution , no ongoing costs.

Con’s- Basic functionality audio only, cost of wiring into existing home and making good. Unable to control entrance whilst away from the property. The entry level models generally look and feel low end, which will detract from the entrance aesthetics.

Wireless Audio Access Control – Average cost inc fitting £450+ 

Pro’s Low cost, robust solution, no internal wiring or making good. Easy to expand the system. Portable can take handset into different rooms and garden.  Secure encoded radio transmission based on the use of rolling code. Can be removed and re installed if you move home.

Cons- Signal can be limited by line of sight, weather and atmospheric  conditions. You are unable to control entrance whilst away from the property,

*Visual wireless also available at addtional cost.

GSM Based Access control Systems – Average cost inc fitting £900 + 

Pro’s Control your entrance from anywhere in the world. No internal wiring your land line phones are usually already  in the most convenient place. Saves additional cost of remote controls. Increased security as caller will not be aware if you are home or not. Call can be diverted to multiple owners. Accept deliveries when not home. Programming, Faults and diagnostics available remotely reducing engineer visits.

Con’s- No Visual without additional wiring. Will not work if the telephone network down or poor signal area. Ongoing costs to top up PAYG sim card- this will vary depending on how popular you are! It is more difficult to control exit of the building without additional equipment. More expensive than wireless Audio entry control systems.

Hardwired Audio/Visual Access Control – Average cost inc fitting £1,000 + 

Pro’s- Visual and Audio- depending on the grade of equipment very high quality HD video is available. Record-able video available. Monitors can be in interfaced with additional CCTV around your home or other types of home automation systems such as crestron or control 4. Entrance visual monitoring.

Con’s- Night time visuals are poor unless a top of the range model chosen. More expensive than previously mentioned systems due to additional wiring and making good internally. Unlike GSM based systems you are unable to control the access when not at home.

IP Based Access Control Systems- Average Cost inc fitting £3,000 + 

Pro’s the best of all worlds- due to IP integration allows main performances such as access control, monitoring, image and video recording from control points internally and on any other smart mobile device- iPhone, tablet, laptop etc therefore you could be on a beach in Rio and see who is at your gate using your smart phone. Wiring savings as system commissioned by a unique network cable. Full integration of other home automation systems. Simply put there is no better.

Con’s- This is the most expensive type of access control system. Technology not yet mainstream therefore limited amount of professionally trained installers.

It is important to bear in mind that if you are looking to save money buying less expensive hard wired systems, you will need to factor in additional labour costs for cable runs and making good to the decoration to your home. In addition we would strongly recommend using high quality shielded CAT 6 cable duct grade that has a heavy black polyethylene sheath and a flame retardant PVC inner. Cat 6 offers high speed data transfers where underground duct or a weatherproof cabling solution is needed and the additional shielding is recommended if it is run close to power cables- we would always look to avoid running power and data cables in the same duct to reduce interference.

Unlike the movies, the access control panels cannot be blasted by a gun and then your gates will automatically open- however we would recommend installing vandal resistant product should your entrance be located with a large pedestrian footfall and especially youths loitering.

The aspect most people do not consider is exit control- how will people leave your property? Whilst the majority of electric gate systems are fitted with an exit vehicle loop- this will not benefit pedestrians. Push to exit buttons can be installed on timers so they only work during pre-determined hours, therefore on multi-user entrances where possible, it is advisable to have a separate dedicated pedestrian entrance.

For clients looking for an ultra secure controlled entrance, we can also install car number plate readers ANPR Cameras, bio-metric finger readers or even facial recognition- just ask we can help plan and deliver your perfect entrance- and perhaps even afford you a well deserved lay in on a Sunday morning ;o)