Paxton Net2 new v5 software: perfect for one-off events

At The Card Network, we sell more Paxton Net2 Keyfobs, cards and readers than any other manufacturer – by quite a margin. The Paxton Net2 access control system continues to be one of the most popular in the country, especially amongst schools.

Paxton Net2 cards
Paxton Net2 access control is more flexible than before

And with the launch of their new v5 software, the Paxton Net2 just got smarter and more flexible.

So what’s new?

–   Grant temporary access to workers

This will be good news for users who have shift workers or contractors that need access to the building for specific periods of time.

–   One-off time period feature for special events

Set temporary access permissions to a specific door, for as long (or as short) as you need to. This ‘custom days’ feature also makes it easy to modify access for special events or one-off occasions, such as a parents evening at school or a client entertainment / presentation after work. When the time allocated elapses, the system reverts back to its original privileges set-up. NB: this is only available on the Pro version of the software.

–    New Landlord Tenant feature

This new feature ensures that certain users only have access to relevant areas of the Net2 system, and only control the access levels pertinent to them. For example, department heads will only be able to view the information of their own staff, rather than those in other departments. (Again, this is only available on the Pro version).

Other features of the new Paxton Net2 software include:

–          Triggering actions such as turning on a light when a door is opened

–          Customising how long a door remains open for – catering to the needs of disabled users for example, or for delivery people who need extra time

–          The use of the ‘double tap trigger’ – present a token twice in quick succession to trigger an action

–          The ability to automatically reset the fire alarm.

As you’d expect from Paxton, the software is intuitive: easy to use and get around. Paxton reckons you can confidently have it up and running in two hours.

There is free Paxton Net2 Training available – see here for more information.

Watch the Paxton cartoon on YouTube for a fast & easy to absorb picture on the features.


Making the most of your access control system?

Lots of small businesses have some kind of access control system onsite. In the main, the system was brought in to replace traditional locks & keys, with employees using an access control card or token to gain entry through the front door. But could it be doing more to protect your business?


HID access control wall reader
Adding a new access control reader into your system can pay dividends

Your access control system could be doing more to look after your property and assets

Are there sensitive areas within your building that contain valuable assets or information, or could be classed as ‘dangerous spaces’, for example a warehouse? If so, you should think about controlling who has access to them.

Don’t make yourself vulnerable to theft

As much as we might not like to think about it, employee theft is not uncommon. If you have expensive stock or products, make sure they are in an area managed by your access control system. Only those authorised to enter will be able to gain access.

Keep confidential information confidential

Certain business information will be better protected through access control cards, particularly as traditional keys can be copied, or used by disgruntled or past employees. Securing the area where personal employee information or financial details are held for example makes sense – and makes you less vulnerable.

Protect yourself & your workforce

Workplace accidents like slip and trip incidents often happen because people access areas that they shouldn’t, or areas that they haven’t received the proper training to be in. Ensuring that these ‘increased risk spaces’ are restricted through your access control system protects both your people and your business.

Restricting people’s access to your stock, money storage, sensitive information or increased risk areas can help protect your business, your people and your bottom line.

If you have specific areas that should have limited access, talk to your security provider about adding them into your access control system. We stock a range of industry-leading HID readers (for prox, iClass and Multiclass) and access control cards and tokens from HID, Paxton, Bewator, TDSi, Kantech, Indala, Cotag, Impro and PAC.

HID prox readers now in stock

The Card Network has been selling HID prox cards, keyfobs and tags to customers all over the UK for a number of years. Due to customer demand, we’ve now expanded our HID range to also offer HID prox readers, HID iCLASS and HID MultiCLASS access control readers.

Which means our customers can buy everything they need for their access control system in one place.

HID prox reader
All HID readers come with a lifetime warranty

Buy with confidence

HID is often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ in access control. We now stock a number of the most popular and award-winning HID prox readers, iCLASS and multiCLASS readers. All come with a lifetime warranty from HID.

Customised to your order

All HID prox readers and smart card readers are customised to your order. All options are included within the quoted price – there are no hidden costs. Simply choose from a handful of options in the drop down menu and we’ll do the rest.

Not sure exactly which options to choose?

All the information you need to order can be found on your existing system – either on the original packaging your reader came in, or on the reader itself.

Look for a label. This will show the name of the reader, and the model number. The model number contains all the data you need.

– The first four digits is the HID Base Part No (e.g. 6100 or 5355).

– The next series of letters and numbers will guide you when choosing your options – these relate to colour options, hardware options, configuration settings etc. Simply choose the letters and numbers as they appear on the label on the drop down menu.

Still unsure?

Our friendly team is happy to help! Simply give us a call or send us an email with a photo of your label or box and we’ll advise you which HID prox readers or smart card reader you need.

Please note that HID prox readers should be fitted by a qualified person in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. We are unable to provide technical assistance for installing your reader.

Read more about these readers on the HID site.

Are hand gestures the future of access control?

Access control technology is constantly advancing. The latest invention in the industry comes from HID Global, which has just announced its innovative ‘gesture based’ methods, which can be used on RFID-based devices such as smart cards and smartphones.

It means that we could soon be opening doors with a wave.

Access control entry gesture
If you don’t know the right wave, you’re not getting in

According to HID Global, the technology will increase privacy and convenience, as well as security. For example, it can allow the user to secretly signal that he is using his card to gain access, but is under duress.

How will it work in practice?
A user will define a series of hand sequences or gestures that will control the operation of an RFID- based reader, like a door lock. When presenting their smart cards to reader, the user will repeat these gestures – for example rotating the card clockwise by 180 degrees and then back again – to gain entry. These ‘passwords’ include 3-D motions such as moving to the left, right, back and forward.

This is a new authentication factor in access control, and steps up security: cloned or lost smart cards would be useless without the appropriate hand gesture.

The technology can also be incorporated into a smartphone, where the user determines gesture-based ‘passwords’ to unlock apps or complete a phone-based transaction.

HID Global is currently inviting partners to contact them for information on licensing the patent.

Read more here

Keep your secure access control cards secure

Card identity theft is growing. It’s contactless debit cards that have hit the news recently – and how easy it is for identity thieves to capture personal data if they have the right technology to hand.

But what about your ‘secure’ access control cards? Could the data on these be cloned too?

In some cases, the answer is most certainly yes.

Cotag access control card
Stop thieves cloning your access control cards with rigid card holders

Keep your secure areas secure

The cloning of access control cards and key fobs presents a significant security risk.

An unattended bag in a nearby café or a visible wallet on a crowded commuter train – both present an opportunity to someone looking to steal your data or identity information.

There are obviously technology options out there to maintain higher access control security through increased encoding, but these can be cost-prohibitive, and take time to install.

One highly cost-effective way to address the issue now is to use plastic card protectors.

A simple and easy way to protect your access control cards

Rigid card protectors secure personal information on any RFID smart card including the popular MIFARE and iClass cards. A layer of transparent rigid shielded material prevents unauthorised access to the data held, without impacting on performance.

So wherever your access control card is, as long as it’s in its holder, the data on it is protected.  

Giving one to all of your staff, and enforcing its use means you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorised access to your building – and secure areas.

If you’re interested in these card protectors for your business, please get in touch with us.

Read more about the risks to your credit and debit card data here.

One small change could make a big impact on your property management budget

If you’re a large organisation with multiple sites, or a property management firm responsible for multi-tenanted buildings, you’ll probably spend a considerable amount of your buildings budget on access control products and services.

It’s not just the access control systems themselves that are expensive – and costs vary hugely depending on the sophistication of the technology – the accompanying access control cards and tokens quickly mount up when large numbers of staff are involved. Double that card up as a Photo ID card and have different security features for different staff, and the costs start to creep up.

Changing one thing could really reduce costs in this area 

Low cost compatible proximity key fob
Swapping to a low cost compatible could deliver significant cost savings

Swapping your access control cards and tokens from the branded manufacturer to a low-cost compatible could deliver a visible difference to your budget. The GenTech range of multi platform access control cards work across many access control systems, and are cheaper than their branded equivalents.

The range includes a 125Khz ISO Proximity card (£119 for 100 dye sublimation printable cards), a 125Khz Clamshell Proximity card (£70 for a pack of 100) and a 125Khz Keyfob (£119 for 100).

They are compatible with BPT, CDVI, Daitem, Farfisa, Fermax, Logisty, Raytel & Videx door entry systems; Galaxy, Scantronic, Menvier & Gardtech alarm systems; plus Aptiq, Axxess Id, CDVI, Controlsoft, Deedlock, Dortag, EasiProx, Entrylux, Ics, Impro, Mtecc, Nortech & PAC (OneProx) access control systems. They also work with Paxton (OEM Readers).

Of course it’s not just the large organisations that will benefit, smaller businesses can also reduce costs by choosing this ‘white label’ solution.

Try before you buy

The area of access control security is not one to be taken lightly, so we encourage you to try the GenTech products before you order. Please contact us for a free sample to test on your system by emailing or calling us on 0844 257 8857

Stepping up access control in schools: is biometrics the answer?

Biometrics information
Biometrics will increase security, but how many will opt out?

Security is always at the forefront of the school agenda, and never more so than recently. More educational establishments are embracing the many benefits presented by access control reader systems in terms of identifying and controlling who enters their buildings. In most cases this means presenting staff and pupils with access control key cards, fobs or tokens – which often double up as ID cards.

Biometrics offers more security and peace of mind   

Some institutions are now looking at increasing the level of protection offered by access control solutions, and that search inevitably leads them towards biometrics.

Installing a biometrics system is an obvious choice for schools in many ways: it negates the threat of stolen or lost tokens, it prevents the misuse of entry cards and ‘tail gaiting’ and on a simple level, does away with the ‘But I forgot my card/fob today’ scenario. In simple terms, a system employing biometrics prevents entry to anyone who doesn’t have a right to be there.

So why aren’t more schools going down the biometrics route?

The Protection of Freedoms Act

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (which comes into force in September 2013) makes that decision a great deal trickier. Under the terms of the Act, schools and colleges will need to notify and gain consent from parents if they intend to use and store their children’s biometric information. But pupils themselves will also be able to refuse to participate, even if their parents have consented.

This new legislation applies to the storing of biometric information such as fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, voice patterns, facial patterns and hand measurements.

Where a pupil or parent refuses consent, the school/college will have to provide an alternative. Which means they could end up with a mix of security systems in place: not ideal for administration or equality, not to mention the bottom line.

Access control manufacturers such as TDSi see this as an opportunity for education providers rather than a threat. They regard it as an opportunity to future-proof security systems and offer real choice. They advocate a multi-format access control reader that (as the name suggests) offers multi format security options (biometric, token or pin). Doing so means there will be choice now and in the future as the security market continues to rapidly develop.

Schools and colleges will need to weigh up the pros and cons for themselves, and see if biometrics is the right route.

Read more about what TDSi think here.

Access control cards – be protected over the Xmas shut down

The Christmas shut down can be open season for thieves and opportunists if your building isn’t adequately protected. A lot of companies close their doors over Christmas and New Year to give all staff time off to celebrate the festive season. However this can mean reduced security if a good access control cards system and sensible procedures aren’t in place.

Closed for Christmas sign
Make sure your building isn’t open to thieves this Christmas

In the rush to escape from work on Christmas Eve full of feelings of excitement and goodwill, security can be a bit lax. Make sure your business doesn’t fall prey to those looking for a bonus Christmas present by following a few simple steps.

Tips to keep your building secure over the festive period

1. Make sure valuables are locked out of sight wherever possible – don’t advertise to thieves what’s available. Ideally lock stock and valuables away in a secure room

2. Ensure that you fully ‘lock’ the building for the duration of the holiday and change access rights if necessary, just providing a handful of key users with access

3. If staff members lose their access control cards in the run-up to the Christmas shut down, make sure they are cancelled from the system immediately so they don’t pose a security risk

4. Make sure staff know that the building will be closed and locked over the festive period and that entry will not be possible, even if they have a desperate desire to escape from the family for a day

5. Make a couple of people ‘key holders’ capable of entering the building in an emergency

6. Organise for a key holder to check the premises every couple of days

7. If you have an alarm, make sure it’s linked to a central monitoring station.

Don’t have an access control cards system?

This could be an ideal time to invest in a system as they provide significantly more security than a traditional lock and key. See our blog ‘Which access control cards system do I need’? for more information.

We stock access control cards, key fobs and tokens from all the leading manufacturers including Paxton, Bewator, TDSi, HID, PAC, Cotag, Impro, Indala and Kantech. We also provide smart cards and GenTech, Mifare & Desfire products that work across multiple access control platforms.

Which access control cards system do I need?

There are a plethora of access control cards and systems out there on the market, ranging from basic door entry systems for small businesses through to highly sophisticated remote access security systems for larger enterprises across multiple sites. The choice can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for.

Access control card and token
Give your staff different access rights

Look at your own requirements first

Start by assessing what you want an access control system to do. Is it purely to act as a secure door entry system so that you can get rid of your old-fashioned lock and keys? In which case a simple PIN entry system might suffice. Or do you want to provide staff with their own access control card or key fob to increase security so that no-one without a valid card can enter? These standalone systems are easy to buy off-the-shelf and tend to suit businesses with small numbers of users and leisure clubs.

Need something a little more sophisticated?

The next step up from a standalone system is PC based or ‘networked’ access control. This is aimed at organisations who want more control over the various doors onsite and over the people who can open them – often across different sites. These tend to use  access control cards such as proximity cards or magstripe tokens, depending on the kind of reader that’s fitted. This system allows you to easily cancel lost or stolen cards so that they don’t pose a security risk.

You can then set up access privileges through your PC – allowing members of staff access to the areas you specify. These systems can also control other buildings via the computer network, and control services like burglar alarms and exit doors.

These are particularly used by academic institutions, within government buildings and by larger organisations with more than one site.

Which manufacturer?

There are many industry-leading manufacturers of access control cards and systems, including Paxton, Bewator, HID, TDSI, Kantech, PAC, Cotag … the list goes on. Many of these provide starter kits that contain everything you need to get a basic access control system up and running. They include controller, readers and cards, and you can choose to add other items of options to enhance the system.

Even though you cannot buy directly from the manufacturers, the best way to ensure you get the right system for your needs is to contact 2 or 3 of these manufacturers, explain your needs and let them suggest the right solution. Bear in mind the cost of cards or tokens in the future. We sell access control cards to fit most systems, at very competitive prices. To get an idea of how much these cost, visit our access control card section.



The benefits of access control cards over keys

Keys and locks provide limited security

Are you and your employees still using keys in your business premises? If so, how confident are you that your assets are being protected effectively, 24 hours a day? Introducing an electronic access control system and supplying your staff with access control cards will increase security in your building and protect your employees and your property.

Are your premises open to unwanted guests?

The old-fashioned ‘lock and key’ presents a number of problems, for instance when a key becomes lost or stolen. Could it have been copied? You then have to deal with the inconvenience and expense of re-issuing keys and changing the locks.

Then there’s the issue of access during the day. Where a key is concerned, once a door is unlocked it tends to stay unlocked: presenting an open door to any guest that comes to visit, whether wanted or unwanted.

Secure your building, assets and protect staff

Investing in an electronic access control system is the most effective way to protect your assets and your staff. It will enable you to control who has access to your building through controlled locks, making it difficult for the opportunist to gain entry. All doors controlled by the system will automatically lock when the door is closed, making it impossible for anyone without a valid access control card, key fob or token (depending on the system) to enter.

You can even give individual staff different access rights. For example you may want to restrict certain employees from accessing a particular part of the building, or from entering the building at all at certain times of the day or night.

An access control system also ensures you never have to change a lock again. Any access control cards or tokens that are lost or stolen are easily removed from the system, rendering them useless.

What type of system do you need?

There are a number of access control card systems out there. Those that ask for a simple PIN entry offer a lower level of protection. Others that use some kind of access control card or token offer a greater level of security and can be tailored to specific needs. Industry-leading manufacturers include Paxton, HID, Bewator, TDSi, PAC, Cotag, Kantech and many others. Prices vary, but what’s most important is that the system fits your requirements and is easy to use and administer.

In terms of the access control cards themselves, there are swipe cards, key fobs, tokens, transmitters, wrist tags, keyring tags … the list goes on. Some systems also incorporate time and attendance. In general the cards are attached to a device that makes it easy for the user to present the card to an access control reader, such as a retractable badge reel or lanyard.

For more information on the types of systems available, see our blog ‘what access control card system is right for me?’