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.