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Electronic Access Control

What is Electronic Access Control?

Electronic access control most commonly refers to an electronic alternative to mechanical security control hardware (i.e. key-operated).

Many advantages are offered by electronic access control, rendering manual access systems inferior by contrast. Without the presence of personnel at security check points, individuals can gain access at any time, if a mechanical key is possessed because mechanical keys and locks cannot restrict entry to specific times and dates. Conventional access is also inferior to electronic access control  because mechanical keys can be duplicated easily in an unauthorized manner.

What are the benefits of Electronic Access Control?

Electronic access control  technology has numerous benefits. Digital records can be kept of entries and exits by individuals, resulting in increased accountability. Electronic access control  removes the need for reinstallation of locks in cases where an individual is required to be denied access. Electronic access control  replaces the need to "re-key" due to lost or stolen cards or controls. Instead, a new card or control can be issued, and the same lock hardware need not be replaced.

Unlike a typical mechanical lock, an electronic access control  system can be programmed to control not only who is permitted to enter an area or building, but also at which times—a concept known as "time zone capability."

What are the applications of Electronic Access Control?

Electronic access control, unlike its mechanical counterpart, may be integrated with other safety and security devices and systems, such as security alarm systems, CCTV systems, and fire alarm systems. It can also be controlled remotely via a computer or modem.

Some systems for electronic access control  require wiring while others utilize independent readers. Certain reader units are considered "non-intelligent" or "basic" and must be connected to a control panel in order to function (often using Wiegand protocols to transmit data).

Other types of electronic access control  units may be "semi-intelligent" or "intelligent" readers. Semi-intelligent readers have the ability to physically control hardware but do not have the memory capacity to make independent access decisions. Intelligent readers are both able to physically control hardware and have the processing power and memory necessary to independently make access decisions.