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Types of door access control systems

To find the best door access control system for your needs, use this guide to understand the different components and available solutions.

Choosing an access control system for your space is an important investment to protect your assets. Access control is the first security measure in keeping unauthorized individuals out of places they shouldn’t be. It is a key safety feature to give people peace of mind in the workplace, campus or even their residential communities.

What is a door access control system?

Door access control systems are modern security solutions that manage and control the entry and exit of people in a secure place.

As a key safety feature, these devices are developed in such a way only to grant access to authorized individuals and keep those who are unauthorized out of secure areas like:

A door access control system offers a seamless and convenient user-friendly experience and is arguably the best way to secure your space and protect your most valuable assets.

How does a door access control system work?

Door access control systems work by replacing mechanical keys and locks with electronic access credentials like key cards, mobile phones, or biometrics. Entry into a building is automatically granted when a user is identified through their unique encoded digital data, or during pre-determined access times for authorized users.

Door access control systems can be operated remotely whereby a system administrator can grant or disable access at any time, giving them a higher degree of control over who can enter and exit a restricted area.  

Because they are digital, these systems can also provide data on who comes in or out of a building and when. They can be connected to video surveillance for an extra layer of security and monitoring.


Door Entry Access methods

Within a door access control system, access can be granted to space in a variety of ways:

Keypads: Grant access with unique PIN codes for each user or door.

Key Cards: key cards use a sensor or a code embedded in the card itself to authenticate credentials. Key cards are one of the most common types of access control in commercial buildings.

Key Fobs: This is a more modern access credential used together with proximity and RFID system with encoded digital data which must be verified for access.

Mobile Credentials: This involves the use of the worker’s phone as a smart key. Mobile access control is managed through a mobile app or portal. Unlocking the door with your smartphone is typically done over NFC or Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi can be used to open doors remotely. Codes via text can be used for users who cannot download an app.

Biometric Readers: Biometric scanning uses unique biological data like fingerprints, iris scanning, or more recently facial recognition to identify authorized personnel in high-security spaces. Biometrics are typically used as a secondary credential in addition to the one mentioned above like a badge or pin code.


As a general rule, each type of door access control system includes some variation of these core components:

  • Electronic credentials like a key fob, key card, or smartphone
  • A reader scans user credentials and grant access
  • An access control panel to store data on workers and their level of access. This data can be stored on an on-site server or remotely via a cloud-based system
  • A mechanism that unlocks doors automatically


These access control components work together to provide a high-grade security system that is reliable, easy to manage, convenient, and secure.

Having a door access control system that integrates with your workflows, secures every access point in your facility, and can be remotely managed and monitored will make life easier, safer, and more convenient for both you and your employees. The security needs of the modern workplace have evolved beyond conventional access control methods and require solutions that are digital, and automated and require as few physical components as possible.

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