smart phone access control

Server Based vs Cloud Based Access Control

Access control systems are a critical part of keeping your business secure. They prevent unauthorized entry to key points of your building and log traffic, allowing you to stay updated on anomalies or potential threats. Whether you use biometric fingerprint scanners, card readers, PIN codes, RFID key fobs, or your smartphone, you need to manage your database through a network connection. There are two main types of access control system networks to choose between these days – server based and cloud based access control.

commercial access control

Server-Based Systems

On-site servers are the traditional way to handle access control systems. A server (or servers) and door controller are installed somewhere on your premises, usually requiring a dedicated room and terminal. When someone runs their credentials through one of your readers, the door controller receives the ID and the server compares it to the database of approved IDs (known as a whitelist). You can only manage your server through its dedicated terminal, making it very secure.

Installation & Maintenance

The drawbacks to server-based systems are the high cost and invasive installation. Servers are costly to purchase and set up, and since you don’t want wires exposed, the installation to hide them can be difficult if your building is already built or used. All servers require constant updates to keep up with security breaches or new OS features, so¬† you’ll probably need a dedicated on-site team of technicians to ensure your server doesn’t crash the next time your machine needs an update.

Cloud Based Access Control

Some newer access control systems store your whitelist and manage your door controls on the cloud. Instead of your readers sending credentials through a wire to your server, they’re compared on your security provider’s cloud hosting server. Because your system is Web-based, you can access and manage your whitelist from anywhere as long as you have a cellular or wireless device. This is just one advantage of cloud based access control.

Installation & Maintenance

Since you don’t need an on-site server, the initial cost is lower and the installation is a little less invasive. Cloud-based systems still require a control panel that communicates with your router, though, so some installation is still required. You also won’t need to employ in-house technicians to update your server. However, you will be paying for a cloud subscription and you won’t have as much control over your data as you would with your own server.

Brivo OnAir

You can’t talk about cloud based access control without mentioning Brivo. Brivo is the national leader in the cloud-based access control field. The interface is easy to use and will even let you use your smartphone as your credentials with Brivo OnAir. For more information about Brivo’s services, check out our blog post featuring their system.

Choosing the Right System

If you prefer a server-based system, you value reliability and detailed control over the ability to access your database from off-site. You’ll need a dedicated server room and an IT team to keep your access control system online, but you’ll own the whole system outright and won’t be at the mercy of someone else’s server.

If you decide to go with a cloud-based access control system, you’re choosing the versatility of remote access over the reliability of a hardwired system. You might have to pay a continuous fee for your network, but it’s a lot cheaper than employing technicians and maintaining a server room.

Get Safe and Sound

No matter which option you choose for your access control system, you’ll want it installed professionally. Whether you know what you need or want a little more information before you decide, give Safe and Sound Security a call. We’ve been Northern California’s best access control system installer for nearly 10 years, and we’d love to share our expertise with you to make sure you stay safe and sound.

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