Multi-family buildings, whether they are high-rise apartment complexes or simple duplexes, have unique security needs. These buildings have a large number of “approved” individuals who live there and need a way to easily access the building, but there are an even larger number of unapproved individuals–burglars, vandals, loiterers, etc.–that the security system needs to effectively exclude.
A specialized security system is key to balancing the ability of residents to access their own building without making them or the property vulnerable to non-resident parties.
In this article we’ll review five of the best multi-family security systems, highlighting their best features so that you can make an informed decision on how to protect your building.
Openpath – Best App-Based Access Control
Openpath offers one of the best options for simple and effective access control. This system works by linking smart locks, which can be installed on any door, with a phone-based app. Both property managers and their tenants can use the app (with different permissions, of course).
The phone app syncs with the lock using Bluetooth or cellular data, so it isn’t dependent on Wi-Fi availability. The easy-to-use app interface allows property managers to easily see their building’s activity history, and even grant temporary access to guests.
Openpath’s smart locks also work with smart cards or key fobs. And as long as a linked phone, fob, or card is close enough to the receiver, the lock will disengage, making it basically hands-free. The smart locks aren’t automatically equipped with video, but cameras (like those from Hikvision, below) can easily be integrated.
- Openpath is easy to install
- Remotely open or lock any door with a synced smart lock
- Works with Bluetooth or cellular data, not wi-fi
- Emergency lockdown feature
- Hands-free unlocking
Doorking – Best Telephone Entry System
Doorking is one of the best security systems for multi-family dwellings because its systems and very modular and thus infinitely customizable.
We find it especially efficient for large complexes because it enables property managers to choose all the components they need from one source, from card readers to intercom systems to door and gate controls.
If you know your complex needs security but aren’t sure where to start, Doorking Authorized Dealers are trained to evaluate the facility and make a comprehensive security recommendation, followed by installation. They’ll even train you how to use your new system, and provide technical support if you need it. It’s a great way to get from point A (not secured) to point B (very secured).
- Reliable, simple telephone entry solution
- Rigorously tested equipment
- Cellular based options for modern communication
- Optional backup battery for access control in case of power outage
- Cloud programming available
- DKS System Programmer App available on some devices
ButterflyMX – Best Video Intercom System
This is one of the smartest intercom systems out there. ButterflyMX provides a secure, streamlined intercom experience for tenants, and also gives managers access to valuable analytics on tenant usage thanks to its comprehensive behind-the-scenes dashboard.
The ButterflyMX entry system is cloud-based and entirely self-contained, which makes it easy to install without the need for additional wiring or hardware. Managers can interface with the system using its mobile app or web browser and easily perform a number of security tasks, such as updating resident directories, reviewing entry logs, control access remotely, and creating virtual keys and access PINs.
Butterfly MX is easy to integrate into almost any security system and practically any built environment, which makes it a favorite for security updates to multi-family dwellings.
- Cloud-based and app-based
- Remote access
- High-definition video intercom with two-way audio
- Easy install
- Connectivity to other cloud-based security devices (including Siri and Alexa)
HikVision – Best Affordable Security Camera
Hikvision cameras feature high quality cameras and powerful software at an affordable price point. Cameras from Hikvision offer some of the best imaging in the industry, with wide dynamic range (WDR), infrared, and night vision.
It’s also a very scaleable system: the software can support up to 128 NVR cameras without a hitch, which will be more than enough for most multi-family properties.
Hikvision offers a range of camera models to fit all surveillance situations. Their PanoVu panoramic cameras can capture a field of vision up to 360 degrees in high detail, even in low light. The Pro Series with ColorVu records in full color both day and night. The flagship Pro Series with AcuSense is an HD smart camera with built-in learning algorithms to target moving objects, as well as built-in sirens and strobe lights in the event of an intruder. And their Wi-Fi Series provides stable and high-quality images with a minimum of installation hassle.
- Affordable price point
- Vandal proof outdoor cameras
- Five year manufacturer’s warranty (when installed through authorized reseller)
- High definition camera quality
- Excellent in low light
- Browser-based or app-based software portal
AXIS – Best Fixed Dome Security Camera
The best cameras in the industry are made by AXIS, and their fixed-dome models are great for residential security.
Fixed-dome cameras are unobtrusive and tamper-proof, and it’s difficult to tell which way they are pointing. This makes them effective deterrents for loiterers and burglars.
AXIS fixed-dome cameras are available in a number of different models with different technical specifications, so that property managers can choose the right camera for their setting. The M31 series includes infrared imaging, while the M32 series adds wide-angle views and the P91 series is engineered to be corner-mounted.
All of these cameras are equipped with AXIS Zipstream, a forensic program that reduces storage bandwidth by retaining footage that contains faces, tattoos, license plates, etc., and compressing the rest. This means that less data is stored overall, but everything that is stored is relevant.
AXIS Camera Station is a simple but powerful camera interface that property managers can use to monitor their AXIS camera system, and can even be integrated with AXIS-specific door controllers and card readers.
- Low profile
- User friendly software
- Wide range of camera models
- Vandal proof cameras
- HDTV video quality
- Indoor/outdoor cameras
Still Not Sure Which System You Need?
There are a lot of great options on the market when it comes to multi-family security systems, and it’s important to find the right one for your specific building or buildings.
Talking to a professional can help you make a plan, select hardware and software, and even install and/or integrate your entire system of intercoms, locks, alarms, and cameras. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone!
Interested in a free consultation? Contact us here today, or call Safe and Sound Security at 888-333-4540