There are a myriad of ways to keep your business safe and secure. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which is best and how to choose the right system for your company. A barcode access control system is one way you can control who physically enters your facilities. It’s a relatively inexpensive and flexible security option.
Chances are, you’ve encountered barcode access control systems in the past, be it at a place of work or in a public place. They simplify access control for users and administrators alike.
What is an Access Control System?
An access control system regulates who has access to your property. Via various methods, the system grants access to authorized people and denies access to unauthorized people.
Access control systems can be simple, requiring people to swipe a card or punch in a code. Most access control brands, such as Openpath and Vanderbilt, can also be intricate, requiring cards to be swiped in a certain order or using biometric information to grant or deny access. Barcode systems are common and intuitive.
What is a Barcode Access Control System?
A barcode access control system is a relatively simple system that’s easy to implement on a wide scale. It requires employees or authorized personnel to present a barcode to gain access to the facility.
In addition to scanning barcodes, a similar form of access control scans QR codes as well. These both work in the same way; the person attempting to gain access swipes their code or displays it in front of a reader to gain access.
How Does a Barcode Access Control System Work?
Barcode access control works through a simple process. Barcode readers scan barcodes, which can be on paper, phones, devices, key tags, id cards, or badges, for example.
Access can be granted via automatic or manual readers. With automatic readers, you’ll need to install scanners at each entrance where you want to control access. Many companies and businesses that require patrons to gain access use automatic readers so employees or patrons can access the facility at any time. For example, an employee can swipe into work in the morning, and they can also swipe in at 9 pm when they realize they left their wallet at their desk. Similarly, patrons at a 24/7 gym can show up to work out at 3 am without requiring an employee to let them in.
With manual readers, you’ll need to station an employee with a handheld scanner at each entrance where you want to control access. This is typically used in workplaces where security is more important. You might also see manual readers with stationed employees at events that require barcode access, such as a concert or sporting event.
When somebody attempts to gain access, they’ll swipe their barcode in the scanner. The scanner is connected to the access control system and sends the information from the swipe to the system.
The access controls system records the unique ID that attempted access along with the date and time. It also grants or denies access. If access is granted, the system will unlock the door or complete whatever action is needed for the person to gain entry.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Barcode Access Control System?
Barcode access control systems are relatively straightforward, and they’re used in many industries. Many office buildings use them for employees, and you may have also encountered them in public places, such as a gym, public transportation, or on a college campus.
Many industries use this type of system, but it isn’t right for everybody. Understanding the pros and cons can help you determine if you should choose a barcode access control system for your business.
Pros of Barcode Access Control
Compared to other types of access control, a barcode access control system is relatively inexpensive. It’s also easy to create a new barcode for a new employee or for temporary access. In fact, you can regularly create new barcodes for temporary employees or visitors, and you can also specify when certain people will be granted access.
Barcode systems provide an opportunity to keep tabs on traffic. Because they log who is accessing the area and when, you can see the busy or slow times. You can also keep track of any access attempts that were denied. The system keeps tabs on when each person was granted access as well, which is helpful if you need to investigate an incident. It can help you narrow down who was likely in the building at the time the incident occurred.
Barcodes can also be duplicated and are non-proprietary. This makes it simple to customize the system, create new codes, and keep the access control system running smoothly. A common way to use barcode access control is for entrance to concerts or special events. It’s easy to create a one-time barcode for somebody to print or display on their phone. All they need to do is scan their code to gain entry to the event.
Cons of Barcode Access Control
Barcode access control isn’t the most secure form of access control. A biometric reader, for example, is better at ensuring the person attempting to gain access is who they say they are. Allowing 24/7 access to anybody with a barcode can present a security risk.
Additionally, barcode access control requires people to swipe their card or place it in front of an optical reader. This isn’t a huge deal for most people, but it can be more cumbersome than simply getting near the reader with a prox card. If employees are often entering the building carrying a lot of things, this can be frustrating for them.