The right access control door system for your business is crucial in keeping people who are unauthorized out of your place of business.

Having a proper system in place is a safety feature you can’t put a price on. Your employees, tenants and others will have the peace of mind they need to know their best interest is in mind.

Using this guide will help you to uncover the different solutions you have for a door access control system your business can utilize.

What Are Your Current System & Security Needs?

There are a few things you’ll need to know to make sure you cover all your bases like:

  • How many door entries you have
  • Who will you be giving access to
  • How employees will use the door system
  • Do you need any security additions that you don’t currently have

Finding the right solution for you will be easy if you know the answers to these questions.

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Access Control System Hardware For Your Doors

When choosing the hardware you’ll need for your access control door system, the scope and size of what you need is an important factor.

If you only need one door secured, then your needs will differ greatly from an organization that needs a multiple site system installed. With more than a few doors that need installation, an access control system that is networked is highly encouraged.

With this kind of networked solution, your system would be centralized wirelessly compared to a system which has security on each door like a lock and key. The network access control door system allows you to add or remove people from the system as well as communicate with any other physical building locations.

By now you should know how many doors you’ll be securing with access control hardware. You’ll want to choose a system that will support all your door entries, but be sure to account for elevators, parking garages and turnstiles too.

Not all door systems will have what you need, so by accounting for everything, you’ll be able to get a system you can truly utilize and grow into.

If you’re concerned with existing hardware you have for your current door access control system, your new system should also be compatible with your existing legacy control panel and wiring so that installation is as efficient as possible.

Should your system have standard wiring with proper input and output options, your system can easily be improved upon or added to if needed in the future

You’ll have more flexibility if you’re starting your system from scratch, but in most cases, you shouldn’t have to worry if you have an existing system. Make sure the company you’re using to install the new door access control system for your business fully understands your current solution and is certain anything new installed will all be compatible.

On-site Vs Cloud Based Access Control Door System

Another option you should think about is whether you’ll have a server on-site or if you’ll use a cloud-based platform for your door system. You’ll want to weigh both options and make the best choice for you.

A lot of legacy systems have a server on-site so there’s a dedicated space for it physically at your location. That usually comes with maintenance and service as well. This can be an inconvenience to some because on occasion there can be downtime. Not to mention there’s security issues if anything is down any amount of time.

Most businesses will prefer a cloud based solution for its convenience and flexibility. You can have the option to run your access control online making specific adjustments to login credentials, adding or removing people, schedules for your doors and you’ll also be able to view your status reports online.

Here are the main differences between having a server on-site or using a cloud based access control system:


If you’re going with a server on-site, there will be an installation cost as well as up front costs for your equipment. There will also be ongoing fees associated with this as well.

This may seem like a hassle, but some business owners enjoy the comfort of knowing where their equipment is, what is on it, and that there is, in fact, someone servicing it on a continuous basis.

Cloud-based access control is fully managed by an outside party. You’ll be paying for the storage you use so there’s no hidden fees. As you scale, so does your plan with the cloud based company you’re using.


If you’re going to go with a server for your door access control, be aware that your hardware will need to be updated on a regular basis. If you have multiple locations, then a server will be needed at each location connected via a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

A cloud based approach may be the better option for you if you’re operating a multi location business as the cloud servers will talk to one another. You’ll have the option of responding to concerns quickly through remote monitoring.

Neither option is better or worse, but you’ll have to decide what’s a better option for your business preferences. A lot of business owners prefer having a server on site, and others would prefer if it was off-site and in the cloud.

Understanding Door Access Methods And Your System

Once you’ve chosen the door system you’ll be using to control access, now you’ll have to decide who and what will be allowed to enter and when.

Your access control system should have the hardware and software to allow different methods for access. Legacy systems might only be able to provide keycard access while new systems may not be backwards compatible with the system you currently have.

What access methods are currently in use at your facility and are you happy with them? Does everyone need the same level of access? Are you able to manage credentials? These shouldn’t be hard to do or cause you headaches with your door system.

The most common methods of access your door system should control are:

Key Fobs And Badges

In order for users to gain entry, the use of key cards, key fobs or badges will be all that’s needed. Most of the legacy systems we come across, most fobs and cards are supported, but can be a little harder to manage. You’ll want your cards encrypted for the best security available.

Smartphone Entry

This is the most preferred method of entry for a lot of businesses due to cleanliness. A credentialed user can just swipe their smartphone in front of the reader to gain access. Everything is stored on the users phone and employees are less likely to forget to bring that to work with them.

Permissions can be easily given and taken away with a user management software and you don’t even need to interact with the person’s phone or be in person to do it. It’s as easy as a flip of a switch that a user can be locked out of everything. The door access control system should also be able to unlock via wrist watches like the Apple Watch and other similar touchless technologies.

Biometric Readers

This is a little more advanced and longer to set up, but it’s very secure since it requires someone to give you their fingerprint, face or retina scan to get access to inside. These readers can be used in addition with other methods of entry.

If you’re already using a mobile entry door access system, you can activate the biometric capability built into the users smartphone to where they will need to use FaceID or a PIN on their phone to get access.

This is an added layer of security just in case a smartphone is stolen and is being used to access the building.

What Are The Best Features For Your Door System?

With a new door access control system installed, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking advantage of and using all the features that come along with it. Here are a few things that you should use, or at lease make sure your new system has.

  • Notifications provided to you in real time. You should be able to see any emergencies that are happening on a moment to moment basis and get alerted immediately.
  • Reporting and paper trails that are extremely detailed. This allows you to improve operations in case of an incident, cover your tracks, analyze any behavior activity and so much more.
  • Dashboards that can be customized. You need to be able to see quickly what’s happening while having access to your most needed controls.
  • The ability to run remotely. Allowing you access control from everywhere, you can centralize your operation and manage all of your locations or people with ease.
  • Integrates with other important systems. See which apps you use day-to-day to run your operations and make sure that your system can align with them if needed.
  • Emergency and lockdown features. You should always be ready for an emergency situation should one arise. Certain systems will let you activate a system wide lockdown or lock specific entries.
  • Activation via touchless methods. Living in the world we do now, not only is it convenient to not have to touch a reader, but it’s an important safety and health feature. After the worldwide pandemic, this is the most requested technology.

How To Choose A Manufacturer And Installer

Having a provider that understands the system you have and what you’re looking to accomplish will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Building Security Services & Systems will provide you with all the components you need, make sure you’re complying with security measures required for your building, and can install your system from start to finish.

We will hand pick the best solution for your needs whether that’s updating an existing legacy system or building a whole new door access control system from scratch. Everything should work together effortlessly.

Contact us today to have us give you our expert opinion on what you need to accomplish your security goals.

Joseph Ferdinando is the visionary founder of Building Security Services, a leading security company renowned for its comprehensive security services. With an illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the security industry, Joseph has been instrumental in elevating the standards of security guard services for a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations. As an influential member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in both New York and New Jersey chapters, Joseph has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices.