For first time buyers it can be incredibly difficult to research which solution is the best fit. There are dozens of different access control manufacturers on the market and each one of them offers unique features, although there are clear differences between on-premises legacy systems and cloud-based ones. Let’s quickly analyze the differences between these two options:
Many people still identify access control with legacy systems as they have been used for a very long time
Scarce innovation in decades
Requires more maintenance and a dedicated room for the server
Lots of innovation with new features and integrations added regularly
Often paired up with in-house software that makes maintenance cheaper and easier
Updates are run over-the-air without needing IT maintenance
Requires no space and minimal wiring compared to legacy systems
If your business is still using a key fob system, it's probably time to switch to a mobile access control solution instead. On this page, you’ll find the most popular companies to choose from.
The following comparison chart will help you understand the differences in terms of offerings for the main access control companies on the market. If you are unsure about the role of each feature, you can find a detailed explanation below the chart.
Click on the company logo for more information
Native mobile access
Cloud camera integration
We have grouped the features mentioned in the chart above into four categories: management, compliance, user authentication, support. Let’s dive into it:
Cloud computing allows commercial door access control systems (like Kisi) to use remote servers, which means lower maintenance costs, remote access management and automatic system updates, as opposed to the traditional method of keeping information on local servers that are expensive to maintain and update.
Granting and revoking access without the need to be physically on the premises brings a lot of flexibility and freedom to operators while still maintaining a strict security system. With a powerful online dashboard and mobile app, access control vendors with this feature eliminate the need for physical keys or fobs and enable 24/7 access management.
Particularly useful for mid to large-sized businesses' directory integrations (like Okta or Azure), this feature empowers IT operators to efficiently manage several groups of people and their varying access levels across multiple locations.
Open-source documentation increases the possibility for better custom integrations, giving managers and operators more options to integrate their existing office software with modern access control.
This feature allows people to use their smartphones to access the space, rather than a physical key or fob, which can be lost, stolen or forgotten. For the end-user, mobile access makes life easier, and for managers, it saves time and resources to provision access.
This innovation allows users to centrally manage their cloud services with one set of credentials and (when integrated with access control) provide seamless entry into new spaces. IT managers love this feature because it makes onboarding new users faster and simpler.
Integration with fire alarms or any specialized alert system maximizes the security of the property and ensures managers, operators and emergency personnel can shorten the response time to dangerous situations.
In emergency situations, the lockdown feature can save lives and contain dangerous situations while still prioritizing the safety of authorized users.
Useful for interdepartmental reports or audits, event export features help IT managers quickly produce the necessary logs and insights on every unlock event for an access point.
Another recent innovation in the industry, cloud camera integrations can improve accuracy and provide deeper insight into unlock events, including providing snapshots before and after an unlock or forced-entry.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of implementing technology, direct support is a huge asset in facilitating troubleshooting or managing emergency situations when it comes to your security system.
To help you in your research, we have highlighted below some of the largest manufacturers of access control and security systems.
Known for both smart and traditional locks, Salto is a popular
choice for large facilities looking for an easy to use and efficient
system. Their “Keys as a Service” offering consists of a software
plan that enables businesses to run their access needs from the
From a hardware point of view, the electronic lock units are battery powered, stand-alone systems.
Isonas works with minimal hardware which makes the system
lightweight and easy to install. It's a pure IP system with all
credentials stored on-site within its readers, making offline access
a possibility. They offer two readers, which include a proximity
card-only version and a proximity card plus a pin pad. Isonas can
retrofit old panel-based systems into an IP system, which works with
their branded Pure IP management software. Readers are compatible
with Isonas' proprietary cards and key fobs as well as third-party
Bosch Security Systems offer a wide array of security and
communication products including video surveillance, access control,
intrusion detection, fire detection, and alarms.
ADT is an international company that provides electronic safety and
access control security solutions primarily to residential units.
ADT focuses on keeping homes safe from a variety of elements, such
as break-ins, fires, and floods. It also provides a one-to-many
solution for homeowners who want to create a smart home environment,
allowing them to connect a variety of home appliances and IoT
devices to the physical access control system. On top of their core
offering for the residential sector, they also offer solutions for
small and medium-sized businesses.
S2 is an on-premises access control system designed for enterprise
use. The platform also offers a video management system which
integrates with their access control solution.
Selecting the right access control system for your business can be intimidating. There are dozens of options, ranging from expensive local systems that run on your personal servers, to customizable cloud-based access control systems with hundreds of features and over-the-air (OTA) updates. Local control panel systems can cost thousands of dollars, whereas other brands offer monthly billing to scale with your business and suit your budget. The type and size of your organization should also be considered when making a decision. If you are looking for a future-proof solution, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for a walkthrough of Kisi’s powerful features. If you are looking to expand your research, you can download our PDF with the reviews of the best brands on the market.
Businesses of every size and industry use our hardware and software to secure their space, streamline operations and build a vibrant office culture.