The best access control systems for 2024

Read our brand reviews, compare features and find the right door access solution for your business.

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:

    Legacy systems

  • 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

    Cloud-based systems

  • 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.

Top 10 access control systems:

  • 1. Kisi

  • 2. Isonas

  • 3. Salto

  • 4. Honeywell

  • 5. Bosch

  • 6. Schlage

  • 7. Paxton

  • 8. S2

  • 9. HID

  • 10. ADT

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Best Access Control Brand Reviews

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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.

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Cloud camera integration


Data export

Direct support

Directory integrations

Lockdown feature

Native mobile access

Public API

Remote unlocks

SAML SSO-enabled

Want to know more about Kisi?

The best access control systems explained: features

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.

Remote unlocks

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.

Directory integrations

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.

Public API docs

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.

User Authentication

Native mobile access

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.

SAML-based SSO

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.


Alarms integration

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.

Event export

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.

Cloud camera integration

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.


Direct support

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.

Salto vs Kisi

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 cloud.

From a hardware point of view, the electronic lock units are battery powered, stand-alone systems.


  • Software updates require physical, onsite access
  • Salto units have to be installed with Salto locks

The Kisi Advantage

Compared to Salto, Kisi offers integrations with more coworking software and more tools in general. Moreover, Kisi is easily accessible through cloud updates and Kisi’s vendor-friendly system makes it compatible with other types of locks. New features are rolled out every month, unlike static systems that evolve at a much slower pace.

Full Salto Review

Isonas vs Kisi

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 credentials.


  • Isonas does not pair with fire and alarm systems
  • Since it's lightweight, it only performs the most basic functions

The Kisi Advantage

Kisi integrates with fire alarm systems, offers a standalone intrusion detection solution, and can connect to video surveillance cameras, providing you with a complete security solution, while offering advanced door-control options and features.

Full Isonas Review

Bosch vs Kisi

Bosch Security Systems offer a wide array of security and communication products including video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, fire detection, and alarms.


  • Bosch depends on local partners for distribution, sale and after-sale services.
  • It does not offer mobile access or out-of-the-box directory integrations

The Kisi Advantage

Aside from a more modern product, Kisi also offers continued support, 1-on-1 onboarding a full range of software integrations including SSO providers and CRM systems.

Full Bosch Review

ADT vs Kisi

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.


  • The ADT system does not offer mobile device or biometric credentials
  • The system is optimized for small scale businesses; implementing it for medium or large-scale businesses might prove to be a challenge

The Kisi Advantage

Kisi’s product is developed exclusively around the needs of commercial facilities, from small businesses to large-scale enterprises, and it offers flexible access options including Apple Watch, mobile phones, key cards and fobs.

Full ADT Review

Lenel-S2 vs Kisi

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.


  • Legacy hardware and software
  • Less suitable for the needs to small and medium businesses

The Kisi Advantage

Aside from the benefits provided by running access control from the cloud, Kisi offers an open environment and it integrates with third party video surveillance systems like Cisco Meraki or Rhombus.

Full S2 Review


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.