Keyless Entry Systems in Access Control

Technology is advancing and now keyless systems provide equal or better security compared to their traditional counterparts.

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How Do Keyless Entry Systems Work?

As the name suggests, keyless entry systems grant access to a limited or restricted area without requiring a physical key. They come in many shapes and sizes, but as a general rule, you can choose from three types of keyless entry systems for business. These include:

Keyless Locks With A Combined Keypad

While this system offers an added layer of security that’s easy to implement, keyless locks with a keypad or pinpad do not have remote management capabilities. This requires office occupants and IT administrators to be physically present to input the key code to gain access or resolve any issues, limiting the functionality of the lock compared to other more technologically advanced lock systems, such as Kisi’s cloud-based system.

Key Fob Entry Systems

Locks with key fob and smart card control, or proximity keyless entry systems, make it easiest to onboard new employees and visitors, granting access with just a simple tap of the fob or card to the lock. While these proximity keyless entry systems are slightly more flexible for administrators and users, fobs and smart cards are still only operational from a close distance and don't have any remote management capabilities. This system is commonly used by businesses of all sizes because it’s fairly easy for administrators to assign and deactivate access and to react quickly when an access fob is lost or stolen. However, on traditional systems, this is a time-consuming process that might cost your team hours of work every month.

Commercial key fob door entry systems by Kisi
Example of a commercial key fob door entry system

Smart Locks (Or Remote Keyless Entry Systems)

Smart locks, or remote keyless entry systems, take advantage of wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, WiFi, or Z-Wave for access control and remote lock management. For their part, smart locks use a keyed lock, a key card access control system, or a combination of access controls to lock and unlock your property. Their distinguishing feature is their remote control capabilities, where the lock pairs with a keycard, a key fob, or a smartphone, making it the optimal solution for administrators who need the ability to manage access remotely. Smart locks that integrate with mobile-friendly or cloud-based software are the most flexible solution for businesses that want to maximize security and react quickly and painlessly to any physical breaches. Advanced smart locks are also the easiest to pair with security cameras and smart alarms, creating the safest environment for employees.

Types of Keyless Access Systems

All keyless remote access control systems have one thing in common, namely, the lack of traditional keys and lock cylinders in the doors. Instead, you lock and unlock a keyless access control system using either a key card, a key fob, or a mobile device, be it a smartphone, tablet, or another mobile gadget. This is where the name “keyless” is derived from — not the most imaginative name ever conceived, we know!

For example, with a keyless fob access system for business, you can distribute fobs to all employees, and these will leverage Bluetooth technology to unlock your doors from a short distance. However, such a system is only operational at relatively close distances given the limitations of RFID and NFC technology. It will, though, still be able to detect your presence within its operational range and lock or unlock doors automatically, which is why these sorts of locks are becoming more and more prevalent in all sorts of businesses.

Keyless Access Methods by Kisi
Kisi offers different keyless access methods, including keycards, key fobs, smartphones, Apple Watch, remote dashboard unlocks, and touchless unlocks based on built-in sensors.

On the other hand, Wi-Fi and IP systems, like those used by wireless locks for businesses, or smart access control, have unrestricted range given that your network is powerful enough. Hence, armed with an uninterrupted Internet connection, you have access to your door locks anytime and from anywhere. Of course, the lock needs to be connected to your home or office Wi-Fi network to work.

A mobile access control system enables business IT admins and homeowners alike to check system status remotely, manage settings on the go, get alerts for specific events, and open and close doors from any location using only a smartphone.

What Your Keyless Access System Is Made Of

A complete keyless access system is not limited to just the door lock. Modern systems like Kisi have integrations with all sorts of helpful tools that you can add to the base system.

Major components of any access control system, wireless or not, include door readers, system state controllers, sensors, and detectors such as smoke, fire, and motion sensors. A smart mobile access control system will also feature equipment such as routers, modems, and/or wireless devices that enable remote connection to your system.

An automated keyless entry system can be fully integrated with your home automation system, which in turn means you’ll have various connectors and additional sensors to lock or unlock doors and windows from anywhere in your home.

You can also program an integrated home automation keyless entry system to perform various additional tasks, like switching lamps on and off, starting and stopping air conditioning, or turning on a TV set in the evenings when you aren’t home, providing additional security measures against home intrusions. Thus, your keyless access system will comprise of appliances that are usually not considered components of an access control system.

Kisi Reader Unlock

Are Smart Locks always Bluetooth Entry Systems?

Not always. At Kisi, we mainly use two types of technology for locking and unlocking doors. Bluetooth is the technology that we use for iOS devices, while NFC is what we use for Android devices. Bluetooth does play a role in connecting Android devices, though, as we use Bluetooth fencing to define the area where the door can be unlocked.

For more information about Bluetooth keyless entry systems, read our dedicated article.

Why Mobile Access Control Is Best

A key card access control system or a fob access system is passive by nature, remaining inactive until it is prompted to read the credentials of someone attempting to gain access. However, these types of keyless access systems can sometimes be combined with an alarm that is triggered by an active sensor constantly monitoring the room, like a motion detector.

Kisi Reader Unlock

In contrast, a mobile access control system provides functionality to check, manage, and operate door and window locks remotely and on the go. You may be thinking that a flaw in this type of system is the need for constant Internet connection to work properly. Well, there are mobile systems that use other means of communication, and with your main control panel placed indoors and secured by a power backup system, you’ll get the uninterrupted connection and system alerts you rely on for your security.

From Small Businesses to Enterprises — Smart Access Control

Thousands of companies rely on Kisi's keyless access control system to enhance their security and streamline operations. A modern access control system may be an obvious choice for larger organizations, but even companies with less than 50 employees may benefit from this sort of solution. Kisi’s system is especially helpful for those businesses in which multiple people need access to the facility, such as guests, consultants, cleaning services, and remote employees. As you grow your business, Kisi scales with you, without the limitations you’ll run into with smart locks or the need to issue keycards and fobs. To learn more about our product, you can take a look at this overview or get a free quote.

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