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Best Cloud Based Access Control Systems (2022)

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With more than 94% of companies using cloud computing in one way or another, cloud-based access control systems seem to be the order of the day. Today we review the best cloud-based access control systems available on the market; with the aim to help business owners and property managers select the right system for their buildings and communities.

Cloud Based Access Control System

What is a Cloud Based Access Control System?

Cloud-based Physical Access Control Systems (PAS), sometimes colloquially referred to as online access control or smartphone-based systems, allow users to manage and gain access to a building using cloud-connected applications and devices. 

Benefits of Cloud Based Access Control?

Cloud based access control systems continue to replace on-premises access control systems because they can be managed from anywhere using desktops and mobile devices, are easier to use and scale, and reduce operational burden and cost. They also offer many additional features and overcome the limitations of keycards and other legacy systems.

Best Cloud-Based Access Control Systems 2022

Selecting a physical access control system is a business critical decision that impacts the image of your property, the safety and wellbeing of your residents or tenants, and the ease and cost of everyday operations. Let’s look at the top cloud-based access control systems available out there and the key advantages and limitations of each. 

Swiftlane

We start by reviewing our own cloud-based access control system. Based in San Francisco, Swiftlane is a modern Cloud access control Provider in today’s lineup. Our innovative access control system has already won awards and honors and we continue to secure new doors and buildings with each passing day. 

System Overview

Swiftlane’s powerful cloud-based building access control combines mobile, face recognition, audio and video intercom, voice unlock, PIN, and key card entry options in a single system. You can easily manage access permissions for different doors, users and facilities from simple browser and mobile app dashboards. The hardware comprises the Swiftreader—a state-of-the-art cloud-connected device that functions as a multi-technology reader and two-way video intercom. Clients have the option to choose between a fully featured Swiftreader or Swiftreader X and a budget-friendly three-in-one Mobile, PIN and Card Reader.

Features and Benefits

  • Freedom to use facial recognition, smartphone, voice, PIN, and card-based credentials 
  • Two-way audio and video calling; watch and talk before you unlock
  • Remote door release via mobile app and browser
  • Add and remove users and manage access permissions remotely
  • Receive visitor calls on mobile as regular phone calls
  • Issue time-barred permissions and PIN codes for guest access
  • Easily scalable to fit multi-tenant and multi-location use cases

Limitations

  • No CCTV camera surveillance product line, but integrations with cloud based camera systems
  • Limited brand awareness

Feenics

The rise of Feenics began in the mid to late 2000s. It was fueled by growing market demand for a hosted and managed, hardware-agnostic access control solution.

System Overview

Feenics offers a fully managed enterprise-class cloud-based access control solution. It comes with over 50 built-in integrations including cloud-based video, mobile credentials, wireless locks, visitor management, and more. The open hardware and software architecture and a REST based API open doors to unlimited possibilities. You can manage users and permissions and monitor entrances across multiple buildings, cities and regions from on-premise, online and mobile app interfaces.

Features and Benefits

  • Add and remove users, grant and revoke permissions, and manage tiered access from anywhere 
  • Remote management through Feenics Windows App, Web Client and Mobile App
  • Monitor events and alarms in real time
  • Mobile and contactless card based credentials
  • Integrated visitor management
  • Compatible with Mercury access control hardware platform

Limitations

  • No built-in video intercom or camera
  • Integration may be time consuming and requires additional hardware
  • Extensive customization options may be overkill for small and medium sized establishments

Brivo

Born in 1998, Brivo was the first company to offer cloud-based access control.

Brivo Access Control

System Overview

Brivo provides a range of business and residential access control solutions including PIN, RFID, and HID card readers, door controllers and wired and wireless electric locks. Access permissions, users and guests can be managed through Brivo’s cloud-based access control panel and Mobile Pass app. 

Related post: Brivo Access Control Review and Pricing

Features and Benefits

  • Manage permissions and monitor the facility remotely from anywhere. 
  • Users can unlock the door nearest to them via Brivo Mobile Pass
  • Schedule visitor access with Brivo Visitor
  • Integrate with 2N Verso video intercom

Limitations

  • Mobile unlock is achieved using older HID technology
  • Troubleshooting can become a problem because of non-proprietary hardware
  • Some door controller may lack support for Brivo Mobile Pass

Openpath

Now a Motorola owned company, Openpath provides a full-featured cloud-based access control system.

Openpath Mobile Access Overview

Openpath offers a range of access control readers, hubs, boards, and other access control hardware. The onsite hardware is connected to Openpath’s cloud software. As with other cloud-based systems, Openpath is remotely manageable through mobile and browser. 

Features and Benefits

  • Access methods include mobile app, key cards and fobs, and wave-to-unlock hands-free entry
  • Remote mobile app unlock
  • Ability to send customizable guest passes
  • Video Reader for real-time entry surveillance and monitoring
  • Multi technology Video Intercom Reader with intelligent video calling capability
  • Read the full Openpath review for more on Openpath.

Limitations

  • Video Intercom Reader can only make one-way video calls
  • No facial recognition unlock
  • Mobile app has to keep running in the background for the system to work properly

PDK Prodata Key

Founded 2011, PDK (short for Pro Data Key) is a Utah based provider who offers a cloud-based building access control system with mobile, prox card and key fob credentials.

Image: https://www.prodatakey.com/software

System Overview

PDK is an end-to-end solution that includes web-based access software, CloudNodes, controllers, readers, and credentials. CloudNode is the gateway to the pdk.io web-based access control platform which runs the apps to perform various functions. The CloudNode communicates with local door controllers and can be integrated with other security systems such as video surveillance, video intercoms, and more using the pdk.io API.

Features and Benefits

  • Mobile, prox card, key fob, sticker, and wristband credentials
  • Integrates with leading video intercom and video surveillance software (programming required)
  • Variety of readers and keypad options and form factors
  • Remote unlock via PDK Touchapp mobile app
  • Admins can manage everything from mobile and desktop dashboards

Limitations

  • No built-in video or audio intercom entry
  • Integrations can be time consuming and expensive
  • Mobile app has UX issues

Genea

Genea is a California based property tech company offering a mobile-first cloud-based access control solution.

System Overview

Genea’s cloud-based access control eliminates the need of key cards by enabling users to access doors, gates, networks, and more from their mobile phones. The software is completely hardware agnostic and works with readers, controllers, smart locks, and other hardware from HID, Mercury, Stud, and other leading suppliers.

Features and Benefits

  • Your smartphone is your credential, just tap or twist your phone to unlock
  • Manage access permissions and more through mobile app and browser dashboards
  • Works with almost any reader and controller
  • Integrates with a wide range of property tech and everyday business apps
  • Apple Watch unlock

Limitations

Integrations are required to enable video and audio intercom entry

Facial recognition unlock is not available

Kisi

Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Kisi offers a cloud-based system that works with a range of card- and mobile-based credentials.

Kisi Access Control

System Overview

Kisi’s cloud infrastructure allows you to manage users, doors and spaces from anywhere through mobile and desktop applications. Kisi has its own readers and door controllers, which work with a wide range of credentials. Access methods include mobile tap to unlock, Kisi mobile app, motion sensor and app based wave to unlock, fobs, RFID enabled credit cards, and more. 

Features and Benefits

  • True IP based system architecture
  • Intrusion detection, alarms and monitoring
  • Manage permissions from anywhere
  • Remote unlock through the Kisi app
  • Schedule access and issue passes for visitors
  • Integrates with third-party cameras and apps

Limitations

  • Video or audio entry intercom feature not available
  • Facial recognition feature not available

SALTO

SALTO Systems has been manufacturing networked wireless electronic smart door locks since 2001. 

System Overview

Their latest XS4 Original is a sleek and simple to install and retrofit door lock that can be managed through the on-premise SLATO Space and the web-based SALTO KS (Keys as a Service) platform. You can install SALTO locks on the doors that you want to control and also manage your existing smart door locks through the SALTO interface. Users can unlock doors with a variety of secure credentials and mobile technologies in a completely keyless and wireless environment. 

Features and Benefits

  • Keyless and wireless system
  • Tap your phone on the door lock to unlock
  • Remotely lock and unlock individuals or multiple doors from mobile or browser
  • Guests can gain access by downloading digital keys to their mobile phone
  • Web app and mobile interfaces for easy system management

Limitations

  • No video intercom or multi tenant calling capability
  • Locks might have a high failure rate
  • Below average customer ratings

So, Which System is Best for Your Facility?

If you have read the post, you might have noticed that all of the systems that we have discussed offer similar basic features—cloud-hosted software, connected readers and hardware, mobile and card based unlock, and remote management through cloud-based interfaces. Some of the systems also offer video and/or audio intercom entry whereas just one system offers face recognition along with other access methods.

The best cloud based access control system for your building is the one that aligns perfectly with your needs—the number of entrances you want to secure, the access methods you and your users prefer, the nature and image of your organization, the reliability and customer service of the provider, and the price that you can afford to pay.

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