Genetec Access Control and Video Surveillance System Review, Pricing, and Comparison

Access Control

About Genetec

Genetec started out as an IP based video monitoring system in 1997. The Company has helped transform the access control and security industry by providing customers with a unified suite of video surveillance, access control and automatic license plate recognition solutions.

Genetec offers cloud based software that works with a wide range of industry-leading access control and monitoring hardware; including readers, controllers, electronic locks and IP cameras. It is an IP based system in which security is provided by recognizing devices based on their IP address.

Product Overview of Genetec Synergis

Genetec Synergis access control is one of the core systems of Security Center, Genetec’s comprehensive security platform. Synergis is a cloud-based; hardware-agnostic access control software that can work with Security Center’s other core systems—the Omnicast video management and AutoVu license plate recognition systems. The system can optionally support:

  • Plan Manager (interactive and graphic mapping)
  • Sipelia (SIP based intercom)
  • Security Center Mobile (mobile based security management)
  • Security Center Web Client (browser based management)
  • Synergis IX (integrated intrusion detection, video monitoring and access control)

Synergis Cloud Link, a PoE based appliance, is the on-site system hub that connects with the Synergis Cloud. The Genetec software allows users to manage employee or visitor access, monitor employees on video, detect intruders, trigger emergency procedures, and more from a single interface.

Read: Guide to Access Control

Whether you’re a beginner who is new to understanding access control or an advanced IT professional looking to delve deeper into advanced technologies, this access control guide is for you.

Features of Genetec Access Control

Works with Non-proprietary Hardware: Synergis access control can work with PoE enabled non-proprietary controllers and readers from HID Global, Mercury Security, and Axis. Wired and wireless locks from Allegion, ASSA ABLOY, SALTO and SimonsVoss are supported.

Cards and Mobile Based Unlock: The system primarily works on RFID/HID cards but can be extended to mobile by installing the Genetec app.

Video Monitoring: Can integrate with IP security systems to provide real-time or event driven video monitoring through desktop and mobile.

Door and Area Tracking: Assign any specific door or area for event driven or continuous video monitoring.

Individual and Group Tracking: The system can match employee photos with real-time video to track an individual or a group.

Global Cardholder Management: Synchronize cardholders across different locations and issue one credential for multiple locations.

Intrusion Monitoring: Intrusion monitoring, video surveillance, and access control can be unified through Synergis IX.

Analytics and Reporting: The Genetec interface delivers real-time event reports and can create a variety of custom reports— all access denied last month, number of people in a specific area, show me who went through that door last week, etc.

Pricing

Genetec pricing is only available upon request and depends on the customization and modules selected.

Pros of Genetec Access Control

  • Single system for managing access control, video monitoring, and other security applications
  • Hardware agnostic—allows users to break away from proprietary hardware
  • Area, entry, individual, and group monitoring and tracking features
  • Real-time map based monitoring
  • Automatic system health checks and faulty or underused camera detection
  • Works with an extensive range of security solutions, modules and appliances from Genetec
  • Video analytics and reporting capabilities

Cons of Genetec Access Control

  • Large system requires upfront costs and configuration, used primarily in Fortune 500 style enterprise customers.
  • Distribution of card-based credentials
  • People counting and tracking feature requires the use of specialized (and expensive) cameras
  • Advanced features are only available in premium plans
  • Transmit video in Mjpeg only
  • Archived video not available through mobile
  • No built-in video intercom (needs Sipelia integration)
  • No face recognition capability
  • Genetec no longer supports Dahua and Hikvision cameras
  • Advanced learning curve with required training; particularly if advanced features like area tracking and intrusion detection are to be used
  • No COVID safety features

Is Genetec Access Control Right for Your Needs?

Genetec Synergis is an extensive and advanced system. Video monitoring and reporting is its strongest value proposition. The system is best suited for enterprises, factories, military facilities, airports, and other facilities where large-scale video surveillance is a high priority.

Comparison of Genetec Synergis with Swiftlane Touchless Access Control

Viewed purely as access control, Genetec has its genesis in HID cards. It has been able to keep pace with emerging technologies by virtue of being a cloud-based system. It offers card, biometric and mobile access with remote credential management. Video and area surveillance and alarms are the main strength of Genetec. The system supports non proprietary hardware. However, it has an on-premise appliance (Synergis) as the system’s backbone. On the whole, it’s a very extensive system for small and medium companies and is being used by large enterprises with available IT departments and manned security operations.

Swiftlane Touchless Access Control has been developed from the ground up as a face-recognition and mobile-based access control system. Swiftlane seamlessly combines the three pillars of new enterprise security—video, mobile, face recognition. It is straightforward to manage and maintain, with no training or integration needed. Face recognition unlock offers the ultimate convenience to users, who just have to look at the camera to unlock doors. And admins can easily manage access permissions and credentials from anywhere using cloud-based mobile and browser dashboards.

Conclusion

Genetec was originally built as a video monitoring system (VMS). The Company repositioned its products as a ‘unified security management platform’ after the VMS market grew. Its access control and video monitoring system is comparable to that of Brivo, though Brivo was an access management company before it added video monitoring to its solution.

Genetec has a vast legacy software that has done its best to remain competitive in the market despite the advanced nature of some of its systems and modules (such as Omnicast and Sipelia). With that said Genetec is a great system if your security needs demand more of an emphasis on video monitoring and reporting as opposed to access control and remote management.