(Last updated: September 16, 2021)
For as long as we’ve had doors and gates, we’ve had the need to control who goes in and out of them. Properties today have to manage access for tenants, visitors, and deliveries. Traditional access control systems allow tenant access, but they’re difficult to manage and expensive to maintain. So that’s why you need a cloud-based access control system.
Cloud-based systems are a great way to solve today’s modern access challenges. What’s more, when paired with a video intercom, you can grant seamless property access to tenants and visitors alike! Read on to learn more about cloud-based access control and the best systems on the market in 2021.
This post covers:
- What is cloud-based access control?
- How cloud-based access control systems work
- The best cloud-best access control systems
- Pair your cloud-based access control system with a video intercom
What is cloud-based access control?
Cloud-based access control enables you to remotely control and manage doors and gates via an internet-connected device. The system allows administrators to determine who can (and can’t) open doors into and throughout a building.
Property admins manage access through an online portal. Typically, residents, visitors, deliveries, and building staff gain access by holding an authenticated fob, mobile phone, card, or bracelet up to a reader outside the door, gate, or elevator they want to enter.
Cloud-based access control systems differ from traditional systems because the cloud hosts the software — the brains controlling the hardware — instead of a server at the property itself. By hosting that software in the cloud, building owners and managers enjoy added convenience, security, and affordability.
How cloud-based access control systems work
A cloud-based access control system works by storing data in the cloud rather than an on-site server. As a result, you can access your system’s data and make changes to user permissions using any device with an internet connection.
Cloud-based systems can also undergo routine software updates remotely. As such, your system automatically updates when the access control company releases a new version of the software.
Traditional access control systems require you to download software or physically go on-site to update the system. In other words, you’d have to be at the building just to add or remove a tenant from your access control system.
Using cloud-based access control is more affordable because you don’t have to purchase and maintain a server on your property. In addition, many cloud-based access control systems are also wireless — allowing you to eliminate the need to purchase and install expensive wiring throughout your property.
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Seven best cloud-based access control systems in 2021
Whether you’re seeking cloud-based access for an apartment or an office building, you want the best system. Below, we review the top seven cloud-based access control manufacturers on the market in 2021.
ProdataKey (PDK) is a cloud-based access control system that’s all about “anytime, anywhere, any device” when it comes to managing door access. With high-quality hardware and software, PDK empowers you to manage your property’s entrances from a smartphone or any other internet-connected device. Additionally, the system’s backup batteries keep it working in the event of a power outage.
PDK’s hardware line-up includes:
- Cloud Node: The main system panel.
- Control panels: Controllers designed for doors and gates, and indoor and outdoor use.
- Readers: Various readers designed for smartphone use, keypad access, and more.
- Credentials: Offering cards, fobs, and even sticker and wristband options.
PDK also integrates with ButterflyMX’s video intercom system, which is specifically designed to enable safe and seamless visitor access at multifamily and commercial properties. This integration ensures that whenever you add, update, or delete tenants within ProdataKey’s system, the data is automatically updated within ButterflyMX. So, you’ll save the time and hassle of maintaining two databases.
The cost of ProdataKey products is not listed on the company’s website. So, contact PDK for a custom quote.
However, third-party websites list pricing for some PDK hardware:
- Access control panel: $1100
- Single-door controllers: $500 – $600
- Eight-door controllers: $1500
- Two-door kits: $2100 – $2300
Kisi is a great option for properties of any size or industry. Its cloud-based access control system offers flexible solutions for doors into and within your building. Sleek and simple door readers grant tenants property access using their mobile device, fob, or keycard.
What’s more, Kisi’s open API allows for integrations with other solutions such as your CRM or G-Suite directory. This means all of your tenants will be automatically added to your Kisi system. Plus, they’ll also be updated in real-time when you update your employee roster.
Kisi doesn’t list costs on its website. Instead, you have to contact Kisi’s sales team for a quote. However, third parties list Kisi hardware prices as follows:
- Reader Pro: $599
- Reader Pro Outdoor: $699
- Controller Pro: $899
Brivo offers a state-of-the-art door entry system with solutions that fit a variety of needs. Whether you have a large or small property, Brivo can accommodate your access control needs.
Brivo’s cloud-based system has multiple platform options to accommodate a single site, enterprise, or multi-building complex. You can remotely manage access and credentials from a smartphone or other internet-connected device.
Additionally, Brivo offers a full suite of facility safety features including:
- Tenant and visitor reporting.
- Personnel control.
- Mobile usage to get a better understanding of how people are using the systems.
Brivo also features energy usage monitoring, which keeps track of thermostats and lighting for additional cost-saving opportunities.
The price of Brivo is unavailable on the company’s website. But you can request a quote by contacting Brivo’s sales team.
However, a third-party website lists Brivo pricing as such:
- Hardware: About $900 – $1200 per door
- Software: $15/door/month
Openpath is designed to address your access needs with a focus on keyless entry. It also takes security to a higher level with features that aren’t found in other cloud-based access control systems. Openpath empowers users to open doors with a smartphone, enabling a completely hands-free entry experience.
In addition to controlling and managing property access from your smartphone, you can connect Openpath with certain security systems. So, in the event of a fire or break-in, the system notifies your emergency monitoring provider.
Lastly, Openpath’s system allows you to schedule access to specific zones within a building. With this feature, it’s easy to enable zoned access to service providers such as a cleaning person.
Openpath offers a tiered pricing model but doesn’t list exact costs on its website. You must reach out to Openpath to request a quote.
5. SALTO KS
SALTO KS is a proptech provider offering mobile access solutions for multifamily, commercial, hospitality, and retail.
Its cloud-based software lets property owners and operators manage every aspect of their building’s access experience. Through the SALTO KS mobile app and web-based dashboard, building admins can assign roles to users, adjust access permissions, track entry events, and more. Meanwhile, tenants of SALTO buildings can open doors from their smartphones and send digital keys to guests.
SALTO KS offers a few physical access options, including:
- Smart locks: SALTO offers a wide range of smart locks. All locks are wireless and compatible with most ANSI mortise locks and tubular latches.
- Wall Reader: For doors where a smart lock won’t fit or isn’t needed, you can instead install a Wall Reader. SALTO’s Wall Reader can be purchased with or without a keypad for users to enter a PIN.
- Tags: SALTO’s Tag is an RFID key fob, designed as a form of secondary access in addition to smartphone-based access through the app.
SALTO KS pricing
The company’s website does not list any SALTO KS pricing. To find the cost of SALTO KS cloud-based access control software and hardware, you must contact the company.
Genetec started as a video monitoring system in 1997. But now, it’s a leading provider of security and access control solutions.
Genetec Synergis is the company’s IP access control system. It supports a variety of access control hardware. Additionally, it integrates with various door controllers, locks, and PoE devices.
The Synergis line includes:
- Synergis Cloud Link: A PoE device that supports non-proprietary access control hardware and wiring.
- Synergis SaaS edition: Genetec’s Access Control as a Service is software that can help you reduce costs and invest in less hardware.
Genetec doesn’t list pricing on its website. Additionally, pricing depends on the solution and hardware you buy. So, reach out to Genetec to request a quote.
7. STANLEY Security
STANLEY Security is a well-known company that offers security, access, alarm, and surveillance solutions. Its cloud-based access control system empowers building owners and operators to remotely manage access. As a result, managers can add or revoke access from anywhere.
- Identity management.
- Remote location management from a web browser.
- Event validation with video in real-time.
You can also integrate your STANLEY cloud access control system with your CCTV or video security system.
STANLEY Security pricing
STANLEY doesn’t list pricing for its access control solutions online. However, you can contact the company to request a demo and a quote.
LenelS2 is the company behind S2 access control systems. The company’s Netbox line of access control systems is designed to centralize credential-based access control, intruder detection, and S2 or third-party video applications.
S2 access control systems are web-based, so admins can manage the system from any web browser. S2 also offers two cloud-based software options: Cumulus and Elements. By opting for one of these services, you can host your access control system data on the cloud rather than onsite.
S2’s access control systems are scalable, designed to function effectively for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.
S2 doesn’t list pricing on its website, but third parties estimate the cost of an S2 access control system to be roughly $1000 per door. Of course, that doesn’t cover installation costs. To get a quote, reach out to LenelS2 via their website.
Pair your cloud-based access control system with a video intercom
If you’ve decided to invest in cloud-based access control, you’re taking an important step toward simple property access. The next step is to add an IP video intercom for visitor management and delivery access.
Together, a video intercom and a cloud-based access control system ensure that anyone who needs access to your property can gain it. Choose systems that integrate with each other to enjoy automatic updates between devices.