How to Select the Best Access Control Components

Your Access Control Objectives are the First Step in Getting What You Need

Access Control System Components
Access Control System Components

There are many access control systems available. It can be challenging to decide on the best one for you. This article guides you on the best way to determine the access control components that are right for you.

Defining your objectives is the first process for determining the best access control system.

The Components of The Access Control System

The access control system consists of five primary components.

  • Credentials
  • Door readers,
  • Door Access controllers,
  • Electric locks, credentials,
  • Access control management software
Access Control Selection
Access Control Selection

The first step is to define what you need. Here are some questions to ask that will help you determine your objectives and requirements:


Let’s start with the credentials you would like to use because this will define the type of door reader you require.

The Credentials are used to enter the door. The door credentials can be cards or keyfobs. These cards are available with 26-bit and 125KHz frequencies or the more secure 128-bit and 13.56 MHz format. They can also be mobile credentials that use your smartphone as the credential or biometrics such as your face or fingerprint.

  1. Card credentials are sometimes referred to as “prox cards.” They are compatible with most door readers. Physical cards can include printed information to be used as an identification card. This is the oldest type of credential. Smart cards are the most secure type of card credential. The security concern is that a card can be lost or given to another person.  
  2. Mobile Credentials: use your smartphone as the credential. Smartphone credentials are considered more secure because people tend not to give their phones to someone else.
  3. Biometric Credentials: Identify a person by human characteristics such as face or fingerprint. This is the most secure type of credential since it relies on a person’s characteristics and it can’t be lost or easily copied.

Door Readers

IP reader-controllers
IP reader-controllers

Once you know the type of credential, you can select the door reader. Some only read cards, while others can read cards and smartphones. The more expensive door readers can read a person’s biometrics.

Electric Locks

There are two types of electric locks. There are Magnetic or Mag locks and Electric Strikes.

Magnetic locks are used in high-security areas where you must monitor people’s movement in and out of the door. Since people must use their access cards in both directions, you can track who enters and leaves a secure area. They are easy to install but require special wiring if there is a need for an emergency exit. They must conform to local fire and safety regulations.

Electric strikes may require installation assistance from a locksmith. They are used to secure outer and inner doors but do not prevent egress from an area like the magnetic lock. It replaces the fixed strike place in a standard lock. The strike must be selected based on the door type, so it’s always important to ask an experienced company for advice before choosing the strike.

Door Controller

Door Controllers
Door Controllers

The Controller compares the credentials presented to the reader to the registered list. There are several types of controllers. Some can control multiple door readers or are built into the door reader.

Access Control Management Software

Access Control and IP Camera Integration
Access Control and IP Camera Integration

The Access Control Management Software provides registration functions and manages the list of users. Door access management software is an essential part of your access control system. It allows you to manage the door readers in your organization, enter credentials for each person, and manage all the people who will use the doors.

The access control management software is an essential part of the system. The software allows you to enter all the people who can enter the facility. It provides the user registration function and enables you to manage everyone on the list. It lets you control who can enter, when, and what door they can use.

More Things to Consider

Size of your business: 

You may only need a simple system with a few doors if you have a small business. You may need a more complex system with more features if you have a larger organization with multiple locations.

Security needs: 

There are some other things to consider. For example, what level of security do you need? How important is security to you? If you need a high level of protection, you will need a system with biometric or multi-factor authentication and passback control.

You may select a system supporting elevator control or smartphone mobile credentials. If security is not as important to you, you can choose a basic system with card or key fob access.

Door Access Control Scalability:

There are some other things to consider. For example, do you want to start with one door and add more doors and users as your needs grow? Some systems make it easy to start with one door reader and incrementally add additional doors.

Integration of Access Control and Other Security Systems:

Check if the access control system can integrate with other security and building management systems, such as IP camera systems, alarms, intercoms, and visitor management software. Do you want to control elevators or entry to a parking lot? The type of access control system can determine if you can control more than just the doors.

Cloud or On-Site Software Management:

Cloud or On-Site Access Control
Cloud or On-Site Access Control

You can also choose systems that provide Cloud and on-premises management. A cloud system offers remote management capabilities, allowing administrators to monitor and manage access from anywhere. Please read our article Access Control Management Software: Cloud Versus On-site for more information.

Summary of Selecting the Best Door Access Control System for You

The best door access control system is the one that meets your specific requirements. By answering the questions regarding the credentials, door readers, and management software, you can define the best system for your application. To learn more about selecting your Access Control System, take a look at our video Access Control,

It is always a good idea to talk to an expert in access control. At Kintronics, we have experts in door access control who can review your needs and suggest the best access control system.

If you want help selecting the best door access system, please get in touch with us at 1-800-431-1658 in the USA or 914-944-3425 everywhere else or use our contact form.