How to Install IP Door Readers

IP Door Readers installation

IP Door Access Control Systems are easy to install and provide excellent flexibility. There are RFID proximity IP readers and biometric door readers such as fingerprint or facial recognition readers, that connect to the network. In many cases, you can use PoE to power the reader and the electric lock.

An IP door access control reader is different from the older Wiegand door readers. Instead of connecting to a control panel, the door reader attaches to the network. All the intelligence is inside the reader. It maintains the rules and holds the database of users who can access the door.

This means that even if the network is down, the reader will still operate (if it has power). The door access software is used to manage and edit the information that’s stored in the readers. It only communicates with the readers when there is a change in the information.

This article takes the mystery out of network attached door access control systems and describes how to install them.

All the door control signals that were on multiple wires between the reader and the control box, are now encoded on the single Ethernet network cable. They are just as secure as the older technology. The control signals that used to come from the control box now come from the reader. The pig-tail on the back of the reader includes connections for the electric lock, power, REX button connection, door sensors and many other connections that allow you to control the door.  Since all the wires come from the reader, you don’t have to run all the wires to the control panel.

Installing the Network Attached Door System

These new IP door readers are much more flexible. You can install a single reader and then incrementally add readers whenever required. There is no (practical) limitation to the number of readers on the network.

IP readers wiring ISONAS

The IP readers are small computers and contain the same (or more) intelligence than the central control box. The door reader/controller stores all the information about the people using the system. The reader makes decisions about status of the door, decides when to unlock the door, and what time of the day a credential can be used.  Since all the information is in the reader, it will operate even if the network is down.

A Windows computer running door access control software is used to enter all the information about the people and the badge/credentials. The software allows us to set up who, when, and where people can enter. Once the information is entered into the computer the information is sent to the door readers.

IP Door Readers

The new IP reader uses network wire and connect to a network switch.  In many cases there is network infrastructure in place, so all we need to do is run a network Cat5 to the nearest switch.  We don’t have to run wires all the way back to the home base.

Network Connection:  Some of the readers can be connected directly to a network switch that includes PoE. Alternatively, the reader may require a higher power PoE injector and splitter or use 12 VDC from a power adapter. Once the IP reader is plugged into the network, we can set the IP address and set up the software manager.  We set unique the IP addresses for each reader just like any other computer on the network.  Once the reader has an IP address, it can be seen on the computer using the door access management software running on your Windows computer.

Isonas Reader Wiring

Pigtail to the door:   The IP reader also has a set of wires that include all the signals needed to control access to the door.  This means we don’t have to run the door sensor wire, AUX, or any other control wires back to the control box; they all go right to the reader that’s at the door.  It’s very easy.

The reader also includes 12 VDC output power that can control most electric locks.  It has a built-in relay to control the door.  As long as the electric lock doesn’t exceed 600ma of current at 12 VDC, you just run the network wire to the reader and you’re done. Nothing else is required.

What about security?  What happens if someone hits the reader with a hammer and breaks it off the wall? How do we prevent someone from shorting the wires together and opening the door? Well, there is a special security box that is placed on the secure side of the door.  The door reader then communicates with the internal box, using an encrypted signal, to remotely control the door relay.  There is no way for anyone to break in using the wires at the reader.

Door Access Control Management Software

Remote Door Access Control Management Software
Door Access Control Cloud Management Software

The latest door management control software allows you to control your IP door readers on your local area network or across the Internet at other facilities.

There is a choice of door management software. One type supports the Isonas readers and the other type manages the biometric readers.

There is also a choice of software that runs locally on your computer or another that runs on a remote (cloud) server. Both systems can control door readers located at multiple sites and include mobile apps for managing the software.

The software allows you to define who can access and control the system, define each door, define and set up groups, and define a shift.  This is very flexible yet powerful software that allows you to easily set up the system and enter the people assigned to each card (or credential).  Here are some examples of the things you can do.

Setting up Each Door
Each reader can be given a name, so it is easy to find in the software.  The IP address can be added so that the software knows where all the readers are located.

Defining Groups of Users
Users (the people who use the system) can be assigned to groups, and then that group of people can have the same permissions for entry.    Now you can tell the system that the group has access to a specific door and control when they can enter the building.  There is an easy calendar that can help you define the “shifts” for your organization.  You can name shifts so that you can easily identify them.  For example, the “weekday shift”, or the “night shift”, etc.  In this way, you can lock the doors after a “shift” or open them so that badges (cards, or credentials) are not needed.

Credential Registration

Each person can be entered and assigned to a group.  You can enter the badge number for the person, or simply swipe the badge using a reader.  It’s easy to add, modify and delete users.


IP door access control systems are wired to the network. They are intelligent readers that do not require any additional control box to provide all the functions of door access control. Instead of using a wire harness, you can use an easy to install network wire.  Door access control software allows you to easily manage the door readers whether they are on your local network or at another facility across the Internet.  Since many organizations already have a network infrastructure it reduces the length of wire runs dramatically.

If you need help defining, specifying, or installing an IP door control system, just contact us for help.  We can be reached at 800-431-1658 in the USA, or at 914-944-3425 everywhere else; or just use our contact form.