Can Security Systems be Used for Access Control?

Yes, security systems can be used for access control. In very basic terms, access control refers to the ability to operate locks and security checkpoints. The typical security system is perfectly suitable for the basic access control that you would find in many homes and small businesses.

Access control is a relatively broad term that covers everything from an intricate security checkpoint for a premises to a simple door lock on your front door at home. If you are considering using a security system for access control, then you need to understand that the capabilities of a security system are relatively limited in that aspect. A large company or a maximum security complex will almost always need something more intricate and specifically geared for access control. This is because a security system won't be able to offer all of the access control functions that are needed.

If you are just looking for a central hub that can lock or unlock a few doors, then using a security system is perfectly acceptable. Many security systems can readily interface with Z-Wave door locks, and you can control them directly from the main alarm panel, as well as from an added touchscreen keypad that supports automation. Just be aware that your security system will need to be able to operate as a Z-Wave controller for this to work. And if your security system is monitored with a plan that includes support for automation, then you will also be able to control locks remotely using a web browser or an app on your phone. This can be done from virtually anywhere in the world. You can also include your locks in smart scenes so that they lock or unlock automatically based on a set schedule or with predetermined system events.

But access control functionality beyond that is very limited for a security system. Some of the most important aspects of access control include providing different levels of access based on authority and logging who goes where and at what time. These functions aren't normally possible with security systems, and you will typically need a specialized access control system if you want to make that possible. This isn't normally a big issue for a home or small business, as these more intricate functions of access control won't be used. But a large business or secure complex will often require this functionality, and they will need a more specialized access control setup.

To put it simply, if you just need access control for locking and unlocking doors, then a standard home or business security system with some Z-Wave locks may suit your needs just fine. But if you need a system that will actively log who gained access to which location and at what time, or if you need a system that will provide multiple levels of access based on assigned authority, then a security system probably won't offer you everything you need. The good news is that you can often use a dedicated security system alongside a dedicated access control system to achieve the exact setup that you need. Alarm Grid doesn't deal with dedicated access control systems, so we recommend looking elsewhere if you are requiring something more advanced for your business or secure complex. However, we will be happy to support virtually any security system used alongside your access control system.

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