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Wireless access control - the IT perspective

Wireless technology is nothing new and used in lots of everyday situations...

Posted by Ed Brown | May 10, 2017 | Facilities

As emerging technologies cause the line to blur between IT and  building management and as these new technologies develop they need a greater input from an IT department, we thought we would take a look at wireless access control from the IT manager’s viewpoint. As we all know wireless technology is nothing new and used in lots of everyday situations. However, use in the access control arena has had slow uptake and this could be due, in part, to resistance from IT departments. There might be security concerns, a lack of skills around door access control systems and software, bandwidth concerns for the infrastructure or just a shortage of physical resource in the team.  Whatever the reasons this article will hopefully go some way to show the benefits of going wireless and alleviate any IT concerns.

The most obvious benefit is there is no need for hard-wiring, cabling or network points to be installed at each access point, which has to be a bonus for busy IT teams as well as helping reduce the cost of the install.

The set-up is easy, once the gateways (which are connected by Ethernet to the network) are set up in pre-defined wireless zones your users are ready to go!

A wireless solution delivers immediate connectivity and is easily scaled. Operationally the data and permissions are stored at the server and are transmitted to the wireless door readers via distributed intelligence, most commonly, an ID card. The wireless systems are highly secure meeting RF IEEE 802.15.4 at 2.4 GHz standard and are AES 128Bit encrypted. A wireless solution also ticks any environmental compliance boxes by offering a system with low power consumption.

In real time, system managers will be able to cancel keys, monitor who went through doors or tried to access a door they shouldn’t. To ensure reliability, managers can view real time battery statues for each door and take preventative action in good time should a door show a low battery status. Additionally, if a reader is offline at any time, it still functions via the locks battery and once back online any data is immediately pushed back to the server – whilst the door is offline or contact with the management PC is lost 1000 event audit trail back up is stored until contact is resumed.

Other technical information to reassure an IT team includes; connection to the LAN network 10 BASE-T/100-BASE-TX. IP addressing through web explorer available. Firmware updates are easily done via software through the Ethernet connection. By using additional nodes a bridge is created between the gateway and the door handles, so where the distance to the door handle or where the number of door handles that must be linked to the gateway exceeds what is possible with a single gateway there is no issue.

If you would like to know more about AIT’s wireless access control solution please click here or feel free to call us on 0113 273 0300.

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