If you have been thinking of getting an access control system of some kind, you are probably wondering how much it will cost. You can check out the costs involved below.
You can expect to pay on average between $1200 to $2500 per door, and if you have up to 150 employees, you can expect to pay an additional amount between $2500 to $5006 for their access to the door. For a large company with 300 employees, you can expect to pay an additional $12,900 to set up access for that number of employees. Monthly service charges for using the door are between $10 to $100 per month. Keycards for each employee will cost between $3. to $11 each.
Prices vary some depending on the type of access system you are trying to purchase. There are a few choices to choose from, including a key fob system, a keycard access system, or an access control system.
- Types of Access Control Systems
- What is Access Control Systems, and Why Do You Need One?
- Benefits of Key Card Access Systems
- Disadvantages of Key Card Systems
- Alternatives to Key Card and Fob Systems
- Access Control System Cost Per Door
- Cost of a Smartphone Access Control System
- Additional Types of Systems and Their Costs
- To Conclude
Types of Access Control Systems
Depending on the level of security you would like to achieve, you will have to install the right access control system type. Different types of access control systems often require different hardware components.
As such, the different systems come at different price points. Of course, the simpler access control systems come at lower price points while the more advanced systems are costlier.
In this case, here are the types of card access control systems you should consider:
Traditional Wired System
This is a basic access control system that is essentially comprised of a wired system; featuring a controller, software and power supply. In its functioning, the controller acts as the trigger that activates the release and locking of the door.
The software used by such a system will allow you to add such components as cards, FOBs or Codes that are recognizable by the controller.
Though basic, installation work on such systems is rather tasking. This is mainly because it involves the installation of multiple electronic components. As such, it is one of the most expensive access control systems to install. On average, the leading card access system providers will charge you up to several thousands of dollars per door for the installation.
Standalone Access Control Systems
If you are looking for an affordable solution, you should consider getting a standalone access control system for your business. As the name suggests, everything you need to regulate access is contained in a single device—often a door lock. You need to have to install this device on the door, on which you would like to restrict access.
One of the benefits associated with such an access control system is that it allows you to regulate access to each door independently. In this regard, you will be able to program each lock for card, FOB or code access individually. The standalone access control system device is comparatively expensive to buy, especially the commercial-grade units. Most of the best standalone systems in the market are priced between $400 and $1,500 apiece.
This is the least secure of recognition solutions that may be used with an access control system. This is mainly because it is relatively easy for your employees to share their pin codes, rendering the system vulnerable.
Currently, there are different types of access cards that may be used with an access control system. In this case, you may choose to use proximity cards or magnetic access cards. Regardless of your choice, access cards offer a more sophisticated security system that is harder to breach.
It is advisable to get a card reader that supports the type of cards you would like to use in your system.
You should also consider getting a solution that offers you more versatility, convenience and is compliant with industry regulations and standards. On average, you can get a good access card reader for $400 to $1,200 each. The more sophisticated your preferred reader is, the costlier it will be
What is Access Control Systems, and Why Do You Need One?
Access control systems are used in various places and are very important in places where security and safety are of utmost importance to a company or establishment. An access Control system restricts people without the access code, badge, or key fob from entering the building or area.
Where Do You See Them?
The access system is sometimes outside a gate so that only certain people can get inside a fenced area. Often storage units, parking garages, and secure apartment complexes have gates that have to have a code to be allowed inside them.
You may have seen doors at the hospital or doctor’s office that can only be entered if someone has a badge or a code to get inside of that area. No code, no entry.
High-security businesses and government institutions may have them. Some even use a combination of access systems such as a badge and some form of a biometric reader.
How Do They Work?
A card reader access systems limit who can enter a building, or space but how do they work? They have three main components to allow them to work correctly. First, they need:
- A security card for doors
- A card reader
- An electronic key card lock
When the card is placed near or ran through an electric and magnetic card door lock system, it causes the door to unlock. The system has to recognize the card and identify it as on the list to enter. Then it sends a signal to the door to unlock the door. Once it unlocks it, the user can push, lift a lever, or use a lockset to open the door. When the door closes, the lock is automatically reset until someone uses this combination to open the door again.
Some of these systems can even be opened with a smartphone.
Cards can have only specific permissions, which works well where different individuals only have certain levels of security clearance. An example of this would be you might not want a secretary to have the same level of authority that a scientist or person working within a secure lab might have. Each can be given access to enter the building, but one may have areas of the building they are allowed in, of which the other one is not.
How to Know Which System You Need
Some factors are crucial to know which system you need for your establishment. It will largely depend on the number of people working there, the number of doors that need an access system, and the level of security you need as to what system you need to invest in for your building.
If you are a 24-hour gym, you will not need the same level of security a medical lab or a pharmacist might need. However, you may need cards for many more people depending on how big a gym you are and how many users you have.
On the other hand, a pharmacist may only need cards for ten people on its staff, but since there is the potential for someone to break in to steal drugs, it may still need a higher security level. Neither would require the same level of security that a cancer research lab would need probably.
Benefits of Key Card Access Systems
Key card access is used by most businesses to give many employees access to the building where they work without allowing people to just come into a facility unwanted. Key card access systems provide an extra layer of security to help keep everyone safe from people who might want to harm employees or get back at a company for some unknown reason.
Other benefits other than potential from unknown threats include it is much easier to terminate an employee’s access that no longer works there. Physical keys can be copied or lost, but it is easy to deny access to a person’s card if they no longer work at a business.
Key card access also tracks employees’ moves when going and coming out of doors where access is restricted with a card reader. If employees are suspected of doing things, they shouldn’t; a documented list of their access points can provide proof of innocence to the company. The company can run a simple audit of its key card usage.
Key card door access readers do not require much maintenance, which helps keep costs down. Nor is much training needed to teach employees how to use them, which helps keep costs down.
Key card access systems are much cheaper than hiring a security team to watch every door by ensuring only certain qualified occupants go inside. Key cards, RFID badges, and key fobs are much more convenient for employees to carry around than keyrings. Plus, with physical keys, if an employee doesn’t return a key, you face having a locksmith change the locks or rekeying them and replacing all other employees’ keys which gets very expensive quickly.
Security with one of these systems is much better than with a physical key.
Disadvantages of Key Card Systems
While key card access systems offer many benefits, there are some disadvantages too. For one, swipe cards can become damaged and unreadable. They can become expensive with time to maintain as the costs add up.
They require at least one free hand to use, which can be annoying if you have a lot of stuff you are trying to move around the building from one area to another.
The card access systems from the 1970s, the Wiegand key cards, can easily be hacked or copied. These cards have unique binary data on them that cannot be erased or reprogramed. They do not use microchips or breakable components, so while they are more durable, they are outdated as far as security issues go. The protocol used to make the original cards are still used today to interface readers and scanners.
Key cards are easy to lose or misplace. Anyone who finds the card has access until they are blocked from the system. Some companies use a two-factor authentication system to add more security in these situations.
IF something goes wrong with your card, it can take weeks to get new ones delivered to you for use, leaving you in limbo in the meantime. Registering and deactivating cards is time-consuming. Setting up guest cards for employees with broken or lost cards takes time and aggravation.
Companies that have more than one building may require employees to have more than one card.
Alternatives to Key Card and Fob Systems
Some companies are now using smartphones in place of key cards and fobs to help eliminate some of the disadvantages listed above. While not perfect either, they seem to reduce the possibility of employees sharing their credentials since most people do not want someone else having possession of their phone for any length of time. Phones offer end-to-end encryption and the ability for multi-factor authentication for better security.
When guest passes are needed, they can be administered with a simple email or text message. You can set an expiration date and time for when access will no longer be required, eliminating having to go back inside the system again.
Smartphone access can be completely touchless, which makes it very convenient.
Perhaps best of all is that remote management in the cloud means the administration can easily grant accessibility and revoke access or customize entries at any time from anywhere. No more need for multiple cards when moving from one facility to another is an excellent feature that smartphone technology allows.
Key Fob System Cost
The cost of a key fob system will cost between $1500 and $2500 per door. Key fob systems allow stored data to be exchanged with eh reader via radio waves. Other costs involved include regular updates to software upgrades. Key fobs cost at least $5 per fob up to $11 per employee.
Paying someone to administer changes to the system adds up in staffing costs each year. If you pay someone $20 an hour and have 1000 employees, this could add $5000 per year for wages if they spend fifteen minutes on each employee administering changes to their key fob.
Key Card Access Systems Cost
A key card access system generally costs $1500-$2500 per door, typically including the reader, and $3 to $5 per key card. You will pay an additional $10-$100 in monthly service fees each month. The final initial cost will depend on how many employees you need to set up for and how many doors you need a reader for entry.
Access Control System Cost Per Door
An access control system cost per door will vary primarily as to what kind of system you choose. If you need the added security of a biometric access control system, you will pay on average 42500 to $10,000 per door. These systems include a biometric scanner, electronic locking system, software integration, and installation costs.
With this type of system, you do not need to purchase key fobs or key cards. Instead, employees will scan fingerprints, handprints, or iris scanning with their eyes to gain entry. It can be installed in less than half an hour per door, but you will need about twenty minutes per employee to train them to use the system and get them in the system.
Cost of a Smartphone Access Control System
Readers that use smartphone technology can cost as little as $600 to $1200 per door for a Bluetooth reader. Costs for smartphone credentials are additional and vary between companies.
Gates can be opened within 30 feet using your smartphone. Smart lock works within 15 feet. As long as the smartphone is in range, it will open doors the same way. It uses your location services on your smartphone to work. Smartphone access can be set to only work during specific hours or allow 24-hour access.
If an employee does not have a smartphone, you can get Bluetooth fobs to use. Smartphone users download an app to use their smartphone for the access control system.
Smartphone systems are becoming much more popular since they can be set up quickly, and access is easy to revoke if needed. Almost everyone has one these days, and most users are careful to keep up with their cellphones. The cost to set up is comparable if not cheaper than other access systems.
Additional Types of Systems and Their Costs
Intercom Access Control Systems can cost between $450 to $10,000 to purchase and install a system depending on video and other factors. These kinds of sites usually require someone on-site to admit access. These systems use a buzzer to alert someone that they are there and need someone to accept them into the building.
Access control systems are worth the investment to keep your employees safer or your community. They help prevent outsiders and employees from accessing delicate information that might benefit competitors. Technology improves security and the costs making them viable options to help protect the people and property they are installed to secure.
Costs ranges vary depending on the kind of system you need and the size of it. However, costs are usually between $1200 and $2500 per door, with a few additional charges depending on how many employees or tenants you have to secure.