Just as IP (Internet Protocol) revolutionized the deployment and features of CCTV/video surveillance, IP is having an equally profound effect on physical access control. With traditional analog physical control systems, each device– door locks, card readers, door position switches, door handles, etc. – must be hardwired individually to a central control unit for control interface and power. Today, this is gone resulting in upgraded IP technology.
Gone is the requirement to hardwire each device separately to a central control unit thus saving labor and material costs for installation. Each door controller is connected to the local Ethernet network, which is common in most workplaces. In addition, by utilizing PoE (power over Ethernet), the need for separate power cables to each device is eliminated. In the event the main power to the building is lost, the physical access system can still be operational through the PoE and an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) providing emergency power for the data system and all devices connected to it.
Gone is the requirement to utilize only hardware and software from a single provider. IP systems are based on open standards, which make devices and applications from different providers compatible. You have a virtual “plug and play” system that allows easy changes, additions and upgrades. It also gives endless possibilities to integrate the physical access functions with others like intrusion detection, fire detection and others into a comprehensive, user-friendly system.
Gone is the limitation of adding devices in specific quantities. With IP, users can add to or modify their configurations as needed thus saving the unneeded expansion costs that are inherent with analog systems. Gone is the mandatory comprehensive training in one manufacturer’s system and/or the requirement to utilize external specialized technicians. The standardized interfaces of IP allow installation of a host of different devices from many manufacturers without complicated integration and set up.