All posts by Mike Swanson

On-site storage?

When an on-site storage system is implemented, it is designed to have the storage device fitted at the same location as the system itself. Of course, there are advantages of adapting this type of CCTV storage. First, it is easy to design and implement and so the costs will be lower. You can store the data either on a hard disk inside the DVR or on an external set of hard drives. It is wise, however, to keep the hard disk separately from the DVR. If anything happens to the system, your hard disk will be safe and you will be able to get the valuable data from it. On the other hand, if your hard disk is built into the DVR, it’s quite obvious for someone to take or steal the whole DVR and you will be left without any data. Still, you can choose to have a DVR with a built-in hard drive, which is a much easier option. In this case you have to take precautions in securing the DVR device with appropriate casing. You can buy cases for DVR with extra securities such as password control, physical locks and so on.

Precautions you definitely have to take You are not advised to keep your DVR in a visible place such as cash counters, lobby, reception etc. Interestingly enough, if this is the case, you will have a hard time and may get rejected when you want to claim insurance.

What are some my options for remote access, telephone entry systems & apps?

A commercial Telephone Entry System with Access Control is designed for use as a primary access control device for gated communities, parking garages, office buildings, apartments, dormitories, hotels/motels, commercial buildings and recreational facilities. The Telephone Entry works very much the same way as a wired intercom, with several overall advantages. The system utilizes hands-free, full duplex telephone communications between visitors and residents for granting access. Complete access control event logging, access time restriction, access location restriction, and administration functions are also available to manage the installation.

Are intercoms at gates still used and useful?

Yes. An intercom is the system that allows you to communicate with visitors at your gate or door. An audio intercom will allow you to speak to and hear the visitor at the gate as well as open the gate or door. Inside the home you will have a handset (almost like a phone) with a speaker and microphone. Outside the gate there will be a similar microphone and speaker (but they are fixed inside a metal box to prevent vandalism and protect from the rain). Pressing the call button on the intercom at the gate causes the intercom to ring in the house – alerting you that there is a visitor. You simply pick up the handset to talk to them. A button on the handset allows you to open the gate from the house.

What are some options for proximity card readers, control panels, keypads & biometrics?

Proximity readers continuously transmit a low-level fixed radio frequency (RF) signal that provides energy to the card. When the card is held at a certain distance from the reader, the RF signal is absorbed by a small coil inside the card that powers up the card’s microchip which contains a unique identification code. Once powered, the card transmits the code to the reader. The whole process is completed in microseconds. The big advantage of proximity over other technologies lies in its simplicity. There are no moving parts, no mechanical wear, no slots, and no read heads to maintain. The reader can be concealed inside walls or special enclosures and poses even fewer problems when surface-mounted because it has no opening with which to jam or tamper. The proximity card is extremely secure and practically impossible to duplicate. Proximity cards are less prone to physical damage or loss, saving you money in reduced card replacement costs. Read ranges depend primarily on the reader. The larger the read range, the larger the reader’s concealed antenna and, hence, the size of the reader.
Access control panels (also known as “Access Controllers”) are installed in each building where access control is to be provided. Card readers, electric lock hardware, and other access control devices are all connected to the access control field panels. The access control panels are used to process access control activity at the building level. The number of access control panels to be provided in each building depends on the number of doors to be controlled. Access control panels are usually installed in telephone, electrical, or communications closets.
Access control keypads are devices which may be used in addition to or in place of card readers. The access control keypad has numeric keys which look similar to the keys on a touch-tone telephone. The access control keypad requires that a person desiring to gain access enter a correct numeric code. When access control keypads are used in addition to card readers, both a valid card and the correct code must be presented before entry is allowed. Where access control keypads are used in place of card readers, only a correct code is required to gain entry.
While traditional access control systems might prompt a user to provide a proximity card or a smart card to gain access to a protected resource, a biometric security system requires the user to present their fingerprint (or other biometric) to the system, which is then matched against a stored image to verify the user’s identity. Biometric access control systems tie a unique physical attribute of a user to the data that allows access. The most common biometric access systems use fingerprints, but these systems can also use iris and retinal scans, hand geometry, and facial recognition technology.