Best Cloud-Based Access Control Systems in 2023
1. Active Witness
Active Witness is a cloud-based access control solution that provides a comprehensive security solution for businesses of all sizes. Active Witness is a simple to install and easy to operate access control solution that leverages single and multi-factor credentials for frictionless, highly effective and affordable facility access and security.
How does Active Witness work?
Active Witness is a cloud-based solution that leverages PoE connectivity for plug and play setup. It's easy to use software is available on your smartphone and desktop. The reader leverages single factor credentials which take the form of QR codes that can be either printed or obtained on your smart device. The access reader also uses two-factor facial authentication by identifying the user with their QR code and authorizing access once a facial biometric scan has confirmed their identity. Their simple to use software seamlessly simplifies user enrollment which can be done from any device in under 60 seconds. Access to the cloud-based network also enables functionality like intercom, remote unlock and real time access to facility data and system notifications.
What features does Active Witness offer?
- Single-factor mobile credentials (QR code)
- Two-factor facial authentication
- Business hours scheduler and credential expiry (great for contractors)
- IOS, Android mobile app and desktop web-app
- Live feed of facility access data
- Photo intercom functionality
- 60-second remote user enrolment
- Plug & play installation with simple PoE connectivity
- Expiring access credentials and other visitor management capabilities
- Live system notifications
How much does Active Witness cost?
- Pricing depends on number of access points and number of users. To obtain a quote you can request on directly from our team and we'll get back to you within 1 hour.
- Typically our hardware and software for each device can be obtained for under $1,000 per access point and includes the cost of 1-years subscription for the software license. Each additional year will typically cost under $20/month per door and declines dramatically as you purchase multi-year licenses. Check with your local dealer/distributor for promotions and pricing information or get a quote from Active Witness directly.
Pros & Cons of using Active Witness
- Single and two-factor credentials provides customization of access credentials, enabling convenience in access points where you want it and higher levels of security for access points you NEED it
- Intercom functionality and a digital doorbell make visitor access simple
- Simple user enrollment
- Plug & play installation - get up and running quickly
- Easy to use cloud-based software
- Excellent customer service
- No cost of credentials - no physical keys
- Not as well-established as some other older solution providers
- May be better suited for small-to-mid sized businesses due to lack of integrations with existing systems you may use
Should you choose Active Witness?
Well, let's be completely transparent here - you're reading the Active Witness blog. We would be remise if we didn't be upfront in our ability to remain unbiased in the appraisal of our own product. Active Witness is, in fact, our own company. As a result, our perspective is understandably biased, and we will most likely recommend our security solutions for the majority of businesses.
However, we value honesty and transparency, which is why we encourage you to read through our customer testimonials to get a more impartial perspective on the effectiveness of our security solutions. Our aim is to provide you with valuable information and insight, but it's essential that you make an informed decision based on your unique requirements and circumstances. Feel free to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns, as we're here to help you make the best choice for your business.
If you are a small-to-mid-sized business looking for a reasonably priced and effective access control solution, Active Witness might be a great choice for you. If you're a large enterprise business looking for 30 different integrations and likely a very complicated installation, there may be better options for you (at this time of writing).
Ways to get in touch:
- Call us directly by phone at 888-719-7462
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Book a meeting with one of our team members
Kisi is a cloud-based access control and security platform that offers an easy-to-use software to manage access to doors. The system is designed to streamline operations and provide centralized management, visibility, and control without the cost and complexity of traditional physical access control systems. Kisi offers a flexible platform for businesses, acting as an all-in-one, standalone solution or integrating with existing access control solutions.
How does Kisi work?
The system is designed to be brand-agnostic when it comes to access, allowing users to keep the keycards they already use or enroll a new set of credentials easily with Kisi. Kisi's security architecture ensures privacy and integrity with full PKI chain, and the system operates on the same local network as other devices, eliminating the need to pull specific cables for the access control system.
What features does Kisi offer?
- Remote management for the modern workplace
- Secure spaces with unlock schedules and remote lockdowns
- Access schedules to restrict users' access to specific time periods
- Geofence or Kisi Reader restriction to ensure users are in the vicinity when unlocking a door
- Intrusion detection to create an integrated, cloud-based intrusion detection system
- Audit and reporting to make informed decisions
- Seamless access and real-time data and analytics
- Future-proof access with constant over-the-air updates
Access credentials offered by Kisi:
- Smartphones mobile credentials
- key cards & fobs
How much does Kisi cost?
- Reader Pro: $599
- Reader Pro Outdoor: $699
- Controller Pro: $899
- Additional costs may apply for access credentials, such as Kisi Access Cards, Tags, and Stickers.
- While Kisi does not publicly list their pricing, data obtained from third parties suggest that a basic plan will cost users roughly $25/month per door and approximately $42/month per door for the enterprise plan.
Kisi offers Standard and Enterprise plans, with prices varying based on building size, usage, and selected plan. To get an exact price you must contact their team for a quote.
Pros & Cons of using Kisi
- Touchless access experience: Kisi's variety of access credential options, including smartphones, key cards, and fobs, allows for a seamless, touchless entry experience.
- Integration capabilities: Kisi's open API enables easy integration with third-party hardware and software, enhancing its overall functionality.
- Safety-focused features: The system offers several security-focused features, such as intrusion detection, building occupancy tracking, and capacity control tools.
- Multi-site management: Kisi's cloud-based dashboard allows administrators to manage multiple locations with different sets of tenants.
- Limited suitability for residential properties: Kisi is primarily designed for commercial buildings and offices, making it less ideal for residential or multifamily properties.
- Restricted remote access: Only building administrators can remotely lock or unlock doors, which may be a drawback for some tenants.
- Customer support concerns: Some users have reported difficulties in accessing customer support.
- No keypad for PIN code access: The Kisi Reader does not include a keypad, limiting access options for users who prefer PIN codes.
- Limited visitor management: Kisi may not offer optimal visitor management features, as visitors may not be able to request access directly from tenants.
- Does not offer intercom capabilities or remote unlock capabilities
- Does not offer any biometric capabilities or two factor access
Should You Choose Kisi?
While Kisi offers easy access restrictions, remote management, mobile access, automated provisioning, lockdown features, video surveillance integrations, and more. These types of features are best suited for commercial applications but fall short in areas where flexibility and security may be required. Active Witness offers an easy-to-use system that eliminates hidden costs of physical credentials by leveraging the use of two-factor credentials (QR code mobile credentials and facial verification). Overall, if you are looking for a unique access control and visitor management system that offers enhanced security and visitor management features, Active Witness may be the solution for you.
Openpath is a comprehensive cloud-based access control system designed for various property types, including residential and commercial buildings, retail, education, and fitness facilities. With a focus on seamless integration with mobile technology and wireless locks, Openpath offers a user-friendly and secure solution for managing building access.
How does Openpath work?
Openpath is a cloud-based mobile access control solution that offers a range of access control hardware, including controllers, readers, and panels. The system works by securely making all entry decisions and can be configured via Bluetooth using the Openpath Admin App. Openpath's Smart Readers support touchless access methods and occupancy tracking features, and can be installed on doors, turnstiles, and elevators. The controllers support up to two entries and two Openpath Smart Readers, and can be wall-mounted or installed on a single or double gang box. Openpath's access control system is easy to install and manage, with all-in-one flexibility to scale up or down effortlessly. The system is designed to be scalable and flexible to meet the needs of any business.
Openpath offers a range of hardware products to cater to your specific needs, including:
- Smart Readers: Compatible with Openpath mobile app, key cards, and fobs, and offering touchless 'Wave to Unlock' functionality.
- Video Reader: Combining smart reader capabilities with a built-in camera for video surveillance.
- Smart Hubs: Preconfigured all-in-one smart controllers that connect to Openpath's readers.
- Controllers: Single-door controllers and Access Control Core supporting up to 16 entryways.
What features does Openpath offer?
- Multi-tech readers that support mobile, PIN codes, key cards, and fobs
- Touchless and remote unlock backed by 99.9% uptime
- All-in-one flexibility to scale up or down effortlessly
- Multiple configurations available for installation
- Wired and wireless connectivity
- Configurable inputs for Wiegand devices or extra sensors
- Touchless access methods and occupancy tracking features
- Wall-mounted or installed on a single or double gang box
- PoE, PoE+, or an external 12V to 24V supply power options
- Cloud-based mobile access control system
Access credentials offered by Openpath
- Smartphone: Granting access through the Openpath mobile app.
- Smartwatch: Allowing users to use their wearable devices for access.
- Touchless Access: Hands-free entry through the 'Wave to Unlock' feature.
- Key Cards: Traditional access cards can also be used with Openpath's system.
How much does Openpath cost?
- Video reader: $799
- Smarthub controller (can control up to 2 access points): $499 per door
- Core series controller (can control up to 16 access points): $2730
- Smart Reader: $299 per door
- Licensing costs are approximately $20 per reader/month for single door applications to as little as $5 per reader/month for larger applications (typically >100 access points)
- Costs may vary depending on your quote
Openpath's software pricing is divided into two tiers: basic and premium. To obtain specific pricing details, you need to contact Openpath directly for a personalized quote based on your requirements. Prices are to change on a case by case basis.
Pros & Cons of using Openpath
- Touchless access: Openpath offers a convenient and secure hands-free entry experience.
- Cloud-based software: Manage your access control system remotely through Openpath's web-based dashboard and mobile app.
- Scalability: The system can be easily tailored to your needs by integrating with existing hardware and purchasing components a-la-carte.
- Limited video capabilities: Not all Openpath devices come equipped with video surveillance features.
- Openpath app's location permissions: The app requires background location permissions, which may lead to faster battery drain on smartphones.
- Inadequate visitor management: The system does not offer an intercom device for visitors to request property access directly.
- Deteriorating customer service
Should You choose Openpath?
In conclusion, Openpath is a reliable and user-friendly access control system for residential and commercial properties. Openpath offers a range of benefits, including mobile and cloud-based access control systems that accommodate both small and enterprise businesses. Openpath is well-known for creating smart entries and enabling keyless convenience with hands-free and touchless unlock capabilities. However, if you require more comprehensive access credentials or intercom functionality, or just a simpler and easy to use solution for your small-to-mid-sized business than you might want to explore alternatives such as Active Witness.
Brivo has solidified its reputation as a leader in the cloud-based access control industry. With a diverse range of products designed to suit various building types, Brivo's hardware and cloud-based software can be found in millions of multi-family buildings worldwide.
How does Brivo work?
Brivo's cloud-based access security system is designed to offer visibility, insight, and control, enabling remote management of access for tenants, visitors, delivery carriers, and staff. The company's hardware includes card readers, control panels, and security cameras, all powered by its cloud-based software.
Brivo Hardware Products:
- Video Surveillance: Brivo's Access Cam delivers HD video playback and real-time visual recordings of building access events, allowing property staff to review footage through the Brivo Access software.
- Readers: Brivo provides a variety of reader types, including PIN code, RFID, and HID scanners, as well as Smart Readers that utilize Bluetooth connectivity for compatibility with smartphones.
- Control Panels: Brivo's control panels enable seamless communication between locks, readers, and sensors while also facilitating integrations with other property technology solutions.
- Smart Locks: Brivo partners with four smart lock providers—Alegion, ASSA ABLOY's Aperio, Z-Wave, and Salto—to offer enhanced security compared to traditional mechanical locks.
What features for Brivo offer?
- Cloud-based Software: Brivo's cloud-based platform guarantees data accessibility from any device, at any time, and from any location.
- Smart Home Automation: Brivo's integrations enable residents and property staff to manage smart home devices such as lights, locks, and thermostats from a single mobile app.
- Scalability: Brivo offers suitable options for buildings of all sizes.
- Seamless Integrations: Brivo's open API allows for integrations with other proptech products like video cameras, smart locks, and property management software.
- Mobile Management: The Brivo mobile app enables residents and staff to unlock doors remotely using their smartphones.
- Multiple Access Credential Options: Users can access doors using smartphones, key cards, PINs, and fobs.
- Multi-site Management: Manage multiple doors through a cloud-based online dashboard.
How much does Brivo cost?
- Door readers range between $1,500 and $2,500 on average
- Savings on the per-door price when you add more doors, down to an average
- Brivo reports cost targets of $500 per door
- Brivo's pricing is based on the number of doors and users, as well as the features and integrations required
- Brivo's pricing starts at $199 per month for up to 10 doors and 25 users
- Brivo's pricing for larger installations can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per month
Exact pricing for Brivo hardware and software must be obtained directly from their website and will change on a case by case basis.
Pros & Cons of using Brivo:
- Industry leadership and consistency.
- Customizable systems catering to businesses of all sizes.
- Wide selection of control panels and access credentials.
- Open API for proptech integrations.
- User-friendly platform with an intuitive interface.
- Costs may increase for additional features.
- Troubleshooting barriers due to lack of proprietary functionality.
- Cameras not included in most access control devices.
- No intercom products or access control devices for visitor management.
Should You Get Brivo?
Brivo offers a comprehensive and reliable access control solution, making it easy to manage property access from any device, anywhere. Their hardware is durable and scalable, suitable for various building sizes. However, consider factors such as the absence of visitor access features before purchasing Brivo products or services. If visitor management is essential for your property, or you are looking for a solution that leverages customizable access credentials or has intercom functionality, you may want to look at other solutions such as Active Witness.
If you're in search of a cutting-edge cloud-based access control system for your modern multifamily or commercial building, Verkada is a popular option. Verkada began as a video security camera provider and has since expanded into six product lines, all designed to work seamlessly with a software-first approach. The company's primary focus is on simplifying building entry with easy-to-use cloud-based solutions for every door on your property.
How does Verkada work?
Verkada provides cloud-based access control systems for single and multiple entry points in multifamily and commercial buildings. Their hardware is centrally located, eliminating the need for onsite IT equipment investments. Verkada access control is particularly suited for buildings with multiple entry points, allowing for easy administrative updates and data access across all locations. Additionally, the system integrates with existing Verkada onsite video surveillance.
Verkada Access Control Models:
- Model AC41: Controls up to 4 doors
- Model AC62: Controls up to 16 doors
- Model AX11: Controls up to 10 doors plus elevators
- Unlimited Scaling: Verkada's centralized management platform supports unlimited doors, credentials, and buildings, ensuring your system can grow with your property.
- Remote Administration: Manage your system remotely using Verkada's cloud-based OS, perfect for property managers and building owners on the go.
- Bluetooth Accessibility: Verkada's access control system turns your smartphone into a secure and convenient credential.
- Emergency Lockdown: Enhance security with Verkada's cloud-based lockdown feature, activated with a single tap by administrators.
- Real-time Access Control Events: Monitor tailgating and other entry events in real time for increased security.
- Proactive Alerts: Set rules for text and email alerts to detect entry events as they happen.
How much does Verkada cost?
- Verkada access control ranges from $498 to $2,995, depending on the number of doors connected and how many years you'd like your license to run
- Verkada offers a range of video security cameras and cloud-based access control products, with prices ranging from $499 to $1,999
- Verkada's access control hardware pricing may vary depending on the number of doors and the type of license required
- Verkada's pricing is based on the number of doors and the type of license required
- Verkada's pricing starts at $199 per year for up to 10 doors
- Verkada's pricing for larger installations can range from $798 to $3,746 per year
Pros & Cons of using Verkada:
- 10-year warranty on hardware.
- Real-time access insights through Verkada software.
- Ideal for buildings with multiple locations.
- Comprehensive data protection with encryption key management and granular user permissions.
- Centralized platform for viewing all locations and systems.
- Limited authentication methods, offering only mobile app and proximity cards.
- Recurring license fee to continue using their portal.
- Lack of support for third-party software integrations.
Should You Get Verkada Access Control System?
Verkada's reputation in the security and surveillance industry makes their access control system a strong contender. The 10-year warranty on all their security products provides additional peace of mind. Verkada is a good solution for larger enterprise customers.
However, if you're looking for an access control system with a variety of authentication methods, you may want to consider alternatives. Verkada only supports authentication using mobile phones and proximity cards, while other options offer credentials such as PIN codes, virtual keys, key fobs, biometrics and others.
Swiftlane is a relatively new cloud-based access control system. Swiftlane is primarily a software-based access control solution. Their system runs on a mobile app and remote management software, offering one wired reader design and a 4-door controller board. The SwiftReader combines access, video, and intercom capabilities, with features such as tailgating alerts and a touchscreen. Swiftlane would be ideally used for multi-family and commercial settings.
How does Swiftlane work?
The Swiftlane solution relies on its mobile app and remote management software to operate. It uses a single wired reader design (SwiftReader) that integrates access, video, and intercom features. The system is managed through the cloud, allowing you to easily control access to your building from anywhere. Swiftlane offers a touchscreen SwiftReader that combines access, video, and intercom capabilities.
- Tailgating alerts
- High-definition video
- Two-way audio
- Touchless facial recognition access
- Remote door unlock
- Mobile app access
How much does Swiftlane cost?
- Reader: $1,350
- Door controller: $225
- Monthly subscription: ~$20 / door depending on the size of application and number of doors/users
Bear in mind that prices can and will change on a case-by-case basis and must be requested from their team for each specific project.
Pros & cons of using Swiftlane
- Cloud-Based Solution: Swiftlane's cloud-based access control system allows for remote management and easy updates, providing flexibility and convenience for administrators.
- Mobile App: Swiftlane offers a mobile app for access control, which provides an additional option for users to unlock doors using their smartphones.
- Integrated Video and Intercom: The SwiftReader combines access, video, and intercom capabilities in one device, simplifying the hardware setup and offering an all-in-one solution.
- Tailgating Alerts: Swiftlane's system includes tailgating alerts, which help improve security by notifying administrators of unauthorized entries.
- Touchscreen Interface: The SwiftReader features a touchscreen interface, allowing users to easily navigate and interact with the system.
- Facial Recognition: Swiftlane offers facial recognition as a touchless access option, which can be convenient and useful in certain situations.
- Limited Hardware Options: Swiftlane has a narrower range of hardware products compared to some competitors, which may not cater to all business needs and preferences.
- Facial Recognition Limitations: The facial recognition feature may not always be reliable, as changes in appearance, facial coverings, or mirrored sunglasses can affect its accuracy.
- Reader Mounting Challenges: Proper mounting of Swiftlane readers to ensure accessibility and user-friendliness can be challenging, as they need to be at the right height and location.
- Limited Touchless Options: While Swiftlane offers facial recognition for touchless access, their mobile app still requires users to have their phone out and handy near the reader, which is not completely hands-free.
- Integration Limitations: At the time of the review, Swiftlane has a limited number of integrations available, which may affect compatibility with other software and hardware systems.
- No Support for Keycards or Fobs: The Swiftlane system does not support keycards, fobs, or other access methods, which may limit flexibility for users who prefer those options.
- Outdoor Visibility Issues: For outdoor applications, the SwiftReader may require a sunshade enclosure to ensure screen visibility in bright sunlight.
Should you get the Swiftlane access control system?
Swiftlane's access control system is a viable option for businesses looking for a software-based solution. However, if you require a more comprehensive, scalable system with a wider range of access methods, and affordable hardware, you might consider alternatives such as Active Witness.
7. Prodatakey (PDK)
ProdataKey is a cloud-based access control solution that offers a user-friendly mobile app for efficient management of users, groups, and doors from any web or mobile device. ProdataKey's platform is designed for simplicity without compromise, with an entirely cloud-based access control platform that is easily configured and managed from any device.
How does Prodatakey work?
ProdataKey's hardware streamlines the installation process by delivering a plug-and-play experience, with controller self-discovery, OSDP compatibility, onboard power, and system health monitoring. Prodatakey is a cloud-based access control solution that offers mobile credentials, keycards and other physical-based keys such as fobs.
Access Credentials offered by Prodatakey
- Mobile credentials
- Wearables (bracelets)
What features does Prodatakey offer?
- OSDP compatibility
- System health monitoring
- Integrators can configure PDK access control systems to accept cards featuring any format
- Easily scalable
How much does Prodatakey cost?
- Reader: $600
- RedCloudNode Main Panel with single door controller: $706
- Red Series single door controller: $423.50
- Prodatakey also sells a 2-door, 4-door and 8-door controller but the pricing information is not publicly available.
- Estimated monthly cost is $15/door
Pros & Cons of using Prodatakey
- ProdataKey provides scalable access control systems for maximum security with real-time updates
- PDK access control is an affordable option for small businesses
- The management software pdk.io is well rated by Google (4.5/5) and Apple (4.3/5) users
- ProdataKey's cloud-based access control is more secure than traditional access control
- ProdataKey pricing isn't available on its website because pricing depends on the number of doors to which you need to control access
- There are few reviews, making it harder to determine the quality of its service
- There are a limited number of integrations available at present
- ProdataKey skews toward commercial properties rather than multifamily buildings
- There are no video or intercom functions
- No options for biometrics or two-factor access
For an accurate pricing quote you must obtain a quote from PDK's website or dealers.
Should you choose Prodatakey?
When considering whether to buy ProdataKey for your business, there are several factors to consider. ProdataKey provides cloud-based access control solutions that are easy to scale and provide maximum security with real-time updates. ProdataKey is also an affordable option for small businesses. As an alternative, Active Witness provides a comprehensive access control solution that includes video surveillance and analytics. Active Witness offers a complete security solution that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business through utilizing single and two-factor credentials and a reader that contains video capabilities. If you are looking for another affordable solution for your small-to-mid-sized business but also want some additional functionality, Active Witness may be a great option for you.
Alocity is a cloud-based access control and AI video intercom solution that allows you to manage, monitor, and control doors anytime, anywhere. Alocity's hybrid cloud cameras are built with onboard processing to analyze footage at the edge, making them durable and versatile.
How does Alocity Work?
Alocity's cloud-based access control software allows you to manage access to your facility from anywhere with an internet connection. The software is feature-rich and includes live video intercom, making it easy to monitor and control doors in real-time.
Access credentials offered by Alocity:
- Mobile credentials
- Key fobs
- Smart card
Features offered by Alocity:
- Cloud-based access control software with live video intercom
- Hybrid cloud cameras with onboard processing to analyze footage at the edge
- Mobile credentials, key fobs, and smart cards
- AI video analytics to detect and alert you to potential security threats
How much does Alocity cost?
- $749 for hardware $16/month for software. Or $39/month for hardware as a service (IE zero dollars down) with lifetime warranty of product.
Pros & cons of Alocity
- Alocity is a cloud-based access control and AI video intercom solution that allows you to manage, monitor, and control doors anytime, anywhere
- Alocity's hybrid cloud cameras are built with onboard processing to analyze footage at the edge, making them durable and versatile
- Alocity offers a range of access credentials, including mobile credentials, key fobs, and smart cards
- Alocity's AI video analytics can detect and alert you to potential security threats
- Alocity is easy to install and set up
- There are few reviews available online, making it harder to determine the quality of its service.
- Relatively new product with few testimonials and reviews.
Should you choose Alocity?
Alocity is a comprehensive access control solution that offers a range of features to help you secure your facility. With its cloud-based software, hybrid cloud cameras, and AI video analytics, Alocity is a powerful tool for managing access to your facility and keeping it secure but it is a newer solution with few reviews or brand recognition.
When choosing an access control solution, develop a security plan by determining what you value in a solution, factoring in costs of hardware, credentials, software, and labor. Consider the fundamentals of access control, its importance, which organizations need it most, and potential challenges. With a comprehensive plan, you can select the appropriate solution to safeguard your organization. Still not sure about what you need to know about access control?
For more information on Active Witness visit our resources page or book a quote here.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog has been obtained from third-party sources and is intended to provide general guidance on various products and services. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information; however, we cannot guarantee its complete correctness or up-to-date status. Please be aware that pricing and other details related to competitive products are subject to change at any time without notice and are also not guarunteed as each company will require a quote for specific pricing details. We recommend that you consult the respective companies or official sources for the most current information before making any decisions based on the content provided here.