Card Access FAQ
1. How do I secure a door?
There are many ways to secure and control the access to a door other than controlling and issuing keys. Installing an electronic access system is a good way to securing and controlling access. Unlike physical keys which are cheap and easy to duplicate, access control system gives you control. Through simple programming, you can bar or allow access. So if a card is misplaced, you need not worry about a breach as all you need to do is to unenrol that card. With card access system, you can choose either a keypad PIN system, a Proximity Card System or a Biometric Fingerprint system.
2. Should I use a PIN to secure my door?
Keypad PIN only card access system is convenient and easy to use. All you need is to remember your PIN number and by entering the correct 4 or 6 digit PIN, the system will release the door, giving you access. Keypad PIN only system is normally good for internal doors such as access to the Server Room or Store Room. We do not however suggest using it for external doors. It is quite easy for strangers lurking in the passageway to note the PIN entered and hence breaching the security.
3. Is a Card System better than a PIN?
From a security perspective, yes. Every proximity card has a unique address which is set at the factory and cannot be altered or duplicated. So it is highly improbable to find another proximity card with the same address. To allow access, the address of the card must be pre-programmed to the reader, so even if there is a duplicate card, it can only work if it is used on a reader whose database contains that same proximity card.
4. When should I use Card and PIN?
Most proximity card access system can be programmed to operate in PIN only, Card Only, and Card and PIN mode. Under the Card and PIN mode, the user will have to flash the card and entered a PIN that is match to the Card before access is granted. This provides a higher level of security as anyone picking up the card will still not be able to access without the matching password. Whether you choose card or Card and PIN depends on your company's security policies. Some system is able to switch the operation mode automatically such that during office hours, you use Card only an after office hours, you will need to use both Card and PIN to gain access.
5. Is a Biometric Fingerprint System better?
Biometric Fingerprint Readers read your fingerprint and compared it to the fingerprint pattern stored in its database and release the door when there is a match. Compared to a Card System, it is better because unlike a card which can be passed around, you cannot pass your fingerprint to others. Not even if you were to chop off your finger as most newer readers now can differentiate between a dead finger and a live one.
6. Is a Biometric System reliable?
Depends on what you are really asking. If by reliability you mean the likelihood of the fingerprint reader mistaking an unauthorised fingerprint as authorised and opening the door for the intruder, then Yes, it is extremely reliable. If by reliability you mean the number of times you have to present your fingerprint before the reader recognise you, then it really depends on the individual. Most of such problems is very user dependent. For example, users forgetting which fingers they used or they did not place the whole finger on the reader resulting in a partial read. Most of these problems can be reduce by training and familiarising the users.
7. What is a standalone System?
Generally, a card access system comprises a reader, a controller and the electronic lockset. The reader simply read and transfer the information to the controller, which is the real brain of the system. For a standalone system, the reader and the controller is integrated and normally housed in the reader itself. Hence standalone system are much more economical and compact. While some standalone system can be linked to a computer or to other controllers via optional interface cards, most can't and does not offer the expandability you may need in the future.
8. When do I need to use a Network System?
If you have more than one door that you wished to control, you should go with a networked system. The networked system allow you to link the system to a computer, from where you can keep track of your staff movement as well as add or delete users.
9. What are the advantages of linking to a computer?
Ease of operation. For example, if you have a number of doors, without the computer network, you will need to go to each reader individually to add or delete users. With a computer, you can add or delete using the Management Software provided and then download the changes to all doors. In addition, you can print reports and keep logs on when your staff come in or out.
10. Do I need to use a dedicated computer?
No. You do not need to use a dedicated computer. Any computer that has a spare serial or USB port is sufficient for the application. Of course if the transaction is heavy or if you have many employees, it may be worth having a dedicated computer.
11. How do I choose the right locks?
What kind of locks will depend on the type of doors and whether your door swing in or out. The most common and economical locks used is the Electromagnetic Door Lock (EM Lock).
12. What happens in a power failure?
All Card Access Systems are installed with a back-up battery power supply. In the event of a power failure, the battery will take over, keeping the system operational for at least two hours. Once the battery runs out and if power is not restored, the system will cease to operate, and the doors may be released. If you are using EM Locks, the doors will be released. If you are using drop bolt or electric strikes, the door will be released if the locks are fail-safe, or remains locked if they are fail secure.
13. With a Card Access System, does it mean that my office is secure?
Even with a Card Access System, you should complement it with Burglar Alarm and CCTV Systems. The Card Access only control who has access but does not detect intrusion. For example, if you have a glass door, even though the card access system can deny the intruder access, there is nothing to stop him from breaking an entry.
14. I want to upgrade my reader. Must I change everything?
If you have an existing system that is still working, you may not need to change everything. It is quite possible to re-use your lock sets, break glass and push buttons an change only the reader.
15. I need more cards? Can I get from you or must I go back to the original supplier?
Yes. Most Proximity Cards used are generic and for most cases, there is no problem getting cards from us.