Find Your Products

Choosing Your Door Access Control System: From Keycards to Biometrics

Biometric Post
Sep 30, 2023
This is some text inside of a div block.
Biometric Post
Choosing Your Door Access Control System: From Keycards to Biometrics

In an age where security is paramount, the traditional lock and key no longer cut it. With the global physical access control system market valued at a staggering US$ 8.1 billion in 2022 and expected to soar to US$ 21.66 billion by 2032, it's evident that the rise of threats has paralleled advancements in physical security, leading to the evolution of door access control systems. These systems, ranging from key fobs to biometric door readers, offer not just enhanced protection but also a blend of convenience and control.

Whether you're a business owner safeguarding sensitive data or a homeowner seeking peace of mind, understanding the intricacies of access control solutions is crucial. Join us in this article as we go from widely adopted keycards to modern biometric systems, helping you make informed decisions for your access control security needs.

What is a Door Access Control System?

A door access control system is an electronic access control solution designed to manage and regulate who can enter a security door in a particular area or facility. Unlike the lock and key in traditional access control, which relies on physical objects and manual operation, modern door access control systems use electronic processes to authenticate, authorize, and audit entry.

These systems are a blend of access control hardware and software components working in tandem. They offer a seamless interface between the user and the secured area, ensuring that only those with the right credentials can gain access. By leveraging technology, these systems provide a more robust, flexible, and efficient way to secure premises, be it a commercial building or a residential property.

The recent shift towards touchless door access control solutions, particularly post-pandemic, has seen a surge in demand for face recognition, voice recognition, and iris recognition solutions, reflecting the market's adaptability and responsiveness to global events and technological advancements.

Key Components of Door Access Control Systems

A door access control system is generally made up of several critical components. Let's break it down.


These devices are your first point of interaction with the system. Depending on the sophistication of the setup, readers can range from keypads and card readers to advanced biometric door readers that can authenticate identity using fingerprints, facial scans, or even iris scans.

With the rise of mobile access control, some readers can now authenticate using signals from smartphones or wearable devices. The evolution of reader technology ensures that authentication is not only secure but also quick, minimizing entry delays and enhancing the user experience.

Access Credentials:

In the digital age of security, the concept of a 'key' has been redefined. No longer limited to physical objects, today's credentials range from RFID cards and unique PINs to mobile credentials stored securely on your smartphone. Biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial patterns, adds another layer of security, ensuring that access is granted only to the right individuals. As technology advances, the emphasis is on creating credentials that are not only secure but also convenient for users.

Access Control Software:

Beyond the physical components lies the access control management software, the unsung hero of any access control system. This platform allows owners and administrators to manage users, set and modify access privileges, and view detailed access logs.

Modern access control software solutions offer intuitive access control dashboards, real-time monitoring, and integration capabilities with other security systems like video surveillance. With cloud-based access control becoming more prevalent, many software platforms now offer remote management, allowing you to control access from anywhere with an internet connection.

Access Control Panel:

Often referred to as the system's brain, the access control panel is a centralized unit that processes information from various sources. It's responsible for interpreting data from readers, making decisions based on predefined criteria, and sending commands to locks and other connected devices.

Modern control panels are often equipped with network access, allowing for remote management and integration with cloud-based access control platforms. This ensures that even if you're miles away, you can still have real-time control and monitoring capabilities at your fingertips.


Modern door access systems employ a diverse range of electronic locks. Examples include magnetic locks that hold the door in place using magnetism, electric strike locks that replace standard strike plates, and electromagnetic locks that offer superior holding force.

These locks can be controlled remotely, ensuring doors are secured instantly. For exit scenarios, systems often incorporate devices like push-to-exit buttons, motion sensors for touchless exit, and timed release systems that automatically unlock doors during specific times, ensuring both entry and exit are seamless.

Why Are Door Access Control Systems Relevant to You?

Nowadays, security is a top concern for both personal and professional applications. A door access control system provides a powerful solution for managing access to buildings and properties quickly and efficiently.

With a door access system, it is now possible to have complete control over the security of your property or facility with ease. It offers you the ability to manage access, monitor, and control who enters your property or facility with just a touch of a button. Furthermore, users can gain entry to your property or facility with a simple scan or tap, ensuring they are not bogged down with cumbersome keys.

The primary objective of such a system is not just to keep unwanted visitors out but also to grant access to the right people at the right times, ensuring your security is uncompromised without disrupting convenience. These systems are customizable and adaptable, ensuring you can configure them to meet your specific needs. Whether you're safeguarding confidential business data or ensuring the safety of your loved ones at home, these systems offer robust, scalable security that matches your unique security needs.

What Are the Credential Types of Door Access Control Systems?

In the realm of door access control systems, the concept of a 'key' has undergone a significant transformation. No longer limited to a physical object, today's credentials encompass a range of digital and biometric solutions. The choice of credentials in a door access control system not only determines the method of authentication but also defines the type of system itself. Here's a closer look at the various systems based on the credentials they employ:

Biometric Door Access Control Systems:

In the quest for heightened security, Biometric Door Access Control Systems stand at the forefront of technological innovation. These systems, once the stuff of science fiction, have now become a reality in many high-security environments, from corporate headquarters to government facilities. Biometrics, by definition, leverages unique physiological or behavioral characteristics of individuals, ensuring that access is granted only to the right person. There's no card to be stolen, no PIN to be shared—just the unique attributes of the individual, be it their fingerprint, face, or iris. As we move towards a world where personalization is key, biometrics offers a security solution that is as individual as the DNA.

  • Fingerprint Scans: A tried and tested method, fingerprint scanning is widely adopted due to its reliability and speed.
  • Facial Recognition: With advancements in camera technology and AI, facial recognition offers a contactless and highly accurate method of authentication.
  • Iris Scans: Touted as one of the most secure biometric methods, iris scanning is often reserved for ultra-high-security environments.


  • High Security: Biometrics are difficult to duplicate, making them one of the most secure authentication methods.
  • User Convenience: Enhance user convenience effortlessly by eliminating the need to remember PINs or carry physical credentials – your body becomes the key. Additionally, touchless options such as facial recognition or iris recognition can further boost both user convenience and safety.
  • Efficient Throughput: Especially with facial recognition, users can be authenticated quickly, reducing queues in high-traffic areas.


  • Privacy Concerns: Storing biometric data raises privacy issues, and organizations must ensure data protection.
  • Environmental Factors: Dirt or injuries can affect fingerprint scans, while lighting can impact facial recognition.

Key Card & Key Fob Entry Systems:

In the ever-evolving world of security, the Key Card & Key Fob Entry Systems stand as a bridge between the traditional and the modern. Rooted in the simplicity of physical devices, these systems have been a cornerstone of access control for decades. From bustling hotels in metropolitan cities to serene gated communities nestled in the suburbs, and from high-rise corporate offices to local gyms, these systems have found their place. Their widespread adoption can be attributed to their intuitive nature and the familiarity they offer. Users are provided with a tangible object - a card or a fob - that acts as their passport to enter secured areas. While they might seem rudimentary compared to their biometric or mobile counterparts, their reliability and ease of use have cemented their position in the access control landscape.

  • Key Cards: Embedded with magnetic stripes, RFID chips, or smart card access control technology, these cards are presented to a reader to grant access.
  • Key Fobs: A compact alternative to key cards, key fobs use proximity sensors, allowing users to gain access without direct contact with the reader.


  • Scalability: Easily issued and replaced, making them ideal for large organizations or places with high footfall.
  • Integration: Can be seamlessly integrated with other security systems, like video surveillance or visitor management systems.
  • Audit Trail: Every swipe or tap is logged, providing a clear record of each access event.


  • Loss or Theft: Physical devices can be lost or stolen, potentially compromising security.
  • Wear and Tear: Over time, cards and fobs can degrade, especially if frequently used.
  • Duplication: While not easy, it's possible for these devices to be duplicated by malicious actors.

Keypad Door Entry Systems:

As we transition from tangible keys to digital codes, the Keypad Door Entry Systems emerge as a testament to this shift. Marrying the age-old concept of a secret code with modern-day technology, these systems offer a unique blend of security and convenience. Imagine entering a private club or a secure office floor; instead of presenting a card or undergoing a biometric scan, you punch in a series of numbers known only to you. This method, while seemingly simple, offers a robust layer of security. The absence of a physical device means there's nothing to lose or misplace. However, the onus of security shifts to the user's memory and their discretion in keeping the code a secret. In settings where access needs to be frequently changed or customized, like in shared workspaces or rental properties, these systems shine.

  • Unique PIN: Users are assigned a unique PIN, which they input on a keypad to gain access. This PIN can be changed regularly to enhance security.
  • Temporary Access: Ideal for situations where temporary access is required, such as for contractors or guests. Temporary PINs can be issued and later deactivated.


  • No Physical Device: Eliminates the risk and cost associated with lost or damaged cards/fobs.
  • Enhanced Security: Regularly changing PINs can deter unauthorized access.
  • Integration: Can be paired with other systems, like biometric or mobile credential systems, for multi-factor authentication.


  • PIN Sharing: Users might share their PINs, potentially compromising security.
  • Memory Reliance: Users need to remember their PINs, which can be challenging if they have multiple codes to recall.
  • Weather Impact: Outdoor keypads can be affected by extreme weather conditions, impacting their functionality.

Mobile Credential Door Access Systems:

The modern world is mobile-centric, and Mobile Credential Systems are a testament to this shift. As smartphones become ubiquitous, integrating them into the security framework is a logical progression. Imagine walking up to a door, and as you approach, it unlocks automatically, sensing the secure credential on your smartphone. Or, with a simple tap on your phone screen, granting access to a colleague from miles away. This convergence of convenience and technology is what mobile access control systems bring to the table. They represent not just the future of physical access control but also a paradigm shift in how we perceive security in the future.

  • Bluetooth, NFC, or QR Codes: Depending on the system, users can unlock doors using various technologies, all from their mobile devices.
  • Remote Access: Administrators can grant or revoke access remotely, making it ideal for managing multiple locations or temporary access for visitors.
  • Integration: Mobile systems can be paired with other security measures, like biometric authentication, for enhanced security.


  • User-Friendly: Most people are familiar with smartphones, reducing the learning curve.
  • Dynamic Security: Mobile credentials can be updated in real-time, allowing for immediate response to security threats.
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces costs associated with issuing and replacing physical cards or fobs.


  • Device Dependency: Access is tied to a user's phone, which can be lost, stolen, or run out of battery.
  • Software Updates: Both the system and users' devices must be regularly updated to ensure compatibility and security.
  • Network Reliability: Relies on stable internet or cellular connections, which can be a concern in areas with poor connectivity.

Multi-factor Authentication Systems (MFA/2FA Access Control):

In a time where physical security breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated, Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), or Two-factor authentication (2FA) Systems emerge as a formidable defense, fortifying access control to unprecedented levels. Imagine attempting to access a secure laboratory; initially, you present a key card, followed by authenticating via your fingerprint scan.

This layered approach to security ensures that even if one layer is compromised, unauthorized access is prevented by the subsequent layers. Multi-factor authentication is not merely a system; it’s a strategy that acknowledges the vulnerabilities of single-method systems and counters them by demanding multiple proofs of identity. It’s a confluence of something you have (a card or mobile device), something you know (a PIN or password), and something you are (biometrics). By integrating these layers, MFA/2FA provides a robust shield against potential security threats, making it a preferred choice for high-security environments and sensitive data access.


  • Enhanced Security: The layered approach makes it significantly harder for unauthorized individuals to gain access.
  • Flexibility: MFA/2FA can be tailored to specific needs, combining different authentication methods based on the level of security required.


  • User Experience: While MFA/2FA enhances security, it might add an extra step (or steps) for users, which could impact the user experience, especially if not implemented intuitively.
  • Setup Complexity: Implementing MFA/2FA might require additional infrastructure and integration, especially if combining disparate systems like key cards and biometrics.

The choice of a door access control system hinges on various factors, including the level of security required, the number of users, and the desired user experience. By understanding the nuances of each system based on credentials, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs. Whether you're leaning towards the widely adopted key card system or the advanced biometric solutions, understanding the capabilities and limitations of each system will guide you to the perfect fit for your security needs.

How Do You Choose the Right Door Access Control System?

Selecting the right door access control system is a pivotal decision that goes beyond merely enhancing security. It's about choosing a system that aligns seamlessly with your operational flow, adheres to your security needs, and provides an intuitive experience for users. But how do you navigate through the myriad of options, from key cards to biometrics to multi-factor systems, ensuring that your choice is informed and astute?

1) Understand Your Security Needs:

Before diving into the specifics, it's crucial to have a clear picture of what you expect from your access control system.

  • Level of Security: Different settings demand varying security intensities. Assess what's right for you.
  • User Traffic: Gauge the number of users and access events. High-traffic areas might lean towards swift access solutions.

2) Integration with Existing Systems:

Your new system shouldn't exist in isolation but should complement and enhance your existing security infrastructure.

  • Compatibility: Ensure a seamless integration with current systems like video surveillance.
  • Upgradeability: Opt for a system that's future-ready, adaptable to emerging technologies.

3) User Experience:

The best systems are those that users can operate intuitively, without steep learning curves.

  • Ease of Use: Prioritize user-friendliness to ensure smooth daily operations.
  • Training: Reflect on the training needs for both users and administrators.

4) Cost Implications:

Budgeting is pivotal. Look beyond the initial costs and consider the long-term financial implications.

  • Initial Investment: Factor in software, installation, and potential infrastructure changes.
  • Maintenance: Account for ongoing costs, system updates, and potential replacements.

5) Data Security and Compliance:

In our digital age, data protection is paramount. Ensure your system is both secure and compliant.

  • Data Protection: Adherence to data protection norms is non-negotiable.
  • Compliance: Stay aligned with local and global security and data handling regulations.

6) Vendor Reliability:

Your system is only as good as the team behind it. Choose your vendor wisely.

  • Reputation: Opt for a vendor known for excellence in the access control domain.
  • Support: Ensure they're there for you when you need them, offering robust support.

Handy Checklist for Choosing Your Door Access Control System:

  • Security Needs: Have you mapped out the specific areas that need securing and gauged their sensitivity?
  • User Traffic: Have you analyzed the daily or weekly volume of users accessing these areas? Are there peak times or special events to consider?
  • System Integration: Does the new system seamlessly integrate with your existing security infrastructure? Have you considered future tech upgrades?
  • User Experience: Have you tested the system's user interface? Is it intuitive enough for all potential users, from staff to visitors?
  • Budgeting: Have you accounted for all potential costs, including initial setup, maintenance, training, and future upgrades?
  • Data Security: Does the system adhere to the latest data protection standards? Have you reviewed its encryption methods and data storage protocols?
  • Regulatory Compliance: Have you checked if the system meets local and international security and data protection regulations?
  • Vendor Assessment: Have you researched the vendor's track record and customer reviews? Did you discuss post-sale support and warranty terms?
  • Training Needs: Have you planned a training session for staff? Are there easy-to-understand user manuals or online resources available?
  • Backup & Recovery: In case of system failures or breaches, does the system have a backup and recovery protocol?

Embarking on the journey of implementing a door access control system is a strategic move that intertwines technology, user experience, and operational flow. By considering these aspects, you're not just selecting a system; you're investing in a solution tailored to your needs, ensuring a harmonious blend of security and convenience.


The realm of door access control systems has witnessed a transformative journey, evolving from rudimentary locks to sophisticated biometric solutions. As we stand at the crossroads of innovation and security, the choices we make today will shape the safety of our spaces tomorrow. Whether you're safeguarding a bustling corporate office, a serene residential complex, or a high-security research facility, the right access control solution is paramount.

If you're on the cusp of making a decision or simply exploring the possibilities, remember that the best door access control system is one that aligns seamlessly with your needs, integrates effortlessly with your existing systems, and offers a user experience that's both secure and intuitive.

And if you ever find yourself in need of expert guidance on biometric access control, remember that we're here to help. At Aratek Biometrics, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of biometric technology, offering solutions that are both innovative and reliable. Reach out to us, and let's embark on this journey together.


Biometric Access Control System—A Complete Guide

learn more
learn more
Biometric Access Control System—A Complete Guide

What are you looking for?

Use our product finder to pinpoint the ideal product for your needs.

Fingerprint Scanner
Biometric Terminal
Fingerprint Module
Biometric Security System
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.