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The Types and Features of Access Control Software You Need to Know to Secure Your Building

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The Types and Features of Access Control Software You Need to Know to Secure Your Building

Access control software is an important component of building security systems, but deciding which one is best for you can be difficult. The following article will break down the various types and features of access control software so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

What is access control software?

Before we continue, we'd want to give you a quick introduction of access control software and how it works in physical access control applications.

Access control software, which runs on a computer or server, is the operation's brain of any physical access control system. Access control software is required for the configuration and operation of physical hardware components such as card readers and facial recognition terminals in controlling people's access to facilities. Without access control software, the access control hardware is useless.

Using access control software, you can easily manage who has access to your building, what access credentials they need to enter, and how they enter, among other things.

For example, if you want to deploy an access control system with biometric integration for building access, you must enroll new employees with their faces or fingerprints and set the rules to control who has access to the building, even monitor their attendance, and much more - all of which must be done through a software management platform.

Access control software can also provide a daily log of who entered and exited the building, allowing you to keep track of who came in and out. It can also assist you in managing any changes made to your organization, such as granting access to a new employee or deleting access for a previous employee.

Learn more:

Biometric Access Control System-A Complete Guide

Types of access control software

When looking for access control software to use in your company, it's critical to understand the various types of access control software available to you so that you can make the best decision for securing your building.

There are three types of access control software: on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid cloud. We'll go over each of these types, as well as their pros and cons, to help you decide which is best for you.

On-premise access control software:

On-premises type refers to any access control system installed at your company's physical location. This means that the data is kept on-site and accessible only from within the building.

Pros: There are many advantages to using an on-premise access control software:

  • Secure: Because all of your data is kept locally. This eliminates the need to be concerned about a remote server being hacked.
  • Fully customize: Because the access control software is all stored on your servers, you have complete control over it. This means you can tailor it to your company's requirements.
  • Stability: Because the software is installed on-site, it is more reliable than a cloud-based service. You won't have to worry about access control not working because your internet connection goes down.

Cons: The following are the primary disadvantages of an on-premise access control software:

  • Expensive: You must purchase costly equipment and hire technical experts to install it. Once installed, you will require an IT team and skilled personnel to keep the system operational. It necessitates a larger capital investment, which can be costly for a small business or startup.
  • Not scalable: You can’t grow your business without investing in new hardware. As you add employees, you need to buy additional hardware and software licenses. This is a slow process as well; there are usually long lead times on getting the new hardware and software.

Cloud-based access control software:

In a cloud-based access control system, all the software and data are hosted on a server in the cloud. This means that the software and data are stored on a remote cloud server connected to the Internet, rather than local servers in your company.

Pros: There are some main advantages of a cloud-based software:

  • Budget friendly: Cloud-based access control softwares are typically less expensive than on-premises access control systems. This is due to the fact that you do not need to purchase server equipment to store the data and software, and you can subscribe to software plans that best suit your business needs without having to purchase a more expensive package.
  • Easy to use: Cloud-based access control softwares provide a better user experience with a web-based interface, which enables you to access your system and manage access permissions from any computer or mobile device. For example, you would be able to use your mobile phone to unlock your doors no matter where you are. This makes cloud-based access control systems easy to use in most situations, since you can use them from anywhere as long as you have Internet access.
  • Easy to set up: Cloud-based access control softwares are very easy to set up. After you have bought the product and registered it with your cloud provider, you can start using it immediately. You don't need to pay for the IT support personnel to set up and configure the system.
  • Scalable: Cloud-based access control softwares are also highly scalable, so as your business grows, you can simply upgrade your subscription to get more storage space, alarms, or users. You can easily add and remove users and doors without worrying about hardware or software capacities and limitations.

Cons: There are a few major drawbacks to using cloud-based access control systems:

  • Less customized: Cloud-based access control softwares are less customizable than onsite solutions. You must use the vendor's pre-made templates and features. However, most vendors provide numerous customization options. It may take some time to become used to to the interface, but once you do, it is simple to navigate and use.
  • Security concerns: Cloud-based access control softwares typically authorize data encryption and transmission to a third party. If this third party is not cautious with your data, the security of your system may be compromised. However, many SaaS cloud-based access control providers are continuously improving their security systems. For example, many providers have upgraded their security systems with the latest protocols and encryption methods to enhance their cloud infrastructures to protect sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance. Always check the security certificate of the service provider you intend to use.

Hybrid cloud access control software:

Hybrid cloud-based access control softwares combine the full functionality of on-premise and cloud systems into a single solution with the ability to switch between them. This means that you can run access control applications on both the cloud and on-premises server at the same time, making it easy to manage users and devices on-premises to resources in the cloud and vice versa.

Pros: When you use a hybrid cloud access control software, there are a couple main benefits:

  • Cost-effective: The cost and complexity of your IT infrastructure can be cut down with the help of hybrid cloud-based access control software. That means you don't have to buy and maintain new hardware for your on-premise access control system, and you don't have to pay for extra IT infrastructure or third-party cloud services. To run your access control applications, you can use the resources of your existing IT infrastructure as well as cloud services from any provider.
  • Flexible: Due to the flexibility of cloud-based access control software, you can move your security infrastructure to the cloud or on-premises, depending on what your business needs. It can provide remote access while protecting server data and devices. This makes it easier to protect the data while giving users easy access to their applications in the cloud.
  • Scalable: Hybrid cloud-based access control softwares can also give organizations a more scalable solution. This lets your businesses grow without having to worry about the scalability of your on-premises access control software because you can just add new users to the cloud.

Cons: Using hybrid cloud access control softwares come with a few major drawbacks:

  • Concerns about security: Hybrid cloud access control softwares may not provide the same level of security as an on-premises types. Users can, however, configure the hybrid cloud access control software solution to require a secure VPN connection. This is necessary to ensure that only authorized users have access to the system, and any unauthorized access attempts are denied.
  • Performance concerns: Hybrid cloud access control softwares may have performance issues and there may be latency when authenticating users. If you use Active Directory for network authentication, the hybrid cloud solution may affect the overall system performance. In this case, it's best to use a centralized cloud-based directory service for authentication. This makes sure that the hybrid cloud access control softwares doesn't need to ask questions of the on-premises Active Directory. This keeps other applications, like identity management or HR applications, from being slowed down or stopped.

In short, there are some pros and cons to each of on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid cloud access control softwares. It's important to choose the right access control software when looking for one. For example, cloud-based access control might be the best choice if you need a simple, cost-effective, and easy-to-use solution. If you have a big budget and want a more secure and powerful access solution, on-premise software may be right for you. Or, if you already have an on-premise system, hybrid cloud access control like Aratek TruFace Manager might be the best choice.

Key features of access control software

When looking for the right access control software for your business, it's not enough to know what types of software there are. You also need to think about what features the software needs to have in order to do its job well.

Here are some of the most important features and functions that access control software should have:

  • Centralized management platform: With a centralized management platform, you can easily manage all your users, access credentials and access control hardware devices in one place, which makes it easier to find and fix problems.
  • Enroll user: This is how users are added to the system. Users can be added with employee IDs, names, access cards, or biometric characteristics like faces or fingerprints.
  • User access management: Administrators can grant different levels of access to facilities, rooms, or floors to users, which can be enabled and disabled.
  • Manage zone: You can use this feature to manage zones, assign users to access to different zones, and delete zones.
  • Alarm setting: This is where you set, turn on, or turn off the system's alarms based on different access events (e.g. Unauthorized individuals entering the restricted room, leaving the workplace without signing out, and so forth.).
  • Device management: This function helps you to configure and manage access control hardware devices such as card readers, door controllers, facial recognition terminals and more. Some software has the ability to process device diagnostics, which helps to ensure that the device is functioning properly.
  • Logging and Reporting: This function allows you to view log information and generate system reports.
  • Manage network: This function helps you to configure network settings of the system, including IP address, DNS server, gateway and more.
  • And more.

These are some of the key features that can assist you in easily managing and monitoring your property. When selecting access control software, ensure that it supports all of these features; otherwise, it may be inconvenient for you. Aratek TruFace, for example, is designed as a full-featured and complete access control solution with powerful management software that can support all of these functions.


To recap, knowing the different types of access control software and their characteristics will help you choose the best access control security solution for your requirements. With so many alternatives available, it is vital to conduct research in order to select the system that would provide the greatest security for your property.

If you need assistance configuring your access control system, contact us right away. We can help you select the best system for your needs.

Access Control Software FAQs:

What is access control software?

Access control software is a program that helps administrators enroll users, create access control policies, and track who has access to which locations and when. Based on where the data resides, the three main types of access control software are on-premise access control software, cloud-based access control software, and hybrid cloud access control software.

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