The core of Proximity Access Control System is the Proximity Reader and Proximity Card. There are two types of readers in the market – One that has an inbuilt controller with capability to authorize access with or without being connected to a PC. The other kind requires a PC to be connected at all times.
Depending upon the configuration of the premises, one or more readers may be used. If more than one reader is used then it is called a Networked system, which is usually connected to a PC. Some systems use a 8 core or a 16 core wire for connecting all the Readers while some systems use only 2 core wire, thereby reducing the cost of wiring and maintenance.
The better systems have readers that can be used interchangeably in a standalone or a networked configuration. Also, some systems have bulky controllers attached to the readers that require a separate source of power as well as add to the cost. The current day readers have built-in controllers and can be directly connected to a PC.
Another use of Proximity systems is to record attendance for employees. For recording attendance, minimum two readers are required – one for IN and one for OUT. The employees are supposed to show their cards to the appropriate Reader upon arrival or exit. These transactions of IN and OUT are recorded in the attached PC. From the PC various reports can be printed.
Most of the Access control systems come with ready made attendance software as an option.
The advanced Proximity Based systems come with inbuilt Password Based system too. It is possible to specify if the employees can enter using Password alone or Proximity Card alone or Both are required. Such an option gives additional flexibility to define the Access Policy for the organisation.
Some other features of such systems are:
- Possible to define times of the day when the card is valid. Access granted if a valid Card is flashed and/or correct password is entered, provided the access is being attempted during the pre-authorized hours of the day.
- If an employee is under Duress to open the door then the Duress Entry option allows the opening of the door with alarm on the PC (if connected)
- Powerful software based on Windows OS that does not require a dedicated PC.
- Each Reader (one for each door) can be designated as an Incoming Door or an Outgoing door or an Internal door or Exit on Duty door.
- Capacity Upto 1000 users (employees)
- Each user can be assigned a Password and/OR a Proximity Card
- Users are assigned to groups and privileges are declared at Group level for easy administration
- Possible to define IN/OUT time for a Group on the day of the week basis. Beyond the defined times the Controller will not grant access and will record the event in the PC as Access denied to.
- User Groups can be restricted to certain Controllers and the valid time zones can be defined for each day of the week
- Special alarm events (e.g. Forced entry) can be monitored on the PC
- Option to lock out Controller for one minute if three wrong attempts are made in one minute
- Changes in configuration settings can be easily downloaded to all Controllers easily for the PC.
- Even after Power failure, the Controller retains the last properties defined/downloaded on it.
- Even in case of PC failure, the Controller can continue to operate the Access control system using the last properties defined/downloaded for that Controller. However, recording of events in not possible in such a case
- Access denied events (e.g. employee trying to enter at odd hours) can also be recorded
- Duress entry option allows entry like normal entry but logs an alarm event on the central PC.
- Relay output for connection to door strikes/latches
- Independent NO/NC (programmable) input for connection to a switch for opening the door from inside.
- Elaborate Audio and Visual signals in response to commands
- Programmable duration for Time to open the door and Time to close the door, if connected with a magnetic switch
- Tamper switch output separately available
The Readers/Controllers have to be connected with electromagnetic latches/strikes to control the doors. Also, wiring could be a significant cost.