What is the Difference Between Access Control & Door Entry Systems?

 what is difference between access control & door entry system

Have you ever wondered what sets apart access control systems from door entry systems? If you have, you’re not alone. Both systems aim to control who gets into a building, but the way they go about this task is quite different. Whether you’re a business owner looking to secure your premises or a homeowner wanting to up your security game, knowing the difference can help you make an informed decision. We’ll delve into the unique features, advantages, disadvantages, and use-cases for each.

What is Access Control?

At its core, access control is about granting or denying permission to enter specific parts of a building. It’s like having a virtual gatekeeper who uses various methods like key cards, biometric data, and even mobile apps to make sure only authorized people get through.

Types of Access Control Systems

Various types of access control systems are available and all of them are made for some or the other specific purpose.

  • Biometric: These are the James Bond-level systems that use fingerprints, eye scans, or facial recognition to identify people.
  • Card Readers: Swipe or tap a card, and the door unlocks if you’re authorized. These are common in offices and modern apartment buildings.
  • Keypads: Here, a numeric code is your key. Don’t tell anyone your code!

Typical Use-Cases

Different types of access control system has different use case. Let’s find it out.

  • Large Offices: With many rooms and restricted areas, access control helps in easy management.
  • Data Centers: These places house sensitive information. Only a select few should get in.
  • Government Buildings and Airports: Security is paramount here, and advanced access control systems are often used.

What is a Door Entry System?

Door entry systems are more straightforward. They’re the digital equivalent of a doorman or a security guard at the entrance who lets people in after confirming their identity. This is usually done via an intercom or video system.

Types of Door Entry Systems

  • Intercoms: A visitor buzzes in, and you can talk to them before letting them in.
  • Video Entry: Adds a visual component. You can see who’s at the door before granting access.
  • Mobile App: Some modern systems let you use your smartphone to see and speak to the visitor.

Typical Use-Cases of Door Entry Systems

  • Apartment Buildings: For checking in guests or deliveries.
  • Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Where security needs are moderate but still important.
  • Private Residences: For homes that want an added layer of security without breaking the bank.

What is Difference Between Access Control and Door Entry System


Feature Access Control Door Entry System
Security Features Very High (Biometrics, multi-factor authentication) Moderate (Intercoms, Video)
Installation Complexity Moderate to High (requires networking skills, software setup) Low to Moderate (basic wiring and setup)
User Management Very Easy (Centralized software, remote changes) Moderate to Difficult (manual setup, physical presence often required)
Cost High ($$$) Moderate ($$)

Explanation of Each Difference

  1. Security Features: Access control can offer multi-layered security, combining card and biometrics for heightened security.
  2. Installation Complexity: Access control systems may require a network setup and a centralized computer for monitoring, making the installation more complex.
  3. User Management: With centralized software, access permissions can be updated in real-time for access control systems.
  4. Cost: Due to advanced features and software-based controls, access control systems are often more expensive upfront but can be more cost-effective in the long run.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Access Control Systems

  • High Security: Multiple authentication methods make it more secure.
  • Easy User Management: Centralized systems mean easier management.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, the system can grow with you.

Advantages of Door Entry Systems

  • Ease of Installation: No need for a computer science degree here.
  • Cost-Effective: Less upfront investment required.
  • Good for Smaller Premises: Ideal for buildings with fewer doors to secure.

Limitations of Each

  • Access Control: Can be overkill for small spaces, and the initial cost can be high.
  • Door Entry: Limited in functionality and not ideal for multiple access points or high-security needs.

Choosing the Right System

When deciding between access control and door entry systems, consider:

  1. Security Needs: For maximum security, access control is the way to go.
  2. Budget: If the budget is tight, a door entry system can provide moderate security at a lower cost.
  3. Size and Complexity of the Space: Larger and more complex spaces can benefit from the scalability of an access control system.
  4. Future Expansion Plans: If you anticipate growth, it may be wiser to invest in a scalable access control system now.

Case Studies

  1. Business Offices: Access control systems help divide different departments and secure sensitive areas.
  2. Apartment Complexes: Video-enabled door entry systems offer a great mix of security and
    convenience for residents.
  3. Retail Spaces: Many retail businesses prefer door entry systems for their ease of use and lower costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which is more secure?
    • Access control is generally more secure due to multiple layers of authentication.
  • What’s easier to install?
    • Door entry systems are often easier and quicker to install.
  • Can I integrate both systems?
    • Absolutely! Many businesses and upscale residences opt for a layered approach for heightened security.


While they may serve the same basic purpose—keeping unauthorized people out—access control and door entry systems are unique in their features, complexity, and costs. By considering your specific needs, you can make an informed choice and ensure that you’re investing in a system that will serve you well for years to come.


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