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Security ID Card Swipe Systems

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117.203.193.248 15:11, January 8, 2011 (UTC)Are any schools using a key card swipe system as a means of access to buildings or dorms for faculty, students, and staff?

Retrieved from ISED-L 1/07 (cc license)

  • We use Datawatch cards (RFID) to unlock outer doors here at Norwood and have been happy with it.
  • We have a system from Honeywell for both card access and video surveillance. We have had problems with it.
  • I have installed a RFID system with door locks and bar codes on the backs of the cards for the library. It works OK most of the time but it was VERY expensive! HID made it. It's interesting that it permits you to see the photograph of everyone who goes through a door in real time and you can control who can open which door.
  • We have a keycard access and video surveillance system from Siemens. I would not recommend them.

Retrieved from ISED-L 12/07 (cc license)

  • We use a proxcard system in our building. It is pretty convenient when someone loses a card we just lock out the card that was lost and allocate a new one.
  • I inherited a prox-card system at Lowell and I loved everything about it except the software to administer the cards. The software we used was Access Gold (AG) and I would not recommend it. What ever software you select I would recommend that it:
    • Can be administered by multiple people. Preferably a web based client where you can grant access as needed with authentication based on AD or other login credentials. AG could only be administered directly from the server. You can use VNC and other tools to mitigate this but it should be built in to the software.
    • Allow for easy/fast search and retrieval of any given card's past access or cards used at a given door/access point. Ever months worth of data added 5-10 minutes to searching the records and the reports were difficult to read unless you really understood the system.
    • Allows you to group access points. Example: If you have 4 doors that provide access to the dorm, you should be able to group them all into a single group called "Main Entry". And grant access to that. AG made you define user groups and they add devices individually. This meant it took a lot more time to build out the user groups (especially in a building with 21 external doors).

Most systems allow for this functionality but as I looked for replacements (2 years ago), I was surprised how many lacked one of the above. We also looked at swipe cards to extend the system to other buildings, but despite the lower initial cost, the general consensus among vendors was to stick with the prox system since the ware-and-tear (read: repair frequency) was significantly lower on prox systems since they required no physical contact. Also, in our environment people generally preferred prox on key fobs instead of the cards. They were a bit more expensive, but they tended to be far more durable and did not get lost as frequently. _J

  • GE Secure Perfect. Uses proximity cards that replaced our student IDs. -Andrew @ Choate

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