Components Of Access Control Systems And How Does It Work?

An access control system is a system that limits the entrance of unauthorized persons and allows only authorized persons to enter a facility. It may seem simple, but the system consists of various access control components. According to the access control protocol, hardware, components, and software must work together to make the right decisions. This software uses advanced technology to provide easily approved entries quickly. Here are the Components Of Access Control Systems And How Does It Work?

Components Of Access Control Systems And How Does It Work

Key Components of a Room Access Control System

The main components of the access control system are a tag, a tag reader, an access control panel, and a lock. These operate jointly to form a seamless and automatic experience for the user.


Tags may be issued as a key fob, key card, or smartphone credentials. The tag uses a wireless technology called radio frequency identification (RFID) to send signals to the access control panel.

Each tag has a unique encrypted identification number. Tags can be published on a personal basis and can be set based on who the individual user is. For example, a government agency might want to allow high-level officials to enter a confidential briefing room but refuse to do so. In such cases, you can give all employees the same tag type, set one tag to allow entry, and one tag to deny entry.

System administrators can change access settings anytime, so they don’t have to go out of their way to find someone and ask for a tag replacement. If by any chance, you lose the tag, you’ll be fine. You can permanently disable and publish a new tag with the correct permissions with just a few clicks. Instead of physical tags, you can use biometric signatures such as hand or thumb scans. The access control system works the same way.

Tag Reader:

Tag readers are located on one or both sides of the door. It is located on one side of the door if the system controls only the entrance or on both sides if it controls entry and exit. The Reader has an antenna connected to the access control panel described below, providing power.

When an individual presents a tag to the Reader, the reader antenna receives its encrypted ID number. The tag reader sends the ID number to the Access Control Panel.

Access Control Panel:

The physical access control panel is the system’s core. It saves the credentials set by your system administrator. It receives an encrypted tag number from the Reader, decodes it, and compares it to an ID number already registered in the system. If the number matches and the user is authorized to access the door at that time, the door is unlocked. It will happen within seconds.


The access control system panel operates the electric lock and automatically unlocks it when entry is permitted, allowing the door to open.

Door sensor

Understanding the door condition, such as whether the door is open or closed and whether the door is moving, is very important in monitoring access control systems. Therefore, we use not only motion sensors but also door contact sensors.

Video surveillance

Wireless cameras connected to the Internet are common when talking about smart homes. However, some small and medium-sized companies see the wired DVR system. In more modern businesses, IP cameras connected to NVR are commonly used. You use one or more interphones, depending on whether you want to call more than one person or only one person. These intercoms vary depending on the configuration of dial-in, audio, video, or touch screen.

How does the access control system work?

How does the access control system work

1. Authentication

First, the credentials are authenticated. When the user presents the credential to the Reader, the data is verified to determine whether the credential is known or recognized by the system.

2. Authorization

The Reader then checks whether the user is allowed to access the entry point. For a user to be authorized, the Reader must answer the following questions:

  • Does the user have credentials to the requested entry point?
  • Does the user use an authorized credential type such as a key fob?
  • Is the request being made within the defined schedule?
  • Are there security restrictions like system lockdowns?

3. Access

Once approval is determined, the Reader sends a message and triggers the door hardware to unlock the entry point. When a door is unlocked, the system tracks which user triggered the unlock.

4. Administration

Access management systems include adding and removing users, monitoring activities, and setting schedules and alerts. Most access control systems use software that automatically synchronizes the controller with the Reader.

5.   Audit

Most Access Control Systems offer an audit option that allows administrators to create reports. These reports help you meet compliance standards and ensure your system works as expected.

Final Words

A security coordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the system. Before using the system, one must set up or “define” the software for the access control system. Access control software is set up on the host computer. The software setup sets various parameters of the access control system to meet the specific requirements of the building where the system is installed. So the access control software works based on these parameters.

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