Access Control Lingo: A Glossary of Terms, you should know!
Whether you’re working in property management or the vacation rental industry, you may have engaged in a conversation recently about access control. If you found some of this access control lingo confusing, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, RemoteLock has compiled an essential glossary of terms. Read on to ensure you can “talk the talk” and understand it all.
A method of managing access points on a given property. Such a system often involves software designed specifically to communicate with smart locks and/or hardwired doors to allow or prohibit entry at property doors.
NOTE: Access control can sometimes be used when referring to managing access to software or other company assets by remote workers. To differentiate from this type of access, some may use “physical access control” when referring to methods of managing the access of employees, guests, residents or others at a physical location.
ACS (Access Control System)
Historically, this term refers to a door system that’s hardwired into your property’s power supply, requiring its own panel and wiring to operate. Such a wired system is a very secure, reliable solution for heavy-traffic doors that need a constant source of power versus batteries, which would need replacing too often.
NOTE: Today, an access control system refers to a comprehensive solution that can manage both smart locks and wired doors.
Algorithmic PIN Code
A series of numbers (a PIN) generated via software by an algorithm, which is also embedded in a smart lock’s physical hardware. Because the PIN sits locally on the hardware, validation occurs without the need for a wireless connection. Once entered into a keypad, the PIN code unlocks the lock.
A wireless technology that allows the exchange of data between different devices. Bluetooth uses short wavelength radio waves to transmit information and generally only works within a limited distance for the devices to stay connected.
Cloud-Based Access Control
Software that allows users to remotely control and manage doors and gates via an internet-connected device like a smart lock or wired door.
A virtual key that allows access in keyless entry systems. Access credentials include PIN codes, RFID cards and key fobs, or a variety of mobile credentials.
To design software, a computer, etc., so that it can still be used in the future, even as technology evolves. For example, RemoteLock’s platform is designed with an open API and Lock Connector, allowing new software integrations as well as hardware to be easily added. So, users can feel confident that their access control solution won’t be outdated when something new and shiny comes out down the road.
Hardwired or Wired Door
A door system that’s hardwired into your property’s power supply, requiring its own panel and wiring to operate.
NOTE: In the past, wired doors were considered the totality of an access control system, which is not the case today with modern access control solutions.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is the process of connecting objects and devices to the internet to enable them to “talk” to each other while being managed and monitored. Smart locks and access control software work via IoT.
A small access credential or virtual key that users often attach to their key rings or credential lanyards. A key fob or fob is embedded with access permissions and, once within range, allows access to doors, elevators, parking garages, etc., on keyless entry systems.
A method of gaining access to buildings via an access credential without the need for a mechanical key. Smart locks and hardwired doors accept the credentials to allow entry.
No, not the stuff that makes up our physical world. We’re talking about the newest wireless technology developed through a collaboration created by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. Matter is a unified IP-based connectivity protocol that’s royalty-free and enables communications among a wide range of smart devices.
A type of access credential. Also known as smartphone access, a mobile credential acts as a virtual key through one of several types of technologies loaded onto a mobile phone to grant access to doors, elevators, parking garages, etc.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
A proximity-based wireless communication standard. Unlike Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, however, NFC interaction is limited to an extremely short range.
A type of access credential. Also called a PIN, this code is entered into a keypad on a lock to grant access to doors, elevators, parking garages, etc.
A small part of a wider digital transformation, proptech is a collective term used to define the application of technology to real estate in order to raise revenue, drive efficiency, enable better service or power transactions.
Widely referred to by several names, including RFID, prox or key card, this access credential comes in card form. Like a key fob, a prox card is embedded with access permissions and, once within range, allows access to doors, elevators, parking garages, etc., on keyless entry systems. Most prox cards operate on a lower frequency (125 kHz), are unencrypted and have a limited range.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
A technology that embeds digital access permissions into a card or key fob, which are captured by a reader via radio waves.
The ability to control and manage access points remotely from software designed for this purpose via the internet on a laptop or smartphone. With remote access a user can easily issue remote door lock and unlock commands, create access schedules for users and more.
NOTE: Remote access can also refer to the ability for an authorized person to access a computer or network from a geographical distance through a network connection.