When it comes to product development, the security market is undeniably keeping up with the current trends today. Compared to before, business and property owners now receive a lot more variety of choices in terms of security systems.

It might be a bit overwhelming for a security system newbie to know all about the detailed security features that a third-party agency may offer, but you have likely heard about the advantages and benefits of having an access control system already.

What is an Access Control System?

An access control system can be defined by its name itself.

Primarily, they give the owner the authority to grant access to people who enter his/her premises through a control panel. An access control system does not only control physical access but can also control access of unauthorized persons to confidential data and information, all depending on the owner’s requirements.

This system is one of the most used and acknowledged security features brought by the current technological advancements today. It has been widely used by most large companies, and even startups, because it has proven to minimize the risks of receiving security threats.

What Kinds of Access Control Systems Are There?

Access control systems can be identified as either On-Premise Access Control or Cloud-Based Access Control.

On-Premise Access Control System

This kind of access control system goes by its name, which means that all hardware and equipment related to the system are installed on-site. The company is also the one that manages and operates the servers in the system.

An on-premise access control system also requires the company to purchase a license for the usage of their server’s software.

Cloud-Based Access Control System

A cloud-based access control system is hosted by a third-party server. The system is being run by remote servers which aim to adopt a more flexible working arrangement for both the company and users.

Unlike the one-time purchase payment for an on-premise access control system, a cloud-based access control system can be acquired through a subscription fee.

On-Premise or Cloud-Based Access Control?

These days, the security market has been filled with endless discussions about choosing between on-premise and cloud-based access control systems. Arguments to solidify each camp’s stand as the “best” control system are being thrown out here and there.

To give you a comparative overview between these two systems, Alarm Masters has listed these three factors that you should consider before choosing any of these access control systems.

Level of Security

Considering the level of security that an access control system can give your company has always been included in the factors to be prioritized. After all, your main goal is to decrease the security threats that your business is receiving, right?

Currently, companies rely on cloud-based access control systems due to their increased security features and data encryption. Also, it is noteworthy that the cloud servers cover backup data, which minimizes the chances of data loss in cases of unexpected situations.

Yet, despite the well-known high-level security features of a cloud-based access control system, there are still many companies who chose to stick with on-premise access control systems.


This is mainly because companies and organizations that store confidential and overly sensitive data are concerned about sending their information to third-party servers. Data breaches and leak issues are the usual concerns for these kinds of companies.

Reliability and Flexibility

The on-premise access control system has long been proven to be reliable as this has been traditionally used by most companies. Getting full control of the system is also one of its term benefits.

Adding to this is the fact that a cloud-based system is fully dependent on internet connectivity, which makes the system inaccessible once the internet is down. Thus, the on-premise access control system can still be reliable even if there is no internet connectivity.

However, in terms of flexibility and adaptability, using a cloud-based access control system seems to have more advantages. Since the system is run by third-party servers, it is easier for them to customize and design a system based on your company’s requirements.

Cloud-based access control systems can also easily upgrade or downgrade their system depending on the situation’s condition. Its accessibility features are also outstanding as the system can be accessed in real-time and from anywhere.

Purchasing Cost

As mentioned earlier, an on-premise access control system is a one-time purchase only. However, the initial purchasing cost for an on-premise access control system is more expensive than the cloud-based one.

This is because of the related expenses for the purchase of correct hardware, software license, and even the training costs for the staff who will handle the servers. Support and maintenance of the software may also add up in your company’s budget.

In contrast, the cloud-based access control system only requires the owner to pay for the work and service that they requested. Owners are instead requested to pay a subscription fee to the third-party servers either annually or monthly.

Since the cloud-based access control system users don't need to invest in a lot of hardware that will fit the system, it can also result in an increased return of investment given that this arrangement can be cost-effective, especially for startup companies.

Though both access control systems have their fair share of pros and cons, the most important thing to learn now is the fact that a system’s effectiveness and efficiency will still always depend on your company’s best efforts to mitigate security threats.

At Alarm Masters, we can help you determine the most applicable system for you and your company. If you’re looking for a team with a pool of experts in the field, then we’re the right team to contact. We hope that this article helps you to choose what’s “best” for your company.