We live in a connected world, and this includes intercoms and access control for your homes and businesses.
Whether you want internet-connected features, video capabilities or an audio only intercom system, there are various types of intercoms and access control available.
Intercoms and access control system are security devices that enable access into your home, so it’s important that your system is installed by a Registered Security Installation company using licensed installers. You want to make sure that you’re engaging a security company that you can trust. Always check that the intercom company is appropriately licensed to undertake security works. Kenner Electrics is a Registered Security Installer, so you can have peace of mind that your details are safe and your security system is up to code.
To help you sort through all the different options available on the market today, we’ve put together this overview of the features and benefits of each type of intercom and access control system. This blog focused predominantly on intercoms for houses, but many of the features are still relevant for apartment buildings or office intercom systems.
What Type of Intercom/Access Control Would Suit Me?
The features required will vary according to your needs and lifestyle. Read on for more information on the type of intercom that would best suit you.
Audio and/or Video Intercoms (no internet capabilities)
Traditional intercoms are a good solution for those who just need basic intercom capabilities without many features, or who aren’t as tech savvy and would prefer not to worry about apps and notifications. They are also suitable for when there is someone at home most of the time, so receiving a mobile notification when someone is at the door is not as necessary. These traditional systems enable 2-way communication from the gate to the monitor if someone is at home.
These intercoms are available in different configurations; audio only, or a combination audio/video system. The installation and set up is typically a simpler process as there is no need to connect into a home WiFi network. Video intercoms enable you to see who is at your door before you answer it, so you can choose to ignore those persistent doorknockers if you’re busy!
Some of the more expensive traditional intercom systems can record images when the doorbell is pressed, but this is a feature more commonly found on IP Intercoms.
Good quality traditional intercoms will have reasonable camera quality, but be cautious of cheap systems as there can be a lot that goes wrong, and there is often no warranty on these products.
IP Intercoms (internet connected)
IP Intercoms are connected to the internet and have a whole range of extra features that traditional intercom systems do not have. In many cases, IP intercoms are not even that much more expensive than good quality traditional intercoms!
The internet capabilities of IP intercoms allow the system to send a notification to your mobile phone when someone rings the bell at your gate or door. You’ll be able to view a real-time video on your mobile phone of whoever pressed the bell so that you can verify their identity before you take any further action. This enables better communication with delivery people as you can speak to them and let them know where to leave your parcel without even being home. No more coming home to find that delivery note under your door saying you now have to find time to head to a depot to collect your parcel!
With some systems you can even link your IP intercom camera with your CCTV system to provide additional viewpoints. Kenner Electrics installs quality products such as the Dahua IP Intercom system, which can integrate with Dahua CCTV systems.
You’re also able to talk to whoever is at your door even if you’re not home! This can be a useful tool to deter potential thieves who may go door-to-door ringing doorbells in your neighbourhood to scope out empty houses to break into. IP intercoms also have the ability to record and store images and footage of anyone who presses the doorbell. Perhaps a neighbour was broken into and the thief had previously tried ringing your doorbell, you now have a high quality image of the suspect to provide to police! IP intercom systems typically have higher quality cameras so you get a clearer picture of visitors, whether welcome or unwanted!
Like anything, you get what you pay for. It’s important to get a good quality intercom system to avoid disappointment and frustration in the future. Cheap intercom systems from hardware stores or online auction sites probably won’t last as long as good quality products, and can be harder to claim warranties for.
Intercoms with Access Control
If you’re looking for a higher level of control over who has access to your home, you should consider an intercom with integrated access control. When an access control electronic latch is connected to a gate or door, you can unlock the door through the intercom system.
To integrate access control with a traditional intercom system, you can add an RFID reader, keypad or access button at the gate that connects to the video/audio monitor station inside. IP intercom systems allow the same integrations, but you can also control access through an app on your mobile phone that will let you unlock the door even when you’re away from home.
RFID tags can also be added to your car keyring so you can easily open your door without fumbling around for the right key. Numeric keypads are another option for secure keyless entry, and you can program different levels of access for different people so you always know which code has been used to access your home.
Here’s some examples of the added functionality that access control linked with an IP intercom system gives you:
- If a delivery arrives while you’re at work, you can unlock the gate and tell the delivery person where to leave the parcel.
- If you’ve booked an appointment with a trusted tradie like Kenner Electrics but you won’t be home in time, you can check their identity when they ring the doorbell and can unlock the door remotely when they arrive.
- If you’ve arranged for a relative to walk your dog while you’re at work, you can unlock the door remotely when they ring the doorbell. With a high quality security alarm installed by Kenner Electrics, you can even disarm the alarm from your phone at the same time.
Access Control Only
It is possible to have a simple access control system installed in your home without intercom functionality. This involves a keypad or RFID reader which is used to unlock a gate or door, but will not have any of the video or audio features discussed above.
The difference between a cheap intercom system and a good quality system can be massive. Cheap products are less reliable, have lower quality cameras and may not have a dependable warranty. If you’re looking for an intercom system that will serve you well into the future, Kenner Electrics installs quality systems that integrate with other security features and will always come with manufacturer’s warranties.
Kenner Electrics is a Registered Security Installer, so give your local trusted electricians a call to install the right intercom for your lifestyle. We also install security systems, security lighting and CCTV for all your home and business security needs.