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Securing Building Access with Telephone Entry Systems

Telephone entry systems have been a practical solution for managing entry to access points since the 1900s, but are they the best solution for your property? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the benefits and drawbacks of telephone entry systems. Next, we’ll explore the differences between telephone entry systems and video intercoms. Finally, discover the best modern solution to control access to your property. 

What is a Telephone Entry System?

A telephone entry system is a device that enables two-way communication between residents and visitors. Telephone entry systems are powered by telephone lines, and must be installed in your building’s entryway so that visitors can place calls and request access. Telephone entry systems rely solely on audio signals through a microphone and speaker — allowing your building’s tenants to speak with visitors before granting them access to the property.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Telephone Entry Systems

Telephone entry systems are one of the oldest models for access control, but what are their pros and cons?

Pros:

  • Easy to use. Telephone entry systems are convenient and simple to use. For quick and easy entry, a visitor just uses the system to contact the resident they’re visiting so that the resident can buzz them in. 
  • Affordable hardware. Telephone entry systems are one of the more affordable options for access control, typically ranging between $1,000 and $7,000. However, keep in mind that installing and maintaining a phone entry system may cost more than other intercom solutions.
  • Convenient. Telephone entry systems are a common access control system, so most visitors are familiar with them and already know how to use them. 

Cons:

  • Relies on telephone lines. Telephone entry systems aren’t a practical solution in areas with poor cell reception or at buildings without existing phone lines since visitors won’t be able to reliably contact residents. 
  • Outdated. Telephone entry systems often have outdated hardware that can be difficult to maintain or replace. 
  • Lack security. You can’t visually see who you’re letting into the building, so they’re not as secure as systems that provide video verification. 
  • Long wait times. Sometimes it can take a while for a visitor to reach a resident so they can be allowed in — resulting in longer than necessary wait times and vehicle pile-ups.

Alternatives to Telephone Entry Systems

Interested in learning more about modern alternatives to telephone entry systems, but don’t know where to start?

Here are a few alternatives to traditional telephone entry systems:

  • Wireless intercom. Wireless intercoms don’t rely on extensive cabling and complicated hardware — making them a practical alternative to telephone entry systems.
  • IP intercom. IP intercoms use Internet Protocol technology to transmit audio and video signals. However, they can be susceptible to shutting down when your internet goes out since they’re powered by an internet connection.
  • Video intercom. A video intercom allows visitors and residents to communicate with each other through video calls — making them one of the most secure access control solutions on the market.

Telephone Entry Systems vs. Video Intercoms

While telephone entry systems may work for voice communications and gate control, they’re not the most advanced solution. They’re highly vulnerable to shutting down due to power outages and lack integrations with other security and property management systems. They also require a landline or cellular connection and offer slower entry to visitors, since residents must be home to grant a guest access to the building. 

Alternatively, video intercoms use audio and video technology so that residents can better communicate with visitors. As a result, video intercoms allow residents to see exactly who they’re letting into the building. What’s more, video intercoms that are cloud-based empower staff and property managers to monitor, manage, and adjust access permissions remotely.

A Better Access Control System

Video intercoms are the best access control solution because they empower residents to visually see who they’re letting in. This reduces the likelihood of unauthorized access and trespassing. Additionally, video intercoms offer advanced visitor management features that allow you to grant or deny access permissions remotely.

Some video intercoms even allow residents to send temporary virtual keys to visitors and service providers, so they can securely access the property even if the resident isn’t home. What’s more, video intercoms are flexible when it comes to scalability, so they can easily grow with your business as your property gets more traffic. This makes a video intercom the ideal solution for modern access control. 

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