Analogue vs. IP video door entry systems
Camilla Ashdown, 15. 03. 2023 | 4min read
A brief guide to both analogue and IP video door entry systems: and why you should choose IP, every time!
Let's begin with the basics. Analogue video door entry systems are traditional systems that have been around for decades. They’re typically made up of analogue intercoms, access readers, and answering units. They work by using electrical signals to communicate between devices, and they're usually wired directly into a building's infrastructure.
Now, while analogue systems have been around for a long time, they do have their disadvantages. For one, they're not very flexible. Before the internet, access control systems required you to run wiring throughout the building and then connect every device to a central control hub. This leads to higher costs, and, because they're hardwired, it can be difficult and expensive to make changes or upgrades to the system. This can be a problem if you need to complete simple tasks such as adding new users or integrating the system with other security technologies.
Choose IP video door entry systems to give yourself flexibility & powerful features
So, what’s the solution? Well, that’s where IP video door entry systems come in. Since the invention of the internet, a lot of access control solutions, video door entry included, can function totally wirelessly. IP stands for Internet Protocol, and it’s the same technology that powers the internet. With IP access control systems, intercoms, access readers, and answering units are all connected to a network using Ethernet cables or Wi-Fi. This allows them to communicate with each other and with other security technologies using digital signals, which gives them the bandwidth to power more complex features like video calling and mobile access.
Remote management & easier configuration
As mentioned previously, one of the major advantages of IP video door entry systems is that they're much more flexible than analogue systems. Because they're connected to a network, it's easy to add or remove users, manage devices, and configure installations. Not only do IP video entry systems offer better flexibility, but they also offer better functionality. For example, many IP video entry systems come with remote management platforms that allow you to control, set up and manage the system and devices in it from anywhere in the world. This can be a real game-changer if you have multiple locations or if you need to manage access remotely. The right remote management platform can be a powerful tool to save your time – set up of devices can be made quicker, you can solve customer issues from the comfort of your office, and also provide your video door entry system with 21st century services (more on that later).
Easier to integrate with 3rd party systems
Another element of flexibility: the ability to connect to other systems. Today, whether in the residential or commercial segments, customers use a large range of technology partners that they often want their video door entry system to be able to connect to. It’s also often needed to connect to existing security systems, CCTV cameras, alarms, and lift systems that can allow for things like restricted floor access. IP allows your video door entry system to work as a cohesive part of a whole solution. Bonus points if you choose a provider that builds their products on open protocols… making the sky the limit!
Overall better access
Old analogue systems often suffer from interference: buzzing, humming, and crackling. IP video door entry systems allow for crystal clear audio, and often HD images, too – provided you choose an IP video intercom that has a powerful camera. Answering units can be just as powerful, too: IP technology allows for features such as pinch-to-zoom so residents can zoom in on the faces of their visitors, video calling and messages, and integration with other IP cameras (other than the one in the video intercom) for enhanced monitoring of the home. Go one step further and turn user’s mobile phones into portable answering units: allowing them to check up on their home or answer their door from wherever they are in the world! A feat that would be rather difficult with an old analogue system…Choosing a company that makes their indoor stations using quality materials (that are mainly EU-sourced) is key: and bonus points if they also have their own OS – this can ensure that residents’ data is protected, and no one can listen in on conversations!
Because IP requires the use of the internet, hackers can become a valid concern. However, all you need to do is choose the right provider who makes high quality, encrypted devices and software. Many IP video door entry systems use advanced encryption technologies to protect against cyberattacks, which means that you can be confident your system is protecting your assets and your people from all types of threats.
What features can IP give you that analogue can’t?
Two-way video calling
Integration with smart building services
Flexible, multi-user access-think one-time QR codes for visitors
Now, we know what you're thinking. "This IP stuff sounds great, but what about the cost?" And it's true, IP video door entry systems can be more expensive than analogue systems. However, the benefits of IP technology far outweigh the costs.
What about old buildings?
IP video door entry systems only require one cable: a power over Ethernet (PoE) wire, which supplies both power and an internet connection. However, many old retrofit projects have old two-wire cabling, or perhaps even no cabling at all – so what’s the solution?
Convert the existing cabling
Use a converter to send IP digital signals via analogue cables. On one side (usually the IP video intercom at the entrance), the converter converts the IP signal to analogue, and on the other side (at the answering units) the converter converts the analogue signal back to IP. You can also add an NVT PoLRE switch.
Use a cloud platform
No cabling at all, or can’t drill? Not a problem if you use a cloud platform. It offers a range of benefits such as cloud calling and remote management.
So, in conclusion, if you're looking for a comprehensive, secure, and flexible access control system, then IP technology is the way to go. While analogue systems have their place, they're simply not as effective or secure as their digital counterparts. With IP video door entry systems, you can rest assured that your assets and your people are protected from all types of threats, whether they're physical or digital. So don't wait any longer, upgrade your access control system to IP technology today. Trust us, you won't regret it.