Lower Cost Alternative To HID Prox Reader

Just looking at driving costs down where I can on my access control. Has anyone found a reliable, more cost effective alternative to HID proximity readers? I have no issues with HID and 9 out of 10 work without issue, just looking to be more competative where I can. Typically I install the thinline II series, but have been quoting the mullion style as of late for the reason described. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions they are appreciated.

Have a look at Allegion aptiQ readers. We have used these and saved some money over HID.

Are you an Allegion dealer or are you buying them through distribution?

Thanks for your suggestion Michael, I just must have better pricing on HID than I thought. As Brian asked, I'm curious how you're purchasing as these ended up at a higher price point than HID. Thanks!

Hi Robb,

What's the price point on HID that you want to beat? How much of a cost variation down from HID would be required for you to switch?

Well I'm pretty sure I cannot provide my current pricing (non-disclosure), just looking for ideas on other manufacturers. HID provides a great product, I just am looking for a single gang style like the thinline II, but at the proxpoint plus price. It may be wishful thinking, but I've never explored other prox readers in the past and it's something I should be doing to remain competative in my market.

Do you need the readers to be compatible with the HID cards/keytags you're currently using?

Would a smart-card solution (Mifare, DESfire) be ok, as long as it's single gang?

Yes the readers need to be standard 26-bit and utilize our current cards. Thank you

I looked online to get an idea of the pricing of the Thinline II reader you mention. This ICT single gang reader is a single-gang reader that should cost you about 30%+ less than the Thinline II, supports your current 125 KHz HID credentials (and others). It is available at Tri-ed in the US or at SES http://www.sesonline.com/

Look at AWID. Out of a couple hundread readers I have only seen a handful of failures and the cost is less.

Great thanks for the ideas!

If anyone is interested for future information, I looked into pricing here ended up saving about 22% using one of the product suggestions above. Thanks everyone for all the input.

Also check out the Essex RoxProx and Farpointe Alps readers. I don't have any experience with those specific products, but the manufacturers are reputable and those readers are listed way below HID from my distributor. That said, we are sticking with HID because of the lifetime warranty and the support and service they provide.

ProxPoint Plus. About $60.00 cost. If you are reading 125kHz, 26 bit wiegand, that should be a cheaper option. Locking hardware is more of an avenue to save cost in my opinion.

To Undisclosed C, I realized after typing that most of the below ended up as more of a idea dump than a response to your suggestion so please take it as such.


Thank you for your response. The mullion style you suggested was what I was trying to stay away from. Does it work, yes, but I find the single gang style to be more appealing and easier to work with from an install and replacement perspective.

As for the locking hardware, it depends. On the type of hardware, I agree as I've come across some installs where a $300 lock was installed, but only a $100 lock was needed. If you are referring to manufacturer, I disagree. While most of it works just fine, I find extra value in reputable brands like HES Innovations or one of the others. When servicing access control doors I find the issue to be one of the following, in order of frequency:

1. The user does not have the rights either within the timeframe they tried to access or to the door/area itself.

2. The card site code, card number, or both were not entered correctly.

3. Due to door spacers or people pulling on the door at the same time they swipe, there is too much pressure on the door and the pins in the electric lock hardware cannot release.

4. The power supply blew a fuse, the output board is fried, or there is no power coming into the supply at all.

5. The locking hardware is not functional.

6. The access control panel is not functional (typically the relay).

7. The proximity reader/keypad is not functional

With the exception of the door spacers, the first three are user/admin errors. Moving to #4 and #5, the first hardware to fail from my experience, either is, or controls locking hardware. 9 times out of 10 if it is the locking hardware, it's either because it was not installed correctly, used the wrong lock for the door hardware set, or it's a discount electric lock. Sure I've had popular brands like HES locks fail, but it's either an incorrect installation or its old and worn out for the most part.

Putting in perspective failures and replacements, I have at least 1-5 card readers of different types/sizes in stock. Unless I am working on a proprietary reader system like Keyscan's K-Secure (we had a few early installs of this), I will have something on hand to at least get the customer by until the reader they want comes in.

On the other hand, locking hardware varies greatly door to door in voltage, amps, types, etc., and it would be hard to keep all those types on hand. If I install cheap door hardware, it fails, and I have no stock; it could be a special delivery item I may not see for a week.

Overall where should I try to find my cost savings? In my opinion, it's much easier/less expensive to change out a reader. On top of that, if it's not a common theme of your products, you could have gained reputation points with the customer. You've understood their issue and urgency for repair, completed same day service, and fixed their issue in all of 15 minutes (Excluding of course if you went so cheap on readers that they were lasting 1-2 months before needing replacement). I've run into the same thing with locking hardware and regardless on whether you installed the lock or not, their frustration and anxiety knowing there will be a couple days of downtime will get pushed onto you.


While I do realize my emphasis/belief in quality locking hardware may be a little excessive and I have gotten a little off subject, here's why:

I used to work for a large hospital's security department for approximately 7 years. First as a security officer and later in the planning/development/maintenance of security systems. You will never know the consequences of faulty access control equipment until a patient is coding and staff runs to retrieve the life-saving medication stored in the unit pharmacy, only to find they can't get in because a device has failed.

While this never happended while I was employed there, it could have if we did not periodically test our equipement and/or have the relationship with unit staff we did (as well as stocking all system parts). Yes, the failure could be anywhere on the system, but in my opinion locking hardware and power are the most prevelent. This may not apply to many integrators out there, but coming from a security/life-safety background, it is helpful when system building to try whenever possible to put emergency situations into consideration that go beyond fire alarm system integration and active shooter preparedness.

Hi Robb-

My name is Scott Lindley and I'm president of Farpointe Data, Inc.

We manufacture a number of solutions supporting certain HID 125-kHz proximity protocols, and I suspect they may indeed meet your needs.

To discuss further, please feel free to contact me directly at telephone 1-408-731-8700 or email ScottL@FarpointeData.com.

Best regards,


Another option. Rosslare AY-HR12 About $53.00