S2 Netbox

One of our facilities wants to replace its existing card access system with S2 Netbox. Anybody have knowledge/experience with S2? Thx!

S2 Systems scored in the top 5 of our Favorite Access Control 2014 survey. Here is an excerpt from that report:

Another clear favorite is S2, who integrators cited because of IP-based controllers, web-based management, and products for both small systems and enterprise level deployments. Several integrators mentioned S2 is versatile enough to use for both enterprise or small systems.

  • "S2 Technologies. S2 offers many different product offerings. The products offer so many different features. Their technology support department is incredible."
  • "My smaller systems S2 Netbox Extreme. The ease of use of the S2 System makes it an excellent system for smaller customers - that do not have the resources to maintain a more involved system."
  • "S2 - familiarity and ease of configuration from an installer perspective and from training the end user seems like they pick it up quite easily."
  • "S-2 for enterprise level capabilities and feature set. They have IP appliances residing on the customers network. This is a big plus in our estimation. All the software is imbedded in the system so it can be managed from anywhere."
  • "S2 NetBox. It's really powerful, easy to use, and doesn't require the client to buy a bunch of dedicated servers and client PCs."

For the most part S2 is a solid and easy to use system with a flexible architecture. Tech support is very good.

I do have a few issues with S2:

  • The controllers are not installer friendly (no status LEDs for inputs or relays, difficult to reach connectors, not much labeling).
  • There are "under the hood" troubleshooting techniques not available to integrators.
  • Some areas of the system, such as linking and reporting, are not as fleshed out as more mature systems, leading to a few deployments where the system could not accomplish some specific customer requests that would have been easy with other systems.
  • The boards seem to have a higher rate of relay failure than what I am used to with other systems. However, the blades are relatively inexpensive to replace.

The system costs tend to be toward the high end of the market, with higher up front costs than some other systems, with any cost savings coming in the form of a lower total cost of ownership over the system lifespan by not having to deal with things like re-installing software when computers get replaced.

S2 also recommends an annual software upgrade plan. It is not required, but tech support offers limited support for systems with older versions of software. When new hardware is required to support new software, S2 typically offers a reasonably priced upgrade path.

Many thanks for your comments Brian and Dan. We'll proceed with these thoughts in mind.