Member Discussion

What Is A Decent Access Control System That Can Support Basic Biometrics That Doesnt Cost That Much?

I am looking into specing out a access control system that besides using keyfobs can use a fingerprint reader.

The plan is to use it in a school so that students can get in after classes start.

Dont need any amazing features, just the basics, such as limiting when a user can enter, and pulling up reports.

A bonus would be visitor trackign capabilites, but I know that would probably shoot up the price.

Thank you

Cool. How many doors in total? Do you need/want integration with video surveillance? Also, is a VMS already onsite?

This is part of a building expansion project. The main building currently has an Avigilon NVR on site, and we probably would just add aditional cameras to the current NVR. However we are not tied to it.

Integrating with a VMS would be great, but probably not a deal breaker.

The expansion has 6 doors and that is what we are focusing one. However, if the customer like the end product he may want to use it with the original building which has an additional four doros which are currently using Elk as an access control system.


Your requirement for biometrics support is an easy one to solve- just about every biometric reader has a wiegand output and just about every access control system has a wiegand input. You will be managing the fingerprint templates through the biometric reader's user interface separately from the access control user interface but these things are not very complicated.

We have used hundreds of Suprema biometric readers over the years and they are excellent.

As for a simple and inexpensive access control system, we distribute an extremely easy and extremely powerful system called Protege WX by ICT. This web-driven system can do 32 doors, has a built-in web server, supports 10,000 cards (or fingerprints) and has integrated alarm built-in. The training to learn to use it is online on the website. Pricing is VERY competitive. Here's the link to check it out: ICT | ProtegeWX

it is sold through a few distributors in the US and in Canada.

Thank you.

If the biometric is controlled at the actual scanner, then wont it be extremely difficult to manage 400 student in 6 readers? Wont you have to do everything 6 times?

The protege system looks vedry nice. Do you have a suggested distributor that sells it in the US?

It looks like it can do a burglar system as well, is commercaily rated for one?

Also, what type of kit would we need for 6 doors? I see two door kits on their website.

Thank you

Hi David,

you should choose a biometric reader that is networked . Suprema and other manufacturers have IP models that communicate over the customer's network or over a private LAN. You add the fingerprint once using a reader or an enrollment station ( through their centralized management software) and it is then broadcast to the other readers. I think that most of their readers are IP with a wiegand output.

for the Protege WX, where are you located? Tri-Ed has it available for sale across the US as well as a few regional distributors.

The expansion modules are all DIN-RAIL mountable. The base controller does 2 doors as well as 8 alarm zones, has an onboard IP port and an alarm dialer. To do six doors, there is a 4-door starter kit whose DIN-RAIL enclosure supports 4 modules (so up to 8 doors). You just add a 2-door expander to the base kit and you get your 6-door support.

Yes, it does include alarm as well. It can do up to 512 alarm zones and 32 alarm partitions, with a bunch of keypads and zone expanders to choose from ( all of the expansion modules on the website are supported by the PRotege WX and its Enterprise-class big brother, Protege GX). WX is UL approved for access control, fire monitoring and burglar alarm. The UL listing information is here: ICT | Blog And also here: ICT | Blog

Thank you very much. The more I read about it the more I like it.

I submitted a dealer application to Tri-Ed and will be waiting to hear back from them.

Are you able to please give me the ballpark cost for the base controller as well as the ballpark price of an addon?

Thank you

Hi David - Suggested Dealer Price (not end-user) would be $525 USD for a fully functional 2-door and 8-alarm-zone kit (includes the main web-enabled WX controller, 2 x ICT TSEC OPDC/RS-485 prox readers, a 2 AMP intelligent power supply, 10 prox cards, and a DIN-RAIL metal enclosure).There is no software required, the ProtegeWX main controller has a built-in web server to manage the system.

Additional 2-door (2 readers "in only" or 4 readers "in/out") PRT-RDM2-DIN expanders are Suggested Dealer Price of $250.

Where are you located? I can make sure that your local Tri-Ed branch has the correct information to help you.

I'm located in new Jersey. I had called tri-ed and they had no clue what I was talking about.

Are you sure that is the pricing? I have been I touch with ICT direxltoand they had said a basic kit for a dealer was closer to $900.


Hi David,

We're doing the Tri-ed roll-out as we speak. I'm in Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh this week, we were in the Texas branches last week. New Jersey/NY is not done yet so I'm not surprised that they didn't know anything about it yet.

There's a number of basic kits (with/without readers, 4-door kits, with/without enclosures, with/without alarm keypads) so the kit pricing will vary depending on what the kit contains. But my pricing on a basic kit through Tri-ed would be correct, plus or minus a few dollars (we don't impose a selling price on them).

If you want to pull this discussion offline from the IPVM forum, you can contact me at . I'd like to know who you contacted at Tri-Ed NJ so I can help them to give you the correct information (and I don't think its appropriate to post their name on a blog without knowing).

Another thing on the biometric readers- if you look at Suprema's BioEntry Plus reader, choose a model that has the optional built-in proximity reader. This will provide a "bypass" option for those students that are difficult to enroll in a Biometric reader. We have seen some sites where some customers just could not be enrolled - there were a couple of ladies in an office tower in Montreal that enjoyed rock climbing on the weekends whose fingerprints were all worn off. They got a proximity card instead of using their fingers.

From experience, perhaps 1/2% to 1% will have issues enrolling and will need an alternative way of getting through the door.

DISCLAMER: Suprema employee

Completely agree that it is a very good choice to select a Fingerpint + Card reader (all in one bundled in a reader). Because it allows once to have a backup (and we all like to have a backup ^^)

"Bypass Card" can perfectly be used as an alternative mode to the ~5% of fingerprints that might be difficult to read (erased fingerprints or very tiny fingers that have no/rare information).

"Private Authentication" can be used as well in order to better tune a second authentication mode (not only card). "Private Authentication" with Suprema readers can allow Card or Pin or Card/Pin modes for users who cannot or do not want to use fingerprints.

Another unit you can take a look at is the Liberty Cube from Viscount Systems ( - we've used a number of these now for a small-scale access control project and they're working well. Each networked "Bridge" unit can support two readers, two output relays (doors), and has two digital inputs for things like REX sensors or buttons, etc. Each "Cube" can support (if memory serves) up to 32 doors, and is fully managed from a web interface.

Couldn't tell you the prices offhand, but I know it's been very cost-effective for this customer.

Consider ZKAccess inBio (1-2 or 4 door) configurations available at $500-600 dealer price range. Credit app required I believe. Simple biometric + fob/card, cost effective and works. A plus is you can add a inexpensive IP camera to "document" card reads. Free software.