Examining Next Level Security Systems' Access Control

By: Ethan Ace, Published on Nov 10, 2011

Relative newcomer Next Level Security Systems has built their business model on claims of simple, integrated security appliances. The unification of access control and video surveillance has been the goal of many in the industry. Next Level's appliances are a step towards this goal, but are they a fit for everyone? In this update, we will take a look at their approach, capabilities, and applications it may best fit.

Product Overview

Next Level's offering is based on their NLSS Gateway, a small form factor appliance which manages all functions of the system, including surveillance and analytics, as well as access control. For more details on the gateway, users may refer to our overview of their product offering.

Access control is provided as a no-cost addition to the gateway. No up-front or recurring licensing is required, though the two models of Gateway (Micro and 3000) are capable of handling differing amounts of doors. The number of doors supported also differs based on what type of controller is being used. Higher door counts can be reached with Mercury devices, as opposed to HID or Assa Abloy. Exact quantities can be found on the Gateway spec sheet.

Capabilities

The monitoring and management interface of the NLSS gateway is 100% web-based, accessible from any browser. This interface provides standard functions, such as event monitoring, reporting, door control, and floor plans. Cameras may be associated with doors, and video linked with events, so it may be more easily found, as opposed to manually searching for event video. 

NLSS is currently integrated to controllers from three manufacturers:

  • Mercury: NLSS supports Mercury's EP1501 and EP1502 controllers, and the full range of MR series door interface and I/O boards. Users in need of a higher door density would likely go this route, as the EP1502 supports up to 64 readers per controller.
  • HID Edge: The HID Edge line is normally used when a few doors are needed and PoE switches are in place. It allows systems to be scalable to a single door, instead of requiring purchase of multi-door panels, and simplifies cabling by only requiring UTP to be run to the door, instead of a number of multipair cables.
  • Assa Abloy PoE and Wi-Fi locksets: Assa Abloy's locksets' main benefit lies in ntegrating all functions in the lockset, which reduces device installation time. The Wi-Fi versions especially have become increasingly popular since they require no cabling, and are thus less expensive to install. They're most commonly used in facilities with lighter requirements, looking for little more than a key replacement.

Users should see our previous reports on wireless access control and IP readers for further information on these approaches. Between these three manufacturers, NLSS supports a range of controllers that could be used for many different applications.

Applications

The most likely users of NLSS' access control are those seeking an all-in-one platform, but with low to mid-range door and camera counts. For a small office or multiple small sites, the NLSS Gateway Micro's $2,995 MSRP is reasonable, compared to purchasing a server to run a VMS, associated licensing, and then an access control system which may or may not integrate to it. Lower-cost access control platforms, usually in the $1,000 range, typically do not offer video integration functions, either.

This is not to say that larger entities could not use the NLSS Gateway, as it's capable of running up to 256 doors using Mercury hardware. The vast majority of access control systems are well below this door count. Users at these levels are often suspicious of new entrants, however. Since reliability is a critical concern in access, larger entities have traditionally stuck to the larger incumbent vendors. These companies, while not often innovative, are time-tested. Because of this, penetrating the higher end of the market may prove difficult for NLSS.

The economics of using the NLSS gateway for access control, without integrated video, vary depending on what number of doors users are seeking. The software for small systems is often run on workstation hardware, at the sub-$1,000 level. Adding $1,000 for access management software, users would be $1,000 below NLSS' starting MSRP ($2,995). However, for users choosing server hardware instead, the final costs are much closer to, or on par with NLSS, as a rack server typically runs between $1,000-1,500 or more. Given this pricing parity, and the breadth of hardware that NLSS supports (not typical for entry-level access platforms, which are normally proprietary), NLSS is a reasonable option.

1 report cite this report:

Video Surveillance / Access Control Integration Guide on Mar 12, 2012
One of the most desired high end security system features is integrating video surveillance and electronic access control systems. In this report,...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Access Control

Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
Facial Recognition Systems Fail Simple Liveness Detection Test on May 17, 2019
Facial recognition is being widely promoted as a solution to physical access control but we were able to simply spoof 3 systems because they had no...
Maglock Selection Guide on May 16, 2019
One of the most misunderstood yet valuable pieces of electrified hardware is the maglock. Few locks are stronger, but myths and confusion surround...
Milestone XProtect 2019 R1 Tested on May 15, 2019
For the past few years, Milestone has released quarterly software updates XProtect VMS platform. What is new and how much impact do the updates...
Access Control Request to Exit (RTE) Tutorial on May 13, 2019
For access controlled doors, especially those with maglocks, 'Request to Exit', or 'RTE' devices are required to override electrified locks to...
Mining Company Security Manager Interview on May 10, 2019
First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) is a global enterprise with offices on 4 continents and operations in 7 countries with exploratory operations...
10 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...
Proxy Access Control Tested on May 09, 2019
Silicon Valley Access Startup Proxy raised $13.6 Million in May 2019, focusing on mobile physical access control. Beyond the fund raising, Proxy...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Door Closers Access Control Tutorial on May 02, 2019
Door Closers have an important job: automatically shut doors when they are opened, because an open door cannot control access. In this note, we...

Most Recent Industry Reports

NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact