Examining Next Level Security Systems' Access Control

Author: 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

FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Belgium Bans Private Facial Surveillance on Jul 06, 2018
Belgium has effectively banned the use of facial recognition and other biometrics-based video analytics in surveillance cameras for private,...
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Allegion Acquires Isonas on Jun 29, 2018
Isonas failed to 'revolutionize' access control as they regularly claimed. Now, nearly 20 years after their founding, they are being acquired by...
Replacing / Switching Access Control Systems Guide on Jun 28, 2018
Ripping out and replacing access control systems is hard for important reasons. Because users typically hold on to access control systems for as...
Free Online NFPA, IBC, and ADA Codes and Standards on Jun 27, 2018
Finding applicable codes for security work can be a costly task, with printed books and pdf downloads costing hundreds or thousands. However, a...
'Secure Channel' OSDP Access Control Examined on Jun 21, 2018
Despite claiming to be better than Wiegand, OSDP's initial releases did not address the lack of encryption between reader and controller, leaving...
IFSEC 2018 Final Show Report on Jun 20, 2018
IPVM attended the IFSEC show for the first time this year. The Chinese took over the show, centered on Hikvision, flanked by Dahua, Huawei and a...
Axis Releases First New Access Controller In 5 Years (A1601) on Jun 15, 2018
It has been 5 years since Axis 2013 entry in the physical access control market, with the A1001 (IPVM test). Now, Axis has released its second...
Access Control - Time & Attendance, Mustering and Mantraps Guide on Jun 13, 2018
Electronic access offers features that traditional mechanical locks cannot. While these features may not be as fundamental as keeping doors secure,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Directory of Video Surveillance Startups on Jul 18, 2018
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known entity...
Ladder Lockdown and Ladder Levelizer Tested on Jul 18, 2018
Ladders are a daily necessity for surveillance and security installers, but working on an unstable surface can be extremely dangerous. In addition...
FST Fails on Jul 17, 2018
FST was one of the hottest startups of the decade, selected as the best new product at ISC West 2011 and backed with tens of millions in...
Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...

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