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

How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
Nortek Blue Pass Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jul 11, 2019
Nortek claims BluePass mobile readers are a 'more secure and easy to use approach to access', but our testing uncovered security problems and...
Poor OSDP Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 09, 2019
OSDP certainly offers advantages over decades-old Wiegand (see our OSDP Access Control Guide) but new IPVM statistics show that usage of OSDP, even...
Directory of 59 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
HID Mobile Tested on Jun 21, 2019
HID Global is one of the largest access brands, but their mobile access has had challenges. Indeed, the company has already restructured their...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Jun 17, 2019
While face and fingerprint recognition are used regularly for smartphones, it is not as common in physical security. In this note, we examine...
Farpointe Data Conekt Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jun 13, 2019
California based Farpointe Data has been a significant OEM supplier of conventional access readers for years to companies including DMP, RS2, DSX,...
Dumber Techs, Bad Box Movers, Says Australian Distributor on Jun 10, 2019
Techs today are "dumber" than they used to be, despite better education and training and that makes a typical day "frustrating" for one...
OSDP Access Control Guide on Jun 04, 2019
Access control readers and controllers need to communicate. While Wiegand has been the de facto standard for decades, OSDP aims to solve major...

Most Recent Industry Reports

HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...
ZeroEyes Gun Detection Startup on Jul 16, 2019
A gun detection video analytics startup, ZeroEyes, is being led by a group of 6 former Navy SEALs, aiming to "save lives" by using AI to assist...
Motorola Acquires Watchguard, Adds to Vigilant And Avigilon on Jul 15, 2019
2 years ago, Motorola had no position nor relevancy to video surveillance. Now, they own major video surveillance, LPR and body camera providers...
Hikvision Global News Reports Directory on Jul 15, 2019
Hikvision has received the most global news reporting of any video surveillance company, ever, ranging from the WSJ, the Financial Times, Reuters,...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 15, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Beware African 50,000 IP Camera Contract Scam on Jul 12, 2019
A “Nigerian Prince” scam for the video surveillance market is going around. You, or at least we, could be lucky enough to be the single bidder for...
Axis ARTPEC-7 P1375-E Camera Tested on Jul 12, 2019
Axis claims the new P1375-E box camera with ARTPEC-7 chip delivers "clear, sharp images in any lighting condition." But how well does it do? We...
Last Chance - Camera Course Summer 2019 on Jul 11, 2019
Last day to register is Thursday, July 11, 2019. This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
Nortek Blue Pass Mobile Access Reader Tested on Jul 11, 2019
Nortek claims BluePass mobile readers are a 'more secure and easy to use approach to access', but our testing uncovered security problems and...

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