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

Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President on Mar 18, 2019
Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman who...
Large US University End-User Video Surveillance Interview on Mar 18, 2019
Schools have become targets in modern days of active shooters and terrorist fears. The need for video and access security is high. Universities...
Start Up Safe Zone $150 Gunfire Detector Profile on Mar 06, 2019
While gunfire detectors have been around for years, typically they are limited to enterprise level or municipal deployments. Startup AVidea, makers...
Top ISC West 2019 Booth Moves on Mar 05, 2019
With ISC West just a month away, we examine the most notable exhibitor moves including big exhibitors who dropped out and a number of significant...
Prysm PSIM Profile on Mar 05, 2019
A decade ago, PSIM promised significant potential but has always suffered from significant problems. Now, a number of PSIMs have either gone out of...
Genetec Declares "Lead With Synergis" Access Control on Mar 04, 2019
Genetec started with and is best known for its video management software. However, the company is now imploring its partners to lead with Synergis,...
Private School IT Manager Surveillance Interview on Feb 22, 2019
This IT manager describes himself as the "oft-maligned IT person" whose "opinions may not always be appreciated by the integrator crowd." But he is...
HID Favorability Results 2019 on Feb 21, 2019
HID favorability results were strong, in the 2019 IPVM integrator study of 200+ integrators, with a net +62% and low negativity as the table below...
BluB0x Company Profile on Feb 20, 2019
BluB0x has doubled in revenue every year since its founding in 2013, according to CEO Patrick Barry. We originally reported on them in 2015. At the...
Nortek Mobile Access Reader BluePass Examined on Feb 12, 2019
Nortek's Linear access control division claims to make mobile credentials "more secure and easier to use than ever before" with their BluePass...

Most Recent Industry Reports

ONVIF Favorability Results 2019 on Mar 15, 2019
In the past decade, ONVIF has grown from a reaction to the outside Cisco-lead PSIA challenge, to being the de facto video surveillance standard...
Hanwha Aerospace / Techwin Korean Tax Evasion Raid on Mar 15, 2019
A Hanwha group subsidiary was raided as part of a tax evasion probe. While a Korean news media report listed the raided entity as 'Hanwha...
Installation Course - Last Chance on Mar 14, 2019
Today is the last chance to register for the March Installation course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
City Physical Security Manager Interview on Mar 14, 2019
This physical security pro is the Physical Security Manager for the City of Calgary. He is a criminologist by training with an ASIS CPP credential....
US Drafting Separate Rule for NDAA Dahua/Hikvision 'Blacklist' on Mar 14, 2019
The most debated provision of the NDAA ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei, et al. is the so-called 'blacklist' provision which would ban any company...
OpenALPR Acquired By Mysterious Novume on Mar 13, 2019
Startup OpenALPR has been acquired by Novume, a company virtually unknown in the industry. While there are many LPR providers (see our directory),...
Milestone Machine Learning Camera Auto-Setting Examined on Mar 13, 2019
Milestone wants to improve image quality using Machine Learning to solve the problem of "a camera doesn't know what it is being used for",...
Integrator Profitability Bonuses - Statistics on Mar 13, 2019
While winning projects typically gets the most attention, how profitable those jobs turn out to be is key to the long-term success of integrators....
ADT Stock Drops After Announcing Loss And Amazon Delay on Mar 12, 2019
ADT's stock price dropped significantly after reporting heavy losses and delays in its Amazon partnership, as seen in the screenshot below: In...
Pelco GFC 4K Dome Camera Tested (IMP831-1ERS) on Mar 12, 2019
Pelco has finally released their first 4K IP camera, after years of competitors' releases. Is this move too late? Or is their new GFC Professional...

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