Testing HID Edge Solo

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Oct 03, 2013

HID is the biggest name in IP door controllers, especially for single or dual door controllers, with their Edge line. Now, as surveillance companies, like Axis and Milestone, target the access control market, competition may heat up.

HID offers a very interesting turnkey solution, "Solo", for single doors. While nearly identical in appearance and construction to HID Edge controllers, "Solo" is limited to managing a single door. It comes loaded with firmware that enables basic access control functions such as managing door locks and readers, as well as storing cardholder information, credential details, and access schedules onboard the controller. 

Key deficiencies or weaknesses include:

  • Laggy: Even in a simple network, updating settings and logs can take several seconds. While 'carding in' from a directly attached reader is instantaneous, pushing lock/unlock commands and clearing alarms from the web interface takes between 5 - 10 seconds even when the controller is on its own subnet.
  • Coarse Reports: While the controller stores up to 10000 records, manipulating, filtering, and sorting that data must take place in a 3rd party software (like Excel). Reports cannot be viewed online, but first must be downloaded as .csv files to local workstations.
  • No Integrations: The Edge Solo is a 'closed' system, and integrating the controller to video surveillance or intrusion alarm platforms is not possible using API or SDK. 
  • Limited Card Formats/Reader Types: Edge Solo only support four HID-specific card formats and three basic types of readers: contactless cards, magstripes, and keypads. Other formats may be partially read (ie: the unique hex identifier), but stored or encrypted data cannot be decoded, even for ISO formats.
  • No Badging/Picture ID: Many facilities use access cards as photo ID badges, and many access platforms include a 'card creator' and storage of User Photos for use in validation. Edge Solo does not include any provision for this feature, nor is the option to upload/use picture IDs available anywhere in the system.

While two versions of HID Edge "Solo" have been announced (an EVO and older 'non EVO' version) and combo units including a contactless reader or those without. Our test below reviews the non EVO, non reader/ integrated variant available in distribution and online for ~$275.

IP Based

HID Edge Solo is a browser based access system. Once given a static IP address, the device is accessible from any browser connected to the same LAN. We tested functionality with IE10, Chrome, and Safari and were able to see the interface on all three browsers. However, IE was the most reliable application, as the Solo interface often hung during loading with the other browsers and often took several reloads to bring up. Remote accessibility outside the LAN is possible via VPN or external router configuration, but Solo offers no preconfigured or automated method for outside access.

Live Status View

The 'live status view' is a pane on the displaying recent activity and with manual override controls that remains visible regardless of which other tabs or functions are used in the interface. Aside from displaying recent card reads and door events, options to manually lock/unlock the door and clear alarms are given three prominent buttons. The video below gives a good overview of this screen:

Adding Cards/Users

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The process of either adding a card or a user is possible from several screens. The Solo stores a maximum of 1000 users or cards. For example, if a single user has four assigned cards, then four of the one thousand records are used. However, considering that only one door falls in the scope of the controller, this is not likely a significant limitation. The easier method of enrolling a new person and associating a credential card to them is shown in the overview video below:

Configuring Door Parameters

A central aspect of any controller is tweaking default settings to match the specific opening it controls. The Solo interface offers a surprising number of adjustable individual settings; everything from Door Unlock Times, to REX hardware configuration, and which reader types are used. While limited on choices (only non-iClass HID card formats and keypad readers are supported), the controller should be able to control most swinging doors without issue. However, more complicated opening involving multiple doors (ie: mantraps) or gates may experience logical timing or credential limitation issues. The video below expands on these details:

Reports and Alerts

Edge Solo offers rudimentary reporting features that requires additional applications to make much use of. The data stored on the controller is grouped into coarse categories (ie: Card Holders, Door Events, Door Schedules) that are downloaded to a workstation into a .csv formatted file. From there, advanced queries (ie: "When did Card Holder 3 scan into the door last week?") must be filtered or sorted in another offline program. Our clip below demonstrates Solo's "Report" feature:

In addition, Solo supports a basic number of 'alerts' that are configurable to execute a number of actions ranging from 'local door alarm' - making the reader beep and flash - to sending alarm notification to a URL or email address. While the range of alerts is fixed and cannot be expanded, and the alerting options are basic, most single door access applications will be sufficiently covered by the types available. The video below describes this in detail:

Wiring and Installation

Finally, in terms of installability, Solo can be inexpensively mounted on standard 4"x4" electrical boxes or tucked away in small metal enclosures. The controller itself has the option for PoE power, and only cabling leading to door components and to the network is needed for operation. The controller's size and standard mounting configuration is show in the video below:

Ideal Applications

The biggest limitation of Solo is that it only controls one door. By default, this limits use of the platform to very small applications that control individual areas like storage areas or exercise rooms, individual offices, or single-lane vehicle gates. 

 

8 reports cite this report:

ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access...
Door Position Switches (DPS) For Access Control Tutorial on Mar 05, 2018
Door position switches do not get enough respect. They solve a major problem...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional...
HID Edge EVO Tested on Jun 07, 2017
HID Edge controllers have been one of most common offerings in IP door...
Chinese Spam Access Control Is Here on Aug 04, 2016
Notorious spammers like Longse, Cantonk, and Wodsee have flooded the video...
Axis Admits Access Control Expectations Low on Oct 17, 2014
Axis entrance into access control had been anticipated for years. Last year,...
Access Control Server Guide on Sep 09, 2014
Electronic access control systems need to be managed. The 'server' though can...
The $100 Fingerprint Reader Tested on Jun 11, 2014
Want to add biometrics but avoid spending nearly $1,000 per door for...
Comments (19) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Breaking Into A Facility Using Canned Air Tested on Jan 28, 2020
Access control is supposed to make doors more secure, but a $5 can of...
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Access Credential Form Factor Tutorial on Feb 10, 2020
Deciding which access control credential to use and distribute, including...
Add Door Operators To Fight Coronavirus on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM recommends that integrators advocate and end-users consider adding door...
Access Control ADA and Disability Laws Tutorial on Feb 17, 2020
Safe access control is paramount, especially for those with...
Vehicle Gate Access Control Guide on Mar 19, 2020
Vehicle gate access control demands integrating various systems to keep...
China DVR/NVR Backdoor Discovered, Huawei Refutes on Feb 07, 2020
A backdoor was found in Chinese-produced DVRs and NVRs that secretly allowed...
BICSI For IP Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 11, 2020
Spend enough time around networks and eventually someone will mention BICSI,...
Delayed Egress Access Control Tutorial on Feb 04, 2020
Delayed Egress marks one of the few times locking people into a building is...
Milestone Presents XProtect On AWS on May 04, 2020
Milestone presented its XProtect on AWS offering at the April 2020 IPVM New...
Vulnerability Directory For Access Credentials on Feb 20, 2020
Knowing which access credentials are insecure can be difficult to see,...
Help Security End Users Facing Coronavirus Improve Remote Access on Mar 24, 2020
Many end-users and integrators are struggling with the impact of coronavirus...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
The Insecure Verkada Access Control System on Jun 25, 2020
While Verkada touts the security of its system and that how their new door...
Multipoint Door Lock Tutorial on Jan 23, 2020
Despite widespread use, locked doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry,...

Recent Reports

VSaaS Will Hurt Integrators on Aug 06, 2020
VSaaS will hurt integrators, there is no question about that. How much...
Dogs For Coronavirus Screening Examined on Aug 06, 2020
While thermal temperature screening is the surveillance industry's most...
ADT Slides Back, Disappointing Results, Poor Commercial Performance on Aug 06, 2020
While ADT had an incredible start to the week, driven by the Google...
AHJ / Authority Having Jurisdiction Tutorial on Aug 06, 2020
One of the most powerful yet often underappreciated characters in all of the...
SIA Coaches Sellers on NDAA 889B Blacklist Workarounds on Aug 05, 2020
Last month SIA demanded that NDAA 899B "must be delayed". Now that they have...
ADI Returns To Growth, Back To 'Pre-COVID Levels' on Aug 05, 2020
While ADI was hit hard in April, with revenue declining 21%, the company's...
Exposing Fever Tablet Suppliers and 40+ Relabelers on Aug 05, 2020
IPVM has found 40+ USA and EU companies relabeling fever tablets designed,...
Indian Government Restricts PRC Manufacturers From Public Projects on Aug 04, 2020
In a move that mirrors the U.S. government’s ban on Dahua and Hikvision...
Directory of 201 "Fever" Camera Suppliers on Aug 04, 2020
This directory provides a list of "Fever" scanning thermal camera providers...
Face Masks Increase Face Recognition Errors Says NIST on Aug 04, 2020
COVID-19 has led to widespread facemask use, which as IPVM testing has shown...
Dahua Loses Australian Medical Device Approval on Aug 04, 2020
Dahua has cancelled its medical device registration after "discussions" with...
Google Invests in ADT, ADT Stock Soars on Aug 03, 2020
Google has announced a $450 million investment in the Florida-based security...
US Startup Fever Inspect Examined on Aug 03, 2020
Undoubtedly late to fever cameras, this US company, Fever Inspect, led by a...
Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco on Aug 03, 2020
Motorola Solutions has acquired Pelco, pledging to bring blue back and make...
False: Verkada: "If You Want To Remote View Your Cameras You Need To Punch Holes In Your Firewall" on Jul 31, 2020
Verkada falsely declared to “3,000+ customers”, “300 school districts”, and...