Testing Axis Access Control A1001 And Entry Manager

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jan 27, 2014

After years of speculation and months of waiting since its announcement, Axis' first access control offering is hitting the market (at least in the US).

The hardware is the A1001, a two door controller, and the included software is Axis Entry Manager, supporting up to 66 doors.

Here's a shot from our testing / video screencasts of the A1001:

Of course, the access control market is filled with competitors. On the IP side, HID's Edge offering is frequently cited.

In this report, we share our test findings of the new Axis control offering, both hardware and software, contrasting it to HID. In future tests, we will examine integration with third party offerings like Genetec and Milestone.

A1001 Controller Test Key Findings

The controller can be used either as a 'standalone' access system with up to 33 controllers and ~400 users or as part of an ADP access platform from vendors like Genetec, Imron, NLSS, and Milestone.

Key hardware findings are:

  • Easy Wiring: Due to the color coding and terminal labeling on each connector, wiring the controller is simple enough for even an access novice to tackle. Coupled with the software wizard 'Pin Connection Chart', wiring the A1001 for many doors should be relatively fast and uncomplicated.
  • Big: The physical size of the A1001 is ~7"X7"X2", and has a larger form factor than typical door controllers. While this offers plenty of room to wire components on the board, it could be difficult to mount/service the panel in tight spaces.
  • Loads of I/O: Aside from having a full two doors worth of reader/lock connectors, the A1001 also offers relay auxiliary outputs, (up to) 24 VDC outputs, two-way audio ports, and door inputs (Latch Monitors) to spare.

Pricing: The A1001 is available in limited US distribution only for ~$550. 

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

Axis Entry Manager

The default management platform is serverless and embedded into the A1001. The program offers basic features, but is closed to software integration with other systems and cannot be customized. While Axis Entry Management allows the A1001 to operate without needing additional software, it is weak and restrictive.

Key findings include:

  • Stable: Despite being a new platform, no bugs or hangups were seen in the interface.  Cards always read and doors unlocked regardless of what other functions the unit was performing (populating logs, importing users, etc.) While device performance slowed down as number of enrolled users/schedules increased, the unit never locked up or failed to perform it's basic access control function.
  • No Live View: Axis omits the ability to see a real time log of events happening to the door. In order to find out fundamental details (eg: Which badge was just scanned, was the credential denied?) the user has to hit different screens and manually refresh the data after the fact.
  • No Reporting: Another big omission - no printable reports. Events are logged, but they must be manually filtered by fixed data fields and are not exportable or printable. Most access systems, even ones targeted to small populations of doors typically include basic reports.  
  • Hardware Limited: In many ways, Entry Management limits the potential of what the A1001 can accommodate. For example, despite plentiful I/O ports, the system does not recognize "Latch Bolt Monitoring" a basic feature in many small-system platforms.
  • Time Consuming User Management: Simple tasks like populating the user database, adding credentials, and associating them with doors/groups is a manual process. The base platform lacks batch handling tools necessary for larger systems and will only be manageable in smaller systems.

Like their video management software, Axis is limiting their access software as to minimize competition with their partners.

Compared to HID Edge and Solo

With the A1001 being positioned as a 3rd Party controller, it draws comparisons to HID's Edge and Edge Solo systems that also can be used as part of, or independently in an access control system. 

Axis Advantages Over HID

  • More Doors: Axis Entry Manager allows for up to 33 controllers to relate with each other for a system up to 66 doors.  This is a clear advantage for Axis, as Edge Solo works with a maximum of 1 controller. Many small access systems can be served by the A1001 with no other software needed, potentially saving thousands.
  • Easier Install: Axis anticipates A1001s will be installed by access novices and engineered the controller to be simple to wire and connect. With the onboard wiring wizards and color coded connectors, a technician with no experience in access is better able to implement an A1001 based system.
  • Wide Range of Credentials:  The A1001 accepts standard weigand and serial reader inputs, which means that most readers/credential types an be used by the A1001 and Axis Entry Manager. Comparatively, Edge Solo only support four HID-specific card formats and three basic types of readers: contactless cards, magstripes, and keypads. 

However, not all comparisons stack in A1001's favor. Some drawbacks include:

Axis Weaknesses to HID

  • Less Sophisticated: Entry Manager does not support latch bolt monitoring or issuance of multiple credential types to single users without making duplicate entries. These modest 'power features' are supported by Edge Solo, and could rule out using Entry Manager where moderate security in required.
  • Double or Nothing: The A1001 is a two-door controller, while Edge manages one door. In some cases, using A1001 (eg: single/odd number door counts) mandates buying more controller capacity than needed. Considering the Evo Solo controller has a sub $300 street price, while the A1001 prices out at ~$550, using the A1001 will be more costly for some systems.
  • Clunky Reporting: Access systems, including Entry Manager, store tens of thousands of records and events. However, getting them out of the A1001 is a cumbersome task, with unwieldy filtering tools and no exporting/printing features. The Edge Solo includes basic reporting features, and allows users to download/print a number of basic logs Entry Manager does not.

Applications

The strength of Entry Management is most tangible for small commercial access applications like office buildings, storage facilities, or warehouses. For example, an office building application needing four doors controlled can use two A1001s with a cost just over $1100 and alleviates the need for additional management software.

Entry Manager will not be useful where high security or video integrated access platforms are needed. Despite being an Axis offering, Axis does not integrate it with its own video offerings (such as ACS, ACC, AVHS, etc.).

The advantage of using A1001s with 3rd party platforms is unclear until pricing and integrations are fully fleshed out. While the cost of Axis controller may be more expensive per door, the ease of installation and additional I/Os it offers could be an advantage over other controllers.

Physical Overview

The video below illustrates the size and build of the A1001. The controller is a self-contained appliance designed to be wall or ceiling mounted, with cabling routed out the bottom:

Connecting the ControllerWiring the A1001 is easy. Axis considered that even veteran video installers may be new to Access Control and applied emphasis to make it simple. Wiring begins in a software wizard, where the installer configures the unit based on the hardware it will be connected to. This culminates in the controller 'configuring itself' based on those answers, and then generates a printable Pin Connection Chart that shows where each component connects to the controller:

Interestingly, Axis' documentation specifies STP network cabling used to connect both the controller AND the switch to the network backbone:

User Management Interface
 
Live View: The ability to see the door's current state is limited to forensic lookups only. The 'manual control' buttons (eg: Grant Access, Unlock, Lock) are located in a different tab than where 'Events' can be recalled, and without a separate video or intercom system there is no way to verify what is happening at the door as it occurs:

Adding/Importing Users: The onboard tools are useful for administering systems with a small number of users, but will quickly lose utility if more than a few hundred cardholders are supported. The process of adding new users is menu driven and straightforward, but does not scale to 'full cardholder' status more than one at a time.

An 'Import' feature is provided, which allows bringing in a .csv roster of names, but only basic details (Name, PIN, Card Number) can be imported, leaving the process of assigning each name to a group and schedule a one-at-a-time process:

Reports/Alerts: While a wide array of information is logged by the controller, that information is hard to manage. Queries are fixed to ~50 'topics (eg: Denied Credential Attempts, Configuration Logging, Door Warnings), but there is no list explaining those terms. 

Printing the result of a query is not supported, and while the browser may support a 'print' option, only the results returned in the event box will be printed.
 
 

37 reports cite this report:

Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
ACRE-Acquired Open Options Access Company Profile on Dec 17, 2018
Who is the company ACRE is acquiring? In this note, we examine Open Options line for best customer fit, key features, pricing, and main...
Axis Adds LPR - License Plate Verifier Examined on Jul 24, 2018
Axis is finally releasing their own License Plate Recognition software application called License Place Verifier, but it has some significant...
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...
Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access Control 2018 on Mar 23, 2018
We received 150+ responses from integrators when we asked them "What is the biggest problem you face when selling electronic access control?...
Mercury Releases New Series 3 Redboard Access Panels on Feb 15, 2018
Mercury Security has their first major product release post-HID buyout, and things literally look different. The Series 3 SIO boards now are red...
Access Controller Software Guide on Dec 11, 2017
Properly configuring access controllers software is key to a professional access system. These devices have fundamental settings that must be...
Dahua Access Control Tested on Oct 10, 2017
Can Dahua become a major force in access control? We bought Dahua's ASC1202B [link no longer available] to find out. We tested Dahua access and...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Dahua and Hikvision Entering Access Control on Sep 05, 2017
Until now, Chinese video giants Hikvision [link no longer available] and Dahua [link no longer available] have held back releasing access...
Paxton Drops US Reps, Plans Major Expansion on Dec 07, 2016
Paxton is gearing up to make a big run at  US access control success. The first step they have made is to cut all US Rep Firms, in anticipation of...
Axis Releases Access Credentials - Insecure But Convenient on Nov 02, 2016
Axis continues to build out their own end-to-end 'solution'. The company recently announced a series of credential cards, but instead of a...
Axis Launches IP Speakers on Sep 21, 2016
First, Axis introduced an IP horn, then it was video intercoms, and now it is Networked Speakers? While IP-based Public Address systems are not...
Chinese Spam Access Control Is Here on Aug 04, 2016
Notorious spammers like Longse, Cantonk, and Wodsee have flooded the video market with nuisance emails touting ultra low cost cameras for years,...
Axis Exploit Allows Changing Camera Root Password Confirmed on Aug 02, 2016
IPVM has confirmed that using the Axis remote format string vulnerability, an attacker can easily change the root password of the camera, taking...
Access Control Does Not Want ONVIF on Jul 27, 2016
ONVIF has become a major force in video surveillance. Despite its well deserved criticisms, ONVIF is widely embraced by video surveillance...
Feenics Hosted Access Control Tested on Jul 07, 2016
In the access market, new entrants are uncommon. Because of that, newcomer hosted access vendor Feenics has gained the curiosity of many. A...
AMAG Access Control Company Profile on Mar 18, 2016
In our 12th access control company profile, we examine AMAG Symmetry access control platform: Comparing AMAG to their competition Examining...
Brivo Access Control Company Profile on Feb 09, 2016
This is our 9th in a series of access control company profiles. In this entry, we cover Brivo. Profile Brivo is a US based access company...
RS2 Access Control Company Profile on Jan 13, 2016
Inside we examine RS2 Technologies Access It! line for best customer fit, key features, pricing, and main weaknesses. Profile RS2 is a US access...
Honeywell NetAXS Access Control Profile on Jan 06, 2016
Honeywell is one of the biggest names in security, and one of their most popular offerings is web based access. Inside we examine Honeywell's...
Keyscan Access Control Company Profile on Dec 17, 2015
Access company Keyscan is part of one of the biggest access companies in the world, and they sell a 'one size fits all' access platform.  We...
Paxton Access Control Company Profile on Dec 07, 2015
This note profiles access company Paxton, our 3rd installment in an ongoing series, following our profiles of Tyco Kantech and DSX. Inside we...
Axis Powered Doorcam Launched on Nov 25, 2015
The doorcam market is getting hot, with the most notable player raising $28 million (see our test of Ring doorcam here), driven by consumer IoT...
Tyco Kantech Access Control Company Profile on Nov 24, 2015
In this first entry in a new series profiling access control companies, we profile Kantech, one of Tyco's platforms. This will lead to an upcoming...
Axis Q3 2015 Growth Rebounds on Oct 15, 2015
After an extremely bad Q2, where true sales actually declined, Axis has bounced back in Q3. Is this the beginning of a comeback for the former...
Avigilon New Embedded Access Controller on Sep 28, 2015
Avigilon's big release for ASIS is the "Access Control Manager Embedded Controller" In doing so, Avigilon is cutting out the server, delivering...
The Prox Reader Shootout - Allegion, AWID, Fairpointe, HID, Honeywell, Rosslare on Aug 27, 2015
In this report, we put eight readers of the popular 125 kHz contactless format head to head and see which one rises to the top. Over a third of...
New: Axis Video Intercom on May 12, 2015
A suicide resistant camera, an IP horn and now a video intercom. Axis might be getting pushed out of the low end of the market, but they are...
Access Interoperability: Going Nowhere on Nov 11, 2014
The dream was simple: access control interoperability.  You know; the ability to change management software on a whim, or mix together different...
AMAG 8 Aims to Make Takeovers Easier on Nov 03, 2014
In this note, we examine AMAG 8's new additions, breaking down how it impacts their competitive positioning. [premium_content] Market...
Axis Admits Access Control Expectations Low on Oct 17, 2014
Axis entrance into access control had been anticipated for years. Last year, Axis access control launch was the biggest news of the season. What...
Winners Losers Fall 2014 on Oct 13, 2014
We are all losers, IPVM included. The historically poor new releases for ASIS / Essen make 2014 the worst year for surveillance innovation in, at...
Axis Releases Card Reader on Sep 25, 2014
Last year, Axis put the security market on notice by releasing the A1001 access controller (see IPVM test results of it). Their follow up this...
Access Control Server Guide on Sep 09, 2014
Electronic access control systems need to be managed. The 'server' though can range across: Panel based / 'serverless' systems Combo...
Milestone Access Control 2014 Released on May 28, 2014
Milestone has announced an update to its first venture into integrated access interface. When we tested the platform previously, it had some marked...
Comments (11) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

2020 Access Control Book Released on Dec 19, 2019
This is the best, most comprehensive access control book in the world, based on our unprecedented research and testing has been significantly...
Access Control Door Controllers Guide on Oct 22, 2019
Door controllers are at the center of physical access control systems connecting software, readers, and locks. Despite being buried inside...
Access Control Mustering Guide on Sep 30, 2019
In emergencies, determining where employees are located can be critical for knowing whether they are in danger. Access systems can be used for...
Access Control Time & Attendance Guide on Sep 24, 2019
Access control systems can do more than lock doors. With little or no extra equipment, they can be used to track labor hours for employees...
Open Access Controller Guide (Axis, HID, Isonas, Mercury) on Sep 19, 2019
In the access control market, there are many software platforms, but only a few companies that make non-proprietary door controllers. Recently,...
ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
ProdataKey (PDK) Access Company Profile on Aug 09, 2019
Utah based ProdataKey touts low cost cloud access, wireless controllers, and no dealer required national distribution availability. But how does...
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...
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...
Startup GateKeeper Aims For Unified Physical / Logical Access Token on Apr 04, 2019
This startup's product claims to 'Kill the Password' you use to keep your computers safe. They have already released their Gatekeeper Halberd...

Most Recent Industry Reports

USA's Feevr Thermal Temperature System Examined on Mar 31, 2020
This US company has burst on to the scene, brashly naming itself 'feevr' and branding itself as a "COVID 19 - AI BASED NON CONTACT THERMAL...
JCI Coronavirus Cuts on Mar 31, 2020
JCI has made coronavirus cuts, the company told employees in an email that IPVM has reviewed. Inside this note, we examine the cuts made, the...
Add Door Operators To Fight Coronavirus on Mar 31, 2020
IPVM recommends that integrators advocate and end-users consider adding door operators to fight the spread of coronavirus. This delivers...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance business for those new to the industry. This is part of our Video...
FDA Gives Guidance on 'Coronavirus' Thermal Fever Detection Systems on Mar 30, 2020
The US FDA has given IPVM guidance on the use of thermal fever detection systems being marketed for coronavirus, as an explosion of such devices...
Worsen: Integrators Hit Even Harder By Coronavirus on Mar 30, 2020
Integrator's problems have worsened over the past 2 weeks, according to new IPVM survey results. Inside this report, we share statistics and...
Pivot3 Mass Layoffs on Mar 27, 2020
Pivot3 has conducted mass layoffs, the culmination of grand hopes, a quarter of a billion dollars in VC funding, and multiple failures to gain...
Athena CEO Criticizes 'Deplorable' 'Nitpicking', IPVM Refutes on Mar 27, 2020
UPDATE: NBC News Report Cites IPVM On Coronavirus 'Fever Detection' Cameras Athena Security's CEO Lisa Falzone has strongly objected to IPVM's...
Hikvision Admits Sanctions Harming Its Financial Performance on Mar 27, 2020
While Hikvision initially downplayed being sanctioned for human rights abuses, the company is now admitting a significant impact in a new PRC...