ZKAccess Control Tested

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Dec 04, 2017

China manufacturer ZKTeco / ZKAcces has been expanding in the West, offering a low-cost access control platform.

But how good is it? And how does it compare to the emerging access control offerings of Dahua and Hikvision?

** ****** ********* **-********* **** ********** ** find ***.

** ****** ******** *** its ********** *********** ** see *** ** ****** up ******* *********** ** the ******** *****.

** **** ******, ** cover ***** ******** *** more:

  • * *** ********* *** 5 *** **********
  • ********** ** ********* *** Dahua ******
  • * ****** ******* ******** build ******* ** *** controller *** ****** *******
  • * ******** **** ***** showing *** ****** ** the **********
  • * ***** *********** ********** how ********' ********** ****** works
  • ******* ************* ******

******, ** ****** *** findings ** *** **** the ****** ********, ***** it ** ****, *** how ** ******** ** other ****** *******.

[****: ** **** ********** tested***** ************'******* ******* ******** ** well, *** *** *** platforms ** ******** ******** to ** **** ******.]

Key ****** *********

*** ***** ****** ********' key *********:

  • *** *********** *** **********: ******** **** *** main ******** *** **********, operation, *** ************* ** the ******** ****** *********** which ***** ***** ********** out **** ********** ************. Everything ** ******** ** a ******* **********, ******* based ****** *********** **** will **** **** ***** just * *** ******* to *****.
  • **** *******: ***** **** '******' access ******** *** *** modules **** ********* ******* interfaces, ******** ******** * basic *** **** ** simple ** *** ** and **** ** ****** to ***** *******.  *******, larger ** ******* *********** may ******* **. *** section ***** ******** **** in ******.
  • ******* *******: ****** ***** *** Hikvision, ******** ******* ********** access ******* *** *** able ** ******* ****.
  • ***** ******* ********: ******** ******** *** ***** ID ********* ********** **** a ***** ****, ** it ** ******** ** visually ******* ********** ******* are ****** *** **** using ****** ****** ** a ****** *** *** unauthorized ***********. 
  • **** *********: ******** ****** *** ******* of **** *********, *** the **** ********* *** be ******* **** ****** filters, *** ******** ** a ****** ** ******** usable ********* *** ****** into ***** *******.

Tested **********

*******, *** **** ******* and ********** *** ********* to ******** ********:

  • ********* ******* **** ****** Boxes: **** ***** ******** and ******* *** *********** with ******** ****** ***** that ***** *** ***************. When **** *****, ****** status ****** ** ********* in ******** ** **** functions *** *** **** until ***** *********, ******* down ********* ** ***** tasks.
  • ******* *****: **** *********** ******** with *****, ******* *** limited ** ******** ********* NVRs ** ****, ************* limiting *********** *******. *** linked ****** ** ********* must ** ******** **********. For **** ************, * VMS ** ***** ********** application ** ****** *** deep ******, ********, ** exporting ********.  ***** *********** is **** *** ******** even ****** **** ** typical *** ****** ****** systems.
  • ************* **********: ****** ** **** open *** ****** ******* the ************ ******* ********.
  • **** ******* ** ***** Readers: ** ********* ******** types ** *******, ********* ZKAccess' *** *** *** branded ******, *** *** 125 *** ** **.** MHz ******. *** **** option *** ********** **** of ***** ***** *** basic, **************, ************ ******* using *** **** ********** 26-bit ******. **** ******* systems *** ******* **** ** ** ****** ** increase ******** ** *** reader ***, *** ******** does ***.
  • ** ***: *** **** ** PoE ******* **** ***** that ********** ************** ***** to ** *** ** the ****, * ****** and ***** ********* ************* not ****** **** *** controllers.

ZKAccess **. ****** **. ***** ******

** * **** *****, ZKAccess ** ****** *** more ******** **** ***** ******, *** ***** *** hardware ****** *** ********** of ********* ******. *** ***** ********* are ** *** ***** price-point **** *** ****** control, *** *** ***** are ********* **** ****** to *****, ***** ******* with * ********** ***** number ** ******* ********* doors. 

******** ****** **-***** ********* support, ***** ** ****** several ***** ****** *** test.  ** ********** ** both ********* *** *****, the ******* *** ******** of ******** *** **** better, *** ** *** cases *** ***** ***** we ***** **** *** familiar **** *** ***********, terminology, *** ***** ** our ********* *** ******** them ****** ** ** minutes ** *** ****.

Difference ******* ****** *** ******** ** ********

** ***** ** *** ******/******** ******* *******, ******** ** *** North ******** ******** ** Chinese-based ******:

******** ** ******* ** administrative/ '***** *****' ************ division, ** *** ******* still ********* *****, ***********, and ******** ****** ******** and ********. **** ******* then ** ***** ** high-volume, *** **** ***** manufacturing, *** *** * dedicated ****** **** ************ firmware/ ************** *** ******** it *** ** *********.

******, ***** *** **** involved ******** ******** ********* and *****, **** ** the ******** *** ***** on *** ********* ********* 'ZKTeco' *******, ********* *** large ***** ********* ** the **** *********:

ZKAccess ******* ********

****** ***** *** * ZKAccess ** ***-**** ********** and ********* **** ~$***, while * ***-**** ***** offset *** * ****** cost ** ~$***, *** Hikvision's ******* **** ~$***.

**** **** ******** ******** less **** *********, *** over ** **** **** Dahua. *******, ******* *** all ***** ********* ** generally ***** **** ********** western ************ ******** ** ******* ********, ***** ******* $*,*** ** more *** * ***-**** controller.

*******, *** *** ****** options ***** ** *** furnish ************ **** ***** security ******* ** ********** software, ** **** ** outside ************. *** **** pricing ******** ******* ********* two-door ****** ****, *** our ***** *** ********* ******** Access ******* ****.

Managed *** ******* ********* ***** ******

********' **** ********** ********, named******** ***** ********, ******** ****** ******* component ************* *** ********** in *** ***********. *** client **** * *** browser *** ******** ** installed ****** ** **** the ********* **** ****** hardware. ******* ***** ********, the ****** ****** ** accessed ** ******* ** address, *** *** ****** must ** ********* ** machines **** ** ****** the ******.

*** ********** ***** ***** the ******* ********* ******, with *** ******* ********* via **** ** *** screen:

********* ******* **** ************* with **** ************ *** OS *********, *** * familiar ********** *********, *** the **** *** ****** real-time ******* *** ****** slowdowns *** ******* ** pure **** ****** ************.

** ***** ** ******* support, ******** ******** ***** scheduling, *******, ********** *****/****** event ***********, *** ****** door '******' *** '****' controls ******* ** ***** small ****** *********. *******, some ******** *** *******, such ** ** ** Badge ********, *** ** easy ********* ** *****-******** management.

****** ******* ** ***** between ***** *********** ********* and ******* ******* *** panel.  ********* ******* **** user ***** *** ********* are **** ** ************, but ********* *** ****** are ****** ** *** controller.

Access ********** ******** ********

** ***** ** ****** construction, *** ***** ***** illustrates *** **** *** build ******* ** *** controller. *** ********** *** enclosure **** ******* * 'black ** *****' ***** scheme, ***** *** ********** wiring ** ***** *** locations. *******, ***** *****, board *** ******* **** are ******* ** **** access ** ********* ******. 

******** ** ***** ****** controllers, *** ********* ******** an ** **** **** for **** '*******' ******** and ***** ******* ** log ******. 

*** ***** ***** ****** a *****-** ****:

**** ************* ***** ***** in *** **** ********** application **** ** ******* the ********** ******, *********** the ****** *** **** installers/users **** ** ** familiar ****:

C3 ********** ******** ****

****** *** **********'* *******, a ******** ***** *********** CR-2032 ***** *******, **** of ******, *** ******* status **** *** *******:

*** ****** *** ******** of ***** **** ****** to ***** * **** range ** ******** ** system ****** **** *** app *** *** *********. For *******, ****** **** just * ******* '***** On' *** ****** ** most ********, ******** ******** LEDs ** **** ***** that ***** *** ********* or ***********, ** *************** can ******* ****** **** to * ******** ******** point. **** *** ****, Technicians *** ************ ***** hardware ****** ******* ********** a ****** ** *** system.

Door ********** ****-**-**** **********

********' ********* ** ******** smaller, *** ** ******* less ********* ******** ******** to ********* ******.  *** Hikvision ***** ******** * full-sized ******* ******** *****, while ******** ******** ********** connect ******* ******** ** the ********** ***** ***** Phoenix ***** **********. ********' single-door, ***-****, *** ****-**** models ***** ******* ****** layouts, *** *** ************* different, **** *** ******-**** unit ***** ***** **% the **** ** *** two **** *****.

*** ******** ******* ******** and ********* ****** ** shown ** **** *****:

***** *** ******** ** delivered *** ******** ****-******* wall ***********, ***** ********* includes **** ****** *** cabinet. ******* ***** *** use *** *** **** have ****** *********.

ZKAccess User ********** *********

******* ***** ********* ********* to ** ********** **** other ***** ****** *********, including ******** **** ****** status ******, ****** ****** controls, *** **** ********** and **** ********** ******** included. In *** ****, *** features ********** *********, ******** the ****** ********* ** dialog ***** ***** ********* 'real-time' ****** **** ******* until ************. 

*** ***** ***** ***** off *** ***** ********* and ******** ** ********' management *********:

Bad: ****-**** ******* ****** *****

* ***** ** *** browser ********* ** **** nested ****** ***** **** to ** ************ ****** real-time ******* *** *********. 

*** ********* ******* ***** 'OK' ** ************** ** given, **** ** **** activity ** *********. ** example ** ***** ** the ***** *****:

** *** *****, **** time ***** ******* *****, but ** *** ** two ********** ******, *** freezing ********** **** ********* not ******* ** ***, like *** '****** ** send *** *******' ***** noted *****:

*** ***** ****** ******* rectified *** ******* ** rescans, *** *** **** they ******** ** *** is * *******.

Bad: ***-**** ****** **** **********

******* ********* ******* **** the ********* ** *** multiple ***** ******** ** activate ******* ********, ***** on ****** ** ******** or ********* ****** ** other *******.

*** *******, *** ****** unlock **** ******* ** a ***-**** *******, *** just ******** '******' **** not ******* *** ****. A ****** ******, ** establish ****** ******** ** needed ** ** ******** too. *** ********* ***** this:

***** *** * ************ weakness, *** ***** **** these '*** ****' ******* typically **** *** ********** and **** **** **** should ** ****** *********.

Good: ******* ********** ********

** ** ******** ****, ZKAccess ******** * ******* Management ****** ** *** basic **** ********. *** video ***** ***** * quick ******** ** *** feature:

*** *** ***** ** an ********** ****** ** provisioning **** ****** *** repeated ******** *** ******** **** within ****** ****.

*** ****** ****** ***** well, ** **** ******* visitors *** ********, **** delivery ******, **** *** only ***** ******** ******* doors *** *** ****** event **** **** ** specially *******.  ****, ********** headshot ****** *** ***** verification *** ** **** from *** ********.

Good: ******** *******

*** **** ****** *** integrate *** ******* ****** easy ** **** **** and ****** *** ***** access *******.  ****** ******** are * ***** ***** to ********, *** ******* pop-up ** **** *****. The ***** ***** ***** more ******:

***** ********* ********** *** dragging/dropping ***** ** ****, the ********* ******* *** icons ** ***** **** are *******, *** *** size ****** ** ******.  For ***** **********, *** floorplan ***** **** ** needed ** **** ***** may ** *******.

*** ****** ****** ******* are ******* ** ***** and *******. ******* ** display ** ***** ******* like **** ******** ** alarm ****** *** *** available ** *** *** module.

3rd ***** ****** ************* ** *****

** *** ***** *****, we **** ** ******** branded *** *** ******. We **** ****** *** Multiclass ****** ***** ******* integration *** ***** *** controller ******* ********* ***** from ***** *****.

***** ******* ******* ** 'open' ** **** ***-***** units, ******** **** *** support ****, ***** ** * serial, ********* ****** ** handling ****** *************. 

Good: ******** *** ****** *********

*** ****** **** ****** well: ******** ********* ** system ****** *** ****** queries, printing ****, *** ********* them **** ****** *** application ** ******** *** flexible, *** ** ******* tools ** ********* *** needed. We ******** **** ** the ***** *****:

****** **** ******* *******.*** or .*** *****, *** .PDF ******* *** ********* for ***** ******** *** import **** ******** ********. 

Telnet **** ****, ********* ************* *******

*** ********* **** ** trouble *** ******** ******* Port ** **** - commonly **** *** ******, and * ****** ****** of ******** ********:

** *******, ** ***** be ****** ** **** port *** ********** ******, as ****** ** *** needed ** ****** ********* nor ********* **** ****** for ***************.

***** *** ********** *** no ********* *** ******** a ****** *** ****** operation, *** ********** ******* stores *** *********** ************ more ****** **** **** controls *** * ****** door **********. ****** ******** ******* traffic ****** **** ** not ** '**** ****' and ** ******** ******* command **** ********:

******, ************* **** ******* ********* and ********* (*****, *****) ****** *******, and ****** ******** ********* to **** ** ******** them, *** ******** ******** no ******* ** ******* against ****.

*** ****** ** *** unit's ******** *** ************ *** did *** ******* ****** penetration ******* ** ************* examination ** ****** ********, and ***** *** *************** of ******** *******, ** guarantees ** ******** ** secure ****** ****** ** expected.

Premium '***' *** ************* *** ******

** ********* **** ********, the ***** **** ******* observed *********** ** *** platform ** ****** *** addressed ** ******* *********, including'*** ***' ************ ****** *** (*** included ********), ** *** per-door********-***** ************* ********** ************ ******** ***** *****.

************, ******** ***** ** the **** ******* ** tested ***** *** **** under '******' *********** *** a ****.

** **** *** ****** those ******* *********, *** for ***** ************* ************ where ******** ************* ** needed, ******** *** ***** variations **** ******* **** at ********** ****.

 

Comments (11)

You have only tested the entry level product, not the Pro series which supports lift control & very nice ZKBioSecurity 3.0 browser based software. This software supports multiple clients with no software install on the client PCs.

You have also totally ignored the InBio controllers which, in addition to wiegand / RS485 card readers, also support integrated biometrics, with the biometric template being storedin the controller, not in the edge (reader) device. These biometric readers can also be used for lift control.

The system is not limited to 26bit either, as you state. In fact it supports multiple wiegand formats & can even have differing bit streams for different users  eg 26 bit & 37 bit from the same reader.

You mention no support for PoE, there is an option to purchase the controllers in a bundle with PoE support. However PoE has limited usefulness in the access control world due to the current draw of many locking devices. Typically items like drop bolts have an inrush current of 1A (at 12VDC). This means a double doors could draw 24 Watts on initial lock.

Hello:

1) The product we tested also includes elevator control, and we tested it as the widest distribution of ZKAccess software. The company does not limit the platform we tested as 'entry level' or unsuitable for commercial installs.

2) We did not test biometric readers as part of this test. We have tested previous ZKTeco readers in The $100 Fingerprint Reader Tested, but that equipment is now quite old and will consider a new test in the future.

3) The ZKAccess branded credentials and reader we tested indeed is 26 bit. Users need to use other readers and credential combos, supported via Wiegand, if they want different.  I'll clarify this in the text as needed.

4) Debating the value of PoE support in access is tough, when it is widely used & available in from vendors like Mercury, HID, and Axis. The wattage limitation you mention is true, but also not common given lock power is supplied independently of controller field power like routinely done with maglocks or locks requiring heavy wattage.

Thanks for the feedback!

 

We have installed a couple units and our clienst were very happy. Granted they were small applications, pools for HOAs.

 

We only install the client software on a server, then any other workstation locally or remotely can access it via a browser with no software installed. 

 

There is also a way to link it to Milestone via a 3rd party app but we never researched it fully.

Note:

Larry Reed, ZKAccess CEO, responded to our report with this followup:

You reviewed our free software which has been "frozen" for a year. Our CURRENT enterprise software is called ZKBioSecurity and has a feature set comparable to the major PAC software companies.

We also have PoE and webserver functionality. Also support for many Hikvision and Dahua models, including all Onvif cameras. We also have visitor management, LPR gate control, VMS integration, support for up to 8,000 doors and the only access control panel in the world which stores & matches fingerprints (up to 20,000).

If you're going to report to your subscribers on ZKAccess . . . please base your report on currently available technology. Your report makes ZKAccess seem like a likely alternative to Hikvision and Dahua... But cherry picking an old product isn't fair to either ZKAccess or your subscribers. 

We purchased our product through distribution (current inventory) and discussed the platform with ZKAccess tech staff via phone.  At no point did they disclaim the platform tested was unsuitable or obsolete, only that it was free where ZKBioSecurity is licensed based on fees per door (Street: ~$40 per door). 

ZKAccess' 'no cost' version draws a relative comparison to the 'free' Hikvision and Dahua access softwares, which we focus on in this test.

In fairness to ZKAcess, however, some of the limitations described in our report may not be comprehensive limitations (ie: ONVIF video support), but only ones applicable to the free version of software.

I'll make this clear in the post above.

While Wiegand support is 'open' to many 3rd-party units, ZKAccess does not support OSDP, which is a serial, unencrypted method of handling reader communication.

I think this was meant to say "encrypted"...?

Yes, good catch. "Encrypted' is correct. Fixed. 

Thanks,

Does anyone know if ZK will allow scheduled unlocking/locking of doors such as during shift change etc?

 

 

Yes, using ZK this is done in 'Time Zones', where specific doors are set to be unlocked during a certain time and relocked/ return to normal state after the time expires.

Perfect thanks.

 

Do you know if that is in the free version of the software or the paid version?

 

 

That's a keen question.  In the case of 'Time Zones', they are a standard feature in both versions.

As a bonus the doors can be configured to unlock during passage mode (Time Zone) only when a valid card has been used during this time zone. This ensures staff are on site prior to doors unlocking

The function is called "First Person Normally Open"

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