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29 Apr 2021

BLOG: Online vs Standalone Access Control: What's Right for You?

CDVI Stand: 4/E15

Most companies have one goal in common: protect the premises against burglary, theft and unauthorised access as comprehensively as possible. Quite often, however, the actual implementation of this project is their weak point. The question that comes up first is: which access solution best suits our needs? One important choice is between online or offline access control – and what actually is the difference? 

Unauthorised access to critical areas can have serious consequences: Stolen equipment or compromised data can lead to financial penalties, long and expensive recovery processes and loss of public image. A secure and efficient access solution is key. But which solution is best for you?


Standalone Access Control

“A standalone system will allow us to carry out basic access control. This system works for a single door and is easy to install and manage.”

Offline, or standalone access control systems for smaller projects can be implemented easily, quickly and at no great cost. Only basic control is required: a reader/keypad, a proximity tag/card, and a power supply. Each door can only be unlocked with a tag or card which has been issued to the user authorised for that specific door access. 

Doors cannot be centrally managed and controlled. Each tag is manually added to each individual door controller that the tag is required to access; as opposed to online access control that allows you to change/update authorisations from a computer or smartphone.  




No congregated wiring system

Little to no maintenance

In the unlikely event of break-in, standalone systems are more easily disabled

Affordable for small budgets

No data reporting for accountability

No training needed for end user

No remote access, each tag needs to be memorised to each controller individually. Less access control within the building.


Online Access Control

“The centralised system allows us to connect multiple access points through a centrally controlled system, receive the activity log information and integrate additional services.”

Centralised door access systems are scalable. Some of the benefits of centralised technologies include the creation of different user profiles for different access points, as well as better visibility and monitoring though the activity log. Thanks to centralised systems it is also possible to integrate additional security services such as alarms and CCTV. We can also take advantage of the advanced functions of centralised systems to control the capacity of certain spaces and locate specific individuals.

With online access control solutions, all data is managed in one central system, such as CDVI’s ATRIUM software. User profiles, authorisation levels, and tag/card management can all be administered from a computer or smartphone. Advanced features can allow external service providers to enter the premises for limited periods if required, and all successful and unsuccessful entries/exits are documented for later analysis. 

Through ATRIUM, security managers benefit from the freedom to manage and monitor access from anywhere, in real time. 



More secure as hardware is monitored and set up internally 

Can become costly

Centralised control 

Assisted training is needed 

Higher capacity of users and doors

Maintenance is more advanced

Simple & user-friendly software 

Can be more invasive to install the required hardware

Remote functionality 


Higher security tags 


Stored data for accountability 



Most companies nowadays want to be able to manage as many subsections together as possible. In regard to access control, a mix of online and offline as an interconnected solution is also possible. Different areas within the building may have different security requirements.

While entrances or critical areas need real-time monitoring including alerting, other areas in the building may have lower physical security needs. A standalone access control system may be suitable as an extension to an online access control system if lower costs and quicker installation are business priorities. 


CDVI offers a complete access control solution both online and standalone, or as a combination of the two. 

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