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How to Pick the Right Gate Access Control System

Elliot Blackler March 2, 2021 5 min read

A security gate is an essential component helping organisations to secure their perimeter and prevent burglaries, theft and other disturbances.

Companies often tend to focus all their attention on securing access within the building, often underestimating the power of a good gate access control system.

The world of access control is more than people access, it is a multi-layered, integrated security strategy that helps organisations to secure their premises and equipment in the most efficient way possible.

This requires security managers to think about all the touchpoints that visitor’s and stakeholders pass through, as this will help them to choose the right system that will enable to address all these touchpoints in a flawless manner without compromising the workflow or budget.

So how to you pick the right gate access control system?

For the majority of organisations and businesses, their security starts at the gate (literally). Choosing the right gates for your premises is half of the battle – you also have to consider what type of access control system to invest in.

In this blog post, you'll learn: 

  • The different components that make up a gate access control system
  • The different types of gate access control available 
  • The benefits of each different type of gate access product

What Is Gate Access Control System?

Automated gate systems offer an increased level of security and convenience, which is for the most part attributed to an access control system linked to the gates.

Gate access control systems operate pretty much the same way as any other access control, where you have an electronically-locked gate that is connected to the access control server. These systems usually consist of a reader, controller, management software and tokens.

When the right credential is presented, an electronic signal will be sent to the gate lock, allowing it to open so that authorised vehicle can enter.

There are various options available on the market from simple keypad access to fully automated, touch-free vehicle access solutions. The ideal option will vary according to the type of applications and the available budget.

Let’s take a closer look at all the options available…


Top 4 Gate Access Control Systems


This is probably the simplest and most commonly utilised solution in gate access control. In order to access the premises, the visitor has to key in a PIN. Once the PIN is verified, the visitor can enter the premises. Even though it’s a quite simple solution, it has its drawbacks.

From the customer experience point of view, these PIN codes can be easily forgotten. From the security perspective, it’s not the safest option, as people can share the code with others which can lead to unauthorised people accessing your premises.

If your site is busy and has to manage high traffic flow, the time it takes for one individual to enter the PIN during peak time can lead to congestions, which can bring about unnecessary frustration from the visitors.

Proximity Cards

Proximity card readers are a slightly more convenient option than keypads, as there is no need to memorise the PIN, and it allows for faster access. All visitor has to do is present the card within the reading range of the reader.

When a proximity card is held within the reader’s operating field, the card transmits its number to the reader through. If the card number is approved, the reader sends a signal to the lock to open the lock for a short period of time.

RFID Gate Access Control System

RFID-enabled access control solutions offer a long-range vehicle identification, where vehicles can be identified as they approach the control point. In many cases the vehicles don’t need to stop at a gate, they simply need to approach slowly to allow the gate to open.

Where car park permits are issued to allow authorised users to enter a car park, a driver would normally have to stop and lower their window to present the card to a reader at the entrance. This can be avoided by using a ‘hands-free’ automatic vehicle identification system, such as access control based on RFID technology.

In this case, a tag is placed on the vehicle, so when a certain vehicle is identified and verified, the reader will send a signal to open the gates. RFID tags come in different shapes, sizes and materials – from a windshield to heavy-duty tags.

Depending on the system, long-range RFID readers can identify vehicles at a distance of up to 5 metres to 10 metres.

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ANPR Gate Access Control

ANPR is an accurate system that automatically reads vehicle number plates as they approach, and converts valid number plates into standard Wiegand format ID numbers. This data is then analysed by the access control system. This solution is perfect for applications where it is not desirable to issue RFID tags.

ANPR gate systems have been around for several years and can deliver substantial benefits to secure site operators and consumers alike. Its technology was created to help end queuing at barriers and is an ideal standalone solution for busy sites which require secure automated vehicle identification.

It enables you to provide automated 24-hour access to secure sites or car parks by entering the relevant vehicle's number plate into the system.

When pre-approved vehicles turn up, the barrier will open allowing free-flowing vehicle access in and out of any secure site. Access can equally be removed or revoked at any time.

With a read range of up to 10 metres, the ANPR camera ensures efficient vehicle recognition. Deep learning algorithms make it possible to accurately capture numbers under harsh conditions and read plates with different font formats. If vehicles need to be granted access temporarily or incidentally, the ANPR camera is the best way to go.

ANPR bollards are the most complete solution of the 4, with their in-built management system and relay meaning there is minimal setup involved and they can be run completely standalone. 



The benefits of a gate access control system are clear, and if designed well can complement building access control to further increase security and the efficient flow of staff and/or visitors. 

Picking the correct system depends on a number of factors, from budget to the volume of people accessing the site per day. If you're still unsure about which system works well for you, contact our team to find out how a gate access control could work for you. 

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Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that people and vehicle access control is an incredibly complex world using hard to understand technology, yet it impacts so many of the environments we interact with on a daily basis.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll break down access control, the benefits, and drawbacks as well, including expert insight based on over 30 years experience in the industry operating as an independent British company. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our resource centre.

Elliot Blackler

Elliot is the in-house content specialist at Nortech and runs all aspects of the resource hub. He's passionate about UK manufacturing and how modern content marketing can help bring light to complex industries.

Elliot works extensively with the Nortech team to shine a light on the access control industry for both installers and end users. Always keen to improve, feel free to email him on new content suggestions or feedback!

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