Secure automatic gates have been dreamed about for over a century, but it was only in the last few years that they have become an effective security solution. Today, many gate manufacturers are offering automatic entry systems that can be opened with proximity sensors, license plate readers, or internet-based solutions. Additionally, there are solutions available that can modernize gates with secure automatic entry solutions.
However, available automatic solutions vary widely in terms of their effectiveness. It is important to choose a solution that makes your gate secure and enables it to perform optimally. Read on to learn about some of the key features to look for when shopping for an automatic gate entry system.
1. No 4-Digit Codes
Traditional automatic gate entry systems have long relied on 4-digit pins to control access. These solutions are better than nothing, so they have been widely used on gates that cannot use a human guard. Nevertheless, 4-digit codes introduce serious security risks that undermine premises security.
One of the most significant issues with 4-digit codes is that everyone has to use the same code in most cases. Over time, hundreds of people eventually obtain the code. If one of those people is a criminal, serious security incidents can occur.
Another issue with 4-digit codes is that delivery drivers and guests often write the code on the call box for future convenience. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to remove writing from a call box, so most property managers eventually give up on trying to keep their facilities truly secure.
Today, there are a wide range of alternative types of automatic gate entry systems that are far more secure than 4-digit codes. As a result, systems that rely on 4-digit codes should be avoided entirely when considering new solutions. Instead, look for a solution that uses a guest’s smartphone as a key. You can then provide a higher level of security while also improving convenience for both guests and property managers.
2. Easy Visitor and Guest Management
Today, there is no excuse for security systems being difficult to program and modify. Nevertheless, some of the leading security systems continue to rely on archaic methods of “programming” a call box. Instead, you should look for an internet-connected system that can be modified through a secure app or online portal. You can then change access settings, view logs, and provide permissions to new guests with only a few clicks.
Many of the best solutions available enable residents and property managers to send keys to new guests by simply sending a link. As a result, smartphone-based solutions also save time and money by avoiding the hassle of having to provide physical keys to every guest. These solutions can be especially powerful for residents who frequently have guests or want to rent their properties out to short-term tenants.
3. Strong Motors
Gate manufacturers know that most people do not understand the mechanics of how gates operate, so they often cut corners by using weak motors. The most significant problem with weak motors is that they take a long time to open a gate. Slow opening times seriously inconvenience guests by making them wait around until the gate opens. If guests regularly have to pass through a gate, they can experience significant frustration.
Another issue with weak motors is that they are often only barely strong enough to open a gate. If weak motors are used at frequent intervals, they can wear out quickly. When motors break, gates can be unusable for days until technicians are sent out and parts are fully ordered.
As a result, it is important to ensure that the motors used on your gate are strong enough to support how your gate will be used. Most reputable manufacturers allow buyers to upgrade motors if the default motor is not strong enough.
4. Professional Gate Installation
Installing a gate on your own takes a lot of time, and results are rarely exceptional when you do the job yourself. Many gate systems are quite complex, and even contractors with significant experience in gate installation may struggle to properly install some of the high-tech systems that are available. Additionally, general contractors are unlikely to know how to optimize settings and ensure you are getting the most out of your gate after installation.
Consequently, you should look for automatic gate entry system providers that offer their own installation services or have a network of authorized contractors. Although these services are unlikely to be free, they will ensure that your gate is installed correctly. After installation, a manufacturer’s crew can usually help you to configure your system optimally and teach your team how to make the most of your system.
5. Cellular Internet
When using an automatic gate entry system, reliable internet is crucial for preventing lockouts and system failures. However, running internet cables to a gate is a major hassle, and you could even have to pay monthly for a separate line to your gate alone. Consequently, you should look for systems with SIM cards that use cellular internet. Current 4G connections are already sufficient for gate entry systems, and cellular internet will become even more advantageous once 5G becomes widely available.
When shopping for a solution that relies on cellular internet, it is important to find a system that can use multiple towers. In most places, several towers from different providers are accessible at any given time. However, many providers of automatic gate systems only have a partnership with one provider. As a result, your connection can be slow unless you are in the right area.
Thankfully, there are several providers available that can use almost any tower that is available in your area. Nimbio is one of the leading providers of gate entry systems that supports multiple towers. It can connect to the strongest local network available and works with most leading networks, including TMobile, Verizon, and AT&T.