CellGate Cost and Review

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For commercial real estate, multi-family dwellings, or residential communities, access control is a critical issue. Gone are the days of a simple lock and key. Intercoms, keypads, and video interfaces are now commonplace, but it can be an overwhelming process to try and decide which system is best for your property. 

What kind of access control system does your property need?

First, you need to decide what kind of security you are looking for. Are you trying to keep people out who don’t belong, or are you also concerned about keeping track of who comes and goes? If it’s the latter, you will want a system that can grant access and log requests – something like an intercom.

When searching for an intercom provider, you might have come across CellGate.

Below, we’ll examine the features and costs of CellGate so that you can make an informed decision.

Proptia vs Cellgate Comparison

cell gate vs proptia

What is CellGate?

CellGate is an access control system that uses cellular technology to provide buildings with a secure way to manage entry. The system includes a base unit, which is installed near the building’s entrance, and an intercom system that is used by residents or visitors to gain entry. 

Their key selling points are that no landline is required (which can save on installation costs) and that the system can be used to manage multiple buildings from a single, central location.

They claim to be the “ultimate suite of cellular & internet security products” but how does that stack up against the competition? Can they offer a comprehensive solution that is also affordable? Let’s take a closer look.

What products does CellGate offer?

The flagship product line for CellGate is the Watchman Series of access control systems. These panels offer video and voice capabilities for entry control, along with keypad access and a cloud-based portal for live monitoring.

Not only do they market these intercom systems to residential and commercial applications, but they also claim that farms, ranches, oil and gas sites, and self-storage facilities can benefit from their products. 

The line includes five different models:

  • Watchman W410
  • Watchman W450
  • Watchman W480
  • Watchman W461
  • Watchman WXL

Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of their features and the pricing plans that you’ll need to sort through before installation. 

cell gate alternative proptia

Watchman W410

cell gate cost and review W410

The most basic access control panel offered, the W410 does not include any video capabilities. It instead is a keypad, voice, and photo entry system which is best used at single-family residences or simple commercial facilities. 

It can call up to nine numbers for access and can capture photos of access attempts from the box or an additional camera that can be placed separately.

Watchman W450

cell gate cost and review W450

The next step up is the W450, which offers one-way video streaming. This video feed can be viewed directly in the smartphone app, instead of just photos of entry attempts. Like their other products, this can be run through LTE cellular data, though there is also an option for an RJ45 internet connection. 

Watchman W480

cell gate cost and review W480

The W480 does not offer a ton of upgrades over the W450, other than an 8” touchscreen instead of a keypad. It is still limited to one-way video capabilities but can be connected to three additional external cameras, offering a more comprehensive picture for operators. 

It also can be linked to video contacts through the app, or up to nine voice-only numbers.

Watchman W461

cell gate cost and review W461

If you are confused by the numbering pattern, the W480 is an updated version of CellGate’s W460 product. The W461 is basically the same, except it includes a slim profile. The access control box is just one inch deep, giving it a little more curb appeal for multi-tenant or business uses. 

Watchman WXL

cell gate cost and review WXL

One of CellGate’s newest products is the WXL, which, as you can guess by the name, is a much larger solution. With pedestal or wall-mount options, and a massive 11” display, it looks like a more sophisticated solution. It doesn’t have any additional functionality though, meaning it is an unnecessary upgrade for some users. 

CellGate also offers two other products:

  • CellCam — An asset monitoring system that can be powered by a solar panel and controlled by a smartphone
  • UNIFY — A simple door control system that does not include video or voice commands. 

Below, we will look specifically at the Watchman EVO pricing.

How much do CellGate products cost?

This is where things can get a bit complicated. When purchasing a CellGate access control solution, there are several costs to consider. 

  • Hardware: This is the price that you will pay for the system itself.
  • Installation: The price of installation will vary depending on the complexity of the system and the size of your property. 
  • Monthly service fee: To use CellGate’s services, there is a monthly service fee. This will be different for residential, multi-family, and commercial purposes.
  • Additional equipment: For extra cameras, key readers, or antennas, there will be an additional cost. That can also include increased monthly premiums, depending on what is used. 

Below, we’ll go through some estimates on overall costs. It should be noted that these are based on the most recent information available and could be changed at any time. 

Watchman W410

The most affordable solution, it has the most limited functionality. It does not have an ethernet option, and can only be used with AT&T and Verizon LTE cellular data. 


  • $1,600 per unit


  • Voice only: $19.95/month
  • Voice/photos: $29.95/month
  • External camera: $10.00/month
  • Voice 2,000 transactions / 50 calls: $39.00/month
  • Voice 2,001-10,000 transactions / 100 calls: $49.00/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / 200 calls: $55.00/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / >200 calls: $75.00/month
  • Camera: $10.00/month
  • Service activation: $20.00 (one time, per device)

Watchman W450

Because of the video streaming, there is a pretty steep increase in price from the W410 to W450. That can be somewhat marginalized by using the version connected to the local internet, though the cellular capabilities are CellGate’s biggest selling point. 


  • Cellular LTE: $2,700 per unit
  • RJ45 internet: $2,300 per unit


Residential cellular
  • <60 calls: $39.95/month
  • 60-200 calls: $54.95/month
  • External camera: $10.00/month
Residential internet
  • <60 calls: $29.95/month
  • 60-200 calls: $42.95/month
  • External camera: $10.00/month
Business cellular
  • Voice 2,000 transactions / 50 calls: $49.00/month
  • Voice 2,001-10,000 transactions / 100 calls: $59.00/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / 200 calls: $75.00/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / >200 calls: $100.00/month
  • Camera: $15.00/month
Business internet
  • Voice 2,000 transactions / 50 calls: $29.40.00/month
  • Voice 2,001-10,000 transactions / 100 calls: $35.40/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / 200 calls: $45.00/month
  • Voice >10,000 transactions / >200 calls: $60.00/month
  • Camera: $9.00/month
  • Service activation: $20.00 (one time, per device)

Watchman W480/461

The W480 and W461 are used mostly for multi-tenant or business uses, and the pricing is given with this in mind. Still, the added touchscreen functionality increases the price significantly over the more basic options. 


  • Cellular LTE: $3,700 per unit
  • RJ45 internet: $3,300 per unit


The business pricing for both the W480 and W461 match that of the W450, but there are separate costs for multi-tenant service. These will drop the more units you use, and the prices for cellular and internet connection also vary. 

Multi-tenant cellular
  • Base fee: $50.00/month
  • <100 units: $1.00/unit/month
  • 101-200 units: $0.75/unit/month
  • 201-300 units: $0.60/unit/month
  • 301-400 units: $0.50/unit/month
  • >401 units: $0.40/unit/month
  • Camera base fee: $15.00/month
  • Camera additional units: $0.15/unit/month
Multi-tenant internet
  • Base fee: $37.50/month
  • <100 units: $0.70/unit/month
  • 101-200 units: $0.49/unit/month
  • 201-300 units: $0.36/unit/month
  • 301-400 units: $0.28/unit/month
  • 401-500 units: $0.25/unit/month
  • >501 units: $0.20/unit/month
  • Camera base fee: $11.25/month
  • Camera <100 units: $0.11/unit/month
  • Camera 101-200 units: $0.10/unit/month
  • Camera 201-300 units: $0.09/unit/month
  • Camera >301: $0.08/unit/month
  • Service activation: $20.00 (one time, per device)

Watchman WXL

Unfortunately, the Watchman WXL pricing is not available online but it is estimated at $3,450 for a unit that uses internet, and $4,450 for a unit that is connected through Verizon or AT&T cellular service. 

Additional costs

There are many (many) additional costs that can also impact how much you spend on your CellGate system. Additional equipment can quickly balloon the price, while it also sometimes comes with an extra service cost. 

Wiegand expansion

One of the most common is a Wiegand expansion, allowing for card reading at various doors. From CellGate, an expansion panel will cost $1,500 and each board (for each door) costs an additional $150. 

There is an additional service fee that goes along with it:

Wiegand expansion cellular
  • <200 transactions: $20.00/month
  • 201-600 transactions: $35.00/month
  • >601 transactions: $55.00/month
  • Expansion boards: $5.00/board/month
Wiegand expansion internet
  • <200 transactions: $12.00/month
  • 201-600 transactions: $21.00/month
  • >601 transactions: $33.00/month
  • Expansion boards: $3.00/board/month

External cameras

If you are looking for external cameras to be connected to your Watchman system, it will also mean added costs. These range between $400 and $800 per camera, depending on model and quality. 

There are also antennas, battery backups, and solar conversion kits which can quickly send the price skyrocketing by hundreds if not thousands of additional dollars. 

Pros & cons of Watchmen Devices from CellGate

Choosing which access control company to trust can be a huge decision. You will want to weigh the pros and cons of each one to ensure you make the correct choice. For CellGate, here are some of the benefits and challenges that you may face:


  • Cellular capabilities: You do not necessarily need an internet connection for CellGate products to function properly.
  • Mobile app: Having control on your smartphone or tablet can mean quick resolution for visitors requesting access, and allow you to monitor who is trying to get into your facility or property. 
  • Cloud-based portal: Automatic photo backups and visitor information can be accessed from anywhere. Data is safe from hardware failure as it is held in the cloud. 


  • Hidden costs: The pricing is not available on their website, and can quickly add up with unexpected service fees. 
  • Two carriers: With only AT&T and Verizon coverage, it could potentially limit customers’ options. 
  • Limited video options: The most affordable keypad does not include video at all, and the others do not have two-way functionality.
  • No Expansion: CellGate products only work together and do not integrate with other pieces of access control technology outside of HID.
  • Only phone support: They do not currently have a live chat support option, and instead instruct you to call a toll-free number to talk to a technician.
  • Limited Options for Large HOAs and Commercial Campuses
  • Limited to the Intercom mode of security

CellGate vs Proptia

Cellgate is a quality telephone entry system (TES) manufacturer. While CellGate may be suitable if all you need is TES with basic access control there are many TES manufacturers to choose from such as ButterflyMX, DoorKing, DoorBird, and Comelit however a TES platform is very limited in what it can offer. The primary difference between Proptia and CellGate and most intercom manufacturers is Proptia is a security operations platform that includes an intercom solution.

Proptia offers a fully integrated, all-in-one, security suite where telephone entry is only a small portion of the capabilities and modules. Large and small organizations want a solution that can be future-proof. And with Proptia you can implement solutions individually or integrated. You can scale it up or scale it down. You choose how you want your system built out.

For the intercom solution Proptia offers a sleek 2N intercom that integrates with the rest of your security systems. Whether you want to add on license plate recognition, front desk visitor management, gatehouse visitor management, or club management solutions. You can build out your system in a way that makes the most sense to your organization.

2N IP Style vs CellGate

Today you may have one access point but in the future, you may run a complex visitor management operation with vendors and short-term rental Airbnb guests and want to capture all entry and exit vehicle information. You may have members of a Golf Club behind the gates and need to manager vendors, guests, service providers etc.

License plate recognition cell gate

Well, you won’t be able to do that with a telephone entry unit. You would need to tie in multiple other solutions that don’t talk to one another. In today’s, modern environment customers are demanding a fully integrated system for pedestrian and vehicle access and security operations. It’s a balance of security and convenience, and Proptia allows you to slide along that spectrum as your organization and operation grows and matures.

The price difference can be extensive, especially for rapidly expanding facilities or ones with a lot of traffic. With RFID, LPR, and Visitor Management capabilities, Proptia can offer a much more comprehensive solution at an affordable price. 

Proptia also offers an easy-to-use application that allows users to open doors, run elevator controls, calendar actions, mobile credentials, sign-in guests, and view live events from any internet-connected device. Incident reporting, vehicle capture, real-time alerts, and access to support staff are just a few of the features that separate Proptia from CellGate. 


See Proptia in Action