Are you the manager or owner of a residential HOA or commercial site and interested in securing vehicle access? Many businesses and property managers are turning to non-transferable RFID gate entry systems as an efficient and secure access control method.
These systems can also be excellent for residential communities. Property managers can issue RFID tags and tranponders to give residents access into the community perimeter gates, without having to issue physical fobs or remotes that can be cloned, loned, and lost.
If you’re in charge of a facility or community and are looking for an access control upgrade, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we will examine:
- What is RFID?
- Advantages of using RFID Gate Entry Systems
- How RFID Readers Work
- What do RFID Entry Systems Cost?
- RFID Maintenance
- RFID Integrations
- Vehicle RFID
- How RFID Gate Entry Systems Compare to Other Access Control Options
- Data Privacy with RFID
- The Future of RFID
- Getting Started with RFID
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What is RFID?
If you have ever used a contactless payment system, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay, you have already experienced RFID technology. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a method of wirelessly transmitting data using electromagnetic fields.
RFID tags are made up of two parts: an integrated circuit that stores and processes information, and an antenna that receives and transmits radio waves. The tag’s circuit is powered by the electromagnetic field emitted by the RFID reader, which we will discuss in more detail below.
They also have two classifications: passive and active. Passive RFID tags only transmit their stored data when they come into proximity of an RFID reader, whereas active RFID tags have a power source and can transmit their stored data over long distances.
Advantages of using RFID gate entry systems for residential HOA and commercial sites
- Increased security: RFID gate entry systems enhance the security of residential HOAs and commercial sites by restricting access to authorized personnel. It reduces the likelihood of criminal activities such as theft and vandalism by eliminating the risk of unauthorized access.
- Reduces Loss Loan and Clone: With traditional fobs and proximity cards, residents and employees can easily let unauthorized people use the devices to access amenities such as pools, gyms, clubhouses, and other amenities. Moreover, they get lost all the time, and reissuing them requires more administration. Last but not least, low quality fobs can easily be cloned. A quality RFID transponder should be non-transferable, which means that removing it from a vehicle, for example, will deactivate the transponder.
- It’s Passive: When using RFID for vehicle access residents and employees don’t have to lift a finger. Instead, they simply need to drive within range of the RFID reader. Differnt readers are programmable to read at different ranges. Once the RFID tag is read, it will trigger the gate to open.
- Time-saving: RFID gate entry systems automate check-in and check-out processes, reducing congestion at the gate and saving time.
- User-friendly: RFID gate entry systems are easy to operate and do not require extensive training.
- Cost-effective: RFID gate entry systems eliminate manual gatekeeping and reduce the cost of rekeying locks if keys are lost or stolen.
How do RFID readers work?
For vehicle entry, RFID readers are mounted near the gate and use electromagnetic fields to communicate with RFID tags. The reader emits a radio frequency that activates the tag and powers its integrated circuit.
Once activated, the tag transmits its stored data back to the reader. This process happens extremely quickly, usually in less than one second.
The data transmitted by the RFID tag is used to verify that the person or vehicle attempting to gain entry is authorized to do so. If the data matches what is stored in the access control system, the gate will open and allow entry. If not, the gate will remain closed.
These readers are usually located near the gate, but they can also be integrated into existing hardware, such as turnstiles or barriers for pedestrian use. Because these systems use passive tags, the vehicle usually needs to come within 50 feet of the reader for it to work.
This process isn’t like pressing a garage door opener as you pull into the driveway, or entering a code on a gate control panel. It is done automatically and usually doesn’t require any input from the driver other than having an authorized tag.
What Do RFID Gate Entry Systems Cost?
RFID gate systems can vary greatly in cost depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the system, the type of RFID technology used, the brand, and other features. On average, a basic RFID gate system can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, while more advanced systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. To get an accurate idea of the cost of an RFID gate system that meets your specific needs, it is recommended to get quotes from several suppliers. Proptia vets and partners with top-notch security and access control integrators across the country.
Reach out and we’re happy to refer you to a local access control installer.
Maintenance and upkeep of RFID gate entry systems
RFID gate entry systems require little maintenance and are easy to maintain. The only regular maintenance required is cleaning the reader and replacing the batteries in the RFID tags or cards. The system can be diagnosed and repaired by a technician if issues arise
Integration with other access control systems
RFID gate entry systems can be integrated with other access control systems, including License Plate Recognition, CCTV cameras, intercoms, and alarm systems. Residential HOAs and commercial sites can thus benefit from a more comprehensive security solution
RFID gate entry systems are compatible with a range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This allows for easy entry and exit for residents and employees.The most common locations for vehicle RFID tags are either on the windshield or the headlamps.
For windshield placements, there are two options: one is to place the tag inside the vehicle, and the other is to affix it to the outside of the windshield.
If you choose to put the tag on the outside of the windshield, be sure to do so in a location that will not obstruct your view while driving. The best place is usually in the lower left or right corner of the windshield.
If you opt for an inside placement, the tag can go in several locations. The most popular spot is on the dashboard in the center of the vehicle just below the windshield. Others include:
- On the driver’s side visor
- Glued to the back of the rearview mirror
- In a small pouch that hangs from the rearview mirror
For headlamp placements, there are the same two options, though the internal placement of the tag can be difficult depending on the vehicle.
That’s why companies like Infinity RFID provide Break on Removal (BOR) or Non-Transferrable, Non-Removable (NTNR) technology. The purpose of this is to prohibit people from stealing the transponders and using them to get into a secured area or to prohibit authorized people from removeing the tag from their vehicle and sharing it with unauthorized individuals. One the tag is fixed to an area, removing it will cause the antenna to break instantly deactivating the transponder.
Otherwise, gaining access could be as easy as swiping a tag off a parked car. The whole point of using RFID for gate entry is to make things more secure, not less.
How does RFID gate entry systems compare to other popular access control options?
Just because it is an effective solution, doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best option for every business or community. Let’s take a look at some other alternatives and how they compare.
For decades, the only option that was considered for most businesses was to hire on-premises security guards. These guards are responsible for manually checking ID badges or keys and then allowing employees or residents to enter the facility.
While this option is still widely used, it can be quite costly, especially for smaller businesses or communities. In addition, security guards are human and as such are subject to error. They could easily let someone in who shouldn’t have access or fail to notice an intruder.
As working hours stretch toward 24-hour cycles, it can also be difficult (and expensive) to staff security guards around the clock. An RFID gate entry system, on the other hand, can be scheduled to offer access whenever necessary.
One of the most popular vehicle access control options is keypads. For unstaffed locations, keypads can be a great solution. They are typically less expensive to install than RFID readers and don’t require any special hardware or software.
However, they also come with some drawbacks. First, keypads can be easy for intruders to figure out if they have enough time and patience. Second, it’s very easy for individuals to share their access code with whomever they choose to. You’ll have no control over who knows the code or who has used the code to gain entry. Because of this maintaning access codes can be cumbersome since you’ll have to change the codes on a regular basis to prohibit code sharing.
Depending on what kind you install, this isn’t an issue with RFID readers, as they can often work without connection to the power grid. Finally, if you have a high turnover rate, keypads can be a hassle to change. With an RFID system, you can simply deactivate a tag and issue a new one to the employee or resident.
Keycard or keyfob
Another method that has grown in popularity is the keycard or keyfob system. This option is similar to an RFID system, but instead of a tag being affixed to the vehicle, it is carried by the employee or resident. When they approach the gate, they will hold up their keycard or keyfob and the reader will unlock the gate.
One advantage of this system is that it can be used for both vehicular and pedestrian gates. However, it does have some disadvantages that aren’t present with vehicle RFID tags.
If an employee or resident loses their keycard or keyfob, you will need to deactivate it and issue them a new one. While they do have a relatively low individual cost, the price can add up if you have a high turnover rate. Additionally, if they are stolen, an intruder could potentially gain access to your facility before you realize it has been taken.
ANPR, or Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, is a type of vehicle access control that uses cameras to read license plates. When a vehicle approaches the gate, the ANPR system will take a picture of the license plate and compare it to a database of authorized vehicles. If the plate is in the database, the gate will open.
While these systems do have a higher upfront cost, they have the potential to be more secure than RFID readers. They can also be used for things like issuing parking permits and tracking vehicles that enter and exit your property. However, they do have some drawbacks.
First, they require a clear line of sight to work properly, so if you have a lot of trees or other obstacles near your gate, it might not be the best option. Additionally, ANPR systems can sometimes have difficulty reading plates that are covered in dirt or snow.
If an employee or resident is forced to use a rental car, or borrow someone else’s vehicle, there can also be additional red tape to get them added to the system before heading to work.
Data privacy and security concerns with RFID technology
The privacy and security of data are important concerns with any technology, including RFID. A RFID gate entry system transmits encrypted data to protect personal information and prevent unauthorized access. To further enhance privacy and security, RFID gate entry systems can be configured to delete personal information after a certain period of time.
Future advancements in RFID technology
RFID technology is constantly evolving and advancing, and new advancements are expected in the future. This may include increased data storage capabilities, enhanced encryption techniques, and improved reader technology, biometrics, as well as additional integration with vehicle registration and speeding technology.
Getting started with an RFID Gate Entry Systems
The best part about RFID access is that it can be easily scaled by installing additional readers. If you have a limited budget, you can start with a single reader and add more as your needs grow.
If you’re ready to install an RFID access control system at your facility, we can help. The security experts at Proptia can examine your location and offer the most user-friendly access control system for your needs – whether it’s RFID, keycard, or something else entirely.
We’ll work with you to find the best solution for your business. Schedule a demo today!