Date icon20 April 2017

Internet Protocol Technology

Understanding Internet Protocol technology

You’d be hard pressed to find an industry or even area of business that hasn’t been revolutionised by the internet. Security is no exception: an increasing number of organisations are shunning analogue access control systems in favour of connected set-ups, and it’s not difficult to see why.

By using Internet Protocol (IP) technology, these advanced security solutions offer greater convenience and better protection than their legacy counterparts – which, in turn, means a better return on investment for your business.

What is Internet Protocol?

A discussion around IP can be as complex as you want to make it, but in general terms it describes the method by which data is sent from one device to another over the internet. Your computer, for example, will have at least one ‘IP address’ that identifies it as unique from all other connected devices out there.

When a device sends or receives data, that information is transferred in pieces, known as packets. Each packet contains the IP addresses of both sender and recipient, and is free to find the best possible route to its destination before being reunited with its complementary pieces upon arrival.

Of course, this process is most relatable when you consider activities like sending emails and accessing web pages, but it’s also allowing security equipment to communicate effectively. You may already be familiar with connected CCTV – now, access control products are beginning using it in a similar fashion.

The benefits of IP in access control

The key advantage of IP-based access control is the ability to monitor individual devices – or groups of devices – remotely from any location; all it takes is an internet connection. This means changes can be made quickly and efficiently without anyone being sent to a physical location, be it a keypad, barrier or fingerprint scanner.

Having this kind of freedom to manage things from afar makes it much more time- and cost-effective to secure larger business premises, whether it’s just one multi-storey building or multiple properties spread across a larger area. It means your security team can be smaller, and those staff you do have are able to focus their expertise on other core responsibilities.

Scalability is another consideration. When security devices are connected to a central control hub via consolidation points throughout a building, it becomes easier to add more as your business grows. Increased integration and user-friendliness makes the process of assigning new user credentials extremely simple, while leaving your IT team confident that overall security remains tight during and after the changes.

The way forward

Seeing as most organisations already have existing IP networks in place, the costs of installing and using a connected access control system are low when compared with traditional analogue set-ups. This, along with the convenience discussed above, all but confirms that the adoption of IP-based security measures will continue to grow.

What’s more, as the sector moves forward and technologies advance, it’s safe to say the solutions available will continue evolving to offer new capabilities and even tighter protection. And, with IP technology allowing so much flexibility, it’ll be easy to take advantage.

Do you think IP-based access control could benefit your organisation? Get in touch with our experts today.