Intro to UniFi Access

Are you still using traditional keys to control access to your facility? It’s time to upgrade to a more sophisticated system that ensures high security and convenience. The Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Access system is a game-changer in access control.

In the past you would call a locksmith, in the future you will call IT.

Michael Bolanos
IT & Security Consultant

This system uses badge cards instead of keys, which eliminates the risk of key duplication and lost keys. You can add and revoke access to users easily from the intuitive dashboard. The dashboard not only displays the access log of each user but also has a video recording of each entry. This feature provides a high level of security and helps to identify suspicious activities.

The UniFi Access system has a sleek and professional design that will blend in perfectly with any environment. With this system, you can customize the permissions of each user and assign different access levels to different areas. The system also provides real-time alerts for any unusual activity, ensuring that you always stay informed.

The UniFi Access can be used to replace older outdated or unsupported existing systems like the Kantech KT-400 that uses Weigand readers.

In summary, the UniFi Access system is a must-have for any facility that values high-security standards, convenience, and sleek aesthetics. Upgrade today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the UniFi Access system.

The Card Readers
Ubiquiti Networks currently has two generations of card readers on the market for access control to doors.

The Hub
The UniFi Access Hub hub is at the center of this system and is where the card readers connect to.

First you need an electric locking mechanism

There are many things to consider when designing a UniFi Access system.  For starters you must either already have an electric lock or latch on the door you will control with UniFi Access.  

If you do not already have an electric lock or latch you must choose one appropriate for your installation.  Some things to consider for your door locking mechanism:

  • Use a Magnetic Lock?
  • Use an Electric Strike?
  • Use an Electric Lock?

When a new lock is needed

  • You will need 18/2 wiring but 18/6 could give you some extra wire for a DPS (Door Position Sensor)
  • You can choose to install a pushbutton for easy exit or for a door attendant or front desk staff to control

Wiring the Card Readers

  • Ethernet (CAT5, CAT5e or CAT6 wiring will need to be ran to each of the Card Readers
  • Some installations only have a reader to enter the building
  • Some installations require the door to be locked at all times but also require a panic bar on the inside for easy exit

UniFi Access Reader Pro

As of 5/30/23 this reader is still the top model and part of the current generation. 

  • This reader has a camera and microphone and can accept pin codes in addition to using badges
  • There is also an NFC capability that also works with some 3rd party NFC devices
  • 1080p wide-angle camera
  • 1.96″ LCM touch display screen

UniFi Access Reader Lite

As of 5/30/23 this reader is basic model of the two mainline models in the current generation. 

  • This reader only has basic card/badge capabilities
  • NFC
  • hand waving
  • No camera or microphone

Second Generation Readers

UniFi Access Reader G2 Professional

The UniFi Access Reader G2 Professional is the second generation of the Pro model.  As of 5/31/23 it is available but still out of stock sometimes.

  • Same features as the first generation Pro model but also adds:
  • IP55 Rain Resistance
  • 12MP 4K Camera
  • Full UniFi Talk integration
  • 4.7″ touchscreen

UniFi Access Reader G2

The UniFi Access Reader G2 is the second generation of their lite model

  • Same features as the first generation Pro model but also adds:
  • IP55 weather resistance
  • Entry and exit greeting messages

UniFi Access Card

The UniFi Access Card is what Ubiquiti Networks offers for swiping the Card Reader.

  • Highly secure NFC
  • Credit card sized
  • Third party NFC is optional but not recommended
  • We have heard of instances of security issues when 3rd part cards were used
  • Optional pocket Keyfob (fits on a keychain)
  • Choose a pin code for entry instead of or additionally to using a card
  • You can choose a pin code of 4, 6, or 8 digits

UniFi Access Hub

This is the central part of the UniFi Access system.  The card readers and a camera can connect to the Access Hub.

Challenges with planning an installation

Challenges in planning a UniFi Access System:

    1. Interviewing People: Gathering information from relevant stakeholders is crucial for installing a UniFi access system. However, challenges may arise in coordinating interviews with individuals such as building managers, security personnel, and system administrators. It is important to schedule interviews and gather input while also considering local ordinances and regulations that may impact system requirements.
    2. Inspecting Existing Circuits: Inspecting the existing circuits poses challenges when installing a UniFi access system. Assessing the compatibility, condition, and compliance with local ordinances can be time-consuming and complex. Local regulations may dictate specific requirements for electrical installations, necessitating coordination with local authorities or electricians.
    3. Checking Doors and Locks: Determining the type of lock to be used (mag lock, strike, latch, or lock) and assessing the doors for compatibility presents challenges. Researching local ordinances and building codes is essential to ensure compliance with regulations regarding security, fire safety, and accessibility. This includes understanding requirements for door heights, locations, and any necessary modifications or replacements for existing card readers.
    4. Card Reader Placement and Wiring: Placing card readers at appropriate heights and locations while ensuring proper wiring adds complexity to the installation process. It involves considering local ordinances, accessibility guidelines, and user convenience. Additionally, if replacing old card readers, understanding the wiring requirements and running Ethernet connections to each reader can be challenging, requiring careful planning and execution.
    5. Evaluating Entry/Exit Usage: Evaluating how the UniFi access system will be used for entering or exiting the building requires thorough assessment. Understanding local ordinances related to security protocols, emergency exits, and user flow is crucial. Compliance with local fire codes, evacuation procedures, and other regulations must be considered to ensure the system aligns with safety and operational requirements.

Overall, the challenges revolve around effective communication and collaboration with stakeholders, technical inspections, and analyzing user requirements to ensure a successful installation of the UniFi access system.  Adhering to local laws ensures that the installation is both effective and compliant with the specific requirements of the local  jurisdiction.