Most companies have a similar requirement: protect the premises against burglary, theft and unauthorized access as comprehensively as possible. However, the actual implementation tends to fall by the wayside. Often because many questions come up: which access solution best suits our needs? How much does it cost? Is it easy to manage and use? One important choice is between online or offline access control – and what actually is the difference?

Standalone access control

Offline, or standalone access control systems for small projects can be quickly implemented and at no great cost. Only basic control is required: a reader/keypad, a proximity tag/card, and a power supply. Each door can only be unlocked with a credential or code which has been issued to the user authorized for that specific door access.

Doors cannot be centrally managed and controlled. Each tag is manually added to each individual door controller that the tag is required to access; as opposed to online access control that allows you to change/update authorizations from a computer or smartphone.


  • Simplicity – no computer access required
  • No congregated wiring system
  • Little to no maintenance
  • In the event of a break-in, could be more easily disabled
  • Affordable for small budgets
  • No data reporting for accountability
  • No specialist training needed for end user
  • No remote/centralized access; each tag must be memorized on each controller individually

Online access control



The main benefit of centralized door access systems is their scalability. Additional advantages of centralized technologies include the creation of different user profiles for different access points, as well as better visibility and monitoring though an events log. It is also possible to integrate extra security services. We can also take advantage of the advanced functions to control the capacity of certain spaces and locate specific individuals.



With online access control solutions, all data is managed in one central system, such as CDVI’s ATRIUM software. User profiles, access levels, and tag/card management can all be administered from one computer. Advanced features can allow external service providers to enter the premises for limited periods if required, and all granted and denied entries/exits are documented for later analysis.

Through ATRIUM, security managers benefit from the freedom to manage and monitor access from anywhere, in real time.

  • More secure as hardware is monitored and set up indoors
  • Can become costly
  • Centralized control
  • Assisted training is needed
  • Higher capacity of users and doors
  • Maintenance is more advanced
  • Simple & user-friendly interface
  • Can be more invasive to install the required hardware
  • Remote functionality
  • Stored data for accountability


Online access control allows facilities managers to monitor their systems and buildings remotely. Remote monitoring makes it easier to keep an eye on security no matter where you are. If all you need to access the system is a web browser and an internet connection, you can log in from anywhere on any device.

A flexible, scalable access control solution for up to 500 doors

Find out more about ATRIUM access control. Backed by a five-year warranty, ATRIUM offers the peace of mind of a reliable system for you and your customers.