Our Intro to Access Controls: Intercoms vs. Telephone Entry Systems

Whether you own a residential or commercial property, an access control system is a great asset. Although the terms intercom system and telephone entry system are often used interchangeably, they both have different features and intended uses. Here’s what you need to know.

Intercoms at Entry Points

Intercoms are stand-alone, two-way communication systems that are generally hard-wired into your home or business' electrical system. Intercom systems are made up of a master station that’s installed inside your home or business and a substation that’s placed outside, next to an entry point such as a door or gate. Both the master and substations are equipped with speakers and a microphone.

When a visitor arrives at your property, they press a button on the intercom panel to alert you that they’re requesting entry. You can verify the identity of the guest by speaking directly to them through the speaker and then proceeding to unlock the door or gate.

Telephone Entry Systems

Telephone entry systems are generally connected to a phone line and consist of a base station that’s installed at the entry point. Residential units generally have a single call button. However, commercial systems will have a screen or keypad so visitors can enter a code or select a name or department from a list.

When a visitor arrives, they can request entry by pressing a call button. You’ll be alerted that someone’s trying to get in via a phone call to your landline or cellphone. Once you answer, you can easily communicate with the guest because the base station has a microphone and speaker. Once you’re ready, you can simply press a button on your phone to unlock the door or gate.

Unique Features of Telephone Entry and Intercom Systems

Intercoms are most often used for small- and medium-size properties like residential homes, schools, and offices. Conversely, telephone entry systems are designed to serve large, gated communities, apartment buildings, and condominium complexes with hundreds or thousands of tenants.

Both intercom and telephone entry systems can be equipped with video. In fact, many telephone entry systems use the camera on your smartphone to provide video functionality.

Additionally, some telephone and intercom systems offer different access methods like virtual keys for planned visits and delivery PINs for delivery people. Additionally, some entry systems can be connected to Wi-Fi to take photos of visitors or record the time and date of every call.

All in all, both telephone and intercom entry systems allow you to securely and effortlessly manage the traffic flow in and around your home or business.

How To Choose The Right Access Control System

The type of access system you choose will largely depend on the size of your operation. For example, a telephone entry system is ideal for large apartment buildings because it’s easy to program several tenants into one system. In fact, some systems don’t even require reprogramming if one resident moves out and another moves in.

However, if you simply want the convenience of talking to a food delivery person at your door, a basic intercom system may be more practical. In addition, an intercom may be suitable for front desk workers who need to occasionally unlock a door from their reception desk.

The Importance of Professional Installation

Access control systems can help protect your property from thieves, vandals and intruders. Therefore, you shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to proper installation. Fortunately, you can rely on the technicians at Creative Door Services™ to install and service your telephone entry or intercom system. This is because we ensure all our installers participate in ongoing training and certification programs. You can rest assured your access control system will function perfectly and meet all your security needs.

Access Controls for Residential and Commercial Properties

If you need a residential or commercial access system, look no further than Creative Door Services™. We have one of the largest product portfolios in Canada and carry a wide range of parts and accessories to ensure your system is safe, reliable and easy to use. Plus, our team of experts provides on-demand installation, maintenance and repair services.

If you need a quote or you have any questions about our products and services, contact one of our eight branches in Western Canada. We have locations in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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