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Honeywell Access Control Systems review

Sophisticated security solutions from a household name

Honeywell Access Control Systems
(Image: © Honeywell)

Our Verdict

Honeywell offers a leading, industry standard solution, that can meet the needs of a number of different types of facilities for their access control systems.

For

  • Integrated security control
  • Easily scales as software supports unlimited cardholders
  • Simple installation
  • Maintenance tasks are available off site

Against

  • Limited phone support hours of operation
  • Opaque pricing
  • Some support options missing

Honeywell’s history goes over a century back, to the founding by Mark C. Honeywell. The first product that came out was a thermostat. Through the years, Honeywell has been involved in a variety of products, from missile guidance systems during World War II, automatic pilot systems in the 1950’s, and 14 inch hard drives (!) in the 1970’s. 

Today, Honeywell is a multi-billion dollar corporation, with presence in multiple sectors, including access control technologies. This is an increasingly important piece of technology that can control the flow of employees and visitors in a facility, so that those “Authorized Personnel Only” signs actually mean what they say.

Features

Honeywell Access Control Systems get used across a number of different industries, to provide control for the flow of personnel. This includes diverse sectors such as airports, critical infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality, and retail.

A popular Access Control System that Honeywell offers is its Win-Pak Integrated Security Software. This provides a single interface, which integrates building access control, video surveillance, and intrusion protection all in a single interface. The interface is an attractive, browser-based one, and can be used by users from anywhere there is an internet connection, rather than having to be physically located in the facility to access.

Scaling for this Honeywell product is a real plus here. The Win-Pak solution can grow from a single site, and scale up to provide coverage on an enterprise level, including multiple facilities, and no restriction on the number of users managed. This means both an unlimited number of cardholders, at an unrestricted number of sites and access points. There are some limits to the system, although most won’t run into them too easily, as it supports up to 40 recorders, and 2,560 cameras.

Realistically, no single solution can provide all the functions needed, and enterprises often turn to third party solutions to supplement. To its credit, Honeywell supports a number of third party solutions including “HID's Mobile Access, BioConnect Suprema and Morpho biometrics, point-of sale systems, visitor management, and HR applications,” which pretty much runs the gamut of what users may need.

Server deployments costs get minimized, as the Win-Pak software supports VMWare 6.5.

The cost for maintenance is always a concern with an access control system. Honeywell attempts to keep the cost low by making it an automated process, while building in the flexibility to have it be customizable. This includes features such as having automated system reporting that can be sent via email. Also, daily access control tasks don’t need to be performed on site, but rather can be performed anywhere via the web interface. Finally, the API that is included is designed for custom integrations for third-party systems. 

A strength of Honeywell’s offering is that there are several options offered. This starts with the control panels, such as the MPA2, that is a web-based solution, and provides “Solutions for installations of any size.” It does not require a dedicated PC nor additional software costs, as it can be managed over the internet through a browser interface. It also does not even need a screwdriver for installation, but rather is plug and play with CAT 5 and 6 Ethernet cabling.

Honeywell also has other options for their control panels, including the NetAXS-4, NetAXS-123 and PRO3200.

Support

(Image credit: Honeywell)

Support

Support for Honeywell Access Control Systems is detailed on its website. Overall, the options are limited to the essential ones as there is no offering for a chat, or direct email exchange.

The first option is a toll free, 800 number, which is used for both Customer Service needs, and Technical Support, although the departments are divided in the phone menu. Unfortunately, the hours of operation are quite limited to only Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM EST.

Email support is also available via an online portal designated as Honeywell Discover. Login credentials are required, and some users may prefer just a direct email address, but this is not provided. Through this online portal, users can also register for classroom training.

An additional portal, the MyWebTech Customer Portal has additional resources that includes a download library for software and firmware updates, a Knowledge Base Library for technical bulletins and user guides, and a notification center. Finally, additional self help is provided with resources that include playlists of how to videos.

Pricing

The pricing for the Honeywell Access Control Systems is opaque, and not readily available on the site. To a certain extent, this is understandable, as the product needs to be custom deployed to each facility, with a myriad of options.

Contact with the company is required for a quote, via the same toll free number for support. Of note, the hours of sales are also weekdays, but extend for an hour later, from 8 AM to 6 PM EST.

There exists another option to purchase. Alternately, these systems are also sold from authorized dealers that may be more convenient, and can provide the pricing.

Final verdict

Facilities looking for an access control solution should take a serious look at the Honeywell offerings. The strengths include the choice of control panels, the ability to scale as the facility grows, and the possibility of accessing and controlling it off site through an easy to use browser based interface. The weaknesses include the completely opaque pricing, the lacking support options for a direct email exchange and chat, and the limited hours of phone support. Overall, Honeywell is a compelling option in the crowded field of access control.