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Synel access control system review

Simply efficient

Synel
(Image: © Synel)

Our Verdict

Synel offers a strong access control offering, with its forte being how well it can work with a time and attendance system.

For

  • Integrates well with time and attendance
  • Available security package
  • Trusted worldwide
  • Biometric options

Against

  • Opaque pricing
  • Limited hours of support
  • Missing chat and online portal for support

Synel is an Israeli based computing solution company which was established in 1991. It focuses on several related areas, which encompasses access control, time and attendance, scheduling, data collection and electronic registration. It offers an extensive catalog of both hardware and software, with a worldwide presence, and over 2,000 users just in the United Kingdom. 

Synel counts among their customers McDonald’s China, British Airways in the US, the Construction Bank of China, and Wal-Mart in China. In the United States, Synel has its office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Door Panel

(Image credit: Synel)

Features

Synel’s Access Control solution is all about integration with the company’s other offerings. This can lead to a more comprehensive solution, rather than multiple standalone solutions that don’t interface with each other.

For example, Synel also offers Harmony, a workforce management software. The Harmony software can control a CCTV monitoring interface that can show employee card swiping online, along with map synchronization. Furthermore, there is an alarm system that shows online zones and sensors, that with the easy to use interface, a manager has the capability to arm and disarm zones. There are additional features, such as a Smart Visitor management system, an online maps event display, online display of areas by events, and alert notifications through email and push messages. 

There is also a car parking module that is particularly slick, which allows for friendly parking lot management, with permission by either the individual employee, or by departmental group. It is quite simple to plan a visit, as any user is able to initiate a request. This includes assigning the visitor to obtain temporary credentials at the entry, and also a parking request which includes a date and time, and the license. These parking credentials are via the Synel Vehicle Access Control System.

Biometrics

(Image credit: Pixabay)

In order to enhance security, many organizations are looking beyond the typical access cards. While these access cards offer a certain level of security, the concern is that they can be lost, or that the credentials can be grabbed and a duplicate card made. A good countermeasure to such concerns is to integrate in biometric security. This allows a unique characteristic of a person’s body, often a fingerprint, to be used as an additional measure for access.

Fingerprints are common as a biometric security measure as it is a stable and unique feature on the human body, and also the fingerprint readers are affordable as well. These fingerprint sensors from Synel have a high matching performance, are durable even when used outdoors, and have a unique dual frequency multi-card reader technology, all in a single package. These Synel fingerprint sensors feature a quad core CPU for speedy performance. In addition, to avoid being fooled, there is LFD, which is a live finger detection technology, to ensure the fingerprint is on a living person, and not a 3D printed facsimile. Class leading performance is promised by Synel as this all comes together, via the latest in fingerprint recognition technology. 

For example, Synel’s Bioentry W2 is an outdoor fingerprint sensor which has second generation biometric security. Synel also offers less robust, and in turn, more affordable solutions as well, such as the Bioentry P2, which while it does have a fingerprint sensor, is designed as a cost effective solution for an indoor application. Options are also provided to incorporate biometric security into attendance hardware to eliminate fraud as a fingerprint is used to confirm the employee’s identity for clocking in and out.

Support

Synel offers support via a variety of methods. There are both toll free, and paid numbers available for support. However, be aware that the hours of support are limited to only weekdays, between the hours of 6 AM to 5 PM, in Mountain Standard Time in the US. 

There is also a fax number available. A direct email is also provided; these latter two options are ideal for those that don’t need help right away, and can wait for a response. There is also a Fingerprint Enrollment Guide that can be accessed for help with that specific issue.

Overall, Synel also lacks some of the more modern options that at least some of its competitors offer, such as a FAQ, an online portal for an inquiry, nor the option for online chat. There is also no further content provided, such as whitepapers, webinars, eBooks, or a community forum.

Pricing

Synel does not provide pricing on its website for an access control system, nor any of its other services. Synel takes the stance that “Each business has a unique set of needs,” so that potential users should get in touch so that a custom quote can be generated. 

Contact with the company is accomplished either via a phone number, a dedicated email for sales, or via an online portal, which requires supplying your name, company name, company email, and business phone number prior to contact.

ROI Calculator

(Image credit: Synel)

While no specific pricing could be found on the Synel website, a ROI calculator is found. This requires entering some company parameters, such as the number of employees and the type of pay periods, which then provides a cost analysis of the savings to be had with a Synel solution, although it relates more to time and attendance than pure access control.

Final verdict

For a company looking for a single solution for access control, and time and attendance functions, Synel is a powerful entry. Additional pros include the biometric offerings, and the availability on a worldwide basis. Shortcomings range from the opaque pricing, to the support issues of limited hours, and the missing support contact methods, such as no chat nor an online support portal.