ZKTeco Atlas Series Review: The Best Access Control System for Beginners and Experts

When You're Ready to Jump Into Access Control, Start Here!

The ZKTeco Atlas Series is an incredible access control system. If this is your first time ever installing Access Control, or if you're a seasoned AC pro, you can't go wrong with ZKTeco. It has a ton of features which really sets it apart from the AC pack, and we'll take a look at those features here in just a bit. But first, if you're wondering what access control is or why you need it, you may want to check out this blog post. If you'd rather watch our review of the ZKTeco Atlas Series, click below to view our video.

ZKTeco Atlas: The Perfect Starter Access Control System

We can't recommend the ZKTeco Atlas Series enough. If you've been installing access control your whole life, you will love these panels and their many features. However, we also think this is the best access control system for beginners thanks to its power, simplicity, and flexibility.

The Atlas Series comes in two different product lines: the Atlas Prox and the Atlas Bio. Both have similar features and capabilities. The only difference is that the Atlas Bio line supports biometrics.

Have you ever wanted to scan your fingerprint to gain access to a restricted area? Yes, this makes you look cool and feel important. But it's also a much more safer method of access control. After all, despite what you see in the movies, it's difficult for someone to steal a fingerprint and trick the access controller. This is called biometrics. So if you want fingerprint scanning, you'll have to go with the Atlas Bio Line.

If you'd rather stick to the essentials—basic proximity readers, proximity cards and keyfobs, simple push-to-exit buttons—then the Prox Line is for you.

Other than that, these two boards have the same features, they use the same interface, and do the same things. So everything in the rest of this post applies to both the Atlas Prox and the Atlas Bio lines.

(From Left to Right) The Atlas Bio 160 Panel and the Atlas Prox 100 Panel
(From Left to Right) The Atlas Bio 160 Panel and the Atlas Prox 100 Panel

Here are the top four reasons why the ZKTeco Atlas Series is the best access control system for beginners and pros alike.

Simple & Flexible Installation

First and foremost, the ZKTeco Atlas Series has one of the simplest installations of any access control panel. It's also pretty flexible, as you have a couple of different setup options.

First is PoE (Power over Ethernet). We're big fans of PoE at Nelly's Security. It's the fastest way to get your security cameras set up, and now it's the most efficient way to set up your acess control, too. Simply connect the panel to a PoE switch and that's it. Your panel is now connected to power and to the network in one fell swoop. No need to mess with multiple cords.

Don't have a PoE switch? That's no problem, you can still power up your board by wiring it to a 12v DC power supply. If you take this route but you still don't want to mess with multiple cords, you can connect your panel to the network via Wi-Fi. You will still need a hardwired connection at first just to get the initial Wi-Fi set up. But after that, you're free to ditch the Ethernet cable. Just make sure your panel is in an area where it will get a consistently strong Wi-Fi signal.

Connect your Atlas AC panel to power and to the network with PoE
Connect your Atlas AC panel to power and to the network with PoE
Connect your Atlas AC Panel to the network via Wi-Fi
Connect your Atlas AC Panel to the network via Wi-Fi

Built-In Web Interface

With other access control systems, you'll likely have to invest in a third party management software. These can be bulky, expensive, and hard to use. ZKTeco lets you cut out the middle man with its built-in web interface! Log into the interface by typing the IP address into your internet browser. You now have instant access to your system's live monitor, configurations and settings, and controls and commands.

The ZKTeco Atlas Series comes with a built-in web interface. This is the login screen.
The ZKTeco Atlas Series comes with a built-in web interface. Here's a screenshot of the live monitor on the home screen of the interface.

Companion Mobile App

The built-in web browser is great for when you're sitting at your desk. But what about when you're on the move? With the ZKTeco companion mobile device (for Android and Apple devices) you can monitor and control your AC system from anywhere in the world, so long as your ports are open. All you need is a static IP address from their ISP. Keep in mind that the panels come with one free license for mobile access. To add additional mobile devices, you'll have to purchase more licenses.

Did you forget your proximity card at home? Override the door mode schedule and unlock the door from your phone! View and call existing users, create new users, and view events as they happen in real time.

The ZKTeco App allows you to view and manage your access control system on the go.

Price Point

Here's the best part. All of this is at a price point that you can't beat. ZKTeco's Atlas Series comes with everything you need for a complete Access Control system for a very competitive price. With other higher-end systems, you'll end up paying a lot more money for a lot more obscure features that you'll probably never use.

ZKTeco Atlas Series Setup and Demo

Now you know what makes the ZKTeco Atlas Series one of the best Access Control systems regardless of your previous experience. In this section, we're going to take a look at what this system can do. I took a Single Door Atlas Control panel (the Atlas 100) and set it up in our tech room here at Nelly's Security. Here's exactly how it went.

Hardware

Here I pieced together a system that included the AC panel, a magnetic lock, a push-to-exit button, and a ZKTeco proximity reader. I'd never installed an access control system before ZKTeco Atlas, and I have to say, it was much easier than I expected. I simply followed the wiring diagrams in the included quick start guide and I had the whole thing ready to go in no time.

Wiring the Proximity Reader
Wiring the Proximity Reader
Wiring the REX Button
Wiring the REX Button
Wiring the Magnetic Lock
Wiring the Magnetic Lock

Once everything was wired, all I had to do was connect it to our PoE switch with an Ethernet cable, and everything was powered and connected to the network. Once all the hardware is in place, the next step is to hop onto the interface and get the whole system up and running.

Interface Configuration

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest selling points of this system is that you don't have to use a bulky and expensive third party management software. By logging into the interface from your web browser, you have instant access to your system's monitor and settings.

Now there are a ton of settings you can adjust from these menus. How you set up your system is totally going to depend on your unique situation. No two systems will be set up the exact same way. In the video at the top of this post I go over a few of the most basic settings you can achieve from this interface. For an extended extended demo of the setup process, check out this video. I go a little bit more in depth on the interface configurations and show you a few of the things you can do with this access control panel.

Here are a few of the settings I demonstrate in this video:

  • Create locations and areas: For the most part, these are simply labels to help you keep track of your system and quickly identify who is going through which doors.
  • Create maps of your building: For a more visual monitor, you can upload maps and add indicators for your panels and doors. Later you can monitor your access system in real time from this map view.
  • Set up Special Days: Special days allow your access control system's behavior to deviate from the norm depending on the day. So if your office is closed on a holiday, for instance, you can make sure your doors will stay locked.
  • Create Door Mode Schedules: Want your doors to lock automatically at closing time? Do you want your access control system to only grant access to people with proximity cards during a certain time of day? This is where you would go to set all this up.
  • Create User Groups and Mult-User Access: Do you have a super high-security room that you need multiple people in order to access? Here's where you can set up different groups of people and set up granted access based on those groups.
  • Set Up User Schedules: Like door-mode schedules, a user schedule allows you set up a schedule for different types of people. Want your supervisors to have 24/7 access, even when the door-mode schedule is set to no access? Set up a "Supervisor" schedule here.
  • Design Card Formats: If you print your own designs on your proximity cards, you can create those designs here. As you add new users, their cards will automatically
  • Add New Users: Once all those parameters have been set, you can actually start adding your users. Input their information, give them a PIN and a Card number, add them to a user group, give them a user schedule, and much more.

Keep in mind that we're just scraping the surface here. This section is meant to spark your imagination. Think of all the ways your business could use this access control panel and its endless configurations. The only limit is your creativity. Well, your creativity and the number 84, which is the maximum amount of doors you can have on one system. Regardless, there's a lot you can do with up to 84 doors.

ZKTeco Atlas Series Access Control Purchasing Options and Products

When you're ready to jump into access control, look no further than the ZKTeco Atlas Series product line. These products are simple enough for the beginner and powerful enough for the experienced. If you're ready to buy yours today, we have a couple of different options for you.

The ZKTeco Atlas Prox 100
The ZKTeco Atlas Bio 160

Access Control Complete Kits

Whether you're interested in the Atlas Prox or the Atlas Bio line, all of our Atlas panels come in complete kits. We sell single door, 2-door, and 4-door kits here at Nelly's Security. These kits come with everything you need to get started, including:

  • The Atlas AC Panel (1, 2, or 4 door)
  • Metal Cabinet
  • Proximity Readers and Cards (Prox Series)
  • Fingerprint Scanners (Bio Series)
  • Power Supply
Access Control Kits come with everything you need to get started with Access Control.

Access Control Bundles

In addition to kits, our Atlas Prox line also comes in three bundles, with either the single door, 2-door, or 4-door panel. Unlike a kit, a bundle does not include all the hardware for a complete system. But it does include everything for a functional panel. The bundle includes:

  • The Atlas Prox AC Panel (1, 2, or 4 door)
  • Metal Cabinet
  • Power Supply
Atlas Prox Bundles come with everything you need for a functional panel

Custom System

If the kits and bundles aren't quite what you're looking for, feel free to browse our entire line of access control products to piece together your own system. Check out all of our ZKTeco products below to get an idea of what you might need. We have proximity readers, fingerprint scanners, cards, key fobs, and more. And if you run into any issues or if you need help putting together an AC system that works for you, don't hesitate to reach out and contact us!

Let us know in the comments below what you think about these ZKTeco Atlas products. Which feature are you most looking forward to?