Differences Between Master Key System and Electronic Locking System

Master Key System is a mechanical lock system that is typically used in large buildings or institutions such as apartments, schools, and hotels. This system allows different locks to be opened by the same master key, while each has its own specific sub-keys that can only open certain locks. The design and management of this system require a high level of professional skills and management ability because improper management can lead to security risks and chaos.
Electronic locking system are electronic systems that can manage the entry and exit of buildings or rooms through identity verification and access authorization. This system typically uses electronic access cards, or biometric technology to confirm identity and control access to different areas or rooms based on different permission levels. This system is more flexible, secure, and easy to manage than mechanical lock systems.
Here is a detailed comparison between Master Key System and Electronic Locking System:

1. Design and Principles

Master Key System is a mechanical lock system based on mechanical components and keys. Typically, the system consists of a master key and multiple subkeys. Different locks can be opened with different subkeys, but all locks can be opened with the same master key. The design of this system requires a high level of expertise and experience because it involves different locks, subkeys, and master keys.
Electronic locking system is an electronic system that uses electronic devices and computers to manage and control access. The system typically includes card readers, keypad, biometric devices, and controllers. Using these devices, personnel can be identified and verified, and access can be controlled to different rooms or areas. This system is designed to be more flexible and intelligent, and can be configured and managed as needed.

2. Security

Both Master Key System and Electronic Locking System can provide security and protection. Master Key System can ensure that only authorized personnel can enter specific rooms or areas as they hold the corresponding sub-keys or master key. However, if the master key is stolen or lost, all locks may be compromised. On the other hand, Access Control System uses electronic devices to verify and control access, making it more secure and reliable, as only authorized personnel can pass the verification and authorization to enter specific areas or rooms.

3. Management and Maintenance

Both Master Key System and Electronic Locking System require management and maintenance. Master Key System needs regular replacement of lock cores, keys, and master keys to ensure security and reliability. This system requires high levels of expertise and experience because different locks, sub-keys, and master keys need to be managed and maintained. On the other hand, Electronic Locking System requires software updates, device configuration, and electronic equipment maintenance. This system requires more IT skills and management abilities to ensure system stability and reliability.

4. Convenience and Flexibility

Master Key System has relatively low convenience and flexibility. Typically, each lock requires a specific key, so when access permissions need to be changed, all the keys, including the master key, need to be replaced. On the other hand, Electronic Locking Systems can manage and change access permissions more flexibly, such as adding or removing users in the system, changing access time or area, etc. This system can adjust and manage access permissions more quickly and conveniently.

5. Cost

Master Key System is typically cheaper than Electronic Locking Systems because it is a mechanical system rather than an electronic system. However, if a large number of locks and keys need to be managed, the Master Key System may require more time and resources to maintain and manage. On the other hand, Electronic Locking Systems typically require higher investments because they involve the purchase, installation, and maintenance of electronic equipment and software. However, this system can better control and manage access permissions, reducing security risks and losses.
In some cases, Electronic Locking Systems may bring higher benefits, such as in large campuses or institutions that require efficient management and monitoring of access permissions.

6. Scalability and Compatibility

Access control systems usually have better scalability and compatibility, as they can be integrated with other systems and devices. For example, access control systems can be integrated with video surveillance systems, door entry systems, and alarm systems to enhance security and protection. In addition, access control systems can improve system functionality and performance through software updates and upgrades. Master Key Systems have relatively lower scalability and compatibility because they are mechanical systems that cannot be integrated with other electronic devices.

7. Operability

Access control systems have higher operability compared to Master Key Systems. Access control systems can be remotely controlled and managed through networks or cloud platforms, such as real-time monitoring and control via mobile applications or desktop software. In contrast, Master Key Systems can only be controlled by distributing keys and cannot be monitored or remotely controlled in real-time. This means that access control systems may be more convenient and practical when there is a need for quick changes in access permissions or real-time monitoring.
The above are some aspects that may need to be considered, and the specific comparison and selection should be based on comprehensive evaluation and judgment according to actual needs and circumstances.