Access Control Systems vs Smart Locks for Coworking Spaces

Before opening a coworking space you have to decide how you want to secure your space.

There are several possibilities depending on the purpose and size of the space. Your choice is between manual systems for example key locks and electronic systems such as access control systems or smart locks.

A common question is: What is the difference between an access control system and a smart lock? Although they may both seem like high-tech, similar options, the truth is that there are very big differences between the two solutions.

In order to offer a realistic, feature-based comparison, we'll look at the key differences between the access control system from Kisi and the smart locks from two of the mayor manufacturers: August and Kwikset Kevo.

Key differences and how to choose:

What is it?

  • Kisi: Full-scale access control system
  • August: Off -the-shelf, battery powered
  • Kevo: Off -the-shelf, battery powered

Main target

  • Kisi: Commercial facilities / Coworking Spaces
  • August: Residential
  • Kevo: Residential

Main use

  • Kisi: Meant for frequent use from different users
  • August: Friends & family / stable user base
  • Kevo: Friends & family / stable user base


  • Kisi: Hundreds or thousands of openings a day
  • August: Several openings a day
  • Kevo: Several openings a day


  • Kisi: Management, monitoring and analytics software; Multi location management; Different access profiles e.g. 24/7; day access; one time access. Full integration with coworking CRMs (Cobot, Office R&D, Nexudus, Sharedesk).
  • August: Limited management, monitoring, analytics and customization possibilities. Integrations only with smart home devices like thermostat and alarm system.
  • Kevo: Limited management, monitoring, analytics and customization possibilities. Integrations only with smart home devices like thermostat and alarm system.

Keys / User number

  • Kisi: Remote unlocks, unlimited keys
  • August: Limited keys, remote unlocks
  • Kevo: Limited keys, remote unlocks available on Pro version


  • Kisi: Controller + electronic locking hardware (electric strike, magnetic lock, electric mortise lock)
  • August: Deadbolt Attachment
  • Kevo: Deadbolt Attachment


  • Kisi: Technology agnostic
  • August: Bluetooth enabled
  • Kevo: Bluetooth enabled


  • Kisi: Professional installation recommended
  • August: Do-It-Yourself
  • Kevo: Do-It-Yourself


If you have a coworking space with a small of member base smart locks can be the right choice for you. However coworking spaces with 30+ members are better of with an electronic access system in order to have robust locks and the right management software in place. Some of the main benefits of access control system are the integration with other CRM systems and the possibility to unlock new profit sources thanks to easy administration of daily passes, access to meeting rooms, access restrictions during specific hours and overall lower maintenance and operational costs.

What business owners think about Kisi

These are just some of the unsolicited reviews of people that chose access control over simple smart locks systems.

If you are interested in Kisi's cloud access control and the special pricing for shared workspaces, you can find more information here.
The Yard Coworking

Learn how cloud-based access control saves The Yard's community managers 40+ hours each week.

Read the Case Study

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