How Gate Codes Can Be Used to Control Access in Gated Communities

The vast majority of urban dwellers would prefer to reside in a gated community. It’s because residents in a gated community are perceived as high-status and affluent. Status is one thing, but a gated community will also give you and your family both privacy and security.

Modern gated communities ensure access control is maintained in a number of ways, but one of the most popular is by using gate codes. This access method requires you to enter a code on a pin pad before entering the gated community. You can also use a pin pad to control a gate on a private residence. However, there are more modern and convenient modes of secure entry, like cellular access technology, that will likely replace gate codes wholesale in the future. 

How To Manage Entry Restricting Codes

Each gated community might have a different method to allow access to and from its electric gate. The communities that use gate codes will have different ways of handling them. These codes, which will enable a person or vehicle access to the community, are vital. Access managers should not share the gate codes too widely.

One way of managing entry access codes is by giving each community resident a unique code that they use to access the community. This method is effective because it limits sharing of the code among residents. In addition, if an unauthorized person gains entry to the community, the code used can be identified quickly and the security breach sealed without affecting the community’s other residents.

A challenge with unique codes for every resident comes when one resident has frequent guests around their home. Since the gate code is only given to residents, you have to open the gate for each of your guests. Sharing the gate code with visitors beats the point of having unique access codes and creates an access vulnerability where unauthorized persons can gain access to the property. They may also share the code further, which again heightens the vulnerability. You might want to share the code anyway, but it could be against community guidelines. Other access control methods might work better, such as cellular access, where you can easily give and revoke access via your smartphone.

The other method involves sharing one gate code with all gated community residents. The gate can be easily breached if everyone shares the same code, especially in large gated communities. If you need to trace access for any reason, you’ll hit a brick wall because everyone uses the same access code. It’ll be hard to puzzle out where the actual breach came from. 

Having different codes for each household is better security-wise, but it can be pretty challenging to manage. 

Are gate codes secure?

Using gate codes for cellular access control is supposed to make it harder for non-residents to gain entry. However, the majority of gated communities operate unmanned gates, which means that unauthorized people can breach code-operated gates easily. The gated community news article on tailgating outlines one of the most common ways to gain access to gated communities. It’s just one example of breaching, but other elements of criminality do occur. 

When used correctly, entry access codes significantly improve the security of a gated zone. However, correct usage implies that all the rules regarding sharing the gate code as set by the property manager or owner are strictly followed. Negligence around gate code management will result in the code getting into the wrong hands, and in that case, you might as well not even have an electric gate.

To ensure that the codes remain a secure and effective method of limiting entry to a gated community the residents must be made aware of the part they have to play in ensuring that the code does not leak to outsiders.

Residents should always enter the code inconspicuously, especially when they are in the company of a non-resident. Failure to do this will enable the person accompnyting the resident to take note of the code, which can be further passed on at a later date. Even if this is done in a non-malicious way, the code can end up in the wrong hands.

Remember To Change The Code

The residents should also refrain from sharing the gate code with their guests. It can be tempting to give someone a gate code instead of entering it yourself. However, doing so spreads the code out further. It might be someone you trust, but it still compromises security as immediately other people will know about it and can then tell others.

After a certain period of time, gate access codes need to be changed. Using one access code to open a gate for a prolonged period opens room for outsiders to acquire the gate code you use. Therefore, switching the gate code once every three months is ideal, but depending on your circumstances and crime in the local area, you might want to do it once a month instead.

A key problem and annoyance is in informing all of the residents of the new code. The changeover period between codes is bound to be filled with complaints of forgotten codes and residents being denied entry because they are using the expired code. However, this is necessary to maintain a high level of security. Remember, gate codes are archaic in this day and age. Many communities use cellular access, which is as simple as installing the system on the gate, downloading an app and being granted access. Also, any gate can be made into a smart gate.

Property managers also should ensure that the codes are complex. Using easy-to-guess combinations, such as 1234 or 3333 as the code, makes unauthorized access to the gated community easy. Certain access control devices also have default passwords that are used for testing. After installation, the default password should be changed or disabled to limit cases of illegal entry. If you and other residents are struggling, you can use a four-digit number generator to help you develop codes that aren’t too easy to guess.

Possibility of hacking entry access codes

No security system guarantees 100% success at stopping criminal action. It’s why home security technology is constantly expanding and upgrading. If there were a product that offered 100%, there wouldn’t be a need for anything else. A competent system will always seek to strike a balance between security and user access. As a result, criminals will find holes in the user access element to exploit.

Criminals will always work on defeating new security measures and it’s something to bear in mind. With enough conviction and time a criminal can overcome defenses, but gates are still great at stopping random acts of criminality such as thieving or burglary. 

Entry codes in particular have been exploited and hackers have found ways to cheat the systems. Hacking into gated communities is possible because different weaknesses exist in gate code systems that one can exploit to gain unauthorized access. Again, it’s why so many are turning to smart access technology where gate codes are a thing of the past. 

According to the hackers’ blog, for instance, some gate code systems do not limit the number of attempts that one could try to enter the code. This gives ample time for the hacker to guess the four-digit code that is used until they get it right. For those systems with difficult passwords, determined hackers can access the console with administrative rights, bypassing or changing the code as they see fit.

Hackers can also get into a residential access control system by being patient and waiting until they observe someone entering the access code. 


Entry access codes are helpful to gated property owners because they enhance security. However, only the correct usage of the gate codes by the owner, property managers, and residents can achieve the desired levels of security.

Inconveniences are also part of using access codes in gated communities. For instance, residents have to bear with the need to open the gate for guests. In case of emergencies, the access limiting codes could also hinder fast access of the properties to response teams such as ambulances and firefighters.

Evidently, these access codes need to be used in a manner that balances access and restriction to be able to work effectively.

Nowadays, it’s easy to upgrade a gate code security access system to a cellular access system. You don’t even need to change the gate.

If you want to know more about cellular access systems, visit our contact page. In addition, the blog is full of more electric gate content, and the testimonial page is excellent for reading up on how useful others have found smart access systems.

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