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Swann Security Camera Review

A global leader in home security delivering value-packed options

Last Updated On: April 17, 2019
SecureScore™: 6.7/10
View Packages
6.7 SecureScore™
Customer Service
6.5
Value
6.3
Equipment
7.1
Features & Technology
7.3
Ease Of Use
6.2

Swann Camera Ratings

A trusted name in home security, Swann offers loads of products with slick features. We’re talking HD security cameras with heat-sensing technology. The systems also pair with Alexa and Google Assistant. Since we know you like options, choose from wired, wireless, or wire-free cams. And get 7 days of local storage, or pay for cloud storage. The one downside: their wireless connections are prone to interference. Get our experts’ thoughts in our Swann review.

PROS
  • Company’s been around a while
  • Wireless, wired, and wire-free set-ups available
  • Alexa and Google Assistant-compatible
  • Free local storage
  • Smartphone app with video
  • Easy setup options

CONS
  • Subscription required for cloud storage
  • Wireless connections prone to interference

Overview

Swann offers three types of security: wired, wireless, and wire-free. The second and third options are similar but differ in one key area: The wireless system runs on Wi-Fi, which makes it easier to set up and connect. However, the wireless cameras also plug into a power source, which means you’re still at least somewhat dependent on electricity.

For a completely wire-free experience, Swann offers cameras that run on rechargeable batteries. This is ideal if you’re a renter who doesn’t want to worry about losing your security system during a power outage. You will have to recharge the batteries, but it’s simpler than it sounds.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a large piece of property to protect, wireless might make the most sense. The set-up is more involved, but on the plus side, you get the most reliability because there’s no need to worry about other wireless connections interfering with your signal.

Features & Technology

All packages will alert you when activity is detected, and two of the four options allow for continuous recording as well. If you want professional-level security, check out the wired closed circuit television system. The CCTV system is not connectable to wi-fi, so you sacrifice a bit of connectivity for extra security in this case.

No Base Station Needed

Other security systems require a hub or base station. For the wireless and wire-free options, all you need is a wi-fi connection. Setting up multiple cameras is much simpler when you don’t need a base station or hub to pair with every camera.

1080p HD Video with Wide Viewing Angle

This high-resolution video allows you to get a detailed view of faces, license plates, and any other relevant things that pop up on camera. The wide 120-degree angle viewing lens is also helpful.

Recharge It Like a Phone

The wire-free cameras come with a USB cord that allow you to hook up to an outlet or computer USB to recharge. But you won’t need to plug it in nearly as much as you do your smartphone, as it only requires a charge every 3 to 4 weeks.

Local Storage or Cloud Storage

Don’t want to pay for storage? The camera has a backup that allows you 7 days of storage for hundreds of clips lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to a full minute. If you’d prefer storage on the cloud, then you can buy that via a monthly subscription plan.

Weatherproof

Outdoor cameras are like the post office: bad weather won’t keep them from doing their job. They can withstand sun, rain, snow, and dust. If you live in the South, it can withstand all those in one day.

Heat Sensors

Humans have a specific heat signature. This camera will detect that via its True Detect heat and motion-sensing technology. True Detect can also tell the difference between a car driving by and a neighborhood kid on a scooter. In fact, the PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) detects motion from up to 25 feet away. You’ll receive push notifications and automatic video recording whenever True Detect picks up something.

SAFE by Swann App

You can see camera action no matter where you are just by pressing a few buttons on your phone. You’ll also receive push notifications when the cameras detects relevant activity.

Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa

If you use the Google Assistant or Alexa by Amazon, then you’ve got a virtual buddy who can help you control security through voice commands. Rather than pressing buttons, you can say, “Google, show me the back porch” or “Alexa, stream video to Amazon Echo.”

Audio Monitoring

What good is a camera if you can’t also hear what’s going on? Audio monitoring well let you figure out if the people outside are casing your house or just discussing the weather.

Ease of Use

The wire-free cameras are a great option if you don’t want to worry about plugging anything into a power source while you’re using it. If you hate cords, that’s the way to go. If you want the most reliable system, you should go for the full closed-circuit wired option. Running cables may be a pain, but it works better if you’re looking for a long-term security solution.

What if you want something in the middle? In that case, try the wireless option. You’ll save time on set-up by connecting to your local Wi-Fi source, and you’ll also have more places to mount your camera or cameras. You’ll want to ensure you’ve got a strong wireless connection wherever you mount the cameras, but once you’ve got that taken care of, you should be good to go barring unexpected interference.

Customer Service

Swann lets you connect with their customer service in three ways: through live chat on the website, via email, or by picking up your phone and calling. If you choose the third option, you’ll be glad to know the company offers 24/7 telephone support. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, simply call 1-800-627-2799.

Value

You can buy equipment individually, or you can look at one of the Connected Home packages if you’re interested in saving a little money and integrating your home security with your smart home.

For instance, the Indoor Video Kit costs $399.99 and makes a great home security system for those who are trying out home security for the first time. If your home is small-to-medium sized, you’ll be covered, as this package includes a smart hub, motion sensor, wireless indoor camera, two window and door sensors, and two key fob remote controls.

The HomeSafe Plan for Cloud Video Recording offers either 10 days or 30 days of continuous cloud video storage, depending on which plan you pick. $9.99 a month gets you 10 days of storage plus features like live video, video clips, remote lock control, and appliance control.

For $24.99, you’ll get 30 days of continuous cloud video storage, plus the features already mentioned. You can also try either plan free for 30 days. You can cancel at any time, but the company notes you may still be charged for the full monthly period after you cancel.

Equipment

Wire-Free Smart Security Camera $119.99

If you want wire-free security, start with this camera. You don’t have to mess with cords in order to set this camera up and start recording video clips. If something happens, you’ll get an alert on your smartphone that instantly allows you to watch video clips with audio.

Wire-Free 720p HD Smart Video Doorbell $119.99

This doorbell camera is ideal for catching porch pirates in the act of thievery. They may get your package, but they won’t get far with it thanks to push notifications and the camera’s wide 112-degree viewing angle. You can also use the two-way auditio to let potential porch plunderers know that you’re watching. It’s described as wire-free, but you can hook it up to wires if you’d prefer. An optional chime unit can be added for an extra $29.99.

Swann Thermal Sensing PIR Spotlight Security Camera $169.99

Looking for all-powerful night vision? Then this weatherproof camera is your perfect match. You’ll be able to view things up to 150 feet away in total darkness, or 200 feet in ambient light. The PIR sensor distance also extends 32 feet, which means you can detect a human’s heat signature even if they’re trying to hide.

Swann Wireless Pan & Tilt Security Camera $79.99

The 80-degree viewing angle covers a wide range, but that’s not all. When you buy this camera, you’ll be able to control it from your phone. Without physically touching the camera, you can pan it 355 degrees horizontally and tilt it up and down 105 degrees. There’s also two-way audio if you want to do more than listen.

Swann Outdoor Security Camera: 1080p Full HD Dome $99.99

For a security camera that blends in, try this domed option. It also comes with a built-in microphone and 4x optical zoom so you don’ have to wonder what’s out there. Additionally, you’ll get a 100-foot cable that gives you more options when you’re deciding where to mount this camera.

Swann Outdoor Security Camera: 1080p Full HD Bullet $99.99

On the other hand, you might want a camera that’s visible to intruders and lets them know that you take home security seriously. If so, try this bullet camera designed for outdoor usage. The night vision isn’t as good as some other models, but it still allows you to see things up to 100 feet away in darkness.

Swann 4-Channel Security System: $199.99

Individual pieces are nice, but maybe you want an entire security system in one package. This high-resolution option is perfect for protecting your property. It comes with 60 feet of cable for each of the two cameras, and you can add two more cameras if you want the full 4-channel experience.  The enormous hard drive allows you to several weeks or months’ worth of footage without paying additional fees.

If you’re looking to save a few more bucks, check out Swann’s line of refurbished products. Such products aren’t put up for sale until technicians have certified they’re good to go.

Accessories

  • Expandable Intercom & Video Doorphone with 7” LCD Monitor $199.99
  • Gate Alert Kit, $24.99
  • Home Doorbell Kit, $19.99
  • Home Doorway Alert Kit, $34.99
  • Garage Parking Sensor, $19.99
  • Solar Panel for Smart Security Camera, $49.99

Summary

Swann is a fitting choice for indecisive homeowners or renters who want home security but aren’t sure how they feel about the wireless vs. wired debate. You can browse its selection of wireless, wired, and wire-free devices and figure out what makes sense for your home or business. If local storage is all you require, then you just need to pick some equipment and go. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for a monthly cloud subscription plan.

Swann is a versatile company with a lot of choices, including the choice to either buy direct or through a retailer like Amazon or Best Buy. The wired option is trickier to hook up, but it’s a solid idea if you expect to live in the same home for the next decade. If you plan to move in a year or two, then a wireless or wire-free option will suit you better.

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Comments

  1. Ann Suiter says:

    The power supply cords go out on these after the warranty of course. Search and you will see this is true. I have purchased 3 replacement power cords to their specifications and right now the hdd is not working again. I have 1 cord working but I have to have it for the cameras to work. I never did get the alerts or e-mail alerts to work, the user interface and instructions are horrible.

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