We have looked at a fair number of wireless security cameras over the years, and while they all promise much, they have all to date suffered from one major flaw…installation is a pig. For your average consumer, fiddling around with cables, IP addresses and port forwarding on a router is a nightmare, so we were intrigued when Swann told us they have a new camera which is really user friendly.
The SwannSmart Network Camera is a WiFi based camera which connects to your home network and smartphone to provide wireless coverage of any area you select within range of a power socket. It features 640×480 resolution at up to 30 frames per second, so while it won’t win any records for high definition, it is certainly good enough to capture what needs to be seen. It also comes with infra-red sensors which allow it to see in the dark, as well as a remote controllable microphone and compatibility with Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.
In our tests we found it very easy to set up using the free smartphone app, and we were up and running in a matter of minutes, which is a real bonus. The flexibility of the motion sensing feature as well as remote audio monitoring means it’s a real alternative to more expensive setups, even if the image quality is somewhat average.
All of this ease of use comes at a price, which in this case is the fact that the camera has to run through an Internet connection via a cloud based server, so you cannot have the system running and capturing to your local computer or other system. It means that if you want to use the motion sensing capture and push functionality, you’ll have to pay extra for the Swann Cloud storage service, which some people may feel is too much of an expense.
As you can see from the video, installation was painless, and the image quality acceptable, and for the price of around $97.00 / £75.00 it’s a good option for setting up a quick and easy video monitoring service for a remote location or your own property.