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Hands-on review: Swann SecureAlert 4 Camera 4 Channel 4K Ultra HD Wi-Fi Security System

Back in January, I reviewed the Swann Enforcer Security System, my first experience with a fully wired home security system. The SecureAlert4 Camera 4 Channel 4k Ultra HD Wi-Fi Security System is more of a mouthful, and it has taken home security to a new level with some nifty added features.

I have become a fan of the red and blue flashing lights and sirens. Anything that gives a potential felon a fright is alright with me. The spotlight function will surely cast a light on the situation too.

My review item has winged its way from Australia, but a quick search revealed more than one New Zealand stockist. Retailing at just under $1,000, this four-camera system offers a range of features that will be sure to keep your home secure.

The True Detect heat-sensing function promises to reduce those pesky false alarms that provide no end of fun for you and your neighbours when their cat regularly visits to use your lawn as a lavatory. After stepping in their deposits on a regular basis, I'd be quite happy to have a few broken nights' sleep if it gave them a fright and encouraged the neighbours to invest in litter-boxes for their traumatised moggies.

The Night2Day feature enables you to see what goes on at night in living colour. Coupled with the 2-Way talk function, you will appreciate the clarity of the video as you chat in real-time with your visitors. With free recording of up to 1TB to your local hub and with cloud backup, you will be able to reminisce those precious scenes with your friendly local constabulary, who will doubtless be enamoured of the clear pictures captured even on the darkest night. Your recordings will be retained for up to 12 months.

The system includes everything you need to install, from the 12-metre power cables through to HDMI can Ethernet cables, not to mention the mounting screws and plugs. The NVR or Network Video Recorder connects to your router either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. SwannNet enables you to choose whether you connect each camera to the NVR or to your home Wi-Fi, depending on which signal is the strongest.

All this is controlled and monitored from your iOS or Android device using the Swann Security app. The Speak to See function is controlled by either Hey Google or Alexa, providing you have one of their home devices. The YouTube video is well worth viewing to see just how useful the Swann SecureAlert 4 system is.

Swann has not forgotten the deterrent value of their Theft Deterrent Stickers, remembering that your average burglar looks for soft and easy targets.

With cameras powered by wire, you will no doubt want to have them installed by a professional, who should be able to help you choose the best location for each of the four cameras.

Setting up the Swann Security app is quick and easy, and once you are all set up and have tweaked your settings to your liking, you are ready to go.

For the purpose of the review, I set up the cameras inside. Notwithstanding the fact that the cameras operate in snow and rain, I decided that drilling holes in our soffits would potentially lead to some matrimonial discord.

I therefore contented myself with a temporary set-up in the study. Setting off the siren inside was not one of my better ideas. Sometimes my idea of funny doesn't coincide with hers. Along with the flashing lights, it is sure to alert anyone in the neighbourhood that something is afoot.

The cameras have one or two other surprises up their anthropomorphic sleeves, including friendly police lights, colour night vision and two-way conversation abilities. The latter promises to be handy if you want to tell your courier to leave a package or to ask a prospective burglar if they can tell you the phone number for the 111 service. Swann reports that “Video (is) in pro-quality Ultra HD to see everything that's happening live or in playback mode, plus you can zoom in close to see car license plates, faces - so much more.

Swann Australia has a great infrastructure already set up, using Jim's Security to install at set prices which works out at about $150 per camera. I enquired via online chat with a NZ reseller, and gathered that we 501's will need to find our own installers. Your friendly local electrician may be a great starting point.

The installation cost will be worth it when you realise you will never have to climb up to remove cameras when they need recharging. I'm also a fan of the dual connectivity, either via ethernet or Wi-Fi. Swann has taken home security to a new level, and while it's not strictly DIY, it promises a robust and reliable system that will easily mesh with your existing home network.

The high-quality video, coupled with the flashing lights, spotlights, siren and two-way talk, promises to encourage any prospective miscreant to hunt elsewhere for an easier target.

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