Hands-on review: Swann Wi-Fi Series indoor and outdoor security cameras
The proliferation of home Wi-Fi networks has had a major impact on the simplicity of installing home security/surveillance systems. All that's needed is a power supply and you can check your home security from your phone no matter where you are in the world.
Swann's range of Wi-Fi Series security cameras provide solutions for both indoor and, more interestingly, outdoor video surveillance. Both cameras offer 1080p video recording, cloud storage, and motion/heat detection.
The Swann Wi-Fi Series Indoor Security Camera is pretty discrete with a ball joint into the mountable stand for ensuring the best field of view. With a 110-degree viewing angle, you should easily be able to completely capture your area of interest, even in confined spaces.
The indoor camera also has a 2-way audio function for use as either a weird a remote intercom or talking to your pets when you are out and about. The camera has an infrared night vision mode with a visible distance of up to 8 metres.
The build quality of the indoor camera is as I'd expect for the class of device. Its plastic construction is nothing to shout about. It is a bit light, so the cable can cause it to move about if you have it free-standing on a shelf. The USB socket that provides the power is on the bottom of the circular camera body and thus, hard to discreetly keep the power cable out of sight. Regardless, the indoor camera does its job, and does it well.
The Swann Wi-Fi Series Outdoor Security Camera has a metal chassis that actually looks like it can stand up to the elements. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this of a consumer camera. The included Allen key can be used to firmly fix the camera and mount configuration according to your requirements.
The camera is powered via an adapter with a reasonable length of cable. For locations that are a little more remote from a power supply, the kit also comes with an 18 metre extension cable. For a superior Wi-Fi connection, the camera has an external antenna. As well as Wi-Fi, the camera can also be connected directly into your network, thus the extension cable caters for power and ethernet connections.
As with the indoor camera, the outdoor camera has a 110-degree field-of-view. Using the night vision mode, you have an impressive 30-odd metres of visible distance. Whilst the camera can capture audio, unlike the indoor camera, it has no speaker for 2-way audio.
Both cameras use Swann's mobile app for connection, updates and, of course, monitoring. Setting up the cameras is easy, using the app to connect the cameras to your network. All you need is your network SSID and password- it only takes a couple minutes per camera. Once connected your cameras appear on the configurable Swann app dashboard. From the app you can check your camera and audio feeds, start recording and check activity logs, downloading recorded footage set off by the motion detection function.
At around NZ$150 for the indoor camera and NZ$230 for the outdoor camera, you get pretty good value for money. The features of the indoor camera, in particularly the 2-way audio, are above and beyond the norm, whilst the superior build quality of the outdoor camera is particularly noteworthy.