Wireless security cameras are on a rapid ascent – all you need is one or more cameras, a Wi-Fi connection, and the smartphone app to see, day or night, who is at your door, in your backyard – anywhere.
Swann has long been a provider of security cameras, sensors, digital video recorder systems, and the accessories you need to secure your home or office. It is up against some tough competition in Reolink Argus, NETGEAR Arlo, D-Link and many more.
Swann is popular because you can get it at Bunnings, Office Works, other major retailers and online. And it works out of the box.
Its latest wireless (no wires) smart camera SWWHD-INTCAM is well specified.
Resolution: 1080p (2MP)
Night Vision Distance: up to 10m metres
Viewing Angle: 120°
Audio: up to 5 metres
True Detect: Heat sensing PIR motion detection up to 8 metres
Camera Usage: Indoor/ Outdoor IP65, Weatherproof
Wi-Fi Frequency: Wi-Fi N – 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Power: Wire-free / Rechargeable Battery
Storage: 7 Day Local + Cloud option
IP: IP65 waterproof
Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz up to 20 metres. 5GHz is available for shorter distances.
Warranty: 12 Months
App: Safe by Swann for iOS and Android to View, Control and Listen 24/7
Out of the box
It is one of the few ‘independent’ items that does not rely on other security devices to function. All you need is Wi-Fi (for remote viewing), and a smartphone with the app.
It comes with a magnetic ball mount, a USB-A to microSD cable and instructions. That is it!
The massive 6,000mAh non-replaceable battery takes about six hours to charge (no charger is supplied so use any USB 5V/2A charger – lower amperage will take longer to charge).
In a week of testing, I have not needed to recharge – I suspect the battery will last a couple of weeks of typical use and perhaps two months of infrequent use.
You can leave the charger connected if convenient and it will still record.
The app (Android tested)
The iOS or Android app is not available on Windows or macOS.
Safe by Swann allows you to pair with the camera, name it to suit its location, set the environment, select image quality, and the level of PIR motion detection sensitivity (to help avoid false positives).
It requires you to establish a Swann cloud account. Additional cameras can also be paired (looks like up to six).
It stores recordings for up to 7 days. It sends notifications, not emails, to your smartphone.
The app offers an optional premium subscription package that includes up to 30 days of cloud recording, 5 GB data storage, ongoing premium support, shared access for up to 4 users, and push notifications.
A 2MP sensor will just output FHD 1920 x 1080p but, this takes a lot of storage space and internet bandwidth. Choose the minimum acceptable resolution for your needs, e.g. 1080, 720 or 480.
It records incidences (a 10-60 second clip) on the inbuilt SD card for up to seven days and shows live video.
Live view is up to two minutes. As this is over the internet, there can be a lag of a few seconds.
The infrared night view is adequate.
Audio is one way – from the camera – and mic sensitivity is acceptable.
Image quality is adequate for the task, but if you want higher quality, there are better (meaning higher bandwidth) and more expensive cameras.
Suitable for baby monitoring, observing family members, watching pets, and any indoor or outdoor area.
It is a competent consumer quality wireless security camera. There are better cameras (costing much more) and many worse. The reality is that security cameras universally do not provide great colour or images. They are there to record details.
In that respect it is fit for purpose but don’t even begin to think of wireless IP camera’s unless you have a good internet connection (NBN 50Mbps or better) and while you can place a camera up to 20 metres away you will need a Wi-Fi repeater for longer distances or to use the faster 5GHz band.
I urge you to think about your whole home security needs before buying one camera. You may need multiple cameras, door and window opening sensors, remote door lock, smart lights, intercoms etc.
Does what it claims out of the box
Easy app setup and camera pairing
Provides acceptable images and details
Can work while charging
Good battery life
Live viewing lag is frustrating – not the camera’s fault
Sound volume is lower than expected
Way too many notifications until you get the PIR sensitivity and camera angle right
Easy to steal it from the magnetic mount – all your images are on the camera
If you expect glorious HD images look at 4K cameras at much higher cost
Features: 4.5 out of 5 – has everything you need
Value for Money: 4 out of 5 – multiple packs are cheaper
Performance: 3.5 out of 5 – Fit for purpose as a security device
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – Android app and pairing is easy
Design: 4 out of 5 – still concerned at how easy it is to pull it from the magnetic mount