SwannSmart Wi-fi network camera full review
Swann offers a range of security monitoring solutions designed to protect your property, while keeping an eye on your loved ones. The SwannSmart Wi-fi network camera, or ADS-450 to give it its official name, is a compact, lightweight device, which combined with a dedicated app, offers some comfort to users. Complete with circular mounting kit requiring just two screws, the camera can be fitted in minutes without fuss, or simply be left standing on a flat surface thanks to the weighted base and, in our case, some Blu Tack. Once in place, users can swivel the camera easily to fine tune the area they want to cover. While clearly a security camera, you can at least partially hide it to avoid being spotted as soon as you walk in a room, an issue spy style cameras generally avoid.
Setting up the camera to be viewed online was also a simple task, with the whole process taking less than ten minutes including time spent reading the well illustrated instructions manual. Swann offers support for Apple iOS and Google Android devices with dedicated SwannSmart apps, along with compatibility with Mac and PC computers via a website. The camera can act as its own Wi-fi access point, configured locally by choosing the camera manually via your devices Wi-fi settings. Once you turn this off you can set the camera up to connect to the internet, to view cameras over Wi-fi and 3G/4G networks either wirelessly or via LAN.
You'll need a username and password to view cameras remotely, although this is again a simple process, helped by an intuitive and unfussy app. Picture quality is generally good although limited to 640 x 480 resolution, with only the occasional dip when viewing over a flaky 3G connection. The camera includes 8 Infrared LEDs for some night viewing and a built in microphone, which can capture audio should you need to. As users are prompted to name cameras during set-up, you can easily configure more cameras at a later date to view all on the same app.
On the downside the camera is for indoor use only although you can at least point it at an open window or door with some success, especially useful if you want to monitor your children playing in the garden. Swann's camera comes with a free 30 day trial of iSecurity+ Snapshots, which costs a month or for 12 months up front, or under £4 a month or £38 for the year. That investment gets you motion detection and event capture, mobile notifications and perhaps best of all 30 days online storage. This means that even if someone spots or steals the camera, recordings will still be available in the cloud to hopefully pursue the culprits.