Editor's note: Clicking the product links on this page will take you to a newer version of this product for purchase. We will evaluate this newer model in our next round of Home Surveillance System tests.
Swann's outstanding nighttime video quality was the best among the home surveillance systems we tested. Though the system's daytime video is also above average among the systems we tested, it's not as good as some of the competition's daytime video. Like most of the wired systems we tested, Swann requires an intermediate skill level to install. Swann's customer support options are decent, but they lack the depth of other home surveillance systems.
Swann's overall video performance is above average, and its nighttime video quality is the best in our home surveillance system review. During our daytime video tests, this system had excellent quality at 10 feet but only produced good video at 20 and 30 feet. The system had a little trouble with daytime contrast, more than any other home surveillance system we tested, which was a major factor in its lower daytime test scores. Swann, like the other systems we tested, performed well in capturing motion and showing important facial features at a variety of distances.
At night, Swann scored higher than every other system in our comparison. The system adapts its lighting when subjects are close to the camera so that the image isn't washed out and you can clearly distinguish facial features. The camera also captures motion well at night so that moving objects aren't distorted.
The final factor in Swann's nighttime performance score was that the video had little to no noise, which can distort images as well. When there was noise in the video, it didn't detract from important details, so we could see facial features on our test subject at every testing distance. Only one other camera in our review, Foscam, matched this result.
While the system is an excellent example of nighttime video performance, it has a couple limitations as well. The contrast issue from our daytime video tests showed up at night as well. The home surveillance camera's video quality was average compared to other cameras we tested at distances of 10 and 30 feet. At each of these distances, however, only one home surveillance system produced higher scores than Swann.
Swann is no different from most of the wired home surveillance systems we tested. The installation process requires an intermediate knowledge to connect the cameras and set up the NVR. Most of the effort comes from running the 60-foot video cables and connecting the NVR to your router. This kit comes with two indoor/outdoor cameras, but you can add two more cameras for a total of four. The NVR has a 500GB hard drive, which is enough video storage for four cameras.
To view live video or footage over the internet, you can program the NVR by scanning a QR code with the SwannView Link mobile app. If you need to change advanced settings, you can connect the NVR to a computer monitor or TV. To help you control the NVR outside the mobile app, Swann includes a mouse with the system.
You can get assistance with your Swann system by connecting with the company's support team over email or telephone. The company doesn't offer a live chat support option. You have one year from the date of purchase for warranty support; this is the shortest warranty term in our review, though it is the average warranty in the consumer electronics industry.