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Thursday
Jan032013

Swann SwannSmart Home Security Camera Review

As you may have seen on the news lately, Apple devices are disappearing off people's porches and even homes. However, the few incidents which are caught on camera make for some great videos to post on YouTube, leaving it up to the public to catch the culprits. Swann's latest Home Security Camera, SwannSmart, may be just what you need if you're afraid that you'll be the next victim of an Apple device theft, or any kind of burglary for that matter. Head on past the break for the full review and see if it's worthy of our recommendation. 

Professionally installed home security systems will cost you a fortune and a lot of hassle. Most of us don't need security cameras in every room but a single camera by the door would be helpful. This is where SwannSmart has your back. Their ADS 450 security camera connects via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable to stream 640x480 video and still images to your computer or mobile device. The built-in microphone will also pick up on sound as well. The overall quality is nowhere near HD that we'd all enjoy when it comes to surveillance video but it will get the job done. While the quality may not be top of the line, the 8 infrared LEDs allow for clear night vision up to 12 ft as well. Swann's SwannSmart is the same exact camera Belkin has introduced called the NetCam, only rebranded for convenience sake.

The ADS 450 is a nifty camera with a hard plastic enclosure that you can install onto the top of your doorsill or onto any wall with two included screws. You can also choose to stand it up on a table or counter with its built-in stand. It shows no signs of waterproofing however, so keeping it indoors would be the best place. Keep in mind this is not meant to be a stealthy camera due to its size as well as it is AC powered rather than battery.

The convenience of SwannSmart's camera to be able to stream directly to your mobile device allows you to see what's going on at your house, whenever you need to be sure. This seems like a great idea for parents who want to keep an eye on their children while they are away at work or to make sure your newborn is safe and comfortable while you're in the other room. The night vision would also come in handy here. 

While the camera setup itself will only cost a minimal $107, there is a subscription fee for iSecurity+ of $6/month or $59/year that allows you to take full advantage of SwannSmart features such as motion detection and Cloud storage. This subscription service is provided by a separate company called Seedonk and provides an in-browser application which you can use to configure your settings for each specific camera. We found the entire process felt fragmented and choppy at best. The video stream can take quite a while to connect and stream below average video to your computer. Many times you'd have to go through the entire setup process again because the ADS-450 lost connection. 

If you were to choose to go without the subscription, the ADS-450 would act more as a remote camera for when you want to see what is happening where you set up the camera since it won't automatically record or take images, meaning you'd essentially have to always be physically monitoring the screen to catch a culprit, which would defeat the entire purpose of a security camera anyways. 

We found the initial setup to be fairly straight forward. It is easiest to connect via Ethernet than Wi-Fi as the camera has trouble discovering the correct Wi-Fi names at times. Once you have registered the camera via the SwannSmart app which is free on the App Store, you can begin using the camera. There is relatively little lag between real time and the time it takes to show up on your device, however this test was done via the same home Wi-Fi network. Photos and videos automatically save into your camera roll once you're finished. 

If you wanted to monitor multiple rooms or areas in your home, the SwannSmart app allows you to register multiple cameras via the same account to create an entire wireless network of security surveillance. 

Swann has created an easy-to-use plug and play video security camera that just about anyone can set up with an Internet connection. The functionality is there but without an additional subscription, the ADS-450 is just another camera with Wi-Fi functionality. Yet even with the subscription, the service is lacking and feels outdated when compared with other security cameras out on the market. Theoretically, with multiple cameras connected, the SwannSmart ADS-450 works as a perfect replacement for the wallet-shredding "professional" surveillance network. However, the lack of HD video is a major bummer and improvements to the subscription service is overdue. Perhaps you could give the Dropcam HD review a look as it provides a much more modern and reliable experience for only a little bit more out of your pocket. If security is what you are looking for, we find that the Swann SwannSmart ADS-450's performance is going to need a bit more to persuade us into giving it our recommendation. 

Swann.com

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