Home security: Swann review

We deep dive into Swann security systems with our review. We break down their services to give you a complete overview to help you decide whether they would be best suited for you.

Swann offers a variety of home security systems and cameras intended to help consumers protect their homes. Swann doesn't offer professional monitoring; it specializes in DIY solutions.


Swann Pros:

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Large selection of cameras
  • Smartphone controls

Swann Cons:

  • No professional monitoring
  • It relies solely on cameras
  • A potentially overwhelming number of product options

Swann packages

Swann offers an impressive number of security systems -- a total of 66, in fact. Packages range from 2-16 home security cameras and come equipped with either DVR or NVR recording. Many of the systems feature cameras with warning lights or police-style flashing lights for extra security. While the company only offers a few Wi-Fi security systems, many of its DVR and NVR options include Alexa and Google Assistant integration. We rounded up a few of the top offerings from Swann to help you find the right option for your household. 

Packages

Price for equipment

Ease of  use

Type of installation

Equipment included

2 Camera 4 Channel 1080p Full HD DVR Security System

$199.99

Easy

DIY (with option for third-party professional)

2 thermal-sensing security cameras DVR video recorder

2 Night/Day Camera WiFi HD Security System

$249.99

Easy

DIY (with option for third-party professional)

2 day/night WiFi camerasWiFi 4 channel recorder

8 Camera 8 Channel 1080p Full HD DVR Security System

$379.99

Easy

DIY (with option for third-party professional)

8 warning light security cameras DVR video recorder

Date effective 11/5/2020

Who is each Swann package best for?

2 Camera 4 Channel 1080p Full HD DVR Security System: Best for starters

This basic package features two thermal-sensing security cameras and one DVR 4580 four-channel digital video recorder. Not only is it Swann's most affordable basic security system, but it is also one of the company's highest-rated systems. These cameras are for indoor or outdoor use and have heat sensors, motion sensors, and night vision.

8 Camera 8 Channel 1080p Full HD DVR Security System: Best full-service system

This eight-camera system is the most recommended Swann system on Amazon and has solid reviews. The cameras in this package come with heat and motion sensors and a warning light that illuminates when triggered.

2 Night/Day Camera WiFi HD Security System: Best for wi-fi security

This Wi-Fi security system is the best of Swann's three options. The wireless network system allows consumers to hook the two security cameras up to an NVR recorder. Users can control the camera and view the video coverage from their smartphone or tablet.

Swann equipment

Swann offers 66 security systems and 50+ cameras. The company offers a handful of other products as well, but its cameras are really the star of the show. Most of the cameras come standard with heat sensors, motion sensors, and night vision. Some of Swann's cameras include: 

  • Warning light cameras: These cameras have thermal and motion sensors and warning lights that turn on when triggered.
  • Wi-Fi cameras: Most of Swann's products are wired, but the company does have a selection of wireless products that integrate with your smartphone.
  • Police-style cameras: These cameras have police-style lights that initiate when the sensors are triggered.
  • Indoor cameras: Most of Swann's cameras are specifically outdoor security cameras, but the company also offers a few cameras designed for indoor use. These come with siren and audio analytics, as well as two-way talk.

Swann Prices

Because of the wide variety of security systems and products offered, Swann has options to fit any budget. Individual cameras range in price from $17.99 to $179.99. Security systems start at $199.99 and go as high as $2,399.99. Swann's subscription plans cost either $4.99 or $14.99 per month, depending on the plan you choose. The service plans aren't required — customers can choose to operate their cameras without a subscription.

Ease of use

Swann offers a variety of security equipment and systems, all of which are intended for DIY installation. Most people will find it relatively easy to get their Swann security cameras up and running. For those who aren't comfortable installing the cameras themselves, a third-party professional installation company can install the cameras, as well as provide tutorials for how to use them.

Swann types of installation

Professional installation

Swann doesn't offer installation of its security systems, but it partners with InstallerNet to provide a network of professional installers that customers can hire. Not only can these professionals set up your security system, but they also offer tutorials to help you learn about your new products.

Pros:

  • Professional installation can make things easier on customers who can't install the security system themselves
  • Because InstallerNet is a partner of Swann, a warranty covers any products that malfunction as a result of improper installation

Cons:

  • Customers have to pay extra for professional installation
  • Installation isn't performed by Swann but by a third-party company

DIY installation

Swann's security camera systems are intended for DIY installation. While DIY installation is a good choice for those who feel comfortable using tools, some people may prefer to hire someone else to do the job.

Pros:

  • DIY installation is free once you buy the product
  • Swann's security systems are relatively easy to install

Cons:

  • For those uncomfortable with drilling into their walls, DIY installation may not be possible
  • DIY installation doesn't provide warranty coverage if you improperly install the products

Swann service plans

Swann offers several different service plans that customers can purchase in addition to their Swann Security System. While these service plans add a monthly cost, they come with benefits such as smart alerts, rich notifications, an extended warranty, insurance protection, and the ability to save your recordings for 60 days rather than the standard seven days. The Extra Security Plan is intended for customers with a single device or kit, while the CompleteSecurity Plan is intended for those with up to 10 devices.


Without Subscription

extra security Plan(ideal for one camera or kit)

CompleteSecurity Plan(ideal for up to 10 devices)

Cost

N/A

$4.99/month or $49.90/year per device

$14.99/month or $149.90/year for up to 10 devices

Monitoring

DIY

DIY with smart alerts

DIY with smart alerts

Installation

DIY or professional ($100-$200 per camera)

DIY or professional ($100-$200 per camera)

DIY or professional ($100-$200 per camera)

Mobile App Control

Additional benefits

In addition to the pros we talked about above, there are plenty of other things to like about Swann.

  • Alexa and Google Assistant integration: Many of Swann's products integrate with Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Affordable subscription options: Swann's products don't require a monthly or annual subscription, but their optional service plans feature extremely competitive prices.
  • 24/7 tech support: Swann offers 24/7 telephone tech support in North America, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South Africa. In other countries, Swann offers telephone support during business hours.

Additional drawbacks

In addition to the extra advantages of Swann's security products, there are a few additional drawbacks to consider. 

  • Not as easy to install as some competitors: Some of Swann's competitors are more well known for their easy, no-tool installation.
  • Subscription required for some services: While Swann doesn't require its customers to sign up for a monthly or annual subscription, failing to do so will prevent you from accessing some features.
  • Potentially high costs: Swann's cameras and security systems start at affordable rates, but they quickly get more expensive.

Compare security camera brands


Starting system cost

Installation

Service plans

Outdoor camera

Doorbell camera

Swann

$199.99

DIY (with the option to hire a third-party professional)

$4.99/month or $14.99/month

Yes

Yes

Ring

$199.99 for 5-Piece Alarm Security Kit

DIY (with the option to hire a third-party professional)

$3/month or $10/month

Yes

Yes

Arlo

$399 for Arlo Pro 2-Camera Kit

DIY (with the option to hire a third-party professional)

$2.99/month-$14.99/month

Yes

Yes

Wyze

$19.99 for an individual camera

DIY

$1.99/month

Yes

Yes

The bottom line

Swann is a popular option for DIY self-monitored home security. The company offers hundreds of products ranging from individual cameras to full security systems. Swann offers security solutions at just about every price point, and customers can decide whether they want to add on a monthly or annual subscription. While it's not ideal for professional security monitoring, it's a solid choice for anyone who wants a full DIY solution.

Swann Home Security FAQ

Are all Swann cameras compatible?

Each of Swann's cameras is compatible with one of the company's DVR recorders. That being said, the DVR you need to buy may vary depending on the type of camera you get.

Where can I buy the Swann security system?

Swann's security systems are available on the company's website and at a variety of other retailers, including Amazon, Home Depot, and Best Buy.

Is the Swann security system wireless?

Swann offers many wireless security options, including three wireless security systems and wireless cameras that you can connect to the internet and control from your smartphone.

What is the best Swann security system?

Swann offers a variety of security systems to meet anyone's needs. The best system for each consumer varies by what their security needs and budget.

How long do Swann batteries last?

Swann reports that its rechargeable batteries give users up to two months of normal use.

Do you need internet for Swann cameras?

Swann security cameras require an internet connection. The company's wired cameras use a cable to transmit an internet connection, while the wireless cameras connect wirelessly.

Can you use Swann without a subscription?

While Swann offers two service plans, customers can also use Swann's products without a monthly or annual subscription. However, without a subscription, customers miss out on insurance protection and rich notifications.

Which is Better, Arlo or Swann?

Both companies offer a comprehensive collection of DIY installation security cameras. Both companies also make their products easy to purchase -- you can buy directly from the company or through a retailer like Amazon. 

Swann offers more comprehensive security systems for those who want it, while Arlo keeps things simple.