In the modern world, security is an ever increasing problem. In much the same way, privacy is under assault. Thankfully, while the powers that be are constantly trying to invade your life and find out every detail about you, there are ways to protect yourself, your data and your property. Swann is a company that makes a number of home security and general security products, one of which is the IP camera that have in house today.
Specs & Hardware
- 720p video capture
- Companion app for iOS and Android as well as PC and Mac
- 12 Infrared LEDs for night vision
- Built-in mic
- Easy setup via app (two codes located on camera unit) or QR code
- Multiple mounting options and angles
The hardware of the SwannEye is pretty simple; all you’ve got to deal with is a lens surrounded by infrared LEDs, an antenna and a decent sized base to keep the camera stable. The white plastic is glossy in nature if not a tad cheap feeling. Overall nothing surprising or unique.
I’ve been using the SwannEye for a few weeks and am pretty pleased with it and how it works. The setup is super easy thanks to the QR code support. Likewise, setting up on your network is about as easy as it gets too. You can either hook it in via a network cable which then requires 0 work after that or go the WPS route. If your router supports WPS wireless connections, this too is easy and only takes a couple button presses to get the camera up and running wirelessly.
General video in decent to well lit areas is clear and looks mostly HD. Is it as good as 720p on a decent monitor? Eh, not quite. That said, it is better than older standard definition cameras, and certainly not bad for 720p in a device this size and price. Once the sun falls and the lights shut off, the 12 LEDs come to life and allow you the ability to monitor stuff in the dark. The rating Swann places on the SwannEye for night vision is 32 feet. I’d say their rating is pretty accurate. I only used it inside and facing outside through a window but in the latter instance, did see roughly 25-30′ of range at night.
There’s an SD card slot on the side of the SwannEye that allows for local recording of video, motion activated too if you so choose. You can also have video/audio content stored to a remote device such as a phone connected with the Swann HD app. Finally, users can set up the SwannEye to email notifications whenever motion is detected. For a low traffic area, this is a great feature. If you’re setting yours up in a more highly trafficked area, you might want to steer clear of this feature, otherwise your inbox will become quite chatty.
There’s really not much to dislike with the SwannEye other than the fact that video can be choppy more often than not. Performance certainly depends on your network and router (and when viewing remotely, your remote device and its network). But even locally on a fast wireless AC router (the SwannEye does not support 802.11ac but nonetheless, it is connected to a high-end router), video to my LG G2 was quite choppy and delayed. I could see at times it would catch up and be more fluid and then slow down again to a more stop motion-like video feed. Not a deal breaker considering a lot of security footage is like that but still something you might want to think about if you were looking for a silky smooth video feed.
A Nice Entry Level Security Camera
Security hardware can get pricey quick. For if you’re looking to get your feet wet, the $129.99 SwannEye HD is a good spot to start. The plug and play nature of the SwannEye HD and simple configuration/viewing of content makes it a great choice for someone looking to “set it and forget it”, not to mention someone who just wants something simple to monitor, say, a back door, basement window or spy on the cat while they’re out of the house. For those wanting either more fluid video or more configuration options, video quality, etc., you’re going to want to start saving your pennies for something a bit higher up on the scale. Overall a good IP camera for those on a budget and/or on the entry level.
This product performed like we never saw before...