Swann Enforcer Video Security System REVIEW
Swann Enforcer Video Security System REVIEW
Looking for a reasonably priced but clever video security system to guard your place? PAT PILCHER just found it for you.
Aussie-based Swann has been making top-notch security gear for eons. So when they announced the Enforcer Security System, my curiosity was piqued. Priced at a wallet pleasing $699.95, it offers a lot of bang for not very much buck, especially when compared to other similar bundles. I was curious to see if it had what it takes to foot it against the likes of NetGear’s ARLO wireless cameras.
Regardless of what tech you choose, there’s a lot of good sense behind installing video surveillance hardware. Alarms often become little more than an annoyance to neighbours, who soon tune them out after the billionth false alarm. With monitored alarms, the issue is usually one of timeliness. By the time your alarm monitoring service has got around to sending a guard to check on your alarm, your place may have already been stripped of valuables. While video surveillance gear won’t always stop burglars, it is an effective deterrent. Captured video of an intruder can help the police to quickly identify and arrest them, recovering your stolen goods in the process.
The Swann enforcer system consists of 6 HD cameras and a 2TB recorder. It keeps a local copy of all captured video (which can also be uploaded to online storage). The setup can also connect to a mobile app for remote viewing. Google Assistant and Alexa are also supported, allowing footage to be viewed on a smart display or via Chromecast.
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The Enforcer cameras proved to be surprisingly capable. As well as supporting 1080p HD video (so you can capture more detail – like an intruder’s face), the cameras also use infra-red heat sensing to detect motion. This has the advantage of reducing the number of false-positive motion detection events to near zero. The cameras are also capable of colour night vision. In use, this delivered a lot more detail compared to black and white IR illuminated night video of most competing products. Rounding things out are blue and red LEDs on the front of the cameras. These mimic police lights and are complemented by a super-bright spotlight. Both these go off when motion is detected (if the spotlights are not enough to deter intruders, there is also an alarm feature that includes a built-in siren).
If that’s what’s good, what’s the not-so-good? The only downside I noticed is that, unlike wireless Arlo cameras, the Enforcer system is wired. This is both a blessing and a curse.
The upside of going wired is that the cameras become a set and forget option. There are no batteries that’ll need to be constantly recharged every few weeks – all the required juice is supplied by the base station. The downside is that installing the camera also involves running cables which require more mucking about than mounting a wireless camera and pairing it with a base station. While the supplied cable is generous, owners of larger homes could find they may need a lot more cable.
The included cameras connect to the bundled recorder which, according to Swann, can store up to a year of video before older footage gets overwritten. Footage can also be stored online via Dropbox or saved on attached USB storage. The recorder is a small black box that connects to a spare HDMI input on your TV. The cameras connect using BNC plugs and a power splitter cable. All told, the recorder was dead easy to set up.
Given its reasonable $699.95 sticker price, the Enforcer system delivers solid value for money. The flexibility afforded by the recorder, which gives you the choice of local, online and USB storage, is a real winner. Add to this the six excellent cameras, and the enforcer bundle offers compelling functionality and flexibility. Because of this, it earns a well-deserved 10/10.