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Swann home security review: Packages and plans compared

Verified by Molly Dyson

Our expert team has spent more than 150 hours comprehensively testing and analysing Swann home security products. This allows us to give you an impartial, honest review, enabling you to decide on your home security options

Swann Home Security is a well-established player in the world of DIY home security systems, producing a range of products, including smart security cameras, video doorbells, and home alarm systems. 

Swann’s products incorporate features such as remote viewing via smartphone apps, high-definition video recording, motion detection, and night vision capabilities. They also offer facial recognition, two-way audio communication, and secure data storage and access. Swann’s Deep Learning Technology, featured in many products, differentiates between significant and insignificant movements to reduce false alarms.

Opting for a smart home security system provides several key benefits. It offers real-time monitoring, can deter potential intruders, and can give the homeowner peace of mind, knowing their premises are secure. Additionally, smart systems can provide valuable evidence in case of security breaches.

Our team, with extensive expertise in home security solutions, has evaluated Swann’s products in depth to help you understand their strengths and potential weaknesses.This article delves into the specifics of Swann’s product features, the company’s customer service, system installation process, and cost-effectiveness, enabling you to make an informed choice about your home security.

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60-second review

Rating: ★★★

 

Swann is recognised for its cameras and streamlined, simplistic systems. However, its camera packages don’t include window or door sensors, and there is no option for  integration with other smart home devices. 

 

While its cameras incorporate some useful features, such as thermal sensing, colour night vision and high-resolution video, Swann’s subscription-free service lacks many user-focused features. It places itself in the premium price home security market, which we feel may be overly ambitious for the average homeowner.

Our top three recommended providers

How we test smart home security systems

100+
hours of research
12
customer service calls
59
home security systems compared
6
experts consulted
500+
customer reviews read

Independent Advisor’s experts have researched and tested each home security system in order to provide balanced, impartial and accurate recommendations. We’ve compared dozens of products, features, quality and cost alongside what others in the industry say and how customers have reviewed their experiences.

Our Swann home security review was determined by the following categories:

  • Upfront and contract pricing
  • Packages available
  • Features and functionality
  • Usability
  • Customer experience

We examined 18 elements within these categories, including:

  • Monitoring services and contract types
  • Data backup and storage
  • Warranties
  • Flexibility/customisation in bundles
  • Quality (image, sound, product)
  • Installation

All of our home security articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, to give consumers the knowledge they need to make an informed, up-to-date and confident decision. For more information on our process, read about how we review home security systems.

How does a smart home security system work?

A smart home security system works on the principle of interconnectedness, where various components such as cameras, doorbells, locks, alarms and sensors are integrated into a central hub, often controlled through a mobile app. Unlike traditional systems that function in isolation, smart security systems leverage internet connectivity to provide real-time feedback and control, regardless of the user’s location.

In a typical smart security setup, the devices communicate with each other and the central hub via wifi. When a sensor detects a security event, such as movement triggering one device, it sends an alert to the central hub. The hub, in turn, notifies the user via the app. This setup allows users to remotely monitor their homes, interact with visitors, or ward off intruders.

The benefits of a smart home security system over traditional systems are considerable. Smart systems offer greater flexibility and control, allowing users to tailor security settings to their needs. They also provide enhanced coverage through integrated devices that secure the whole property rather than isolated areas. 

Swann’s product catalogue includes a wide range of security cameras, video doorbells, and spotlights, many of these available in multiple camera packages. They are designed to integrate together through apps, and they also connect to other smart home devices, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Swann overview

  • Equipment cost: From £29.99 for an indoor wifi camera
  • Monthly fee: From £2.99 a month
  • Power outage backup: Battery back-up
  • Mobile phone backup: No
  • Live streaming: Yes
  • Push alerts: Yes
  • Remotely arm/disarm system: Yes
  • Voice assistants: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
  • Apps for: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

Pros

Secure data storage Innovative technology Optional free plan Wired and wireless systems available

Cons

No cellular backup option Overly complex payment plans Many features unavailable without a subscription Limited package options

How does Swann compare?

Swann, like Ring, offers various security products, including cameras and video doorbells. Both brands provide great flexibility to mix and match products based on individual needs. Hey!, ADT and SimpliSafe, while offering a broad range of products, are better known for their pre-packaged security systems.

In terms of installation, Swann, Ring, and SimpliSafe systems are all designed for easy DIY installation, while ADT offers professional installation, which may be a boon for those less comfortable with setting up the devices themselves, but at a higher cost.

Swann’s products are in the premium price range, and the costs can be even higher with the addition of subscriptions for features that other brands supply with no extra charges.

Key feature ↓ ADT SimpliSafe Ring Hey! Swann
Minimum equipment cost (without installation) £199 £249.96 £219.99 £129.99 £189
Starting monthly fee £35.99 (36 months minimum) From £15.90 £3.49 (optional) £3.49 for optional cloud storage £2.99/month per device (inc cloud storage)
Power outage backup Checked daily by ADT 24-hour backup battery 24-hour battery backup Battery backup on floodlight camera and long battery charge specified on some items Battery backup
Mobile phone backup Cloud storage 4G data backup Yes, cloud storage with subscription Cloud storage or SD card No cellular backup
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Push alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remotely arm/disarm system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Best alternative to
SimpliSafe offers a huge range of customisable home security systems to suit any size house. Homeowners can choose self or professional monitoring, with monthly prices starting at £15.99.
4
Excellent Trustpilot rating
Easy to install yourself
No long-term contracts
LEARN MORE At SimpliSafe

How much does Swann home security cost?

Swann’s home security packages comprise multiple wired or wireless cameras, with no door and window sensors included. It does, however, have wifi sensors available from its product catalogue for £29.99, but this additional cost must be factored in if you want a comprehensive security system.

Equipment costs

Package name Equipment Cost
Video doorbell x1 Wireless video doorbell £169.99
Core-Camm twin camera kit x2 Wireless cameras £189.99
Eight-camera security kit x6 spotlight cameras x2 thermal sensing cameras x1 2TB hard drive £1,499.99

Optional monthly costs

Swann’s non-subscription features are limited, and its website doesn’t make it obvious what’s available without a subscription. With its paid subscription plans, Swann does not offer professional monitoring for UK homeowners – all systems are self-monitored.

Plan Features Price
Without subscription One to seven days’ cloud and local backup (depending on camera); True Detect, including person,heat and motion detection; 12 months’ warranty N/A
Extra Plan 60 days’ cloud and local backup; True Detect plus pet and vehicle detection; Lock screen alerts with images; Priority support; 36 months’ extended warranty; Device or system replacement if stolen, with a valid police report £2.99/month (£29.99/year) per device
Unlimited Plan 60 days’ cloud and local backup; True Detect plus pet and vehicle detection; Lock screen alerts with images; Priority support; 36 months’ extended warranty; Device or system replacement if stolen, with a valid police report £8.99/month (£89.99/year) unlimited devices
Compare our top recommended providers
Editor’s Choice
40% off! Use UKINDY40 at checkout
Best Monitoring
Over 148 years of experience
Best DIY
Easy DIY installation
Best Bespoke
Rated 4.6 on Trustpilot

Equipment overview

All Swann products include the necessary screws, brackets, and wires to install your security system. 

Wireless video doorbell

The Swann Buddy wireless video doorbell and accompanying chime speaker unit offers 1,080px full HD video resolution, night vision, and a viewing angle of 180 degrees. It also incorporates two-way communication and Swann’s True Detect heat sensing, designed to detect the heat and movement of people, cars, and large animals. A 32GB micro SD card is included for video storage. 

CoreCam camera

The CoreCam security camera features 1,080px HD video and infrared night vision, while the True Detect thermal motion detection triggers video recording and notifications, alerting you to any activity. It has a 100-degree viewing angle, two-way audio, and a 32GB micro SD card is included.

Spotlight camera

Swann’s spotlight camera features 4K video resolution, colour night vision, and the True Detect thermal motion detector. It has a 100-degree viewing range and incorporates a siren. 

Thermal camera

The thermal motion detection camera delivers 4K video quality and captures images even in total darkness. It has a viewing angle of 93 degrees and a two-way communication option.

What do customers say?

Swann has a Trustpilot rating of four out of five stars across almost 5,500 customer reviews. However, over a quarter of them are one and two-star ratings, with only 52 per cent of customers awarding five stars. 

Customers mention a range of complaints, from app connectivity to poor customer support and faulty cameras. Conversely, other customers are satisfied with the products and services. 

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“I can see clearly on each film on my mobile and on my TV any actions occurring on the following – boundary fence, front entrance, driveway and backyard. I am so pleased I chose Swann, as I am protected and free from worry. I would definitely recommend the security surveillance coloured cameras that record 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.”

 

“One week of running four HD 4K cameras. [The] quality on the monitor/phone is pretty poor for 4K. [The] cameras don’t like the sun hitting them at 90 degrees, and it puts them into a very dark mode. Night view is actually very good until you put the light on and then it is very poor. Motion detection is very hit and miss. [It went] from, in day mode, not picking up a full-blown adult to falsely recording a couple of bushes moving. Night mode is set off by spiders, moths, owls and bats. [I’m] disappointed.”

App overview

Swann offers three downloadable apps for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac operating systems – Swann Security, HomeSafe View, and AlwaysSafe, each being compatible with a range of specific cameras. From the apps, users can customise their camera settings, including pan, tilt and zoom, replay stored videos, monitor live footage, and receive real-time notifications if a camera is activated. 

The Swann Security app covers the majority of its camera systems, and has a minimalistic, straightforward interface. Users can remotely control and customise their camera settings, watch live or stored footage, and receive alerts when the cameras are activated. 

HomeSafe View is designed for both mobiles and desktop computers, allowing users to remotely monitor and control up to 16 cameras simultaneously. The interface has the same clean lines and uncluttered feel as Swann’s Security app.

AlwaysSafe is only available for Android or iOS and is limited to three of Swann’s camera ranges. While the other two apps cover wired, wireless, and wifi systems, AlwaysSafe is only compatible with its wifi systems.  

It’s important to mention that in order for Swann’s cameras to function on the user’s phone, access has to be granted to not only the photo library but also the phone’s camera. However, this is the case with many home security cameras.

Swann’s best home security packages

While Swann doesn’t offer comprehensive home security packages, our experts have looked at three kits suitable for a range of requirements.

SwannBuddy wireless video doorbell: Best for small homes or flats with one entrance

Swann home security review wireless doorbell camera
The SwannBuddy wireless doorbell comes with an SD card to store footage on (Swann)
  • What you get: x1 wireless video doorbell, x1 chime speaker unit, 32GB Micro SD card, USB to Micro USB cable  
  • Up-front cost: £169.99
  • Monthly fee: N/A

The SwannBuddy wireless video doorbell and its chime speaker unit provide high-resolution video quality, night vision capabilities, and a wide field of view at 180 degrees, allowing you to capture anyone at or around your doorway. Designed to identify the thermal and motion activity of humans, vehicles and large animals, false alarms should be minimised.  

CoreCamm twin camera kit: Best for medium-sized homes

Swann home security review twin camera pack
With two of Swann’s outdoor cameras, you could cover the front and back of your property (Swann)
  • What you get: x2 CoreCam cameras, x2 32GB Micro SD card, x2 USB to Micro USB cable   
  • Up-front cost: £189.99
  • Monthly fee: N/A

Swann’s CoreCam twin camera pack delivers good surveillance for medium-sized properties. It features both day and night vision and thermal motion detection, which initiates recordings and sends alerts to the app. Two 32GB micro SD cards and additional cables are included. 

Eight-camera security kit: Best for larger homes

Swann home security review eight-camera pack
Swann’s eight-camera home security package includes a 2TB hard drive to store recordings (Swann)
  • What you get: x6 spotlight cameras, x2 thermal sensing cameras, x1 2TB hard drive
  • Up-front cost: £1,499.99
  • Monthly fee: N/A

The eight-camera security kit includes a 2TB hard drive, allowing homeowners to store months of recordings, two thermal sensing cameras, and six spotlight cameras. Facial recognition is also available with this kit; however, it’s unclear from Swann’s website which camera offers this feature and whether this is only available as part of the paid subscription services.

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Independent Advisor’s verdict

While Swann doesn’t offer comprehensive security systems, its cameras are easily installed and function well. However, our researchers feel the needs of most homeowners would be better served by designing packages that include door and window sensors. 

 

Unless you wish to pay a monthly subscription, many of Swann’s features are unavailable, and with the website lacking transparency, it’s challenging to find out what non-subscribers are entitled to. 

 

Priced at the premium end of the home security market, we feel Swann could go further if it wants to offer value for money. 

 

Rating: ★★★

Our top three recommended providers

Swann home security Q&A

Swann home security systems are generally regarded as reliable and effective. Its cameras offer high-quality video resolution, durability, and user-friendly features, including night vision, thermal motion detection and remote access via its app. 

However, Swann’s pre-packaged kits focus on surveillance cameras and don’t include door and window sensors, which brands such as Ring and Hey! do offer. If you’re after a more comprehensive security system, Swann may not be the ideal choice.

Swann offers both wired and wireless home security systems.

The wired systems often provide more reliable and continuous surveillance, as they’re not dependent on a wireless signal or battery power. However, its wireless systems offer flexibility in installation and placement, as they don’t require cabling and can often connect to your home wifi network for remote monitoring.

Some of Swann’s wireless cameras also offer rechargeable batteries, making them convenient for areas where power sources may not be readily accessible.

Swann cameras typically require an internet connection for many of their features to function fully, especially those related to remote access and monitoring. For instance, if you want to view your camera feeds on your smartphone, receive motion alerts, or store footage on the cloud, you will need an active internet connection.

However, if the cameras are part of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system, they can often record to a local hard drive without an internet connection. In this setup, you could view the footage directly from the local recording device, but you could not access it remotely or receive alerts on your phone.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.