(Pocket-lint) - The smart home security market is getting more and more crowded with every passing year. With the advent of home security cameras, for example, searching for a new camera can feel like wading through reams of anonymous brands without having a clear sense of what has a good reputation.
Swann has been a leading name in security cameras for years, though, and turning to the home security market has seen it bring that expertise to bear. Its cameras have functions and features that mark them out, and can act as a useful guide for what you should be looking for when searching for a new camera, whether indoors or outdoors.
Check out some of the key criteria you should be considering, below.
At the end of the day (and, in fact, at any time of the day), when you're buying a camera to watch over your home's exterior or interior, video quality is pretty much the be-all and end-all. There's no use whatsoever in filming your home only for that footage to be low-quality or pixellated.
That's why, for example, Swann's Alert Indoor Security Camera films in full 1080p HD, to make sure that you can see whatever you need to make out. That same standard applies to the Spotlight Outdoor camera that Swann also offers. If the phone in your pocket can film super high-quality video, why should your smart cameras be any different?
2. Night vision
Of course, cameras can have a much harder time of filming clearly once dark descends and night falls. That's why Swann's smart home cameras have night vision modes that turn on automatically as it gets less and less light, making sure that you get a clear view, even up to 10 metres away, of what's happening.
After all, most of us are probably more worried about intruders in the wee hours than we are in broad daylight, so it's important that your choice of camera can adapt to the dark. Plus, many of Swann's cameras also pack in powerful LED spotlights, which can be a hugely useful deterrent. These can activate automatically when they detect movement, lighting up the area with bright light.
Plus, that feature can actually be really useful for totally normal day-to-day reasons, like if you need to take the bins out in the dark and don't want to have to switch a light on and off yourself every time.
3. Sensible settings
One thing that can get really tiresome with a lot of cameras on the market is if you start to get peppered with dozens of notifications each day, as you're at home or away, letting you know every time your cameras detect even the slightest bit of movement. What starts reassuring can quickly becoming a serious annoyance.
Swann's True Detect technology is a great example of how this can be solved - it uses smart systems to work out what to record and what to ignore, making sure that you don't get sent countless clips of trees blowing in the wind, but do get sent someone looking suspicious on your porch or driveway. That way, when you get a notification to check your camera, you know that it's worth looking at.
4. Recording storage
One of the big ways that you can find yourself paying way more for a camera than you first realised, though, is through the memberships and subscriptions that many companies require you to keep paying in order to store more than a few hours' worth of footage from your cameras. It can be a significant monthly drain, and isn't always clear before you buy.
In Swann's case, though, things are different. Each Swann camera lets you store a couple of days of footage locally, making sure that you can access it if you need it. On top of that, you get a week of rolling recording storage in the cloud, letting you relax in the knowledge that even footage from a few nights ago is still accessible without paying extra.
That sort of saving is what can make the difference when you're considering what camera to pick up for your home.
5. Build quality and added benefits
Of course, another serious factor when you're considering what brand of camera to go with is overall hardiness and build quality. For example, with outdoor cameras, you'd be really surprised by how many products there are out there which don't actually cope well with adverse weather. What use is an outdoor camera if rain or snow risks breaking it? Needless to say, all of Swann's outdoor cameras are weather-proofed to ensure that they're dependable no matter what weather you're hit by.
Similarly, for indoor cameras you should also be considering whether they bring any added extras above and beyond simple recording, like Swann provides. For example, the Alert Indoor Security Camera's two-way audio means that it can be really useful as a family intercom, to let people in other parts of your home know that you need them, or for whatever other reason you might have. These quality of life features shouldn't be underestimated.
6. A solid app experience
It's all well and good to have great hardware, but you'll be controlling and interacting with your cameras primarily through the app that pairs with them, so you want to make sure that it's really solid as well.
In Swann's case, all of is features are built into the Swann Security App, which is a superb, slick hub for all of the cameras on your network. You'll be able to check them at a glance and make sure that everything's how you want it without unnecessary taps and menus. It's a great bit of design that is like the cherry on top of your camera network.
We've summarised a few of the factors you might want to consider when you're in the market for a new home security camera, and explored how Swann meets and exceeds many of the expectations we'd lay out. If you want to find out more about Swann's smart home cameras, you can visit its website, here.