Customer Reviews for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System

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Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System

4 Channel H.264 DVR with Smartphone Viewing & 4 CCD 480TVL Day/Night Cameras
Average Customer Rating:
3.714 out of 5
3.7
 out of 
5
(35 Reviews) 35
(out of 35 reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (35 reviews)
5 stars
17
4 stars
8
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
8
25 of 35(71%)customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Review 1 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:ca
Date:July 11, 2012

notahappycamper

Pros: none
Cons: junk
"horrible customer service from swan will never ever purchase another one of their products went through two different units both failed 2nd one failed just out side of the warranty period1yr swan would not warranty it if they cant build something that cant last longer than a year I don't want it and Costco shouldn't sell it!!! very unhappy"
Review 2 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Alabama
Date:February 7, 2012

Tired of Customer Service

Pros: cheap
Cons: customer service, cheap product
Model Number: Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System - Item# 559878
"I have two of these units, Right now I'm trying to call Customer service with no luck, Hard Drive fail within couple of month of service, System works good but not for long, save your money and buy better system."
Review 3 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Seattle, WA
Date:October 8, 2011

Fantastic value

Pros: pricequalitysetup&support
Cons: none
Model Number: Swann alpha
"Easy set up, camera clarity excellent. Tech support took about a 20 minute wait but was well worth it, the tech was very good, he was able to "take over" my computer and within 5 minutes all was set up for remote access from any computer."
Review 4 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date:September 18, 2011

Easy setup

Pros: easy to install and setup, esay to access via intranet and internet
Cons: none
"I installed this items for a friend who has a law firm. I easily set it up with his iPhone and give acces to his emloyees to review some critical cameras for an extra safety mesure.
It was done and installed in a few hours with some extra 360 cameras.
in summary , ultra easy to install very very good preformance for the price."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:DALLAS, TX
Date:September 14, 2011

Good cameras at good price

Pros: effective, price, watching from iphone
Cons: setup
"I love the cameras, however I took away a star for setup and limits with camera IR and motion sensor.
Time and Patience
It is going to take time to set up. I recommend you attach the DVR to your computer monitor rather than go through the web browser. Helps a lot. Manual attempts to be helpful but lacks some details so some of it is trial and error. Not hard, just not obvious sometimes.
Cameras
Camera size is great! Small enough to not be very noticeable.
Cable length of 65' is not long for some homes. Wish they were about 90'.
Night vision, it says 65' and it may be. However, it is like a spotlight so do not expect even 30' of edge to edge illumination. 15-20' is good, after that it becomes an increasingly smaller cone of light.
Motion Sensor - Leaves a lot to be desired. It works but it can get tripped by bugs attracted to the infrared, shadows of trees blowing in the wind, and not see inside of a shadowy area. (think of your garage, sees the driveway fine but people in the shadows of the doorway may not trip) Key is to select the cells to watch for motion carefully and move sensitivity down.
You can adjust sensitivity but it is for all the cells you selected rather than cell by cell.
Also, motion alarms are for the entire system rather than by camera. Wish I could turn on alarms for back door while leave front door without alarm, just record.
Watching from your iPhone
It is AWESOME! ADDICTIVE even. However, takes time and patience. Sign up for free with DYNDNS, download the Swann app from appstore, configure your firewall with the remote ports to pass through and away you go. The app needs work, does not keep cameras open when switch to different app but it still rocks. Kept our boys in check over the weekend. ;)
So I love it but it has quirks, like a lot of products. I would recommend it for those who are ok with tinkering and have some technical know how."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:Pacific Northwest
Date:September 13, 2011

Great Product...Better Support!!!

Pros: good cameras, industry standard compatibility, great online tech support
Cons: clunky gui
Model Number: DVR-8-2550
"The Swann DRV and cameras installed easily, and fairly simple to operate. Getting my router setup to allow remote access was significantly more challenging! So I went online to the Swann website to chat with a "Live Tech". Huw (the tech) was AWESOME! He sent me a link to an applet which allowed him to control my pc, then he set everything up FOR me!
I am THRILLED! This was the BEST tech support experience I have EVER had!
Thank You Swann!"
Review 7 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Location:Torrance, California
Date:September 11, 2011

Good price, lousy support

Pros: good price
Cons: poorly written manual, hard to get support
"Bought two weeks ago and installed by myself. Good quality for the price. However, the manual was a joke. Couldn't figure out how to setup detail functions/menus by just reading the manual. And when called the support, had to wait at least 20 minutes every time to talk to anyone. If you're willing to go thru agonizing waiting to get support, as you wouldn't be able to program it only with the manual, and if the most important buying decision criterion is the price, you might want to try it. Otherwise, suggest looking for another brand."
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Baltimore, MD
Date:September 3, 2011

cheap

Pros: picture quality was pretty good
Cons: every thing else
Model Number: 480DVL
"Just got this for birthday. The one camera I opened screw came out of adjustment area and was impossible to get back in. Then I started the DVR, buttons on unit did not produce a menu or adjust what camera you were looking at...only default 4 screen showed. Remote control would also not produce menu....this is going back immediately. I would not recommend to anyone"
0 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:St.Louis MO
Date:August 17, 2011

awesome device

Pros: great unit
Cons: instructions could be better...
"it does just what it says it does...
its a very inexpensive security system that does what units costing 1000.00 do.
We dont have the internet at work yet but when we do i have a smart phone ready to use. Im about to upgrade to the 8 camera and use the 4 camera at home...
"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Washington
Date:August 11, 2011

Horrible support!

"Worked ok at first after calling tech support several times. Most of my initial issues could have been solved with better instructions/manual. After a few weeks 2 of the 4 cameras stopped working. After finally getting ahold of tech support and doing all their silly tests it was determined that the video input card was bad. - DUH! That was several weeks ago and I still have not seen a replacement unit. I email and call them every few days and still NO return contact!"
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Date:July 18, 2011

Had problems that Support help fix

Pros: long cables for cameras, mouse or remote control
Cons: dvr buttons seem cheap
"Purchased this for a small office. The quality in day and night video is fantastic for the price.
We had a problem where the DVR would reboot itself every 10 min or so. Called tech support and he had me connect to a wall insetad of a power supply, and reformatted the hard drive.
Functions as expected now.
I have it set up to work with a kvm switch to share a monitor with our server and it works great."
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Hawaii
Date:July 6, 2011

he's in jail

Pros: the best, inexpensive, no problems, super easy, # 1 over others, you will be happy
Model Number: "Defend and Deter"
"I have over 16 swann cameras and various recording harddrives...the swann Alpha "defend and Deter" is beyond an excellent system. I have almost 20 years experience in do-it-yourself surveillance equipment. some other brands were o.k., but swann cameras give a much more detailed picture, they run for literally years, day and night, and have NEVER given me any problems. Last March 12, my home was burglerized. They took 20,000 of my stuff. The Swann video allowed the police to make a quick arrest . State farm insurance paid me quickly because of the Swann indisputable video."
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Gainesville, Va
Date:June 15, 2011

Not Mac Compatible

Pros: don't know returning to costco
Model Number: SWDVR-42550H
"No where on the outside of the box, or on the specifications does it say that the software is only compatible with Windows. Only when you read the manual that you find out that the software is not compatible with the Mac platform."
20 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Fort Lauderdale, FL
Date:June 11, 2011

Caught a crook!

Pros: easy install, great support, priced right
Model Number: Alpha
"There were roberies in my area and my wife insisted we buy a security system. i put this in with the help of a worker to help mount the cameras on the second story of my house. It all plugged together like a cable box and worked like a breeze. I connected it to TV's and a computer screen.
A couple of weeks later my across the street neighbor got robbed. We replayed the recorder about the time her alarm went off and spotted the robber's truck. Showed the pics to the police and they arrested the robber the next day and matched his fingerprints to the robbed house. Case closed! Thank you Swann."
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Green Valley, Az
Date:June 3, 2011

Very, very, happy

Pros: best value out there!, excellant customer service., dvr and camera's are high quality., higher resolution then others i looked at (480tvl), wider field of view.
Cons: swann should include 100 ft cables instead of 60ft, manual is useless regarding web setup.
Model Number: Alpha D12C16, Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
"Installed this system over three months ago. It has performed flawlessly. I travel a lot and it has been a heaven sent to be able to watch the homestead while I'm gone. Installation was a easy. However I needed help with web and smart phone setup. Swann customer service was great. Quick to answer the phone and their tech's are very knowledgeable and friendly. I called twice, once for web set up and once for Iphone help. They had me up and running in no time. I recommend this system."
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 16 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:AZ
Date:June 3, 2011

Taking it back NOW

Pros: good picture
Cons: worst customer support ever
"Thought this was a great deal at first. Installed it and now I am going to take it back. Started rebooting on its own. 1st 2 calls to customer support were unanswered with one saying they were closed for some wierd reason. 3rd call agent said to reboot it by unplugging it. They were struggling to help us as they were obviously reading out of the manual and did not know how to solve the issue. 4 th call waited on hold for 30 minutes before I left message telling them I was returning to Costco."
2 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Corona, CA
Date:May 19, 2011

Easy installation and great night view

Model Number: Swann Alpha
"The installation is so easy. Just plug in and you can get the images right away.
Surprised that the cameras work so well in dark. Very happy to have this system.
Will work on the remote access function later.
The only issue is, the connector (from camera to DVR) is kind of bigger, compare witht the wire. So I have to draw a bigger hole for the connector to go through and need to "block" this big hole. If the company can provide the "small" connector or adapter, will be better.
"
Review 18 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Date:May 1, 2011

Its okay if you only need three channels

"I bought this and made te mistake of NOT bench testing it but instead slowly installed it over several days only to find channel 4 not working. Customer support is even slower and every time I bring up warranty replacement I'm told to call a number that no one ever answers. I suspect if thy did, my DVR would disappear into the abyss and then I wouldn't have any channels."
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:WV
Date:April 19, 2011

Great Value - great price...only for a short while

Pros: good price, great images
Cons: instructions need to be more detailed, too many pros
Model Number: Swann Alpha
"This is great camera that offers terrific functions and features at an excellent price. I was not surpirsed when I saw that it was out of stock after I made my purchase, but then I returned to the costco website to submit a review and saw the price had almost doubled - supply - demand tactics eh!! :)
Anyway, this product is worth every buck and is comparable to other highly, top brand name cameras. I think the Internet viewing information should be more clear on how to access the camera admin page outside of one's private network/perimeter. The IP address you use at your house will not be the same as one you use outside of your home - you will have to use your external IP and then the cameras port number.
"
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Swann Alpha ‘Defend & Deter’ Security Monitoring System
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Greenville ,South Carolina
Date:March 23, 2011

Great product and support

Model Number: D12C16
"I am very pleased with the product and the help that I was given by tech support !
Could not ask for a better pice,product and support !!! Great job Swann
"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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