Customer Reviews for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras

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Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras

Remote Monitoring on PC, MAC, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry & more
Average Customer Rating:
3.609 out of 5
3.6
 out of 
5
(23 Reviews) 23
(out of 23 reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (23 reviews)
5 stars
14
4 stars
1
3 stars
0
2 stars
1
1 star
7
15 of 23(65%)customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Review 1 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:E. Wenatchee, WA
Date:November 22, 2011

Frustration

Pros: none
Cons: a total waste of time and money
Model Number: Defend and Deter 4 Ch
"After months of frustration with the 4 camera system and NO help from Swann's useless tech support I finally solved the major problems all due to the cheap cables and bad cameras. None of the 4 cameras had all IR LEDs that worked and the night response was horrible. I have been involved in electronics since WW II. After wracking my brain I decided that the supplied cables were the source and found the following: There is 7 ohms resistance in the power cable and if all IRs worked the current would be 300 ma which is a 2.1 volt drop or 10 volts at the cameras , not 12 volts, which is not enough for them to work at night, the daytime operation is great. I then tried a 13.5 volt supply for about 11.5 volts at the cameras and the results were better. I have informed Swann of my results and they don't seem to care, said they would send new cameras, a joke and the entire system is going back to Costco this weekend. I could give more info but no space. The other systems also use the same cheap cables so don't buy any that have the small 1/8" cable if you want night security. The Costco buyer really dropped the ball when he bought these systems."
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:LA, CA
Date:August 14, 2011

Very Good System

Pros: easy to setup and use, remote monitoring over ipad and android is amazing, color picture-daylight / b&w @ night
Cons: remote internet setup difficult tech support fixed
Model Number: Defend & Deter
"This system works as promised right out of the box. Internet remote Monitoring is an outstanding feature."
67 of 71 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Gig Harbor, WA
Date:August 26, 2011

I am pleased

Pros: do it yourself
Model Number: H264
"Before ordering this Swann Kit, I read reviews on a lot of security systems. It seemed that every review discussed working with the technical service representatives of the manufacturer. I was pleasantly surprised that I installed the Swann system without having to call anyone. The system itself is “plug and play.” I did refer to the manual for my router to determine the correct settings for the firewall, but everything else worked as explained in the Swann Instructions. I am impressed with how flexible the system is. I have each camera set to record only when motion is detected. The system works just as it should and the quality of the recorded pictures is good. I am pleased."
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:Tucson
Date:August 22, 2011

Good Product - Great Support

Pros: excellent price
Model Number: SW4250H
"I have had this unit since March. It was great to be able to see our house in real time, on my iPad when we were 4000 miles from home.
I needed to call tech support twice. Once to help me with the remote access and once when the unit kept rebooting. On both occasions the support people were knowledgeable and effective."
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Arlington, TX
Date:September 4, 2011

Fast setup, great customer support

Pros: great technical support, easy setup
"I'm not a handyman but I was able to setup/install this system (four cameras) in less than two hours. I logged on to Swann's website and their for a live chat with a technical service reprentative, he took control of my computer, and had everything programmed in less than 10 minutes. I can view the cameras from any computer and our cell phones."
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Riverside, CA
Date:August 29, 2011

Tech Issues

Pros: cheap for 8 channels, tech support seems responsive, decent tools, can support better cameras
Cons: camera quality low end, no mac or linux support from the browser, requires ie only tried ie 8 and 9, can't fully configure without a monitor, download speed unbearable, no native mp4 export, no ipad/iphone playback.
Model Number: Defend & Deter
"Seems this thing has decent specs and can handle more that it comes with but the Swannview app for the ipad/iphone does not save your settings.
You can't playback recorded footage via Swannview on the ipad/iphone.
Plus the camera quality is not very good. There is no zoom capabilities. At the highest res it's ok at best.
The one issue I have been having is reviewing and downloading recorded data, Slow, Slow, Slow and I am a network engineer by trade.
Access to the device is blazing fast over my switched network but reviewing any data via their app or web is painfully slow. It has to be firmware or the device it's self. Firmware is dated July 2011 so rather current.
If you watch in real-time it's good or playback in 1x mode works but if you want to skip forward or fast forward or download to your PC, forget it. I tried it on XP and WIndows 7 machines. It's not pretty.
The item you download fails after partial download. Never retrieves the full file. Having to convert H.264 to AVI before sending or exporting is not good if you do get a successful download. Why not just use mp4 for export?
Appears to be a Linux kernel as the OS imbedded in rom. I would expect better performance from playback."
9 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Dallas, TX
Date:September 8, 2011

Junk

Cons: junk equipment
Model Number: Pro 560/580
"DVR started giving problems within 30 days of install, and died within 90 days. Image would blank out intermittently, the and recording would stop for no apparent reason. Called in a pro to take a look at it, and was told that the DVR needed replacement...really, after only 3 months?
Called the Swann customer service twice, but was on hold for over 20 minutes each time, so finally gave up.
Would NOT recommend this product."
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Location:dinuba, ca
Date:December 10, 2011

just so so

Pros: price, decent picture quality
Cons: limited smartphone compatability, remote control is quirky
"camera clarity is ok. The frustrating part for me was that the remote control won't let you enter in the password to enter the menu screen or do any playback. To do these functions i have to use the mouse supplied with the unit. Pretty annoying. Also it says you can view this from your blackberry smartphone but what it doesn't tell you is that it only works on 3 different models. I have a 9850 and it wouldn't let me download the app and said it was not supported.
I was successful in networking my dvr so i can view it from a pc, that part is pretty cool except for the fact that i can only get live feed and can't perform any playback functions. I haven't contacted the tech support yet on any of these issues.
Overall the system is ok but there's just enough issues that would keep me from recommending this product."
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Florida
Date:October 18, 2011

So Far, So Good...

Pros: ease of install, image quality, dvr record features/memory
Cons: conflict with firewall
Model Number: 580 i think
"I am giving this 5 stars as it is excellent product for the price. I did a test run with the cameras before install and even left one running with the DVR for several days and all went well. I hooked up the DVR and 8 cameras to a spare computer monitor with ease and had a friend in the AV business help run wires. (It's FL, attics are really hot and getting into eaves to install required more than we wanted to take on.)
The install was pretty easy - the networking via wireless is tricky due to the firewall. If I shut off the firewall, I can pull up the images on the internet (on laptop), but put back on firewall and working w/ tech to make exception so I can view w/o shutting off wireless security. The images are really good, but you won't see fine details. Lots of good features. So far, so good. Will write if problem occurs. (Oh, called tech support and got a live person in 5 min, so no support issue)
"
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Charleston, SC
Date:September 26, 2011

Poor DVR and Technical Support

Pros: great cameras
Cons: dvr does not work correctly, cant talk with technical support
Model Number: SWDVR-82550H
"Cameras are great, easy to install, great picture day and night.
I purchased this to watch video of baby when out of town, but I cannot get the online viewing to work. I've tried a few different ways following their website videos and other online sources. Nothing works.
Tried calling Technical support for days and no response, I got transfered to Ford Motor Company once. Cannot connect with anyone in there online live chat. Tried sending an email and the reply was to call or use online chat...
The DVR restrarts every 10 minutes and takes about a minute to reboot. DVR freezes every time I try to review video.
I think they sent me a broken DVR and that is my only problem but no one to talk with to find out.
Would be a great system at a great price, I wanted to give it 5 stars but after days of messing with it, I'm afraid I will have to return it."
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:NY
Date:August 31, 2011

Poor Night vision, Hard drive died within 30 days

Pros: cheap
Cons: cannot locate customer support tel, poor night vision and narrow view angle, no telephone number found for customer svs.
Model Number: CCD 480TVL Swan Alpha Defender
"This camera is priced right. It's cheap and the quality is poor. Night vision is not good.
The system died within 30 days. The camera changed color from black to brown within the same time. No support telephone number was found on booklet.
I bought the QSee and would recommend this over swan, as the night vision is amazing and the camera has a wider view thus covering more area."
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Burbank, CA
Date:August 29, 2011

Love Swann DVR's

Pros: great quality, inexpensive worth every penny
Cons: haven't found one yet
"Myself and a friend both purchased this item. We both love the how easy it is to set up. I had a question and support was very friendly. I used the live chat. The quality is awesome too. I learned about this product from another friend that has a 4 channel Swann system and he provided a cd to the cops of somone stealing there kids bikes. Night vision is great too!!!!"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Carnegie, Pa
Date:August 31, 2011

GREAT PRODUCT!!!

Pros: very clean picture excellent price &product
Cons: zooming could be improved audio is included but, must purchase additional microphone
"My husband and I recently purchased this security camera for our home. You will not find a better quality security camera then this. The price is excellent and the quality is great. I thought the installation of this would be very difficult, but my husband and cousin had it installed with in twenty minutes. The installation is simple. The only thing I would suggest with having this camera, is making sure you have a porch light, or some other light source on at night for the night vision. We are lucky enough to have a street light right outside of our house, so the night vision is very very good, if there are no lights, the night vision wouldn't have been that good. The zooming could be a little better, it zooms in, very close, but almost to close that it gets blurry and you can't read liscense plates if needed. Another thing to note is that the system does have Audio, BUT you do need to buy a microphone for it to work. That aside, we are very happy with our purchase.It does it's job atleast by deterring people away and also keeping a good watch on our entire street with the 4 cameras that are included. I work for a multi-million dollar company, and this camera system is 10 times better then the one thats installed at my work!"
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Nevada
Date:November 3, 2011

I would have given ZERO stars if it was an option

Pros: none
Cons: tech support are idiots
"I have two of these at two different locations, both have broadcast stormed my network untill no equipment on my entire network would work untill this device was unpluged. I called techsupport and after 30 minutes on hold they made some changes that would clearly make no differnce. I am a network engineer and they argued with me about everything. I asked if there was an OS/firmware update and they ignored the question. I now know there is as I have seen a newer version."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:NY NY
Date:August 25, 2011

Good for short period only

"I had to hired security company to replace it with a real commercial equipment, not for business, short life outdoors It is like buying a bicycler when you need a car."
6 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Review 16 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Tarzana, CA
Date:September 23, 2011

Amazing security system!!

Pros: high quality, great value
"This system is great! It was relatively easy to install and the picture quality is amazing. I love that I can watch what's going on at home from my iphone! Also- the cameras are very high quality, made of metal (not cheap plastic) and the cameras have the expensive cable-managed stands that protect the cord from being cut. We shopped around for a good system and found that this one was the best value- such great quality for a great price. We are impressed and happy with our purchase!"
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Spokane, WA
Date:October 18, 2011

Worked well, without trouble

"I Purchased to go with cameras I have already hooked to a PC. Though it is a little tougher to setup, the motion recording and better quality recording (at least as good as the camera) is great. My 520, and 580 line cameras are great, The others are better then my old 380's but for the price it is great.
On setup I had to have Tech support help adjust my settings in my firewall to get Android view working. that part is quite tricky. but has been working a couple of months now without a hitch."
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 18 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Los Angeles CA
Date:November 15, 2011

Good Buy, Great Customer Support

Pros: great customer service
Cons: for those w/ macs remote/dvr access requires a pc
Model Number: DVR8-2550H Defend and Deter
"Good buy with awesome customer support. Took some time to run the wires through the attic and drilling holes in stucco for a professional look.
The Swann website provides excellent support with the videos posted. Had an issue with the iPhone non-wifi connection, called customer service who remotely adjusted the settings in a matter of minutes. 2 thumbs, was very impressed. Iphone App was easy to navigate.
Moving forward, I will definitely upgrade the cameras to higher LTV of 500+."
Review 19 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Smoky Mountains of TN
Date:November 7, 2011

Excellent Home System at a Good Price

Pros: camera resolution, viewable screen area, cost
"The cameras are small and unobtrusive. The screen resolution and viewable area are very good both day and night. A friend who is in the communications and security business did the install for me so I cannot comment on that aspect. The entire install start-to-finish took about four hours. I plan on having four additional cameras installed to bring the total to eight. Overall, this system is an excellent bang for the buck and has enhanced my home security greatly."
Review 20 for Swann Alpha 8 Channel Security System with 500GB Hard Drive and 4 Indoor/Outdoor Cameras
Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Pittsburgh
Date:September 10, 2011

Fantastic System / Value

Pros: customizable, value
"Great cams. Highly customizable by camera / day / time / audio / motion / motion detection area / motion sensitivity. I am blown away at how comprehensive this system is - particularly at this price point. I am a stickler for things and I love this. BUY IT. The only minor irritation is playing the dvr can be cumbersome. I can deal wit that."
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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