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As Wi-Fi home security cameras get more sophisticated and expensive, it can be tough to find products that won’t intimidate first-time DIYers. Swann’s Indoor Security Camera is exactly the kind of camera these folks need. It’s easy to use and, at just $70, it’s reasonably priced but includes all the advanced features required for solid security.

The small, capsule-shaped camera has a no-frills design that enables it to go pretty much unnoticed in any room. It attaches to its stand via a ball joint, letting you position it upright on a table, counter or shelf, or set it at an angle if mounted on a wall (hardware and a mounting template are supplied). In either case, the camera needs to be near an electrical outlet, as it runs on AC power.

It has a 110-degree viewing angle and captures video in 1080p Full HD. It detects motion at up to 32 feet via a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, which senses body heat. It also has a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way communication, and it provides up to 26 feet of night vision.

Swann

The camera’s stand doubles as a wall mount.

It also includes some smart home integration—surprising, given its modest price. In addition to viewing the camera’s live feed on your phone, you can use Alexa voice commands to stream it to your Echo Spot, Echo Show or 4K Fire TV. You can also stream it to your TV using Google Assistant and a Chromecast.

The camera can record both locally and to the cloud, which is also unusual for its price. Every video clip is saved to onboard memory for 7 days and to Swann’s cloud servers for 2 days, after which it’s overwritten with new recordings. You can extend the cloud video history to 30 days with a subscription to Swann’s ExtraSafe cloud recording plan for $50 a year. This allows you store up to 5GB of video in the cloud and includes ongoing premium support.

Setup and performance

Once you download the Safe by Swann app and create an account, the app guides you through the process of pairing the camera and connecting to your home network. Even with a firmware update, the camera was up and running in about four minutes.

swann app live feed Michael Ansaldo/IDG

The Swann Safe app makes it easy to control the camera.

The camera is added as a tile to the app’s dashboard. If you have multiple Swann cameras connected, you can rearrange the layout of the tiles to your preference by tapping and holding them and dragging them to new position.

Tapping on a tile opens that camera’s live screen. It’s logically laid out with the live feed in the middle and a row of buttons for activating two-way talk, recording video, capturing a screenshot, and accessing event-triggered clips running along the bottom. At the top you’ll find a mute button for the camera’s speaker and another button to access the camera’s settings.





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