Swann Communications PC DVR 4 Net Security Guardian
- Cheap, Offers great protection
- No encryption of video files
At this price point the package is quite a bargain when you consider that an IP camera solution will end up costing in excess of $1500. Our only concern relates to the security access issues.
Price$ 200.00 (AUD)
Multiple camera security surveillance over a network (using Internet Protocol) can be expensive to implement. Swann has created a surveillance solution that delivers exactly the same thing - multiple camera security - at a competitive price. This surveillance kit has two parts: a PCI card and four wired cameras. Both the PCI card and the camera bundle are sold separately, but they should be considered as complementary products that will provide a wide-ranging surveillance kit for a home or a small business environment.
The Swann PC DVR 4 NET Security Guardian is a PCI card that allows you to simultaneously record the footage from four security cameras - note the software is expandable to record up to 16 cameras, if your motherboard has the capacity for this. The card allows you to record audio as well as video, which it captures at a rate of 25fps (frames per second) in PAL mode, at a resolution of 352x288.
Installation is simple, and the software allows you to monitor your desired location in several different modes which are all easy to configure. The Security Guardian software allows you to adjust the motion sensitivity of your cameras. You can set the video capture so a limited amount of space is allocated to video footage, which will be continually rewritten over. Recording can be based on time or motion, and it is compressed into relatively small files; for example, in our tests, we recorded a double-speed, time-lapse 6 minute clip, at a resolution of 320x240, which created a 3.5MB file.
Security Guardian can also run as its own server, which means that you can log into it over the Internet and view your video streams remotely. However, to get this running you have to open the correct ports and disable many firewall and security settings. This can be done during the initial phase of installing Security Guardian's software and only needs to be done once. When configured properly, you will be able to use your ISP-given IP address (assuming you have a cable or ADSL connection) to log in to and view the cameras.
We do wish Security Guardian was a little more secure in the way it records footage onto your hard drive. As it stands, unencrypted .avi files are recorded into folders that are viewable and accessible to all who have physical access to your PC while it's running. We think encryption and password-protection for this footage is a standard feature that Swann should look to implement. This shouldn't be a concern for most people however, as any surveillance server should be locked away anyway.
Swann's CCTV Professional 4 Camera Pack includes two C-500R CCD cameras and two Bulldog Cam CCD Cameras. The Bulldog cameras are strong and small, recording in colour during high light periods and in infrared during the night.
The C-500R cameras have a 3.5-8mm lens with a manual iris and can capture at a resolution of 512x582, however this isn't fully utilised since the next highest resolution supported by the software is 640x480 with de-interlacing. The Bulldog cameras support a resolution of 500x582, and have 9 infrared LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that can create a clear picture in darkness up to about 10m. All cameras come with an ample amount of cabling.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
- New IoT malware targets 100,000 IP cameras via known flaw
- Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSalesforce ConsultantQLD
- FTTest Analyst (Datawarehouse)SA
- TPFront End .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsVIC
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- CCWintel Server EngineerNSW
- FTApplication Support SpecialistQLD
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTPeopleSoft Campus Solution ConsultantNSW
- TPData Migration LeadNSW
- CCDevOps EngineerVIC
- CCPMO CoordinatorNSW
- FTSQL BI Report DeveloperQLD
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTData Analyst/ Reporting AnalystQLD
- FTSecurity ConsultantNSW
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- TPICT Customer Support Officer - ForsterNSW
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW