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Showing 1-10 of 330 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 372 reviews
on March 29, 2012
We ordered this unit on March 19, 2012. We love it! I started the installation process on March 24th, and have four of the eight cameras installed and running. The system has been running just fine for this last week. I had no problems getting things setup; most of it worked right out of the box. I am quite technical, so setting up the remote access via a web browser, and Android mobile app worked on the first try. As long as you know how to forward ports on your home router, the remote access process will be very easy.

Some things to note. Make sure you PLAN your install ahead of time. Camera location, cable runs, DVR location, and access into your house for the cabling are key. Take your time. Time and planning up front will pay off big time in the long run. I pre-planned everything I thought I would need before I started installing. I had made a trip to Home Depot the day before, and unboxed and tested the system on the kitchen table before I started installing anything. All the cameras worked just fine during the test, as did the DVR.

Make sure you measure your runs for your cameras and order extra cables before hand. I had one cable run that ended up being about four feet short. I had to order a couple extra cables so I could run cable cleanly to the cameras. The 60 foot cables may sound long when you are first installing, but as soon as you start routing cables, 60 feet runs out very quickly. It is nice to have a couple 100 foot cables on hand, and they are inexpensive to order.

I spent 8.5 hours straight installing in the first four cameras and DVR. I initially had three cameras installed in front of our house, but decided I didn't have all the coverage I wanted, so I installed a fourth on the front of our house. I took plenty of time to find the location I wanted to bring the cabling into our house from, so I didn't drill through any electrical, studs, or any other items that may block my path or damage the house.

I reviewed three different manufacturers: Swann, Q-See, and XModo. Some key items that made my decision to go with Swann where the fact that the cameras were:

* Camera lenses were 3.6mm over 6mm. 3.6mm lenses provide a wider viewing angle over 6mm.
* Camera Image sensor technology is CCD in the Swann, not CMOS (more info here for tech junkies: [...]). CCD provides for a clearer picture and is less susceptible to "noise" interference from the night vision LEDs, making for better picture quality all around (is how I understood it from the article I linked).
* Cameras were branded as Sony with the Swann system. I like Sony. I did not see any specific branding on any of the other systems.
* Customer service answered their phone. Before purchasing I called the customer service/tech support line to see what kind of experience I would have. Someone who spoke solid English answered after only one minute on hold. I since have called customer service two more times to get clarification on a couple things, and both times my hold time was only one to two minutes.

Some other things to note. Email notifications only work if you have the camera in 'scheduled' motion detection mode. Even though the cameras will sense motion triggers while 'always recording' they will not send notifications unless the camera is NOT in 'always record' mode, and is in 'scheduled' mode with "alarm" parameters set in the schedule. After messing with this, I decided I preferred the 'always record' mode.

I immediately took out the 500GB hard drive and upgraded to a 2TB drive. This was easy. The only thing I had to do was get into the DVR menu and format the hard drive from the DVR menu before the DVR would start recording again. This is not noted in the documentation for replacing the hard drive, so be aware you need to use the DVR menu to format any replacement drive you put in before the device will start recording to it. Format only took a couple minutes for the 2TB drive.

You can perform about 90% of the DVR setup and function through the web interface. Currently only Internet Explorer is supported (I prefer Chrome or Firefox), but I had no trouble using IE 7 on a Windows XP machine, or IE 9 on my Windows 7 machine after following the IE configuration changes in the Swann documentation. You must make a couple security changes (nothing that will jeopardize your computer) to make the Swann Active X plug in install and work correctly.

I used the remote a little bit. The main interface on the DVR is a little clunky with the remote. I prefer to use the web interface when at all possible. The mouse that is included is also clunky when I have used it. I will likely change out the mouse to see if something better works more smoothly, but I have not done that yet.

Night vision works great for us. We have perimeter lighting completely around our house. Our motion lights are on the 'dusk till dawn' setting and greatly enhance the night vision ability of these cameras.

Lastly, if you do enable remote access, make sure you change your passwords and document them. Be aware if you call customer service they may want to remote into your DVR using the remote web interface. You will have to give them your user name and password. Make sure you change your password afterward, and update your notes.

We are very happy with this system so far. It has all the bells and whistles we wanted, replacement parts are available for every aspect, and customer service actually answer their phone and answer questions. The remote access and Android app are very cool. We hope this system will perform for years, and hope it will for you too.

I hope this information helps others. Best of luck.
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on June 16, 2013
I have now installed 2 of these units. One at my house and one at my elderly in-laws so we can keep an eye on things at their place. I must say that the hardest part was reading all the reviews about how hard the system was to set up or how poor the picture quality was. After reading all these type of reviews I was very leery about the unit until l realized the constant theme to me were probably people who have troubles with simple pc operation and have very little home maintenance ability and did not take the time to read the owner’s manual. If you are technically challenged hire someone and don’t blame the product for your inabilities. Have the high school kid down the street set up the network settings for you and show you how to change the password and do so. I will admit if you want to see the video on your smart phone setting up your router will confuse a lot of people. For the people who complain about the color quality, “it’s adjustable”. I simply set a white board (my granddaughters easel) with the primary colors and a white stripe on the paper about 10 feet away and adjusted. People look at the picture’s on our smart phones and think we have a HD broad casting station set up at the house’s it is that good. For the people who can do minor house repairs this system should be a breeze for you to install, but do as I did. Make a plan. I made a drawing (very ruff) of the house in a notebook, than I put an “X” at each location that I wanted a camera with the ruff angle (38 degrees) of what it would see. Think about how to route the cable and where you are willing to drill the needed 5/8” holes to get the cable through the wall and how you will cover that hole up after. Every camera overlaps another camera on the outside of my house and I can see every door/window as well as down the street. If you think the 60 foot cables might not be enough length order a 4 pack of the hundred footers. I routed my cables so they are well hidden and put the DVR in a location that would take anyone wishing to grab it a good ten minutes to locate and 5 more minutes to get to (I had a neighbor try). I also have a few of the cameras sending emails to an account when motion is triggered. Reading the manual well before setting up the system so you will understand what each menu item does was a big help. If you order the system go to the web site and download the manual and read it in advance. I would have probably missed how to clear up the picture by adjusting the color had I not took the time to read the manual. You will have to have a monitor hooked to the unit to make the color and a few other adjustments but you can take it off if you wish after everything is set to how you like it. I put a cheap lcd monitor on it and added a 25 foot cable between it and the unit and routed the vga cable out of site. It shows a rotating picture from all 8 cameras. You cannot adjust the color from the local pc on the network via the software supplied. Also the Android and iPhone app is a little confusing at first so you will have to play around to get the images you want displayed at start up of the app. You can see all 8 cameras but only 4 at a time or one on a blown up screen. The Windows phone app only shows one camera at a time and you just select which one you would like to see. Also I did read one review about how you could not make out people’s faces very well. I do agree with this assessment with one thing I would like to point out. Go to the local convenience store and look at the quality of the pictures the security system gets. This is very much in line with that quality. If you want a system that can perfectly make out objects/people you will need to spend a lot more money to get cameras that can zoom, tilt/pan and a security person to operate it because this is a fixed focal point system. This system is a deterrent that also gives piece of mind and is worth every penny I spent. Sorry I did not use the tech support at Swann so can not speak to that.
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on September 13, 2012
First off people need to be realistic about their expectations of what they are buying and paying for. This is NOT a top of the line security DVR. If you expect that then you should expect to pay much more. A high quality 8 camera system with high quality cameras is going to cost more like $3000.00. Cameras can easily be $100-$150 each and up. This system is designed for basic video security and mostly for the average home user. For the price, you are getting what you paid for and it should be very suitable for most home users.

I have not had this long and I have 5 cameras installed. They are all working fine in full color. I used the cables that came with the system with the exception of one where I needed a longer cable. The hookup is fairly simple. The DVR interface is not completely intuitive but is manageable. I have mine all setup to record only when motion is detected. I bought a Netgear wireless adapter and plugged it in so I could have it accessible from anywhere. I have the SwannView loaded on my iPhone and iPad and I can access from anywhere. This really wasn't hard to set up. Again, it is not elaborate but it serves the function that it is intended to do.

Overall I got what I expected. As far as customer service I cannot comment on that because I have not had to interact with them.

I hope this helps some.
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on September 13, 2013
I should have listened to the 1 and 2 star reviews.

1- camera quality is horrid. This is not at all what they were selling based on what I read. My old cell phone camera had ten times better resolution and clarity. In my house, brightened room, was fuly grainy and looked like 1980s low quality video.

2- Although they say it is for outside and inside use, the camera attachments are not rated for outside and the elements at all. I would imagine putting these outside would require replacements fast (south florida, lots of humidity and rain). I was going to use these outside. Not able to do that.

3- software is rather ancient looking and feeling.

4- backup is available...not through the ethernet cable....not through an external drive...but ONLY allowed with a USB flash drive. Right. I am going to get my 64gb flash drive and start manually moving 500gb worth of vids..

5- manually move vids...yep..gotta pick one and select to backup to your usb flash drive. This would be awesome in 1997. Too bad it is 2013 where most devices use ethernet, wireles, or allow a huge drive, like a 3TB, to be connected for back ups.

6- That is as far as I got. Once I reread all the issues about no support and inability to get repairs...I realized this unit would be heading to the garbage bin in 6 months. And due to the poor pic quality would be nothing more than a novelty to show visitors (who wish they would be able to see themselves more clearly in the vids).

All in all, I am glad for the other reviews making my mind up to return this. It seems like an older type of system dressed up as a new vibrant state of the art. It is not (in my own opinion).

Will move on to other items.
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on July 19, 2011
So far, this system has met all of my expectations ... and more. It was easy to set up and it is recording 24/7 video for us with no issues. I am really impressed with how Swann has made this such a complete, ready to go, system. I had two cameras recording and being displayed on the TV within 20 minutes of opening the box. Of course I had not yet routed the wiring yet for proper camera placement and properly hiding of the wires. Note, this is by far the most time consuming and frustrating element to setting up a security system, but that is not the fault of this system. (For allot more money you can buy a wireless system.)

The only negative I have is the ability to configure the system so that I can achieve remote monitoring, ie a iphone or ipad. The issue is that the Mac Airport Extreme Router does not support the UpNP interface that this system requires. Swann's documentation says that there is alternate hope, but it appears very complex (they even say this) and I think beyond my IT/network capability. I hope to figure it out, but it is not mission critical.

On the good side, the night vision performance is very good, the day light performance is great, the 4 camera display on the TV or computer monitor is excellent, and the system settings configurability is very extensive. Example, instead of recording at 30 fps I changed it to 1 fps so to save hard drive space and thus be able to capture many more days of history before it starts over-writing old data. I did try the motion detection feature. It seemed to work well, but I've opted for 27/7 capture at 1 fps. The ability to review history is pretty slick and very easy to understand. The remote is a bit clumsy, but using the mouse is very efficient.

Summary: I am very pleased to be in a 4 camera, night vision, 500 GB DVR, continuous recording surveillance system for $250.

I'd say the only thing to watch out for is if you absolutely require "smart phone" viewing that you prepare for challenging IT/Network tinkering. Maybe it will be easy on a UpNP capable router.
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on November 6, 2011
I bought this system about 4 months ago. It was to replace the latest in my attempt to be cheap for a system, Harbor Freight was my latest system of disaster. These cameras and DVR unit are far Superior, have simplistic straight forward setups and are very feature rich. The fact the camera angles are 62 degrees is more than a plus. If they don't tell you what the field of view is, just keep on looking because most are around 34 degrees and are horrible for view and color/contrast. These cameras are easy to install or can be professionally installed by Swann contractors. The DVR has yet to have a glitch and has been running on top of a hot Cable box the whole time. IR distance is 65+ feet which is great since most cameras are mounted under the second story eve. Greens are green, blues are blue, reds are red and my dog is not a pixel shadow creature any more.

Update 2/20/13
Not a single issue to date and the system has been on 24x7 for almost two years. I have a UPS on the system and it's never been unplugged. Camera optics are just as clear as day one. I have had to remove some spider webs 3x over this period. Upon my inspection I have noticed the black housing has turned a golden color. No pitting or rust but like shiny brass underneath. I live in the Midwest were we get some pretty crappy weather and wind. These cameras are in the full elements or rain, ice, snow and direct sun. Mounts have held firm for all this time and that's incredibly important as I would have to drag out a 32' 100lb ladder. I check the system 10-15 times a day just to see my dog, front door, back door, fence gates and driveway.
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on February 23, 2012
1.) installation
prior to installing the camera or routing any wires i quickly connected everything to make sure it all works. i had zero issues. The box comes with a manual and a quick setup guide. the system is so easy to set up i did not even look at the manual or guide and got everything working within minutes.

the camera come with their own dry wall screws and mounts. they were complete garbage IMO. i instead used some nicer ones i already had.

prior to actually drilling holes or anything i held the cameras in place with my hand and had my fiance tell me how to adjust them so we could see what we wanted. this was hard and time consuming since we wanted to make sure we has no blind spots. but this is required for any camera system. actually drilling the holes for the screws and everything was easy using a small marker to mark the three mounting hole locations on the wall.

routing the wires was by far the hardest and most time consuming part. but this once again is how any wired camera system would be. the supplied length of cable was more than enough for my needs. if needed i could always buy extensions.

make sure to pick a place for the DVR that is hidden. you do not want the DVR next to all your other entertainment system hardware. if a thief breaks into your home, that would be some of the first things they would steal. it does no good to record someone stealing your stuff if they also steal the recording.

2.) configuration
you have three options to control the DVR, (though during initial setup you only have two) one is with the supplied USB mouse, one is with the supplied IR remote, and the other is over the network once that is set up.
until i had the network setup and working i liked the remote the most.

configuration was easy and straight forward. the menu settings are fairly self explanatory, and i only once and while looked at the manual for assistance. i thought the manual had all the detail required to get the unit working.

some people have said they had difficulty in getting the remote access working. my router supported the required protocols as the manual detailed. using the site whatismyip.com i was able to determine my router's public IP. knowing the port i configured the DVR to use per the manual, i was first able to get something to load on my machine. for one reason or another i could only see the HTML source code of the web page!. luckily i have done web development and read the source code. the page i was looking at was a re director page determining what browser you were using. based on that it would send you to the right HTML page. with IE it would send me to [...] where the x's represent my public IP address(please note it appears this remote access only seems to work with IE or saffari. i tried firefox, chrome, and maxthon browsers and none worked). for one reason or another if i only entered the IP and port info into my browser i could not access the web interface. however after manually typing in the play.html after my IP and port i was asked to install an active x plug in and everything worked fine!

through the web interface you can see live video of the 4 cameras, see your past recordings, and configure nearly all settings within the DVR. for me everything worked except for the playback of recorded video. i kept getting an error. this was a little disappointing. i like that i can configure everything through the web interface so i do not need to worry about running the RCA cable from the DVR to a TV.

3.) video quality
for the money and based on the number of TV lines the cameras posses, the video quality is exactly what i expected. for the money i was not expecting full 1080P resolution recording. if you want that kind of video quality you are looking at many times more money. you can always upgrade the cameras to ones with more lines of resolution such as cameras with 540 lines or more. for my use i am happy with the video quality. i have watched those TV shows of criminals recorded on video. police have been able to arrest people with video much worse than what these camera do, so i am not concerned with not being able i identify anyone breaking into my house.

4.) misc
the cameras automatically switch between color and B/W night time mode based on the amount of light. the make a physical and audible click when they perform this transition, and some people may find it annoying. it does not bother me.

update 3-1-2012:
I have been using this for a little over a week or so. everything is great. i love the remote access. you can watch live video of all four cameras. you can watch any of the recorded videos in the browser, or you can download the file to your PC through the browser. you can configure every setting through the web interface. i have zero need to ever connect the DVR to the TV.

for the money it is understandable that the cameras are not super high resolution or anything. i am thinking about updating one or two of the cameras with a 700 TVL camera.
review image review image review image
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on September 5, 2013
Based on the reviews, this seems like one of the better brands to get that isn't absurdly expensive.

PROS:
1) It lets you watch your recordings at different speeds. In addition, allows you to choose which recordings you want to review at a specific time and date.
2) Decent image quality when there is sufficient lighting.
3) The cameras that come with this unit are upgraded for better night vision
4) The night vision is better than expected. If there's a street light in the shot or on the edge of the shot, the image gets a little washed out.
5) Great phone app. VERY nice feature! It helped with setting up the cameras which is a plus. And I found it handy to just quickly check on the cameras before going to bed to make sure that they're still fine.

CONS:
1) You cannot zoom in with the cameras. It is just a basic camera. You can (in a way) zoom in when viewing on the screen, but it is simply cropping the image and enlarging the existing image. So it makes it difficult to make out any details if the person/object is > 10-15ft away.
2) Now that the region of interest has to be closer to the camera, you have to be careful that nothing is actually too close to it at night. I tried hanging these cameras between the railings of my balcony with the front sticking out ~1.5 inches. When I went to check on the recordings after it got dark, I noticed that nothing was in focus. There has to be at the very least 2-3 inches of clearance on the sides and several inches in front or else the camera will have trouble focusing. And this issue of focusing also includes window screens. I tried propping one camera against a window and it was focusing fine during the day. Once it got dark outside, the camera tried to focus on the screen and all I saw were whitish gray blobs.
3) These need to be screwed down. The base of the cameras aren't heavy enough to balance out the cameras.
4) This might just be me, but I had issues watching the recordings. I found it difficult to figure out the UI. But once you figure out how to choose the date and time, it's easy to fast forward/rewind at different speeds.

Overall, it's a decent product. It's good when there is sufficient light or nothing nearby to interfere with it's ability to focus. Just wasn't the right product for what I needed to use it for.
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on August 3, 2012
I bought this to secure my home and so far I couldn't be happier. Initial setup wasn't too bad, I ran into a few problems along the way but their tech support was always there willing to go the extra mile to help me solve my problems during setup. I haven't setup all 8 cameras yet however I can say that I have no regrets in choosing Swann for my home security. I will update my review a month later after I've had more time to get used to the setup.

Update (08/06/12): I contacted tech support about a few issues I was having and decided to include the problem and solution in my review.

*Open Telnet: Yes the device does have an open telnet port, but the only way to access it is using the admin account on your Swann system. If you set the password there is no way someone can log into your device without the proper password. Another reviewer was upset about this but telnet is only a security issue when you use it and someone on your network is snooping. The same could be said about using your web browser without ssl to access the web interface of the device. Solution, set admin password don't use telnet :)

*Invalid User on Mobile Device: This happens if you are trying to use an account other than admin. You must set the admin password and login to your device using the admin account only. This bothers me a little bit as I would like to set specific privileges for a separate account but regardless it works with this solution so I am happy.

*Is it possible to delete segments or video files from DVR: This is not possible using the DVR interfaces. To delete footage using the DVR you must format the hard drive completely. It is probably possible to remove the hard drive and attach it to a computer to delete the individual video file however by the time someone has gone through that amount of effort it will hopefully be obvious that someone has been tampering with your device.

*Always record with motion detect: I initially wanted my device setup so that I could have footage of everything but still have the luxury of searching by motion detection to skip footage where nothing happens. I guess I was being paranoid because I now realize that the device does a good job at catching everything it needs to with motion detect alone. However if you do find yourself still wanting motion detection + constant recording the solution I was given was to setup motion detection as you normally would and once you are done hit the record button on the front of the DVR. It will now alternate between constant recording and motion detection as needed. You will see a red "R" on the screen if it is recording without detecting motion and a red "M" if it is recording while detecting motion.

*How far can I run cables: The answer I was given was 300ft is the max before you start running into issues. I'm assuming this is due to the power supply and it may be possible to run longer cables if needed using a stronger power supply however I think 300ft for a home security system will meet most users needs. I couldn't find precut cable longer than 150ft and needed some lines to be 250FT for clean wiring, so I opted to buy 1000FT and crimp my own cables. Still waiting for the rest of my supplies to arrive however I don't imagine I will have any problems. Will update again once I'm done.

*What is the maximum size hard drive supported: 2TB
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on January 31, 2013
I purchased the 825508-S 8-Channel, 8-Camera system, and decided I wanted to install it myself. My wife and I had moved into a much larger house. I am an independent contractor and I work mostly from an office at one far end of the "compound". It is probably 200 ft. and down a flight of stairs to walk to the other end of the house to see who is at the front door. The house did come with an intercom installed but only friendies were likely to use the device. With such a large house (5,000+ sq ft) it was making me feel like I was unable to know what was going on inside and around the house even during the daytime while I worked. This system changed that. It is so amazing that with one quick glance, I can instantly see what is going on around my property.

By far, the greatest amount of work involved to install this system is running the cables and mounting the cameras. Besides the 8 camera inputs, the system can also monitor four microphones, although I have not yet used this feature. There is one VGA output that you can run to a monitor as well as two composite outputs for standard definition viewing elsewhere inside the building. There are also two speaker outputs.

It took me six months before I had installed all eight cameras. The reason it took me so long is that I wanted to put a great deal of thought into where I wanted to place the cameras, where and how I could run the cables and how I could mount the cameras. Also, I do not like the idea of punching holes in the exterior of my house.

Soon after I bought this system, a store only three or four blocks away was robbed by three gunmen. My wife and I discovered this when we walked down to a local fast food restaurant and found a TV station van with 50ft antennae doing a live interview on the parking lot. The surveillance cameras that were mounted in the parking lot are unprotected from the weather. When I watched the news story that night on television, the images were pretty poor because of condensate from water that had penetrated the housing. They were mounted right in the open. I decided that I didn't want my cameras exposed to the elements in this way. So those cameras that I could not mount under an overhang, I built a little bird-house shelter for each of them. This turned out to be a good thing and my images look more clear than the ones on the news broadcast. All of my cameras are hanging from a horizontal surface that is above them. I think the adjustments work best if you mount your cameras this way. Each camera has a threaded base that allows you to yaw the camera and a stamped locking nut to fix it in position. There is another screw that allows you to adjust the pitch to control the angle above/below horizontal. Finally, there is a screw that you can loosen to roll (bank) the camera to make sure it is horizontal.

When you are thinking about where you want to mount your cameras, keep in mind the sun's arc across the sky during the day and avoid having your camera looking directly into the sun. Even if the sun is out of the field of view, the images you get from your cameras will become nearly useless if the sun is close to being in view. But your camera shouldn't get damaged as long as it is not staring directly into the sun.

Before you install your cables, you should find a closet that is located centrally in your home. This is to make sure you can keep the cables as short as you can to reach the main console. The system comes with eight 60 ft. cables. But my longest run was 150 ft. I bought my longer cables here on Amazon and they work pretty well:
VideoSecu AV Video Audio Power 100ft Feet BNC Cable Security Camera Wire for CCTV Home Surveillance with 2 RCA Male to BNC Female Connectors 3JG
VideoSecu 150 Feet Video Power Security Camera Cable for CCTV Surveillance DVR System Installation CBV150 C13
You can connect additional composite monitors using a cable like this:
1-RCA Composite Video / Subwoofer / Digital Coax / S/ PDIF Patch Cable 100ft
But you will need an adaptor to mate it with the BNC that is on the back of the main console like this one:
RiteAV - BNC Male to RCA Female Adapter

Don't expect the camera images to be as good as comparable videos on your computer monitor. It didn't take long before I got tired of crawling up on ladder in a closet to reach the system console for configuring the system and monitoring the cameras. It turned out that I needed 100 ft. of cabling to connect the VGA monitor and mouse interfaces to a desk where I wanted to access the system. It was pretty easy to find a 100 ft. VGA cable and the images look pretty good through such a long run. But the USB interface will not go that far. I found a product that uses a 100 ft. Cat5e cable for this purpose. Read about it here: USB Extender Adapter (use w/ Cat5e Cable) up to 150 ft: by Abacus24-7

The one thing I need to warn people about is that little spiders will spin webs around the camera's lens. These are not visible during the day but they really degrade the view at night. Since the lenses in these cameras are so small, these filaments spun by our micro arachnid tenants can be almost microscopic to our bare eyes. But at night, they reflect a great deal of the infrared emitted by the built-in LEDs. You will need to periodically climb up a ladder and brush them away. A small paint brush made for painting pictures will do the job nicely. You won't necessarily even see the web filaments when you perform this service so I recommend moving your brush around in a circle from the inside out in a pattern that will clear a cone of space projected out from the front of the lens. Besides spiders, I have observed wasps and even hummingbirds coming to visit my cameras.

We have something like 17 pecan trees on our property. Probably half of these are located on a long sidewalk along the street front. During 2011, we had a drought so we didn't get any pecans. But during 2012 we had a bumper crop. Watching these cameras, I have spied probably at least 20 incidents of people stealing our pecans. Perhaps it is because people don't realize that our place is a private residence. The house was built using commercial construction and I have been told that people think it is a church, a medical clinic or even an art gallery. But sometimes even families will come with their bags to fill up on "free" (i.e. stolen) pecans. Many of them will even park their trucks or cars (nicer and more expensive than mine) in our driveway while they load up. By now, many of them know not to do that because I can now see them from my office and I can be out there in less than a minute to stop the pilfering. But it is a good thing that this is the most serious crime I have seen so far using my new surveillance system.

The one criticism I have for this system (and the reason I gave it only four stars) involves getting the web interface to work so that you access it from you computer. I am a Windows 7 user and the installation procedure requires me to disable the security on my computer. This is all because Swann didn't bother to supply their software with a valid security certificate. A large company like Swann should have been able to do that. Instead, I am just not using their web interface.

****** UPDATE April 23, 2013 ******
On the afternoon of April 17 I notice that one of my feeds showed "VIDEO LOSS". I reviewed the archive and found the instant when it went out. I had no extra hardware so I ordered another unit for spares. It turns out that the camera is still good but the cable seems to be bad. This was not totally unexpected because that one cable has an outside run of about 50 ft. It is more exposed to the elements and it has some tension on it besides having a total length of 150 ft. Unfortunately, this will be the most difficult run to redo as I will need to pull it inside. One thing to note is that the forward part of the cylindrical housing must be made of plastic while the rest is metal. After a fews months outdoors it fades from black to a metalic copper on its way to silver. This is very strange. I would post a photo but it looks like this review system has no mechanism to attach a picture.

[UPDATE]The DVR's video went blank in March of 2015. I had bought another system for backup. I replace the DVR with the newer one so I am up and running again. I hope this one lasts longer than the first one.
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