Review: Swann AllSecure650™ 2K Wireless Security Kit

This is not a camera story per se, but I bring this up as many folk who read Australian Videocamera do have a fair amount of expensive gadgetry and other stuff in the homes and home offices / studios etc.

Over the last few weeks, the local Constabulary has been advising us locally that there has been an swathe of attempted car thefts and nickin’ of stuff from unlocked cars that are not garaged and secured.

My Monaro is safely tucked to bed each night inside the locked garage, but the other car is kept parked out the front. The one drawback with the garage however, is at the back it is open to the world and there is a LOT of stuff in there, plus there would be easy access to the back shed containing the current build of the Hornby HO model railway that will one day get completed.

Sure, we have Dougie the Doggy, but he is inside at night so not much use there, I fear.

I have mentioned in the past that I have in place a number of Swann stand alone security cameras that sense movement via infra-red. Now these are all well and good inside the house, but outside is a different story. They record to internal memory you see, so unless you take the option of also recording to the Cloud, if one of the Beagle Boys actually sees it and simply trousers it, then it becomes of little use.

So, I decided to chat to Swann about an upgraded system that would fit the bill.

They came back with a suggestion of the AllSecure650 2K Wireless Kit, and after checking the specs and ease of install, that is the way I went.

The major advantages to me are the wireless aspect and the fact it records to a base station.

Let me explain. A lot of security systems use BNC cabling to get the video and audio signals back to a recording device, which really is nothing more than a glorified DVD player using a hard disk as against DVD discs. Smarter units use Ethernet cables in the same way you might connect a printer to a router, or indeed, even your router to the modem.

This means that you must manually lay cables between cameras and the base station (recorder) and this usually entails crawling through rooof spaces and drilling holes etc – or paying a licenced contractor to do that for you.

There have been Wi-fi based units around, but the major issue with these was getting power to the cameras; with the cabled ones, they draw their power from the base station via the cabling.

The 4 cameras that came with the AllSecure650 2K Wireless Kit use batteries to power them. I am guessing that Swann has been able to do this as battery technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the last little while. I have had these cameras in place now for around 7 weeks now and each camera still has over 60% charge in it which is excellent.

A very clever feature is that Swan actually supplies one extra battery for you and what makes this smart is that the base station containing the recording stuff, also doubles as a charger So this battery sits snugly inside its compartment snoozing away until needed when a camera yells out it is running out of electricities.

You simply swap them over and recharge the unhappy one.

The whole thing was dead simple to set up. Swann supply mounting brackets, screws and rawl plugs too, as well as templates for the drill the holes if you decide to go that way. You can monitor the cameras on an HDMI based screen if you wish – simply plug it in via the cable and choose an HDMI port on your telly you can switch to if needed.

Another option, which I have taken, is to install the Swann app on your phone and use that for 24-hour monitoring, with the app letting you know if the cameras have been triggered. You can then view the scene in real time on your phone no matter where you are, as long as in mobile range of course. And the app can reside on multiple phones too.

So, there you have it. A simple straightforward security system for a price that doesn’t break the bank – and might even reduce your insurance premium – that is simple to setup with little time needed to do so.

And here is a tip; for certain people, usually those on a pension of some description, there is a government AUD$400 rebate available, so maybe this is a good idea for elderly parents or grandparents for example as a Chrissy pressie?

Jus’ saying…

The Swann AllSecure650 2K Wireless Security Kit sells for AUD$1099.with 4 cameras or AUD$899 with 3 cameras. Extra cameras are AUD$269.95. These prices seem to be pretty stable between Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks etc.

How secure is your studio? It needn’t cost an arm and leg – $220 will do it.

I’ll like to touch on a subject I am guessing few think about – security.

If you added up the value of all your video gear, computers, gadgets and so on, if you are like me, you have a tidy sum invested. So how do you protect that equipment?

When I added up all of mine, all the stuff I have amassed over the years including cameras, camcorders, mics, lighting, accessories, computers, mixing gear, streaming gear, assorted other bits of kit, cases, drones and so on, it gave me one hell of a fright, not to mention alerting me that my insurance cover was way too low.

I decided to invest a further small amount in an internal camera alarm system.

And this is the crux of this article, as I found out that whilst most think these systems – similar to what you see in retail premises – involve a bank of cameras, associated cabling and some sort of complex recording device (or even more expensive, a “back to base” system where a 3rd party does the 24 hour monitoring).

But it needn’t. In my case, I looked at equipment from Swann, an Aussie company known world wide for its products and expertise in this area, and whilst yes, I could have spent a grand or more on a full security system, to cover my studio, I only needed to spend around $220.

This gives me a single stand-alone camera that supports motion sensing, is waterproof, has a 180° field of view, records internally and is powered by a USB rechargeable battery.

Additionally, it has a built in mic and speaker so via the app on your smart phone (which will also alert you if something triggers the camera) so you can do 2 way communication. Voice commands via Google and Alexa are also supported.

Setting it up is a snap, and all it takes is introducing the camera to your home or office / studio Wi-fi, pairing the app on your smartphone, and away you go.

In my case, I used a trick to extend battery life; I purchased a 20,000mAh Powerbank from Jaycar and plugged that into the USB port thus continually charging the internal battery. When the Powerbank runs out of electricities, I can unplug it as the camera is still fully charged, and top it back up. Optionally, you can add a solar panel too.

As well as recording internally, you can optionally record to “the cloud” with 7 days of footage being stored and rolling over each day after that.

As the system uses a combination of your own Wi-fi and smartphone, you can be anywhere in the world and get notifications (as long as you have mobile access).

Finally, there are no contracts to enter into or anything like that – ie no further costs as the whole thing is completely self-contained.

And you can add more cameras to other locations as your needs grow.

For more information on what I set up click here.

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This is a 360 view of my studio / office. If you look closely, on the left of the creen screen you can see the Swann camera

And this is what thesecurity camera sees…