We’ve reviewed a number of Swann security camera offerings at Ausdroid in the past. The mains powered Spotlight Outdoor security camera, Wi-Fi Xtreem and even the NVR security system. They’ve all been good for the price range but have a common issue, they’re reliant on power and the Internet for functionality. The AllSecure650 is an all-in-one security camera system that covers that, as well as other needs for security camera systems including continued coverage in a power outage.

We covered a general overview of the system when it launched a couple of weeks ago. Today we’ll take a closer look at the system and user experience because we’ve had one on loan for a few weeks now, and — spoiler alert — it’s actually really impressive!

What is it?

The AllSecure650 is a security camera system, not just a stand-alone camera. The system includes four 2K cameras, a base station and all of the necessary cables and mountings to get it set up. Perhaps the most impressive bit of this is the fact that it’s such a well-thought-out, holistic approach to home and business security.

The cameras, as mentioned, are 2K resolution and provide excellent quality video quality — provided you have sufficient upstream speed on your Internet connection — to your mobile devices and, to the storage on your base station.

The base station is quite chunky, however, it does a lot and that size is well justified. It’s the central point for your cameras to connect to, it has built-in storage, can show your cameras on a physically connected screen if you wish, offers ethernet or Wi-Fi connection (and flexibility) to how and where you store it, and, is the charging station for your spare battery.

What I really like about this is that it doesn’t just charge your camera batteries, it can use the battery to power the base station in the event of a blackout. Because the cameras are also battery-powered, while you’re not going to get notifications if your Internet is out, your cameras will still record all of the motion events from your cameras.

The other great feature of this is the speed that this introduces to battery changes, minimising downtime for your cameras.

Set up, features and daily use

Compared to a single camera connecting to your Wi-Fi this is a lot more complex setup, but it really isn’t difficult to do. Swann’s written instructions are clear and concise, with three instruction booklets to follow. In honesty though, they’re really not needed a simple card saying “Plug the base station into a screen first for setup, then connect the app” is really all that’s needed.

That’s not because the instructions were overwhelming though either, but the setup process on the base station is so easy to follow. The only real “gotcha” I got caught out with a couple of times was the apply button being in the bottom right of the screen, therefore, not always seen…

Once you’ve gone through the base station setup, the next step is to get the cameras connected. For the four cameras included in the package, it took me under a minute to do this, because all I had to do was plug the batteries in. They then automatically paired to the base station and began showing feeds on my screen.

Once you’ve done this and have your admin password — created as part of the physical setup on a screen or monitor — you’re ready to install and connect the app. Doing this takes only moments with a scan of the QR code on the back of the base station and entering the password.

We’ve previously covered the best places (and types of cameras to use) to mount your cameras in-depth, so won’t go over old ground there. The main thing to note here is that Swann provides all of the hardware necessary to mount your camera except a drill and drill bit. Added to this, the fact that the screw mounting is the same as other major, and many lesser-known brands it’s easy to use existing mounts you may have already installed.

Once you’ve set up the base station and installed your cameras, you can set and forget. The system will alert you based on scheduling and your preferences as to when there’s a motion on your property.

When it comes to battery life, it’s very difficult to ascertain with any certainty what the battery life is. Not because it’s bad, in fact, because it’s very good and after 5 weeks of testing none of the batteries is in need of changeover; even in high-traffic areas.

The app: Easy to use and intuitive

Apps for DIY security these days have all evolved to a point where someone with minimal, to zero technical knowledge can easily set them up and that’s a good thing. From a reviewer’s perspective, that doesn’t leave a lot to talk about because they are so simple to use, it’s just a case of following the on-screen instructions.

In the case of the Swann Security app, as we’ve noted in previous Swann Security reviews, this theme runs true. There are a couple of things I’d like to make specific notes of relating to notifications.

As a starting point, the notifications come through to my phone quicker than other cameras I have up around the house. That’s a big win, particularly if it’s at an unexpected time of day, or when we’re not home.

The downside though, is that unlike Arlo and Ring (there are probably others…) they’re not rich notifications. What this means is that you have to load the app to see who, or what is moving around your property. For me, that’s a fairly significant downside as the rich notifications can be dismissed easily when you know kids are playing in the driveway for instance.

**EDIT** After discussion with Swann marketing, it has been confirmed that the rich notifications are available as part of the Swann Secure+ subscription.

If you want to, you can also access (and delete) recordings from within the app. This will free up a lot of space on the storage, but, it’s probably not necessary due to the 1TB storage capacity available and the fact that the oldest footage will automatically be deleted when space is needed.

The other features you’ll find in the app include:

  • Access to Secure+ subscription options
  • User profile and settings
  • Adding devices
  • Dropbox linking – For automatic uploading of motion events
  • User Manuals
  • Access to the Swann shop and Support

It wasn’t that long ago, that Swann had users transition from its old to the new Swann Security app. In that time the app has developed and been polished well, to a point where it’s a simple, intuitive and highly functional app.

Conclusion: A worthwhile investment for your first security system

The AllSecure650 is an impressive and well-designed DIY security system. There are a huge amount of features that tick almost every box along the way.

The hardware design is excellent with a focus on quality and convenience. The system itself is well-considered offering options to suit various settings with different camera numbers as well as the ability to scale up going forward.

At an RRP of $1,099.95 for the four-camera system, it’s not a cheap offering, but the broad functionality, reliability and convenience make it worthwhile. If you then compare it to some of the bigger names charging over $300.00 per camera without the base station function; The AllSecure 650 really shows its value.

The AllSecure650 can be purchased through the usual retail channels including JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, The Good Guys and Swann direct.

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Aren’t you forgetting to mention the battery life ?