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Swann 4-Channel DVR4-2550 Review

A Thief and Naughty Child Deterrent!

Somehow it doesn’t seem right to mention the word “thief” and “child” in the same sentence, but in my experience both need some surveillance. Well, maybe not so much for children but a thief definitely needs a deterrent.

One of the many reasons I’ve set up this website isn’t just so you get a good idea of what type of surveillance systems there are on the market, but to also let you know they’re not just about catching undesirables trying to make off with your car. They’re about making sure your kids are safe (and behaving) as well.

In this review, I’m going to tell you about the Swann DVR4-2550 which (in my humble opinion) is great if you don’t want to spend vast amounts of money, but DO want to know what’s going on around your home.

Swann 4-Channel 4x ADS-180 Cameras

Swann SWDVK-425504C DVR4-2550
See it at Amazon

Before I get into what you can expect from this security system you should know the information below is based on the 4 channel DVR complete with 4 cameras. You can however, buy the 8 channel DVR with 4 cameras so you have the option to add more if you want to.


I start with this aspect of the system because the technology available today often means that a security system has to be configured once it’s physically installed, and this is a huge “put off” for many. However Swann has thought about this. Unlike many other systems you won’t have to manually set-up the cameras and DVR. In fact, Swann goes so far as to say they have included their own UPnP or to you and me, “plug n play” technology.

This means the system automatically configures your router. All you have to do is follow the on screen menus that require nothing more than a point or click. Do be aware however, that your router should have UPnP capability and you will need access to the internet.

The reason why you need all of this will soon become clear but I want to move on to the cameras next.

The Cameras

As said, you get 4 cameras with this CCTV system and they can be used indoors or outdoors. You also get the benefit of being able to record both night and day because the cameras have IR (infrared) LEDS and will automatically switch from color to black and white when the light levels become low.

Swann do tell you that night vision will produce images up to 33 feet away however, as with many cheaper models of CCTV systems with this option, you might find that isn’t the case. I’ve also come across reports that state the picture can be a little grainy but this can be rectified by lowering the frames per second.

The cameras can be set to record non-stop for up to 60 days which is perfect for those of you who are often away on business or are looking to protect a vacation property. Of course, motion detection is available so you can get an even longer recording period if you opt to do this.


As with many other “home” surveillance systems, the DVR has a huge 500GB hard drive which is why it’s possible to record continuously for so long. It will also let you view all 4 cameras at the same time which is an option I haven’t come across with many other models in this price bracket. It includes a VGA connection which means you can keep an eye on everything from your LCD monitor or PC, and you also get a video cable pack so you can watch what the kids are up to from your television.

Back to Internet Access

If you are familiar with surveillance systems, you will no doubt be aware that a lot of them will allow you to see what’s happening at home (or your business premises) when you’re not there, and this is all done using the internet. This 4 camera system is no different, and once set-up you can easily get live viewing from a 3G Smartphone, but you will have to download the app. However, considering this is free it’s really not worth mentioning other than for your convenience.

If you opt to have the cameras record when motion is detected, you can still get alerts to your mobile device via email, and this will only happen when the camera has been activated.

Other Features

I could go on and on about the features this CCTV system has but you would probably still be reading this review a week from now, so I’ll only mention two things to consider. First of all, motion detection can be set-up so your cameras ignore things like moving branches, which eliminates the need to go over “useless” footage.

Also, if you do happen to catch someone attempting to rob you, everything is time- and datestamped and you can quickly move from frame to frame without too much trouble. Plus, you can then copy the image on to a USB flash drive for future use.

Why You Might Need this CCTV System

Well, if you have teenagers my guess is they won’t be coming home late or sneaking out in the middle of the night anymore! Plus, just having cameras mounted outside your home is always going to be a deterrent to thieves because the last thing they need is to be caught on camera.

I also think this is a great “starter” system for those of you that are new to surveillance. If you take a look at Amazon, you’ll find some great deals on price and plenty more reviews just like this one.

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