Arlo vs. Swann

Arlo is best known for its high-quality camera options created for a customizable home security experience. If picture quality is high on your priority list, Arlo might be your best bet. Choose from a wide range of camera options with resolution all the way up to 4k, along with impressive features like advanced object detection and smart home integrations, all without a contract.

If you’re looking for a more traditional home security system with motion detectors and a wide range of recording options, Swann is a better option. Customers can choose from an array of equipment, creating a customizable option to monitor yourself via the Swann app. It’s a more robust system if you’re looking for a system a little more traditional without the contracts and high prices.

If you’re deciding between Arlo and Swann, SecurityNerd will take you through the similarities and differences, and help you decide which fits in best with your home security plans.

Arlo vs Swann: What do they have in common?

  • HD video: Both Arlo and Swann offer crisp video options, including night vision. You won’t have to worry about any grainy video with either product.
  • Home automation options: Both Arlo and Swann offer home automation integrations along with Alexa and Google Assistant. While neither company’s smart home options are as robust as some other DIY companies, they offer enough choices to make your home more efficient.
  • Two-way audio: Both Arlo and Swann have cameras that allow you to communicate both ways with anyone you see on the other side of the camera. Whether you’re saying hi to your significant other at home, or trying to scare away a thief, two-way communication can come in handy.
  • Smartphone app: Customers are able to control their security system with a smartphone app. They can arm, disarm and view video from anywhere with both Swann and Arlo.
  • Weatherproof camera options: These companies don’t just offer indoor camera options. The outdoor models are weatherproof, made to stand up to Mother Nature.
  • No contract: If you’re looking to steer clear of lengthy contracts, Swann and Arlo won’t rope you into any commitments like some traditional security companies.
  • Continuous video storage: Some DIY companies will only allow you to view videos that were triggered by an alert. Both services have continuous recording capabilities, meaning you can scrub through video even if there wasn’t an activity that triggered the camera to record.
  • DIY installation: You’ll have to be comfortable with installing both systems yourself, as neither provides professional installation services. However, that means you’ll also save money on the service as well.
  • No professional monitoring: You must be comfortable monitoring both products yourself. Arlo and Swann don’t offer any type of professional monitoring services. Motion sensors: Both options have the ability to detect motion when someone or something moves near the camera. This is an incredible feature because you can set your camera to record based on detecting motion, giving you a bird’s-eye view of any activity near the camera.

Arlo vs Swann: What are the differences?

  • Cloud based storage vs Local storage: Arlo has primarily cloud based video storage options, while Swann provides more robust storage options including DVR and NVR.
  • Apple HomeKit enabled vs No Apple integration: Both companies have Google Assistant and Alexa integration, but only Arlo is compatible with Apple HomeKit.
  • Highly-rated app vs. App issues: While both options have a mobile app, Arlo is rated much higher than Swann, with Swann users complaining about glitches and lagging.

Arlo: What you need to know

Arlo is best known for its impressive wireless cameras, perfectly customizable for anyone looking for a home security system centered on wireless cameras. Customers can order exactly the products they need to outfit their home, without any set packages, required monthly payments or contracts. You’ll always have a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on inside and outside your home, without the hassle of any long-term commitment.

The most popular Arlo cameras include the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2. When deciding Arlo Pro vs Arlo Pro 2, the Pro 2 is almost twice as expensive, but it includes features like activity zones and a 3-second lookback.

Nerd Pros

  • Video quality: When it comes to cameras with Arlo, you’re getting the best  video quality on the DIY market. In fact, 4k resolution is something most security companies don’t offer.
  • Advanced object detection: The cameras not only provide crisp pictures, they’re smart too. Arlo cameras can tell the difference between a person and a pet.
  • No contracts: When you’re looking to avoid the traditional contracts associated with a security company, Arlo is a great choice. You won’t have to get locked into any commitment to use these cameras.

Nerd Cons

  • Larger upfront cost: Arlo doesn’t offer contracts, which means you don’t have the luxury of spreading out payments. You’ll have a larger upfront cost when purchasing equipment with this system.
  • No professional monitoring options: You’ll be saving money going without professional monitoring. But that still means you have to be okay with monitoring the system yourself.
  • Battery life: Going wireless can be incredibly convenient. However, Arlo’s battery life is shorter than its competitors, which can be a deal breaker for people who don’t want to worry about changing batteries every six months or so.

Swann: What you need to know

Swann Security has been around for more than 30 years, and has established customizable DIY home security systems, ranging from budget-conscious to pricey. From bullet cameras to a 24-channel model with DVR capabilities, customers can purchase what they need without having to worry about pre-packaged bundles with long contracts. The Swann cameras offer 4k ultra resolution with heat-activated motion sensors.

You’ll need to be comfortable installing your own equipment and monitoring your own home with Swann, but its customization and flexibility is perfect for homeowners looking for a solid DIY option.

Nerd Pros

  • Cameras: Customers certainly aren’t limited when it comes to camera choices with Swann. From basic models to hardware with all the bells and whistles, this DIY company doesn’t skimp on choices when it comes to cameras.
  • No contract: You won’t be buying into a lengthy contract when you purchase Swann cameras. Customers can simply purchase their equipment and not have to worry about being locked into any commitment.
  • Camera features: The higher-end cameras offer heat-activated motion detectors along with sound detection, which does set it apart from Arlo cameras.

Nerd Cons

  • Pay for storage: Although customers get free cloud storage for two days, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee if you want any extra space. Arlo offers a week of cloud storage, which could be enough for some customers. The other option is going with a more expensive storage options like a DVR or NVR with Swann.
  • No professional monitoring: You’ll have to be comfortable monitoring your own home in case of emergency.
  • App complaints: Although Apple users seem to be incredibly happy with Swann’s app, Android users give the app a measly 2 in the app store, complaining of bugs after the latest security update.

Arlo and Swann: Wrapping it up

Although Arlo and Swann are very similar in pricing and customization, the companies typically appeal to different types of customers. SecurityNerd chooses Swann over Arlo because Swann offers a more robust security system with additional options that beats out Arlo. Although some of Arlo’s cameras have a siren built-in, Swann is a more complete security system overall.

Arlo is still a great choice, especially if camera quality is at the top of your list. They offer 4k video resolution along with multiple setups, including a baby monitor with environmental monitoring. If you’re comfortable monitoring your own system and want incredible picture quality along with motion detection capabilities, Arlo is also a solid choice.

Whether you decide to go with Arlo or Swann, you really can’t go wrong. Both companies give customers ultimate customization, sharp video and impressive features that will make your home a safer place.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.