Canary vs Swann Cameras

A good home security system is essential today, but it can be hard to know which one to pick. There are hundreds of security providers in the market. Two popular home security camera providers are Swann and Canary.

Swann is an international security provider in more than 40 countries. Swann is best known for providing high-quality, affordable security equipment.

Canary is a modern security provider launched in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign; Canary is best known for offering all-in-one security services with low-cost security cameras. Let's take a look at what they have to offer.

Canary vs Swann: What do they have in common?

  • Voice control: You can control your system with Amazon Alexa.
  • HD video resolution: You can purchase 1080p HD resolution cameras with each provider.
  • Night vision: Night vision compatibility is on offer.
  • Flexibility: You won't be forced to purchase a contract or subscription; you'll have full flexibility.
  • Weatherproof cameras: Most Canary and Swann cameras are weatherproof and suited for outdoor use.
  • Motion detection: You'll have access to motion detection - including motion alerts if motion is detected.
  • Two-way audio: One of the best features offered by both providers is two-way talk, which is a convenient way to make it seem like you're home, even if you're not.
  • DIY installation: Most installations are simple; there are no professional installation options.
  • Smart home integration: Swann and Canary share Google Assistant compatibility.
  • Mobile app: Each system is compatible with a free mobile app; each app can be downloaded on iPhone and Android.

Canary vs Swann: What are the differences?

  • Reputation: Swann has been in the industry for several decades and has built a more prominent reputation than Canary.
  • Storage options: Canary relies heavily on cloud storage options, but Swann provides DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and NVR (Network Video Recorder) system options.
  • Solar panels: Canary doesn't offer solar panels; Swann does.
  • Heat sensors: Swann offers more hardware, including heat sensors.
  • Field of view: Most Swann cameras have a larger field of view.

Swann: What you need to know

Swann is an experienced provider that enjoys a global presence, and they offer DIY monitored systems and some of the best home security cameras on the market. Let's break down what they have to offer.

Installation

Your setup will be heavily influenced by the system you choose; most installations take around 30-40 minutes, but it may take longer if you're not experienced at DIY. The wire-free installations are easier, and the app has some FAQs. If you require more assistance, you can call the customer helpline.

Equipment

Swann has a more comprehensive range of cameras than Canary. Swann's extensive range includes:

  • Wire-free smart security cameras and video doorbells
  • Pan and tilt cam
  • Outdoor 1080p HD cameras
  • 4-16 Channel NVR

Additional equipment available includes:

  • Garage parking sensors
  • Home doorbell camera kit
  • Solar panels
  • Dummy cams
  • Extra mounting stands

Home automation

Your new Swann system will come with a great app that can send you push notifications in the event of a problem. The new Swann system will be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but there aren't many third-party integrations. Still, voice control with Alexa is an excellent benefit.

Costs 

  • Equipment costs: Equipment costs vary from around $70-$500. An NVR system is often used for larger residences or businesses and is more expensive than this.
  • Monthly costs: Monthly fees start at $9.99 for emergency response, incident support, and live view; you'll also receive an extended warranty of up to 36 months if you choose to become a premium customer.

Nerd pros

  • Cameras: You'll have an array of camera options with Swann, from basic models to bells and whistles installations for huge properties; you'll see this DIY company doesn't skimp on choices when it comes to cameras.
  • No contract: You aren't obligated to purchase a contract. You can buy your equipment without a contract.
  • Camera features: There are several great advanced features, including heat-activated motion sensors.

Nerd cons

  • Pay for storage: Although you'll get free cloud storage for two days, it's limited, and you'll pay a monthly fee if you need more than this. You can use local storage, but you'll need an NVR system for this, which is more expensive.
  • App complaints: Although iPhone users rate it well, Android users report connectivity issues and bugs.

Canary Security: What you need to know

Canary launched recently with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign; Canary cameras offer excellent features, including local storage, If This Then That (IFTTT) compatibility, color night vision, live video streaming, etc. Let's look at what Canary can provide you with.

Installation

It's easier to install a wireless camera than it is to install a wired one; there's no need to drill holes or use ethernet cables, etc. You can set up your entire security camera system in under 30-minutes; it's usually a plug-and-play experience. You can chat with customer support via live chat if you have any issues.

Equipment

Canary's equipment is limited and predominantly extends to cameras, mounts, and related equipment. The Canary all-in-one includes a camera, siren, and air quality monitor for your convenience. Canary offers full security in one device. Equipment includes:

  • Canary View
  • Canary Flex
  • Canary Pro

You can also purchase a mount to install your system, including a stake, twist, or secure mount.

Home automation

You'll download the Canary app to monitor your full security system, and it's available on Android and iOS. The app can arm/disarm your security system and monitor outdoor and indoor cameras, but only basic third-party integration is provided. There are no smart lights, locks, etc. But the home automation involved is:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Homekit

Costs

You'll have various costs to consider when buying your security cameras. Principally, prices include:

  • Equipment: You'll pay upfront for your equipment, but you can get a discount for subscribing; the most expensive camera is $129; the Canary Flex is a weatherproof outdoor camera with impressive functionalities.
  • Monthly costs: If you don't need additional features such as extra storage, you won't need to pay a monthly fee. But if you want a premium plan, you'll pay $9.99 monthly.

Nerd pros

  • Outdoor security cameras: Canary offers outdoor security cameras with incredible AI and other advanced features.
  • Price: The priciest Canary camera is the Flex. The Flex is $129, a Wi-Fi camera that offers weatherproofing and live streaming.
  • 1080p HD video quality: Canary offers 1080p HD resolution and an excellent frame rate.
  • Unique features: Canary offers additional features such as climate control, person detection, AI technology, two-way talk, and a siren. Canary has an extensive free warranty covering you for 60 days after your purchase.

Nerd cons

  • No door or window sensors: Canary cameras are excellent, but you're leaving your home vulnerable without contact sensors. It could get costly to mount a camera at each entrance.
  • Activity zones: Canary doesn't offer customizable motion detection.

Canary or Swann?

If you're looking for an NVR/DVR system, Swann is an excellent choice. But Canary devices are perfect if you're searching for a small, affordable home system. Canary cameras are quality, low-price, and have unique additional features. Swann cameras are okay, but the price is hard to justify unless you're protecting a business or large residence. You should consider Canary the best option for most domestic uses.

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.

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