Home security cameras are a popular product for a reason, and if you're upping your home security game with some cameras, you'll have plenty of providers to consider. Two excellent options are Ring and Swann.
Ring is relatively new to the home security business, launching in 2013 with a video doorbell that remains popular now. Swann has more customers and an international presence in more than 40 countries globally. Swann is closer to a traditional security company, but Ring has different offerings via partnerships with companies such as Honeywell. Let's take a look at what both providers can offer you.
Ring vs Swann: What do they have in common?
- DIY installation: You won't be able to access professional installation with either provider; you need to be comfortable doing it alone. Some installations are wire-free and simple.
- Motion detection: Advanced motion detection is offered with both home security systems. You can even customize motion zones with some Swann and Ring devices.
- Flexibility: Contracts are optional and flexible; you don't need to worry about cancellation fees and inflexible long-term contracts.
- Mobile apps: Each service comes with a free mobile app that can give you motion alerts and live views of your camera system.
- Night vision cameras: Each provider offers products suitable for night-time recording.
- Video quality: 1080p HD video recording is a shared feature.
- Weather-resistant cameras: You can purchase outdoor security cameras with solid weatherproofing.
- Alexa compatibility: Ring and Swann are compatible with Amazon's Alexa, giving you voice control and other advanced features.
Ring vs Swann: What are the differences?
- Customer service issues: Swann allows third-party retailers and sellers to trade under the Swann brand, which may be why they earned a 1.5-star rating with Trustpilot. While their equipment is quality, you should be wary of this. Ring has excellent customer service.
- Professional monitoring: You can choose optional professional monitoring with Ring.
- Experience: Swann has more than 30 years in the home security industry.
- Local storage: Ring operates primarily with cloud storage, but Swann has more local NVR and DVR options.
- Larger systems: Swann can provide a 16-channel DVR and NVR system for a substantial property. Ring isn't aimed at such large properties.
Ring: What you need to know
Launching in 2013 with a video doorbell, they've expanded rapidly to become one of the best home security systems. They now offer an extensive range of quality cameras and compatibility with smoke alarms and environmental sensors.
Wi-Fi camera installs are easy - plug and go. But wired installation can be complex with hardwiring or drilling required. You'll need to install your new Ring camera yourself, which might be a bit complicated. Amazon may provide an estimate for this, or you can consult your tradesperson, but professional installation isn't offered as standard.
Ring offers a variety of equipment, including:
- Smart locks
- Motion detectors
- Video doorbells
- Indoor and outdoor cameras
- Panic buttons
The base package includes:
- Base station
- Five contact sensors
- Two motion detectors
- Range extender
Ring can be incorporated into a smart home ecosystem, including window sensors, lighting, smoke alarms, and more. But there aren't many third-party integrations though, such as Apple Homekit. However, the Ring app has excellent functions, such as motion-activated notifications to keep your home safe.
- Equipment costs: A basic security system will cost under $200, with premium kits available. Individual cameras start from $99.
- Monthly fee: You can buy professional monitoring for $100 a year or $10 a month.
- Cameras: Ring provides outdoor and indoor cameras. Most cameras are weatherproof and have color night vision.
- Professional monitoring option: If you want professional monitoring, you can purchase it for $10 per month.
- Two-way audio: Two-way talk is a convenient feature that makes it seem that you're home - even if you're not. You can communicate with a friend or instruct a delivery person on where to leave your parcel.
- Video storage fees: If you need cloud storage, you'll need to pay for it. Some companies don't charge for this, and even Reolink will offer you a free allowance.
- Monthly fees: Ring charges a higher monthly fee and has more features behind a paywall. Two-way talk is available with most products, but you'll need a subscription to use it.
- Upfront payment: You'll have to pay more upfront as you can't spread the cost with a payment plan.
Swann: What you need to know
Swann is an experienced home security provider with decades in the industry and a global presence. They offer quality, DIY monitored systems and some of the best home security cameras in the industry. Let's take a look at what they offer.
Choosing the right security system can be overwhelming, but luckily, the setup is pretty simple. Most installations can be done in under an hour, although it could take longer if you're not comfortable with DIY. Most devices are wire-free, making the installation process more manageable. The digital app has some FAQs and is user-friendly.
Swann has a lot of equipment for you to explore; popular Swann security cameras include:
- Wire-free smart security cameras and video doorbells
- Pan and tilt cam
- Outdoor 1080p HD cameras
- 4-16 Channel NVR
Additional accessories available include:
- Garage parking sensors
- Home doorbell camera kit
- Solar panels
- Dummy cams
- Extra mounting stands
Your 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.
- Equipment costs: Equipment costs typically vary between $70-$500 unless you're purchasing an NVR system (which can be more expensive).
- Monthly costs: Monthly fees start at $9.99 for emergency response and live view, you’ll also receive an extended warranty of up to 36 months if you choose to become a premium customer.
- 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 won't be forced to purchase a lengthy contract if you buy Swann cameras. Customers can purchase their equipment without worrying about being locked into any commitment.
- Camera features: There are several unique advanced features, such as heat-activated motion sensors
- Pay for storage: Although you'll get free cloud storage for two days, you'll pay a monthly fee if you need more than this. You could instead choose a more expensive DVR/NVR system for local storage.
- App complaints: Although some users seem to enjoy the Swann App, Android users rate it poorly due to bugs and issues.
Ring or Swann?
Ring and Swann offer excellent benefits such as infrared night vision, motion sensors with facial recognition, and compatibility with critical smart home devices such as Amazon's Alexa. But there are some differences.
If you're looking for a more extensive security system with up to 16 screens, you should consider Swann Cameras. But if you want better customer service and a more affordable system, you should focus on Ring.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer 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.