Home security is an important component of home ownership these days. So imagine the importance of cottage security, especially considering cottages and camps are often remote, and in areas with less than adequate municipal policing. Add to that the fact that you are not at your cottage all the time, yet you often keep many of your more expensive “toys” at the cottage, boats and outboard motors, all terrain vehicles etc.
Video Surveillance System
I think I may be getting paranoid in my old age because I seem to be fixated on home security issues lately. I was looking at a Swann Digital Video Recorder home security system that allows you to install security cameras and then view the footage from your Smartphone or over the internet.
The ability to remotely view security cameras to enable you to see what is going on when you are not there is a pretty attractive idea. Who wouldn’t like the peace of mind of being able to make sure everything is OK at the camp, any hour of the day or night.
This Swann video surveillance system has infrared LEDs on the color cameras that activate automatically when it is dark or in low light to provide black & white night vision up to 50ft/15m away.
Through the marvels of the internet, you can do just that. Here are some of the features that are available with the Swann digital monitoring system.
Internet-ready protection for your home or business 24/7
Includes 4 all-weather, high resolution 420TVL cameras with powerful night vision to 50ft / 15m
Set and forget by recording continuously from 4 cameras for 120 days+ onto a 500GB hard drive, longer with motion detection
Surveillance in the palm of your hand with live viewing on 3G enabled Smartphones including iPhone, iPad,
Remote viewing with UPnP (Universal Plug n Play) auto network configuration
Including iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile 6, Symbian OS and more
Live viewing also on Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile 6, Symbian OS and more.
Remote Viewing Capability
In my opinion, what makes this attractive to camp owners and cottage owners is the remote viewing capability. Provided you have the internet at your camp, many of us do these days, you can use the free SwannView app to view live video on your 3G Smartphone wherever you are, that is a valuable feature. In addition, you can set it up to receive email alerts on your Smartphone when activity is detected.
The downside of this system, and it’s not so much a downside of the system as it is a downside of camps and cottages is this. First, you may not have internet at the camp so the remote viewing would not be possible. However, if you don’t you can still set the video surveillance system to record and view the recordings later.
Secondly, in order to have this work year round, in winter you would have to keep the power turned on, (we currently turn ours off in the winter) and I suspect you would need at least a modicum of heat to protect the system from the bitter cold of an unheated cottage in winter.
That said, a video surveillance system with remote viewing would be useful for cottage and camp owners, even if you only used it for the seasons when the electricity is on and the camp is heated.
That is generally the seasons when our boats and other valuables are at the camp and targets for theft. The presence of the video cameras, even if the system was not turned on, would offer some deterrance value as well.
The Amazon reviews on this video surveillance system are mixed. Many of the reviewers say the system itself is fairly straightforward to set up, but the remote viewing is a little more difficult and customer support in that regard is not very satisfactory.
This video security system is currently selling on Amazon for $270.42 which is not a lot of money for a security camera system with four cameras. However, I would consider a purchase of this nature carefully because of the difficulties reported with the remote viewing.
I think it would be helpful to be a bit of a “techie” when it comes to setting this video security system up at your camp. Let’s face it, although the ability to record is OK, it would be an asset to be able to watch the camp whenever you want via the internet.
You can find out a lot more about this video surveillance system, including reading the reviews here: Swann 4-Channel Digital Video Recorder