June 9, 2016
Home security doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and with the rise of the Internet of Things, hardware is becoming more affordable and accessible. From Nest to D-link there are countless options for keeping an eye on your home, sensing issues, or even virtually keeping your pets company.
D-Link’s HD Wireless DCS-2330L may not receive as much attention as Google-owned Nest; however, it’s certainly a contender. From a lower price tag to it being weatherproof by default, this is an affordable home security option.
From it’s 720p HD camera, motion sensing recording, to its high quality audio recording, this camera has a lot of bang for the buck. When compared to the popular Nest cam, it’s about $40 cheaper and is already weatherproof, which would be another $50 add-on.
D-Link’s HD Wireless DCS-2330L works incredibly well during the day, but if falls a bit short using its night vision feature. At about two Andre the Giant’s-worth of distance (15 feet), it does a solid job of picking up motion, but it works well in small spaces such as doorways. However, during our testing we used motion sensing flood lights to further improve the distance at night.
The field of view is 57.8 degrees, but it does allow for digital zooming. For motion detection and recording, D-Link’s approach can be considered either a positive or negative based on your preferences. Using a 32GB micro-SD card that is within the unit itself, video can either constantly record, record on a schedule, or record when there is motion present.
Although there is no cloud storage and this does create some limitations, through both the app and website you can playback the most recent recordings. These tend to load a bit more slowly as they are running off the card. However, you can’t download the video to your smartphone or computer remotely. You’d have to remove the SD card and download the video directly from there. That’s a bit of a pain in the ass.
Beyond the minor issue of being unable to easily download your video recordings, the mobile alerts are spot-on. As soon as the camera starts to record you should also receive a mobile alert. Just be sure to adjust the sensitivity and areas where motion alerts should be triggered or you may get a few false alarms.
One of the better features on the camera is how well the internal microphone works. During our test we placed the camera inside on a window sill and pointed it towards a pond, and we could easily hear the frogs chirping and bugs buzzing around. We even turned the camera into an impromptu baby monitor when my friends were visiting, and kept the app running on an iPad.
Installation and Setup
Unlike traditional security systems setting up this camera is incredibly simple. Simply pop the camera out of the box, plug the included ethernet cord into your router, press a button and it will be recognized from the site/app. There is also an option for using a standard setup wizard as well.
Though it’s not required, you can mount the camera to a wall. The camera is a bit top heavy, so it works better if mounted and stationary.
As far as security cameras go, they are not designed to be sleek or a conversational piece. However, the design is incredibly functional as the components are primarily designed to keep moisture out of the unit. This is done through a protective rubber gasket, yet the power cord is not detachable and creates a slight counter-intuitive issue.
Because the power cord is built in the block needs to be kept away from water or other moisture that could cause it to short. We didn’t feel like creating an electrical fire, so we just went with an assumption on this part. Because of this it’s also not fully wireless.
Pros and Cons
- Records can come in three resolutions;
- High-quality audio recording;
- Easy setup and installation;
- Records when motion triggered; and
- Can handle all types of weather.
- Limited Recording Storage (local); and
- Not truly wireless.
Should you buy the D-Link HD Wireless N DCS-2330L? Yes, but also purchase an Micro SD card with a large amount of storage or the D-link video recorder. We give the DCS-2330L a 4 out 5 due to it’s semi-limited night vision and need for wired power.
Beyond these two shortcomings, it’s a great security camera and would do well as part of a system monitoring each entryway into your home.
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