D-Link DCS-960L HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera great for home video coverage.
I used to live alone. In fact, when I got my first apartment, my dad decided that I needed a security system installed and contacted a security company without my permission. The idea of having to deal with ‘buzzing’ myself in or disarming an alarm system just felt icky to me. Within the past few years, our home has amassed a plethora of WiFi cameras and I have to admit that if that had been an available choice back then, I would have appreciated the ability to view my home when I was away. One thing that I look for in WiFi cameras is easy of installation. I HATE hard installations and don’t like permanent attachments (i.e. wall mounts, etc.). This D-Link Wi-Fi HD Wi-Fi camera is a great option for someone who wants an easy, set-it-and-forget-it type camera.
This D-Link camera provides 180-degree HD video with a “Wide Eye” lens view of your home. The video resolution is 720P and not 1080P like some of its competitors, but for the price-point and purpose, 720P suits this camera just fine. It does feature night vision and has a built-in motion sensor. When motion is detected you receive a push notification to your mobile device. The camera utilizes wireless AC (the latest Wi-Fi technology) so that users have the highest bandwidth possible for streaming video. And, of course, as is the case with most Wi-Fi cameras, there is a mobile app for accessing the video feed and camera preferences – mydlink Lite is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Out of the box, there was a tiny bit of assembly required. The base of the camera has to be screwed into the camera unit, which is a little out of the ordinary with Wi-Fi cameras that I’ve tested out. Aside from that, ‘installation’ was really easy. It was as simple as plugging power into the camera and finding a place for it to live. I perched it on a shelf in our living room and plugged it in. The instructions are pretty easy to follow as long as you realize that setting up a Wi-Fi camera requires set-up through it’s companion app. Prior to installing my camera, I took a look at a lot of reviews online and found on common denominator – a lengthy set-up. The truth is that during set-up the communication between your mobile device and the camera can take a little bit of time. So, be patient. When the on-screen dial starts spinning, wait for it – your phone is talking to your camera and it will finish set-up.
The app set-up was pretty normal. You do have to connect to the device in your Network Settings before it will connect to your Wi-Fi network. Basically, the camera connects to your phone and then pulls the network settings from it. This is a fairly standard set-up now for Wi-Fi and Smart devices in the marketplace.
Once I had everything connected, I pulled up the video feed. I was incredibly impressed with the video feed. Even though it’s only 720P HD video, the signal is crisp and clear. I zoomed into different places in the room by ‘pinching’ the screen and even though the video broke up a little, you could still recognize what was going on in the room. The D-Link DCS-960L features a ‘wide-eye’ lens, which is part of what makes it possible for the 180-degree viewing area. This lens is not a fisheye, but there is a little bit of a curve on the edges of the image frame. This is normal and not a defect in the camera. Setting up the motion and sound sensors are very easy. You simply go into the setting menu and enable the motion detection, set the sensitivity, and mark the area for detection.
One really nice thing about this camera and its app is that it’s very responsive. We tested the video feed while our phones were on Wi-Fi and LTE and the feed loaded very quickly. The quality of the video automatically drops to 480P, but the video is smooth and very clear on a cellular connection. The audio output was also very impressive and loud.
I did run into one problem while getting the system up and running. There was a firmware update that needed to be applied and when I tried to update the camera, the connection between my phone and the camera broke. I had to reset the camera and re-add it to my network again. The problem actually could have been with my phone, but I thought it was good to comment on the issue. Also, after extended use, the camera does tend to get warm.
This is a really nice camera set-up with a clear image output. I think this would be a great camera for a nursery or even an elderly family member’s room. The price is a little higher than some other 720P Wi-Fi camera, but you have a free cloud service option and can use a Micro SD card with this camera. Some cameras –
even 1080P versions – don’t have that option. Overall, my experience was good with this camera. There were a few hiccups along the way while I was testing, but I found that some of that was operator error, or even phone error. One other thing I noticed while I was researching the camera, was that D-Link’s customer service personnel were doing a really nice job of following up with customer complaints online. This is a little bit of a rarity.
All-in-all, the D-Link DCS-960L HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera is a nice option for home or even small business use.
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