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April 17, 2011

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D-Link DCS 930L Wireless Network Camera Review

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Many people typically over spend in their search for home security. High tech, sophisticated alarm systems, with cameras, sirens, and the ability to contact the authorities are typically over priced, and feature monthly costs, set up fees, and costly regular maintenance. It all adds up to become an expensive and often unnecessary security option for most property owners. If you are a person who wants video surveillance home or office security and the ability to remotely monitor your property from afar, D-Link has a cost efficient and easily set up option for you. Its called the DCS 930L.

If you browse the market for wireless home surveillance cameras, you will often find that the cheaper options are not sufficient for home or office surveillance. The images are typically grainy, and the units are not well suited for 24 hour, 7 day a week monitoring. D-Link revolutionizes the field with the DCS 930L. The DCS 930L is a wireless IP camera. It offers 802.11n connectivity, it can capture audio, and provides users with the ability to remotely view it’s footage live on the internet. The best part about the camera is that it provides high quality footage for around $80.00.

The camera is tiny. It weighs practically nothing, allowing you to set it up practically anywhere as long as you have access to a power outlet. The camera comes on a swivel stand, so you can turn and angle the lens to focus on a particular high traffic area. The stand has some practical slots for screws so you can mount the camera permanently if that suits your purposes.  I am not going to explain how to plug the camera in, it is rather self explanatory and you will have no problems if you follow the instructions.

The software based set up is quite easy to use. I have heard complaints from Mac users that the software set up only works for PCs, but as a PC user, I didn’t encounter any issues. Simply follow the simple guide that comes included with the camera and you should be just fine. It was quite easy to get the camera working after setting it up. You just need to create a mydlink.com account and start viewing your footage online. You can also remotely change your cameras settings. Dlink even provides an iPhone app for monitoring your home from your cell phone!

One of the most interesting features of the camera is the motion detection option. You can set it up to take a snap shot of the scene and email it to you when the camera senses motion. What it essentially does is monitor the image, and when there is a slight change in the image, it takes a picture and automatically emails it to a designated email address. You can actually designate which specific parts of the image should be actively monitored for motion, so for example, if you know birds typically fly by a certain part of the screen, you will want to exclude those areas from motion detection.  It is rather sophisticated and a fantastic option for such an affordable camera.

The camera is fantastic but there are a few minor issues with it. The audio capture technology is ok, but nothing special if you intend to capture conversations that occur more than a couple of feet away from the camera. For those monitoring an office or where audio is crucial, I recommend a supplemental microphone which will operate independently of the DCS 930L. The camera does not have built in illumination so there are times when visibility can suffer in the dark. However, more often than not visibility was more than sufficient for my purposes (home surveillance).

Overall this is a great camera for home surveillance. D-Link has eliminated the need for people to purchase over priced, high tech home surveillance camera systems. The camera is easy to use, set up and is quite user friendly. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good quality, easy to use home surveillance camera. It will not be sufficient for really dark areas, and I wouldn’t recommend setting it up in a bank, but for the home or small office, its perfect.

Check out DLink’s “Getting Started” Video:

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  • Al_cardinal

    Works great when hardwired to the router but wirelessly does not. I have been troubleshooting this with Dlink tech support for the past 4 weeks and having to do the same thing time and time again, still no go. They tell me to leave it hardwired as they don't know how to support. Will not honor warranty or fix it so that it works wirelessly.