D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit DCH-8331KT

D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit

The D-Link Smart DYI Security Kit includes a motion sensor, door/window sensor and FHD Wi-Fi camera with a Wi-Fi N/ZigBee 3.0 home hub. It is voice assistant compatible too.

Now I was more than a little curious at the ZigBee 3.0 hub because most security devices either use Wi-Fi or have a proprietary hub a.k.a. Arlo.

ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power way of connecting IoT networks. It is not supposed to carry more than signals (up to 250kbps) between the hub and device for up to 300 metres line-of-sight or 75-100 metres indoors. These devices state 40 metres line-of-sight.

Version 3.0 is supposed to be interoperable with all Zigbee devices. It also supports a form of mesh between Zigbee devices, reducing range issues. Alas, the MyDLink app will only recognise its own, which is a shame as I have a few orphaned ZigBee devices I would love to use. But you can use these with an Alexa Echo Plus hub by adding the D-Link skill.

Review: D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit DCH-8331KT

  • Website here
  • Price: $199.95 camera only or $249.95 as a bundle
  • At this stage, you can only buy extra door or motion sensors ($44.95 each)
  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Country of manufacture: China
  • D-Link Corporation is a Taiwanese multinational networking equipment manufacturing corporation headquartered in Taipei
D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit

Note we are not going to issue a star rating – see our take later.

DCS-8330LH Camera/Hub

  • 2MP, 1920×1080@30fps, F/2.0 (it will drop to 720p if bandwidth is insufficient)
  • F/2.0
  • 16:9 image format; 126° horizontal 63° vertical and 151° diagonal
  • Records in H.264
  • IR to 5m
  • MPEG-2 audio and one mic
  • Micro-USB plug pack 5V/2A and three-meter cable (not battery operated)
  • Micro-SD slot to 256GB
  • Tilt-up/down and wall mount – indoor use only

The camera is typical of any 2MP device – the aperture is fine for daylight use and IR for mono night use. It lacks the details that later 2 or 4K cameras do, but it is fit for purpose. There is between a 1-2 second delay on live video. Voice is half-duplex – push to talk – when the image is green, you can talk. Volume is reasonably low at 65dB.

The camera has person detection, rules, zones and more. For example, you can set up multi-zone, boundary-crossing (tripwire) or a priority zone to reduce false positives.

D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit

Some AI features require a cloud account and to save videos.

Remember, this requires power and reasonable light to be most effective.

DCH-B112 Door sensor

  • CR2 3V/800mAh battery (3 years at 15 triggers a day)
  • 2-part door/window sensor and magnetic – adhesive mount

The door/window sensor is a typical magnetic break circuit. It has a bypass button if you don’t want to activate an alert. Given that you need access to the button, it is best near the inside door handle.

DCH-B122 Motion sensor

  • CR2450 3V/5000mAh battery (2 years at 15 triggers per day)
  • PIR sensor 110° sensor FOV works to about 5 metres
  • Ideally mounted vertically at 2.5m off the floor (not down from a ceiling)

This is a PIR (passive infrared) sensor that detects movement. It is best in a confined space like an entry foyer or hallway rather than a large area.

Recording and alerts

The camera can record video to its micro-SD slot. Cloud recording is as follows

  • Free for up to three cameras and one day recorded storage
  • Basic US$24.99 yearly for three cameras and seven days storage
  • Premium US$49.99 for five cameras and 14 days
  • Pro US$99.99 for ten cameras and 30 days cloud storage

Google or Alexa (IFTTT as well)

Add D-Link to Google Home or install an Alexa skill. You can access a camera by name and cast it to a TV.

GadgetGuy’s take – D-Link Smart DIY Security Kit is a good start

But for fear of upsetting D-Link – a good start to what? After reviewing dozens of brands and models my best advice is to look at use cases and solutions before recommending anything.

The first question is what kind of security/surveillance system do you want? Are you likely to want indoor and outdoor cameras, a hub or Wi-Fi, solar/battery/mains power, video doorbells, sensors, floodlights and more? Remember that any security system is only as good as its weakest link. A decent security system needs planning and forethought first.

Can you get away with 1080p resolution (yes you can if you don’t need fine detail) or do you need 2 or 4K? Do you need mono night vision (cameras with IR) or colour night vision (cameras with LED spot or floodlights)? Do you need pan and tilt? What about camera placement, Wi-Fi distance, access to power…

For example, the kit has one camera. That’s fine if you only want to manage one space. The good thing is that you can buy more cameras that are Mydlink app compatible. While Google can now control most cameras so you can mix brands, the apps make all the difference for functionality.

So, if you rate it as a single camera that can control two (or more) D-Link Zigbee devices and that is all you need, then it rates quite well. But we think you need to know where you want to go before you buy anything.

The video is for the same camera sans the Zigbee hub.

You can read other D-Link reviews here