Price (RRP): $299.95
As I’ve previously asked, what about an easy to use, wireless home security camera like the D-Link Omna 180 that works for those who aren’t Apple users. Perhaps the D-Link DCS-2530L Full HD WiFi Camera will do that job.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. The DCS-2530L is nowhere near as pretty as the Omna 180. Rather than having a cylindrical metal look, it’s made of shiny black plastic, with the camera held by two arms on a pedestal. A small pedestal. It stands a hair under 110mm tall and is 66mm wide and deep. It weighs only 105 grams. It comes with a five volt, 1.2 amp power supply which connects via Micro-B USB. And there’s a slot for a microSD card of up to 128GB capacity.
It connects to your system via WiFi – 802.11b/g/n standards, 2.4GHz only, supported. Its top communications speed is 300Mbps, but that depends of course on how crowded your 2.4GHz wireless space is, distance from an access point and so on.
The camera offers up to full HD resolution, has an infrared night mode with a range of up to five metres, and a wide 180 degree angle of view. It’s clearly an indoors model, not weatherproofed at all.
Unlike the Omna 180, it’s not tied to any virtual eco-system, except for D-Link’s own, should you want to use it to full effect. It may not look as pretty as the Omna 180, but unlike that model you can use it remotely – that is, away from home via the Internet – with no additional equipment or subscriptions required. You just have to sign up for a free D-Link account and, of course, install the mydlink Lite app to an Android or iOS device.
The unit has the ability to push notifications via the app when it detects something moving – or something making noise – and automatically trigger recording. It can allow you to hear what noises are happening around the camera, although you can’t talk back through it. It’s for monitoring (and recording) only.
Incidentally, I see that there’s also a model DCS-2630L available. This seems quite similar, but for the extra hundred dollars includes an 8x digital zoom, two way audio and 802.11ac dual band WiFi. It’s also a little bigger physically. This might be the one to go for if your 2.4GHz air space is already pretty full, or you’re installing a bunch of them.
Setting up turned out to be extremely easy. The main thing is to connect the camera to your WiFi network. There are two ways. D-Link recommends using a WPS push-button connection. I’ve gone off that lately, ever since I found a device I’d connected that way tended to have trouble re-connecting after a power off. It may be a bit more tedious at the outset, but if you enter a password, things should remain stable.
So I chose the “harder” way. You install the mydlink Lite app (I used the Android version, but iOS is also available) to your phone. You start it up, hit the button for starting a new account, then the app will open up your camera. You bring the little QR code that’s on a card in the box in front of your phone’s camera, and the app takes over your phone’s WiFi and looks for the D-Link camera. When it finds it, it asks you to select a WiFi access point and enter the relevant password. Ten or fifteen seconds later your phone’s connected back to your WiFi network, and so is the camera.
Then you go through a free account registration process – takes a minute or so – hit the link in the confirmatory email and you’re done.
The mydlink Lite app also was easy to use, and quite intuitive. As I said, I used the Android version, but later also gave the iOS version a whirl on an iPad Mini 4. The layout was a bit better on the latter, thanks to the larger screen allowing a greater area to be visible, although it insisted on using landscape mode.
Two big choices are available: local or remote connection. Local only works when you’re on the same WiFi network as the camera. Remote works from anywhere via the Internet and D-Link’s servers. Both give you some control over the camera, including triggering snap shots and video, and also allow you to see a live feed of what the camera is seeing.