The D-Link

Recently I bought a D-Link security camera for my house to test out. D-Link makes a whole line of security camera systems  I did not buy a high end model, but what I ended up doing was using it for my cat! “You used it for your cat”? you say.


My wife and I took a short trip down to Phoenix for a little R&R. We setup the D-Link camera in the basement where our cat was residing for the duration. The model of D-Link that we have is not high end let me tell you. They have HD models, models that swivel, outdoor models and all kinds of other stuff. But, our model was adequate for what we needed. All of these cameras work off of Wi-Fi, so if you do not have a good Wi-Fi setup then I say don’t bother. The setup is not difficult. You do need to create an account on the D-Link website so your software can do remote login while you are away. The camera connects to the Internet through your Wi-Fi and you see the camera’s feed with the D-Link software through your online account using your iDevice. Once the camera is talking to your system then it is on to the D-Link software.

D-Link makes software for the Mac, iPhone and iPad. Their software works quite well too. Here is what the main screen looks like on my iPad 3 (click on the image for a larger more readable version):


If you had a series of cameras around your house they would all be listed in the left hand column. You can click on the camera in question to see what it sees. The arrow is pointing to a menu system in the app that looks like this:

 
Here you can tweak some of the settings for what you want your camera to do. Once you have set things up just click on the camera and it will show you what it sees:


This is where our cat would sleep and eat, so we pointed the camera at that area. Many of the cameras have a wider field of view. The controls are at the bottom of the screen. From left to right, you can hear what is going on or you can mute this. Next you can take a still picture. You can have a higher resolution if your camera supports it. Next, is “auto” mode which monitors whether it is night or daytime. My camera gives us 15 feet of visibility at night. The next control is for full screen. Speaking of the screen, this screenshot does not quite do justice to the video quality of our camera. It is not great video quality, but a little better than what you are seeing here. And, lastly you can get information on the video feed itself. All in all, we pretty much leave everything on the factory defaults and it works just fine.

These screenshots are from the iPad app, but D-Link has an iPhone app as well (the versions I am using are free, but you can get apps that monitor D-Link cameras, including color, for a couple of bucks from the App Store). Here is what the D-Link iPhone app looks like:


Pretty much the same as the iPad. It works quite well also. There are some settings for the app:


As you can see the settings are not much, the app just works.

If you are thinking about getting some security cameras for the house (they have business setups as well) then I highly recommend the D-Link system. Their software works great on the Mac, iPad and iPhone. If I had it to do over again I would get one of their better quality cameras, maybe an HD color model. You can buy an inexpensive model if you just wanted to give the system a try. Here is a link for the home versions of their cameras. They do not sell direct, you have to buy from a retailer. I think I got our camera at Amazon.

Doug