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Review: D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit (DCS-2802KT-EU)

A security set with multiple cameras in the house or on the case is always a lot of hassle with cables and the drilling of holes. Especially if you want to place cameras outdoors. D-Link has a solution for this with the D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit (DCS-2802KT-EU). The set consists of a Wi-Fi hub and two wireless security cameras that you can use both indoors and outdoors.

What is the D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit?

The D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit is a security set consisting of a wired Wi-Fi hub and two wireless cameras. The cameras film in Full HD, offer advanced motion detection, cloud recordings up to fourteen days and are resistant to rain thanks to the IP65 certificate. This allows you to use the cameras both indoors and outdoors. The cameras offer night vision up to seven and a half meters, two-way audio and the hub is equipped with a loud siren of 100 decibels. Through the mydlink app you receive notifications about observations and you can control the cameras.

Motion-triggered photos and videos can be stored locally via a micro-sd card or external hard drive via the USB port on the Wi-Fi hub, but also via the cloud. Supplied you will find twelve months of free cloud recordings worth 49.99 euros. With this you can store videos up to fourteen days without limit. These can be played from the cloud or downloaded to your mobile device.

The cameras are equipped with a battery and go according to D-Link for months without charging. Do you still have to charge the camera? Then you connect it easily via the included charger. This is a very user-friendly set on paper. It promises a very easy installation and the cameras with battery you can not mess with wires through the house. This allows you to place the cameras anywhere you want, but how does the D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit work in practice?

What's in the box?

The box comes with two wireless cameras (DCS) -2800LH), a Wi-Fi hub (DCS-H100), two mounting brackets with internal magnets and an outdoor mounting arm, power and internet cable for the Wi-Fi hub and a charger for the cameras. Finally, you will find a small installation guide in the box.

Design

When unpacking the very good build quality of the cameras immediately stands out. We are certainly not dealing with cheap plastic, but with cameras with the weight of a brick that seem to be able to withstand a knock. There is a round inlet on the back of the cameras. With this you can hang the cameras on the wall fastening system by means of a very strong magnet. This seems scary, but the magnet is so powerful that the camera will never fall off the suspension system. You do not have to hang the cameras, you can also easily put them on a cupboard or on the windowsill.

The cameras are small round balls with a white color. The front of the camera is black. In front of the cameras we find the microphone, Infrared and operational LEDs. When the operational LED fire you know when the cameras are alert. There is a physical sync button on the side to connect the cameras to the Wi-Fi hub.

The Wi-Fi hub, on the other hand, is made of cheap white plastic, as seen by many competitors. However, this is certainly not disturbing, because it must above all be able to send the signal properly and usually put you out of sight. The Wi-Fi hub has three green lights for the signals. On the back we find an on / off button, space for a micro sd card and two ports for the power cable and the internet cable respectively. In total you can connect four cameras to the Wi-Fi hub.

Installation

D-Link promises a very fast installation and that is certainly the case. Within minutes the Wi-Fi hub rotated and the cameras were connected to the sync button. You start by downloading the mydlink app. Then plug the WiFi hub to your router and into the power outlet. Then create an account for the mydlink app and scan the qr code of the wifi hub (or quick installation card). Then press the synchronization button of the cameras and the whole system is ready for use. In the meantime, you can also sign up for the twelve months of free cloud recording to view recordings up to 14 days of unlimited time. After these twelve free months, the subscription costs 49.99 euros per year.

Mydlink app

As smooth as the physical installation of the Wi-Fi hub and cameras was, the app worked so awkwardly. It took me at least two hours before everything was set up as I wanted. As Mr Wesley also pointed out in the review of the D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera the mydlink app is rather cumbersome. It is unclear where you can find certain functions and also the settings seem to be duplicated in many places.

The app's home screen is clear. At the top you will find the two cameras and you can watch the images live. Below that you will find the shortcuts to quickly switch functions on and off. Below that you will find the One-Taps. This will select a mode for the system each time. Are you leaving the house? Click on the One-Tap 'way' and the alarm system is switched on. Will you come home again? Click on 'Home' and the alarm system will be switched off and the cameras will go into privacy mode.

However, to set up the shortcuts and One-Taps, you will be hours of sweetness. You will have to set up automations and choose how to respond to situations per camera. The only problem is that there are multiple settings for the cameras. For example, there appear to be general settings and settings specific to the use in the different modes. Before you once know which function you use, you will continue for many hours. You keep trying and testing by letting the alarm sound again and see if you have found the desired settings. Have you mastered the app once? Then you can quickly and easily choose a specific setting with the different One-Taps. Eventually you will also get it working properly, but the unclear app does not make it easy for you.

D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit – in use

A comparison with the wireless Netgear Arlo set is made quickly. That set also consists of a base station and two wireless cameras. However, where this set uses batteries that you will have to replace yourself, you can easily recharge the battery of the D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit yourself. The D-Link also has the plus point that two-way communication is possible. This function is completely missing from the Netgear Arlo. However, there is one important function that the Netgear Arlo does have and that I miss at the D-Link and that is geofencing. With geofencing, the set uses the GPS connection of your smartphone. The alarm system should then automatically go when you leave the house, and have to go out again when you get home.

The D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit you always have to turn on every time you leave. If you come home again, you have to manually switch off the set via the app again. This often went wrong with me, because I simply forgot to turn off the alarm system when returning home. The result was that I could test well if you could trust the system for securing your home.

And securing your home with the D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit works very well. Under all circumstances, whether it is day or night or via wifi or 4g, you immediately get a notification when motion is detected. The images are immediately recorded and sent to the cloud. Every time you can immediately look back at what happened in the house. Does anyone want to take the cameras with you? The images are already in the cloud at that moment, so the video recordings are already in your possession.

From the main menu of the mydlink app you can directly view the images from the cameras. However, if you want more options, such as being able to listen to the audio or talking to the burglars, you will need to open the more advanced window. The problem, however, is that the system often suffers from connection problems at that time. Time-outs occur regularly and that is something that should not happen. Well, the recordings are already safe in the cloud, but if it takes a minute before you have conjured up the options for two-way communication on your image, the burglars have already flown a long time. The audio itself is on the soft side via the cameras, but it is clearly audible.

However, the video quality of the recordings is excellent. The cameras have a viewing angle of 140 degrees so that you can show a large part of the spaces in your home or outside the house. The PIR motion detection works well and you can set the motion detection to your liking, so that you do not get a false alarm every minute movement. It is a shame that you can not set up zones to exclude certain parts of the image. The night vision has an effective range of seven and a half meters, but you can still see it well outside of it. However, the motion detection stops after seven and a half meters and is more than six meters at night.

Something I am very pleased about is the battery. According to D-Link, the lithium batteries last up to six months without having to charge them at an estimated consumption of three minutes per day without live display. I have been using the set for more than six weeks now and both cameras are 99 percent and 98 percent full respectively. In the standby mode when the alarm system is on, they consume almost no energy. This will take a few seconds to start recording with motion, because the cameras have to come out of standby, but you do not have to worry about empty batteries.

Integration with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT

The D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit features the 'Works with the Google Assistant', 'Works with Alexa' and 'Works with IFTTT' logos. Via IFTTT you can synchronize the cameras with your Philips Hue lighting, for example. Is the alarm on and is motion detected? Then you can choose to also have the lights on or blink. Through IFTTT there are many possibilities to further expand the system with smarthome devices from other manufacturers.

I am less enthusiastic about the integration with smart assistants Alexa and Google Assistant. For example, you can ask via Google Assistant to watch the images live via the Chromecast on your television. And that was actually it. A connection via your Chromecast is often wrong than good and it may take a full minute before the images appear on your television. Making the cameras part of routines is not possible. It would be nice if you can immediately switch on the alarm system when you leave your home with a voice command. This is not so much D-Link, but rather the limited possibilities of Google with the current routines for third-party smarthome equipment

D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit – conclusion

] On the one hand, D-Link has put a very decent system on the market with the Wire-Free Camera Kit. The build quality of the cameras is fantastic, the cameras last a long time without charging, the installation is a piece of cake and the wireless set provides a lot of flexibility in placing the cameras. The cameras react well and quickly to movement, the recordings end up directly in the cloud and the loud alarm will drive every intruder away. On the other hand, you have the unclear app, the lack of geofencing and the connection problems that regularly reappear. Integration with smart assistants is fun on paper, but totally unnecessary in practice.

For 499 euros you get a set that you can rely on for your home security, but which certainly has a lot of weaknesses. For comparison with the aforementioned wireless Netgear Arlo set: you can buy this for half of that amount. The D-Link Wire-Free Camera Kit is a reliable camera system, provided you can put over the negatives, but it is actually too expensive to put in the market.

Negatives

  • App is confusing
  • Connection problems [19659039] No geofencing

Pros

  • Fantastic battery life
  • Recordings of good quality
  • Free cloud storage
  • Easy to install

Smarthome Magazine
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7.0 10 [19659049] Tom Dijkema product

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