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D-Link DCS-8600LH Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera Review (MSRP $159.99)
D-Link’s DCS-8300LH is an outdoor HD WiFi security camera with a 137 degree view of its surroundings. This camera in hot, cold, snow, or rain will record video and audio when it detects motion in its viewing area. It is important to note that during setup you determine if it will only start to record when it sees motion or if it is also going to start recording if its microphone picks up sound even though there is no motion in the area that it is protecting.
It records in 1080p resolution so you will have no problem recognizing people or animals in its videos. See photos 1 - 3. You can set it up to record either to a Micro SD card that you insert into the camera, see photo 3, or to a paid cloud storage account that you can setup through the free “mydlink” app that you need to download from the Apple or Android store. If you decide to use SD storage you need to supply your own micro SD card and the camera can actually support a small capacity or a large capacity card up to 256GB. When the card is full the oldest video recordings will be overwritten. The videos that it records can be, almost instantly, viewed on your smartphone through the mydlink app. During setup you decide if you want the camera to send you push notifications every time that it records activity.
To get all new D-Link cameras to record you need to set up automation. This is not mentioned in the manual. This video (Automation Setup) will walk you through the procedure and if you still have a problem doing the setup you can call D-Link at 1(877) 453-5465.
Reason to Drool
The promise of a 137 degree view of its surroundings is accurate. See smartphone screen image 1. To get the best view of my front door I didn't position the camera for a landscape image. This camera has an IP65 rating so it is protected against dust, rain, and snow but not submerged in water. The company indicates that it can handle a temperature range of minus four to one hundred and thirteen degrees Fahrenheit (-4F to 113F).That said they warn you to not set the camera up so it will be hit by direct sunlight to avoid letting the sun bake it far beyond its operating temperature.
It has two way audio so you could be thousands of miles away and hold a conversation with the person who triggered the motion. This camera will also work with D-Link’s smart home devices and also work with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Smart Home, and IFTTT home automation.
Not So Cool
The wire attached to the camera has a waterproofed USB-A plug that must pass through your wall for an outside installation. See photo 4. If it is going to be plugged inside your home you will have to drill a 1 inch hole through your wall in order to install this camera. The camera back has a strong magnet built in and it attaches to its 1/2 ball mount by magnetic attraction which makes it very easy to reset its viewing angle. See photo 5.
D-Link indicated that the camera’s night vision can see up to “23 feet in the dark”. When you take into account that this DCS-8600LH camera is installed on the second floor of my house, the part of the view that is very clear, where people could be recognized, is about 23 feet from the camera. See photo 1 (camera location) and smartphone screen image 2 (night view). I mention this here because I want to avoid you installing it so far from the area you want to cover making it impossible to provide the night video you are hoping to achieve.