By Alan Pierce
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies
D-Link’s DCS-8525LH Security Camera (MSRP $99.99)
D-Link’s DCS-8525LH-US is a standalone security camera. See photos 1 - 4. It automatically records motion and stores what it records on a Micro SD card that you insert into the camera or into a paid cloud storage account that you can setup through the free “mydlink” app that you download from the Apple or Android store. If you decide to use SD storage you need to supply your own micro SD card.
The My D-Link app will send you push alerts to your smartphone or tablet so you can instantly view what is going on in the camera’s viewing area. Since it allows for two way communication you can literally tell your pet to get off the couch or hold a full conversation with the occupants in the room. If you want to have some fun, install the camera before Halloween and then freak your loved ones with out of this world ghost noises and voices from the beyond. The camera’s night vision, that can see 16 feet in total darkness, can certainly help you pull off the perfect Halloween prank. See photo 3 again.
The camera is recording in HD 1080p so the images that it records are extremely detailed to the point that you could help a loved one find their keys if they lost them in the area that the camera can observe. This area is quite large because the camera’s viewing angle is a very wide 114 degrees even before you start to rotate the camera around to change its initial view. It can rotate 340 degrees and tilt up and down 110 degrees, so you can rotate it to look at a specific area and then tilt it up toward the ceiling or down toward the floor. At this point you can use two fingers on your smartphone or tablet screen to zoom in on an area to find what you are looking for.
Reasons to Drool
The quality of the video is definitely what sets this camera apart from many of its competitors. With an MSRP of $99.99 it gives you a lot of bang for your buck. If you use its ability to stream what it records by taking advantage of its compatibility with Amazon Fire TV you can definitely enter the realm of Big Brother is Watching!
Not So Cool
This camera does not have a WPS button that would allow you to quickly create a wireless connection to your home’s wireless router. D-Link provides videos, www.dlinksetup.com to provide step by step instructions if the quick start seemed vague. At the time that this review went to press the DCS-8525LH didn’t have a setup video. The video that was listed was for a look alike D-Link camera (model DCS 5030L) that has a WPS button and the procedure outlined in the video goes into great detail on the WPS method of connecting the camera to your wireless WiFi router. I called customer support and a technician took me through the step by step procedure to get the camera working. The setup is done completely using the My D-Link app and to get the most out of this camera you do need much more instruction than what you find in the quick start guide. The camera will record when its sensor picks up motion but it doesn’t have auto tracking to keep the moving person or pet in its viewing area.
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Photo 1 - This security camera can be installed on a wall using the included bracket or upside down on the ceiling where you can take full advantage of its ability to rotate 340 degrees.
Photo 2 - in a live feed the blue triangles allow you to move the camera around its 340 axis and also up and down 110 degrees to specific areas.
Photo 3 - You can also set which areas will trigger recording, if it sends a push notification, set its home view, and some preselected views to go to during live viewing.
Photo 4 - The room was totally dark when the camera captured my movement in this photo.
This YouTube D-Link video can provide you with some extra visual information about this camera.