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Keep watch: 5 cloud security cameras for your home

Robert L. Mitchell | June 26, 2013
If you want to make sure nobody's making off with your valuables — or that your dog isn't chewing up the furniture — try one of these cloud-based cameras

Some configuration settings in the portal are accessible only by clicking on the Advanced Settings button, which requires a second password before bringing up a separate browser window.

And unfortunately, finding the videos Mydlink.com has stored for you isn't easy. There's no visual timeline to review. Instead, you must specify a date and hour range to see thumbnails of the videos recorded during that timeframe.

On the other hand, you can also download the free D-ViewCam software (available for Windows only), which not only lets you monitor video streams but also records video clips to your PC's hard drive or network-attached storage device.

The D-ViewCam software installed easily enough on a Windows PC, but the process of getting it to initially recognize the cameras was not intuitive, and directions were not included in the quick start instructions. A staff person who answered the tech support line walked me through the process and then referred me to the manual, which must be downloaded from the D-Link website.

The 932L offers motion-based alerting by way of email (you'll need to know your email service's SMTP server and port information) and can be configured to send either a single frame or six frames — three just prior to and three immediately after the trigger event. The newer 5222L and 6010L models can issue alerts when sound is detected, as can an upgraded version of the 932L, the 933L ($99.99), which also can act as a Wi-Fi range extender.

You can restrict motion detection to defined zones within an image. The setup screen breaks the image area into squares that can be selected to tell the camera where to monitor — and not monitor — for activity.

D-Link's cameras do not offer email alerts that can attach or link to video clips. However, alert-triggered video can be recorded and stored to a Windows PC running the D-ViewCam program, which also supports simultaneous viewing of up to 32 video streams.

The free Mydlink Lite mobile apps for Android and iOS include buttons that let you take a snapshot, mute the camera microphone, zoom up to 4x and access camera information. A Mydlink+ app for tablets (99 cents) adds the ability to view up to four camera feeds at a time.

In addition, the mobile apps let you pick up the frame rate for the live stream. Using mobile phones over a 4G cellular network, my frame rate never exceeded 3-4 fps, which was about what the company said was expected. The maximum frame rate I experienced, with the cameras directly wired to the router and using Mydlink Lite over Wi-Fi, was about 19 fps.

The Mydlink portal include a live feed view and offers more custom settings for configuring the camera than any the other products reviewed here.

 

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