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D-Link DCS-825L baby monitor review: A strong camera with lots of features

Michelle Mastin | Jan. 20, 2015
Our homes are getting smarter than ever, so why not our nurseries? Check out the monitor aisle at popular baby stores and you'll see a bunch of audio-only monitors or video monitors that require carrying a bulky chunk of a receiver with a screen in the 3-inch range. This just feels dumb when I'm already carrying a 5-inch 720p screen in my back pocket and generally within grabbing distance of a laptop and an iPad during nap times.

Our homes are getting smarter than ever, so why not our nurseries? Check out the monitor aisle at popular baby stores and you'll see a bunch of audio-only monitors or video monitors that require carrying a bulky chunk of a receiver with a screen in the 3-inch range. This just feels dumb when I'm already carrying a 5-inch 720p screen in my back pocket and generally within grabbing distance of a laptop and an iPad during nap times. 

Hardware

The camera is a cute sphere with interchangeable colored accent rings in pink, blue, or white. The adorable little tail coming out of the back actually contains a temperature sensor and a round light on the top of the camera will show you at a glance if the temperature is in a good range, too hot, or too cold. There's also ring of infrared LEDs that come on automatically when the light gets low.

Set up

Setting up the camera was easy. I just had to plug it in, connect to the camera's Wi-Fi network (using the secure password included in the set up guide) and the MyDlink Baby Camera Monitor app on my Android phone did the rest. I didn't have to mess with IP configurations or ports or anything. The app walked me through connecting the camera to my home network as well as creating an account with MyDlink.com to log in remotely.

You don't actually need to connect to your home network though. You can leave the camera in broadcast mode, use any smartphone or tablet with the MyDlink Baby app connected directly to the camera's network (with the same secure password from the set up), and watch streaming video directly.

App/website

The MyDlink Baby app also has settings for adjusting the temperature, noise, and motion levels, as well as choosing which lullabies to play, how long they will play, and how loud.

Once you have your camera set up, you can view the video stream through your web browser on Windows or OS X. You can also access some of the camera's settings and watch the video stream through the MyDlink Lite or MyDlink Home app, but integration with Dlink's connected home platform is limited. You'll want to stick to the Baby Camera app to have full control.

Overall experience

My baby is four months old and still takes three or four short naps throughout the day in his crib upstairs. Having a good video monitor made it possible for me and my toddler to head outside while still being ready to get him as soon as he woke.

Remote viewing came in handy on a number of occasions. Our backyard is big enough that the Wi-Fi signal gets weak in the back, but I didn't have to worry because the app could still connect over 4G.

 

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