My husband and I were excited to try out the D-Link Solutions Wi-Fi Baby Camera (DCS-825L). We were tempted to buy a Wi-Fi video monitor when we initially bought our baby monitor but ultimately decided against it, opting for a regular video monitor instead. This was our chance to see if we made the right decision!
The D-Link camera comes in nice packaging and looks appealing upon first glance. It comes with changeable blue and pink accents, so you can customize the look of the camera, which is a nice touch. The camera itself is much larger than our current video monitor, but the size makes sense given how much more the camera does than our basic version.
The physical setup of the camera is easy. We chose to set the camera on the stand that comes with it, although you can also mount the camera to the wall if you choose. I was a bit disappointed that the camera can’t be panned remotely like some other cameras on the market, but because this it isn’t a feature that would get used very often, I don’t consider it a fatal flaw.
We have Apple products (iPhones and iPads), and downloading the app for connecting to the camera was a bit confusing at first. I initially tried to search for “D-Link” in the app store but couldn’t find the right app. I noticed after a few tries that the manual suggests searching for a very specific term. When I did input the correct term, the app popped right up. It seemed a little odd, but I guess I should have read the directions first!
The app itself is easy to use. We were all setup and running in no time. The connection to the camera works one of two ways. You can either connect directly to the camera via your router (i.e., you have to be connected to the same router as the camera to get the camera signal), or you can setup a remote account to be able to connect from anywhere as long as your camera is hooked up to your router. We tried out both options, and they seemed to work just fine.
I must admit that the D-Link camera provides a lot of flexibility. I felt a lot of comfort on days my husband and I went out knowing that I could still see our little man whenever I wanted. The other nice feature is you don’t have to worry about losing signal strength in certain parts of your house (as long as you get a signal from your router), which is a problem we experienced with our other video monitor. My husband also really liked being able to see our son from work during the day.
The camera interface has a ton of features. Like a lot of camera monitors these days, it tells you the temperature in the baby’s room, which I really liked. It even includes an alert that will sound if the temperature rises or falls outside the range that you can set. Pretty cool! Similarly, the camera has alerts that sound when the baby makes a noise or moves. The sensitivity for both features can be adjusted, which is nice. Also, the camera keeps track of how many times the alert goes off, so that, for example, you can see how many times the baby cried during the night. I struggled a bit with these features because, while it’s neat, it also seems like a bit of overkill. I am to the point as a mom where if my guy is moving and not making a sound, I don’t need to know about it—let me sleep! (Ha.) As you can probably guess, I turned these features off , but I could certainly see some parents really liking them.
The zoom function on the camera is also pretty neat. Much like a lot of stuff on iPhones, you pinch your fingers to zoom in or zoom out. It’s eally easy to do!
The camera has an auto setting to adjust for day or night. During the day the camera comes through in color, and at night it comes through in more of a black and white for night vision. We had trouble with this feature because when the camera was on “auto,” it always came through in black and white. I’m not sure if that was because of the way the sun hit our son’s room, but it was frustrating. If we wanted color we had to switch manually to the day setting and then manually switch back to night when the sun went down. It wasn’t the end of the world—just a minor inconvenience.
The video quality on the camera is very good. The box says it is 720p, and I believe it. Definitely a very good picture! That said, I thought the sound quality was not quite as good. We have a noise machine that we play lightly during naptime and at night. The sound machine noise came through in a really weird annoying sound that is much different than the way it actually sounds. Also, I found myself having to turn my iPad, which I would leave on my nightstand, all the way up just to be sure I could hear our little man if he was crying. No matter what we tried, the sound always seemed to come through a bit softer than one might expect.
Overall, I think the D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera is a neat product that has some serious upsides. The price is pretty competitive with other cameras out there. If you are looking for a Wi-Fi based monitor system, this is definitely one to check out!
To buy: dlink.com