Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
D-Link Camera Video Recorder mydlink-Enabled (DNR-202L)
Style Name: 4 Camera RecordingPackage Type: Standard PackagingChange
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137 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2014
I purchased a pair of D-Link DCS-932Ls along with a D-Link DIR-605L Wireless N router, D-Link DNR-202L Network Video Recorder and a Seagate 1TB external drive in order to build a (relatively) simple and (comparatively) inexpensive home surveillance "nanny cam" system that allowed remote viewing, continuous recording and motion detection without having to purchase a subscription or eat up tons of bandwidth uploading the video to someone else's cloud service.
(My review of the cameras is very similar to this one, but goes into more detail about their operation, if you're considering a similar setup.)

If you're looking to set up a system like mine, it'll probably take a moderate level of technical know-how and a not-insignificant investment of time getting everything configured. I didn't find the D-Link community forums until after I got everything set up, but a few of the threads there might have saved me some grief.

Features verified to work:
- Recording and playback of Audio\Video at 640x480 "medium quality" MJPEG at 12-15fps. (My cameras do not support HD video or h.264 encoding, so I haven't tested that.) It looks like with continuous recording of two cameras, I'll get around 8 days before it starts overwriting the oldest video on my 1TB drive. I could increase this by lowering the resolution or framerate (or getting a larger HDD), but a week's backlog is more than sufficient for my purposes.
- Remote live view and playback of recorded video through the Android app and direct IP interface (though the IP interface can be a little tricky to set up to work correctly from outside your network), with fast-forward, pause and slo-mo
- Receipt and logging of Motion detection events (which must be set up first on the cameras, and then enabled in the 202L) which highlight video segments in the playback selection window
- Plug-and-play recording to an external HDD (which actually surprised me when it just started up once the HDD was plugged in, since I was expecting to have to turn on the continuous recording)
- Saving video segments to AVI, though I'm having an issue with the audio stream of exported AVIs being played at half-speed. Not sure if this is a codec issue or a device issue. I've managed to alter the exported AVI files to correct the issue, but I'm hoping to find out why it's happening in the first place

Available Features I Haven't Tried:
- Any cameras other than the pair of DCS-932Ls that I've got (though only certain D-Link cameras are supported)
- iPhone app.
- E-mail alerts on motion detection, disconnection.
- Recording schedules, or recording on motion\disconnection (I'm using it to record continuously, though with motion detection active on one camera which puts highlights in the playback selection window)
- User Accounts - you can set up sub accounts that do not have access to camera settings, but can still see the Live View (I think)

- Java security weirdness. If you view the Live View or Playback through the NVR's direct IP interface (as opposed to the Android\iPhone app), recent Java security changes require you to add an exception for the NVR's IP address to the Site List in the Java Security settings.
- Sometimes during playback the status information pane (which shows time, speed, etc) will seize up. Since there's an on-screen-display for each camera, it's a minor annoyance
- Has a LOUD error beep when it's not connected. This might be a plus or a minus, depending on your situation. Thankfully, there's an option to turn it off.
- Setup can be a bit daunting. There are automatic configuration options, but to get things working the way I wanted required some poking about. (See 03/20/2014 update at the end of this review.) Some of this could probably be chalked up to the router configuration more than the 202L, but to me it's a package deal. This is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that...
- Documentation isn't fantastic. It's not awful, but there are certainly some gaps explaining esoteric settings. You have to find the documentation first, though.
- It wasn't obvious (to me anyway) that you can click-drag to select a segment of video to view in the Playback selection window. I found that out accidentally.
- Using the Save as AVI to export a video segment works, but produces an AVI where the audio stream is played at half-speed, out of sync with the video stream. I've managed to edit the AVI files to correct them, but it'd be nice to find out why they're being exported incorrectly in the first place(if it's a codec issue on my computer, or a device issue with the DNR-202L)

Heads Up: (Things that aren't really complaints, but could be easily overlooked.)
- It has no built-in storage. You need to purchase a separate external USB hard drive.
- It's not wireless. It needs to be physically plugged into a router.
- It's tiny. From the picture, I assumed it would be the size of a router. It's a little bigger than an Altoids tin.
- It only supports D-Link "cloud" cameras.
- It will record 4 cameras at a time, but the interface suggests it can connect to 8 total. (I suspect you just pick 4 of the 8 to record, if you happen to have that many cameras.)

Why This Particular Setup:
- DCS-932L - The cameras offered Audio and nightvision at a decent quality much less expensively than other alternatives I've seen, as well as remote live viewing without the use of a subscription service
- DIR-605L - I'd read you need to dedicate a router to your cameras to avoid bogging down other services on your network (e.g.: Netflix). In the end, I'm actually using it as a switch plus wireless access point (with LAN port to Lan port connection to the "parent" router and DHCP disabled on the 605L) so that the NVR and camera traffic is sequestered to the 605L, but the NVR and cameras are still on the same subnet as the rest of my computers, facilitating access.
- DNR-202L - Local recording of (and remote access to) continuous Audio and Video without the use of a subscription service
- Seagate 1TB portable external drive - the DNR-202L does not have its own storage, and requires an external USB hard drive. 1TB provides about 8 days of continuously-recorded 12-15fps "medium quality" MJPEG audio\video from two DCS-932Ls.

The Other Alternatives I Considered:
- Logitech Alert Indoor Master - My runner-up selection. Uses networking-over-power by communicating through special power adapters to avoid tying up your home network , has HD cameras with 130 degree fov, is probably easy to configure, and allows remote live viewing. Does not require a subscription for recording video, but my understanding is that local video recording is done by designating a home computer to do so using Logitech's included software or a 3rd party solution, although the camera's built-in microSD cards hold a certain amount of video until it's ready to be downloaded. This was roughly the same price as my setup, but only came with one camera, and additional cameras are nearly twice the price. There is some subscription service offered by Logitech, but I didn't see that it offered any meaningful benefits over the free service.
- Netgear VueZone - Cameras are truly wireless, being battery operated, but they don't record audio. Requires a subscription or 3rd party software (on a home PC) for continuous recording and playback. The full-featured 110 degree fov camera with nightvision is twice as expensive as the 932L.
- DropCam Pro - HD video, 130 degree fov, two-way audio, reviews seems to suggest it's easy to use. Requires a subscription or 3rd party software (on a home PC) for continuous recording and playback. One camera is three times the price of a single DCS-932L.
- Foscam - No subscriptions, comparatively inexpensive, pan-tilt with two-way audio, but again - need to dedicate a PC with Foscam or 3rd-party sofware to recording and playback.
- Lorex Wireless (and similar) - A true "surveillance system" with a dedicated DVR-type unit. Most require physical installation of BNC cables from the cameras to the DVR unit, although I did see a Lorex system with two wireless cameras at a big-box retailer for about the price I paid for my setup. The reviews were poor, so I dropped it from consideration.

Two things that keep coming up in this review:
- Subscriptions. It's a matter of principle for me, so it's a personal preference thing. I prefer to buy products rather than services. I get what I paid for and then I'm done putting money into it. A cloud recording service would necessitate using Internet bandwidth for streaming the camera feeds, where my setup allows me to sequester the camera traffic onto its own router unless I'm actively viewing the live stream. Plus, I'm not at the mercy of a company who may discontinue the service before I'm done using it. I am using D-Link's mydlink cloud...thingy to direct web requests for live viewing to the cameras, but it's free, and it's not essential.
- Use of a home PC for recording\playback purposes. I don't like the idea of using up CPU cycles, bandwidth, and storage space on my main computer for recording, plus I don't have to worry about the recording service starting back up automatically if there's a brief outage. With the NVR, you can access the recorded video for playback from any of the computers in the house (or remotely), and I've unhooked the power to the cameras and the NVR more than once to move them and had recording start back up very quickly without any intervention on my part.

There you have it! I've had the system running for about a week now, so if I experience any issues with reliability down the road, I'll update my review.

Update 02/28/2014: The system has been running for about a month (admittedly the short month of February) without interruption. With the two DCS-932Ls recording continuously on medium quality 640x480 MJPEG with audio, I'm getting around 8.5 days backlog on my 1TB drive.
I've experimented with using some inexpensive (like, $6) smartphone add-on wide-angle lenses to increase the field of view with some success and will probably be semi-permanently attaching those to my cameras in the near future. If you're considering it, I'd recommend a clip-style version of the 0.67x wide angle lens. The more common magnetic version of the lens interferes with the IR filter of the DCS-932L unless the magnet is removed (which isn't trivial).

Update 03/20/2014: I've read several reviews where people report having trouble with the setup Wizard. I configured my cameras and the DNR-202L through the direct IP interface before ever running the Wizard, and even then I only ran it to register the unit with It requires a certain degree of technical know-how, but it seems like the Wizard has a spotty track record.
Also, the forums at might provide some user-to-user assistance if you're having difficulty getting things set up.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2013
I bought one of these to replace a non-"My DLink" NVR, in the hope that I could finally view my IP cameras over the internet.
It did work, I can seen live and recorded video on the "my DLink" site from all the cameras hooked up to it, whether the cameras are "My DLink" or not. By the way, the previous NVR (a DNS-726-4) was also unreliable AND I could never figure out how to view its content over the internet.

Major detractor: The product is not reliable. It must be rebooted three times a week, and it does not have a maintenance function to auto-restart. Sometimes when I reboot it via the web interface, it does not come back up on the network and I have to crawl under the desk to unplug it for a hard restart. If I forget to reboot it, sure enough it will be out of commission -- responding to pings, but not allowing log in, nor is it recording. For a home security product, this is unacceptable.

I've expended a lot of money and energy on these D-Link security cam products, and in the final analysis I feel cheated. Tech support from DLink is essentially non-existent. Being a pretty forgiving consumer, I would rate this NVR a "B" if it would just reliably record 24/7 without a hitch. Various literature on the D-Link site describes features like finding when an item goes missing, etc, no such features are present on this device.

The associated MyDLink web feature is OK, but not very appealing. You can examine one camera at a time, in a completely different interface than the native NVR's web server. In comparison, the MyQ-See version of this service (another vendor) is just like connecting to the DVR directly, over the internet, with all features enabled just as if you were inside your router.

Conclusion: A marginally acceptable product that could use a lot of improvements.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2013
Just received this and connected it to my router. Installation was a little difficult because the zip file I downloaded from dlink's website gave me a script error when I ran it, so I had to call tech support and they explained that unzipping the file using the Windows 8 unzipping tool caused the corruption, so they had me download 7-Zip and unzip it again, which worked. I have no idea what difference it makes, but just glad that it worked.

Once the software was installed, getting the recorder connected to and my 2 cameras was fairly straightforward. I've had it set up and recording video for the last 24 hours and it seems to use about 96GB of storage space a day, so I'll get about 5 days out of my 500GB drive.

I could reduce the image quality or change the frame rate to get a longer recording time if I wanted, so I can live with it since most of what it records isn't useful and I can just overwrite the old data if I want. I can also set it up to detect motion so that it isn't recording all the time.

The device works as advertised and I'm happy with it overall, but I wish setup had been easier.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
First off we want to thank you for your feedback regarding the DNR-202L as we really do appreciate your comments regarding this product. We are sorry to hear that the installation process did not meet your expectations. Please note that the DNR-202L does utilize a Setup Wizard to help guide and expedite the software installation process upon set up of the DNR-202L on your network. The Setup Wizard guides you through the setup process by following on-screen prompts allowing you to go back and or move forward at any time, during the setup process by clicking back or next. The Setup Wizard also will scan for attached storage devices and ask if you wish to format the devices found while going through the Setup process. The Setup Wizard will even help guide you through the process of connecting your NVR to a mydlink account (provided you already have an account setup and ready to use so you may connect over the mydlink Cloud Services web service application). If you need further information or assistance with this product please visit Thank you for being a D-Link customer.
The manufacturer commented on the review below
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2013
The documentation and instructions available via the configuration interface is lacking. You really have to be familiar with D-Link cameras and be patient enough to fiddle with the configuration screens to get this to work properly.

Unlike a previous reviewer, I WAS able to get the DNR to record only on motion. The trick was that Motion Detection had to be turned on in each of the camera's configuration interfaces. Once this was activated on the camera side and the Event setup on the DNR was configured to record on motion, the unit started doing just that.

I am currently UNABLE to get the email alerts to work even though my SMTP info checks out fine with the test message. It just doesn't send an email. I've alerted support and hopefully this issue will be resolved in the first round of firmware updates.

A feature that I was expecting but did NOT find, was the ability to send alerts/record video when motion is detected ACCORDING TO A SCHEDULE. As it is now in firmware 1.0, motion detection and events are either ON or OFF. I'd like to have them turn on while I'm at work and off again when I return home via a schedule. That way I'm not getting recordings/alerts of myself moving around the house in the evenings...and I'd only be alerted when movement is occurring when there should be no movement.

It's an okay first effort, hopefully I can post a better review once some firmware updates are pushed out and issues are resolved.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We want to thank you for providing us with your feedback as we do appreciate and value it very much. We are sorry to hear that you are having issues in configuring some features on the DNR-202L. Please note that the DNR-202L may be configured to set up a user defined recording schedule by going to the SETUP tab on the top of the settings and configuration page and then selecting the "Event Setup" tab from the left hand side column. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and make the necessary changes under the RECORDING SCHEDULE header section to customize a recording schedule and be sure to check the box that states "Enable Recording Schedule", and then scroll back up to the top and click on the Save Setting box to save the changes you made. If you need further information please visit Thank you for being a D-Link customer.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2013
This is a good little NVR for the price as long as you are familiar with dvr's & security cams; you should be pretty happy with it. Does NOT include Hard Drives. The unit does freeze up every once & a while but if you put a timer on it, it works great (this should be a feature in the software sadly not, it needs to be reset just like DVR's. Has motion detection with dlink cams, one feature I really like is backup so any computer with a browser/internet and I can hit the video & recordings. Records sound. Bandwidth required is not too bad considering the quality of image.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2014
I bought this device to complement my two D-Link 932L cameras. I attached a 1 TB WD 2.5" HD (the DNR-202L can reliably power a external HD by USB alone). Everything is smaller than you would think from the box. The device is about the size of a pack of playing cards.

The setup was a little frustrating, the setup wizard link in the manual was broken, and the customer support spent 30 minutes trying to get me to open the link in various browsers and different computers despite my telling them the link is broken. The drivers can be found at the website.
Once you run the wizard it sets everything up for you. I recommend going into the web interface (IP address from the browser) and configuring camera video and recording preferences. It uses data up at a faster rate than you'd think. My setup with one camera at 640x480 medium and another at 640x480 high w/ audio uses about 2 Mb/s in the HD, giving me about 5 days of recordings.

You can add watermarks with camera name and time and data which is great.
Everything is viewable through the mydlink app on iOS from anywhere

All in all if you are either at home or a small business you can have a camera recording system viewable from your smartphone for under $300.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
I purchased 2 DCS-933L cameras, 1 DCS-932L camera, and a 202L DNR. It took a TON of patience and TIME to finally getting everything working properly. I finally have the dnr recording 24/7 and can playback recordings. All cameras are ftp'ing and emailing on motion events.

Problems That I Encountered And How I Solved Them:
The whole system was extremely sluggish with the cameras intermittently dropping their connections to the dnr. I was really lucky if I could view recordings on the dnr as the interface took a really long time to display that there were recordings. I was able to resolve the sluggishness by putting the cameras and dnr on their own dedicated router using wireless "N". I connected the router to my main router via a netgear access point using wireless "N". Everything instantly came alive and MUCH faster. No more intermittent camera to dnr connection issues. The DNR is recording at a steady 15fps 320x240 (could probably up this but lets remember this is meant for home security and not tv). Viewing recordings and all cameras on the DNR is seamless. Devices on my main router are now much more quicker on the internet. DLINK SHOULD MENTION that this system SHOULD BE ON ITS OWN ROUTER!!!!

I tried using the event settings in the dnr for emailing and ftping. Epic failure!!! I spent hours on the phone with customer support who could not get this to work. I eventually set up ftp and email settings on each camera for motion events which seems to work VERY well. Save yourself the headache of setting this stuff up on the DNR as it is broken!!!

I run Ubuntu (Linux) on all my computers and found that the latest version of Java (in Chrome) allows you to view and use all camera features. Unfortunately, viewing of cameras and recordings on the DNR does not work. The only way I could get this to work was by installing Windows in Virtual Box and using Internet Explorer. Called DLINK support and was told that they only support IE and Safari... ack.

My android phone experience... I paid for the mydlink + app.... DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! This does the EXACT same thing as mydlink lite (free version)!!! Both apps do not allow you to view the dnr and require that you download a dnr viewing app. The dnr viewing app is VERY BASIC in that it allows you to view cameras one at a time, start recordings, and view recordings (very sluggish). This app looks like it was something that was thrown together in a day... I am very embarrassed for the developers.

In the dnr, you can adjust video settings for each connected camera. This actually updates the video settings in the camera. I was finding that when updating the video settings via the dnr, not all camera video settings are displayed. The settings that are not displayed, are reset to default in the camera, when you save them....ACK!!! Save yourself the headache and don't use the dnr to adjust the video settings for each camera. Log in to each camera and make the adjustments.

The system works really well once you have spent a LOT of time understanding it. Not much of a manual!! I was told multiple times by DLINK customer support that they are working on resolving these issues but have seen very little updates in the past few months. I have brought up the above issues (and many more) but have yet to see any of them fixed.

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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We thank you for your input and your feedback is appreciated. We will pass this information along to our Product Management team for further review and notation regarding the DNR-202L setup and configuration problems you encountered. We thank you for choosing D-Link.
The manufacturer commented on the review below
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2013
It's basically a really small box that does very little for the price. Yes you can plug in a small usb drive (in my case a 1GB $80 drive from best buy) and record from your wireless d-link cameras. You can view live video on your iphone and playback recorded video from iphone or a computer. The documentation is weak. You can get everything installed pretty easily but trying to figure out how to control it is a problem. There is no option to record only motion events. It just records continuously filling up the HD at about 5GB per hour. Nothing is mentioned in the docs as to recommended hard drive size. Nothing is mentioned what will happen when the hard drive fills up (hopefully just write over previous recording). or maybe it will just stop. I suppose for a temporary setup it might be ok but I'd recommend just getting a real security camera setup installed by an electrician or security company. This one is really 1/2 baked. Oh and forget about calling tech support. You will eventually talk to someone in the Philippines that is clueless or you will get disconnected after eating up endless cel phone minutes. Personally I found using an old iPod touch with iCam software a better and easier solution than this.

***UPDATE: I continued to press buttons and fiddle with the cameras, hard drive, playback software (local and on the web) and was finally able to get them to record ONLY when there is motion. That took several hours since the manuals do not help. for a "my" d-link product that is supposed to be simple they really overcomplicate it. There should really only be ONE configuration page for the divice but I have found there are several different web pages that do different things to configure the cameras..and a separate page for this device. They overlap in their settings information. I found that the camera settings web pages will override the DNR-202L settings. It works pretty good when you solve the puzzle to configure it so I'm updating my review to 3 STARS..woo hoo!
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We would like to thank you for your feedback as we truly appreciate and value it. Please note that once the DNR-202L has been set up and the selected cameras have been chosen and set up, recordings can be made continuously with automatic overwrite function implemented, or with the added option of creating and choosing a user-defined schedule which directs when to commence recording. D-Link also supplies the following support documentation: Quick Install Guide, Datasheet and User Manual, which may be viewed and or downloaded from the website if needed for further assistance and information about the DNR-202L. You may also download a copy of the detailed User Manual for this device at the following link listed here:

Thank you for choosing D-Link.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2014
OK - this review is for the "techies" - as in one who opens the box, is familiar with tech and does not read the manuals until absolutely necessary. I had this installed in 10 mins using 2 DCS-932L and 1 DCS-5010L cameras. I un-boxed, plugged in the 1TB USB drive and connected it to the network. I have IP scanning software so I found the IP address of the device and configured it that way manually. It was self explanatory, again for the techies. However - the setup wizard from their support site is also awesome. I had to run it to register my device with my mydlink account so I could use the iPhone monitoring app. So overall if you know what you are doing and are familiar with "tech" - you will get this thing running in no time flat. If you are a newb - then you must download the setup wizard and read the instructions. Not bad for the price and with PRIME - can't beat it. Thanks D-Link and Amazon. I will update this review if I have any problems.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
I'm sorry, but for what I paid and it's 2013, it should not be this difficult to setup a simple device. I had already installed 2 D-Link cameras (which also did not go smoothly but eventually I got them working), but now when trying to get the DNR-202L working, the setup wizard simply stops me at step 2. There is no device to select and it appears to be downloading improperly. I've seen the advice on using different programs to unzip it, which is ridiculous but I tried anyway. 7-zip, winRAR, etc. nothing works. So, I have 2 cameras and a useless device at the moment. Tech support is a joke. The D-Link forum has nobody replying and the chat function is not actually a chat - it is simply a contextual search function. I figured since I'm getting no tech support through D-Link I have no choice but to try here. And mr. moderator, please don't point me to the user manual. I am tech savvy and already installed other devices. It's this particular setup wizard that is not functional on 2 different home computers with multiple zip file programs.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We would like to thank you for your feedback as we do really value and appreciate your input. Please be sure that you have downloaded and installed the latest version 1.00 of firmware readily available for the DNR-202L. After you have downloaded and installed the newest version of firmware available onto the DNR-202L then try reinstalling the Windows setup wizard again. If you are still having issues please click on the below link within the next 10 business days, this link will get you connected directly with our specialized D-Link technical support staff to better assist you with any further problems you may have:
Thank you for choosing D-Link.

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