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611 of 632 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it Says
I purchased this camera to use as a cheep wireless IP webcam. It offers the ability to hook into your network either with the wireless WSP functionality or with an ethernet connection. It is fairly small with the camera being about the size of an iphone (maybe about 80% that size). The base allows for you to mount it in multiple settings, but be clear, this is a very...
Published on December 3, 2010 by J. Pierce

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114 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for plug-and-play usage, but difficult to customize use (see end of review for instructions)
This is a decent camera that will work well if you want a simple plug-and-play webcam for monitoring purposes. Setup is a challenge, though, if you decide to configure and run the camera manually, rather than using D-Link's software and portal. (If you want to manage the video without using D-Link's portal, I've included instructions at the end of this review.)...
Published on July 30, 2011 by Edward Barnett


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611 of 632 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it Says, December 3, 2010
By 
J. Pierce "Disrputive Thinker" (Atlanta, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera (Electronics)
I purchased this camera to use as a cheep wireless IP webcam. It offers the ability to hook into your network either with the wireless WSP functionality or with an ethernet connection. It is fairly small with the camera being about the size of an iphone (maybe about 80% that size). The base allows for you to mount it in multiple settings, but be clear, this is a very simple design...not rocket science by any means. The ac power cord is about 4 feet long.
Setup: I ran into an issue when I was trying to set up the wireless connection. I could not get my camera and wireless router to talk at all. I called tech support (the free version) and they were useless. The rep had no clue about the specific devise and it is clear that he was just in a large call center that probably supports dozens if not hundreds of products. I had NO problem when I hooked it into my network via an ethernet cable. The set up application runs very nicely and easily gives you the option to select either wireless or wired set up as needed.
Back to my wireless problem. I decided that I would pay $32 for D-Links premium support for 30 minutes of help...I rolled the dice, as they do not guarantee they will fix your problem for your investment, but I had a feeling my issue was something simple with my network configuration...and I was right. The rep was great, she remoted into my pc, checked out my wireless settings on my router and determined that I had a bad character in my site name. None of my other wireless products had a problem with the character, but the D-Link cam did not like it. She changed the name of my wireless network, we restarted the router,and instantly the camera linked in wirelessly.
I am absolutely convinced that if I had not had a dash in my wireless network name, then this wireless set up would have been a breeze. So, I can't place blame for this issue on D-Link, but it was interesting that no other wireless device I use had a problem with the naming convention of the network.
Once that hurdle was cleared, it has been smooth sailing. I really like the ease of use and the functionality included with the set up...through a web interface, you can control video size, audio (yes it has a mic and sends the audio over IP in realtime), you can set motion detection, auto emailing on detection, and it even has a built in ftp server to send the images where ever you like.
Simple camera that does exactly what it says...it provides decent video and audio wirelessly to your network and then you can do with it what you want.
Pros: Simple, straight forward, nice setup application used on your pc, D-Link offers free remote viewing via their web portal MyD-link, and they also offer a free iPhone app (no audio on the iPhone app).
Cons: Seems somewhat fragile...I would not want to drop it form more than a foot off the ground. A fall from any higher seems would shatter it.
Overall I think this is a really good value.

((Update Dec. 18, 2011)
So I have had this camera in service for over a year now...and it has been installed outside, under an eave of my house. It has no additional protection from the elements...just its own casing and the few inches of cover provided by the eave. It has been subjected to all the weather Atlanta receives in a year...heat 95+, cold 9, wind, rain, humidity, etc. The verdict...GREAT..not one issue with it. So, I just purchased three more for outdoor viewing around the house. I put one into service yesterday and had NO problems with setup at all. Used the auto network connect feature on the camera and my Netgear router and it hooked in within a minute. Great little camera and with the price dropped to $70, I think it will be hard to beat it.
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348 of 372 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Home security made simple, February 2, 2011
This review is from: D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a review for the DLink DCS-930L Day camera - NOT the low light version (DCS-932L).

Updated 8/18/2013: Edited to add detailed setup instructions.

Original Review:
##########

This is the easiest way I found to monitor our home remotely.

I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly everything came together - I had the camera installed and transmitting in less than 15 minutes. I plugged the camera into a power outlet, popped the CD in (on a Windows 7 64-bit computer), entered my wireless network credentials, set up a DLink account from which to monitor the camera, and presto!

What works well:
###########

1. The lens is reasonably wide angle - it can cover most of a normal size room.

2. It has audio! And it works very well.

3. Image quality is decent - you can recognize people, but it isn't broadcast quality by any means.

4. Moving the camera kills the feed for a couple of minutes, but it's back on the network in less than 2 minutes.

5. The iPhone app is cool! We were able to watch the camera just as well on an iPod Touch. As another reviewer suggested, Tiny Cam (the free version is sufficient) worked great for me on Android.

6. The admin interface for the camera is stellar. You can control the refresh rate and resolution of the camera; the saturation, brightness, and contrast of the image; and the volume for the audio. You can even turn off the annoying LED light on the front of the unit!

7. Setting up motion detection is also really easy. You just pick the sensitivity of detection, and click on parts of the frame where you want detection to trigger. That's it! When motion is detected, you can ask the camera to email you the images.

8. Setting up email notification is simple too. I looked up the SMTP address and port for Yahoo, entered my email address and password, and was soon receiving emails from my camera!

9. It connects via Wireless-N and has an awesome range. It connects without problems to my router from across the house, through multiple walls.

10. This device supports WPS. What this means that you can automatically configure it to access your router, with just a couple of button presses. (However, due to security issues with WPS, I recommend that you turn off WPS on your router.)

What doesn't:
##########

1. The camera does not work in low light conditions as it does not have infrared capabilities. You need at least a 40W lamp for it to be functional. This tends to be a bit annoying for me, as the camera becomes fairly useless once evening falls. The infrared-capable DCS-932L may be a better choice in this regard.

2. No pan/tilt options on this camera. For me, this is not as big a deal as the low light issue, especially given its wide angle of view.

3. The camera feels a bit delicate, but should hold up well given that it isn't going to be handled much. It did take a couple of falls and has survived. (Updated 8.18.13: My camera's stand has since broken. Thank goodness for duct tape.)

4. The camera needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Its short power cord does limit the locations where it can be placed.

Conclusions:
########

Overall, this was plug and play installation at its best.

I also can't believe there is a simpler way to get all of this functionality in a single unit. This device is extensively customizable. I was particularly impressed that the designers had thought about putting in a way to turn off the blinking LED in the front of the camera. This LED is a very useful diagnostic tool (it flashes amber when it is setting itself up, and green when it is broadcasting), but it drove me nuts, until I found this option in the admin panel.

Hope this helps.

Happy Monitoring!

Continue reading if you want to setup your camera manually. While this is more involved, it also means you need not install any additional software. However, you do lose the ability to record video.

Updated Aug 18, 2013: Manual Setup
################################

Before you begin, remember that you only have one publicly visible IP address - and this is allocated by your ISP, and is assigned to your router. Inside your network, your devices are allocated private IP addresses, in the range 192.168.x.y. These addresses are termed "private" because they only make sense within your own internal private network.

A computer outside your network only recognizes the public IP address of your router. It has no idea how many devices you might have on your internal network.

So how do you access your camera from outside your home network?

The answer is to use port forwarding to uniquely identify one of your internal devices, and make it addressable over the Internet. You do this by reserving a particular port (say, 90), and telling your router that any attempt to access that particular port on the router's public IP address, should actually be sent directly to the internal device (this camera) identified by a given private address (say, 192.168.1.5).

You will need to add a new port forwarding rule to your router for each camera that you need to expose externally.

Setup the camera
############

1. Connect the camera to your router with an Ethernet cable
2. Login to your router, and note the camera's internal IP address (Attached Devices page)
3. Navigate to that IP address in a browser to access the camera's web server
4. Login to the camera as "admin" with a blank password (default)
5. Verify that you can watch the camera's video
6. In the camera's interface:
....Setup tab > Wireless Setup menu > Wireless Settings section: check Enable; set SSID; Security Mode and your network key
....Maintenance tab > Admin menu > Admin Password Setting: set a new password (important!)
....Maintenance tab > Admin menu > Server Setting section: LED Control=Off
7. Disconnect the Ethernet cable. You should now connect wirelessly.

Setup the router
#############

1. Add a DHCP Address Reservation for the camera's internal IP address.
That way each time your camera connects to your router, it will always get the same IP address.

2. Add a Port Forwarding Rule:
Use Service type=TCP/UDP. External start/end port=90. Internal start/end port=80. Internal IP address=your camera's reserved address.

To verify your port forwarding rule works, use the external IP address (shown on your router's status page) and forwarded port, e.g., of the form http : // a.b.c.d:90 (remove spaces). When a request comes in to your router at port 90, it will now forward it directly on to port 80 at your camera's IP address.

That's it!

Advanced Manual Setup:
################

Here are a few advanced options for using this camera.

Dynamic DNS:
##########
If your IP address changes frequently, or are tired of remembering numeric addresses, register at a dynamic DNS provider, such as dyndns.org. My router, a WNDR4500, actually keeps dyndns informed whenever my public IP address changes. I can now use a text-based domain name and it will be automatically converted of my IP address.

Setup Email
##########

Your camera can automatically send you emails. To do that, it needs to know information about your email provider as well as your username/password credentials. The steps below are for gmail, but you can look up the equivalents for other email providers.

(also see Abhilash's notes in the comments below)
Setup tab > Mail menu
....SMTP Server Address: smtp.gmail.com
....SMTP Server port: 465
....Sender email address: your sending email address at gmail
....Receiver email address: the email that should receive sent emails
....User name: the part of your sending email address before the @gmail.com
....Password: your email password
....Use SSL-TLS

Click the Test Email Account.
Verify the status of the test, at Status > Device Info > E-mail Test.

Motion detection:
#############
You can have the camera email you either on a schedule or if motion is detected in a configurable hot zone.

Setup > Motion Detection
....Motion Detection: Enable
....Detection Area: click the squares of interest

Setup > Mail
....select "Enable emailing images to email"
....select "Motion Detection"

Finally, we're done :)

Good luck!
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308 of 331 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great baby monitor! Audio is very bad (static). Video is pretty good, April 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 1:08 Mins

4/4/2011: The day and night video is pretty good. The installation process was flawless. Unfortunately I can't use the camera as a baby monitor since the audio static is awful. The static is so loud you can't hear anything. Hopefully Dlink will address my concern. I'll update my review once I hear back from them. See my video if you'd like to hear the bad static. Also Dlink hasn't fixed the audio problem with the Iphone App. You only get video with the Iphone. I have the Iphone 4 with iOS 4.3 installed.

4/5/2011: I contacted Dlink support. They said they know about the audio problem and they don't plan to fix it. Ughh! I'm going to return this one and see if a new one sounds better. I'll post more once I get the new one.

4/14/2011: I received my new DCS-932L from Amazon today. The audio is just as bad with this camera. What a shame. I even upgraded my java version to 1.6.0_24-b07. Ughh. Time to send it back or pray for a firmware fix.

8/31/2011: We've started to use this camera all the time since our baby is older and Iphone support has been added. The audio is good enough where we can hear him. I just wish Dlink would get rid of the static.

3/5/2012: This camera has become our primary baby monitor for our 14th month old. The iphone apps work very well. Our Philips Iphone dock works great with the Dlink Iphone app. It amplifies the audio and cleans up the audio a bit. I'm adding 1 more star back. I still wish the the audio didn't have so much static, but this camera has turned out to be a great baby monitor.
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114 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for plug-and-play usage, but difficult to customize use (see end of review for instructions), July 30, 2011
By 
Edward Barnett (Cambridge, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a decent camera that will work well if you want a simple plug-and-play webcam for monitoring purposes. Setup is a challenge, though, if you decide to configure and run the camera manually, rather than using D-Link's software and portal. (If you want to manage the video without using D-Link's portal, I've included instructions at the end of this review.)

Positives:
+ Good looking, fairly unobtrusive camera with a nicely designed ball-and-socket mount that can be set on a table or mounted permanently on a wall.
+ Video quality is fine for room monitoring at the default configuration (320x240 pixels) and quality can be improved four-fold by resetting the video to VGA (640x480 pixels). This isn't the same quality as an HD cam, so I wouldn't use this camera for Skyping, but it's fine for a room monitor.
+ The DLink web service makes it simple to view the video feed from an internet connection when you're away from home, if you choose to use their portal.
+ If your router supports WPS Setup, setting up the wireless connection is as easy as pressing a couple of buttons.

Negatives:
- If you don't want to use DLink's web portal for remote monitoring, setting up the camera manually requires a fair amount of technical knowledge. I didn't like the idea of having DLink manage my video feed, so I went for the manual setup approach. Unfortunately, there is no documentation for doing this, so you need to be comfortable configuring network devices. Basically, DLink assumes you'll use their service if you want remote access.
- If you don't need remote access (e.g., if you're using this as a baby monitor), things are a bit easier, but not trivial. You'll need to manually hunt for the camera's IP address on your subnet, login, and manually configure the camera. Once I figured out the IP and login name and password (which aren't in the setup guide), configuring the device for use at home was pretty straightforward.
- If your router doesn't support WPS, getting the wireless connection established is a challenge. You have to connect the camera to the router with a Cat5 patch cable, search manually for the IP, login (again, the manual doesn't give default login credentials), and manually set up the wireless connection.

In a nutshell, this is a decent camera, and if you want to use DLink's software for configuring the camera and their portal for monitoring the video feed, it's a good, simple choice. But DLink assumes you'll use their approach, and if you want to set up and use the device without using their software (which I didn't want to install on my laptop because it's a work computer) or portal (which I didn't want to use because I didn't like the idea of DLink managing my webcam feed) then you need to have technical knowledge and be willing to spend some time, without the benefit of instructions.

UPDATE: I finally managed to configure this camera manually and have it set up for monitoring from outside my network without using DLink's portal. If you decide you want to do the same, here's how:

- Connect the camera to your network with a Cat5 patch cable. Using a browser on any PC on the network, search for the camera (you can use a utility to find connected devices, or just start entering IP addresses on your subnet until you get a hit).

- Once you get a response from the camera, go to the setup tab then to wireless setup and enter the SSID and pre-shared key for your router so that you won't have to keep the camera connected with the Cat5 cable.

- Then go to the network setup and enter a static IP address, enter your router's IP (the one on your subnet, not the external IP) into the default gateway field, and enter a port number other than 80 into the HTTP port field (80 is the default but many ISPs block port 80).

- Next, log in to your router and set up port forwarding to forward activity on the port you set in the last step to the static IP address you entered in the last step.

- To access the camera from outside your network, fire up a browser and enter your router's external IP address followed by a colon and the port number. If you have a dynamic IP address from your ISP, you can use a service like DynDNS.org to get a common name keeps up with your ever-changing IP address. You can also download a free/cheap livecam app on your iPad or iPhone that lets you monitor the video feed remotely.

Important: You'll only need these instructions if you want to configure your DLink cam manually and want to monitor it directly without using DLink's portal. The easier approach (by far) is to use the CD that comes with the camera, load and run DLink's setup software to configure the camera, and use their portal for monitoring. But I didn't want to use their software or portal (I try not to load lots of potentially buggy software onto my computer, and I don't trust D-Link's security enough to have them managing my webcam feed), so I took the time to figure out the manual approach. I hope these instructions are useful to anyone else who wants to do the same.
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248 of 274 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars D-Link DCS-932L or Linksys WVC80N - which is best for you ?, May 26, 2011
I was looking for a low cost wireless camera with better image quality than the Linksys WVC80N cameras that I have been using for a while. Side-by-Side, this is how the cameras compared.

Bottom Line: Unless you need Night Vision or need the mobil phone apps, the Linksys WVC80N performs better at a lower price. Linksys has better image quality than D-Link at any distance, handles outdoor scenes when the D-Link won't and will deliver video clips (not just snapshots) by email or ftp. The Linksys does not have phone-apps, but it can email a 5 second motion triggered video clip that can be viewed on your android phone.

Best Useage: The D-Link would be great as a baby cam or pet cam. The cute design, better audio and the night vision outperform the Linksys for these uses.

The Linksys WVC80N would be better for any other use where the video quality under all lighting conditions (except dark) is the highest priority.

Compare Image Quality @ 640x480
1. Color Quality - D-Link is a little better than Linksys, unless it is an outdoor view. The D-Link exposure control cannot manage any sunlit surfaces. Even grass and trees are completely washed out to white if they are in direct sun. There are no settings to fix this. In moderate light, the D-Link color is better than Linksys because the Linksys has a color hue gradient of red in the center to green at the perimeter. This color balance problem is distracting when viewing a white scene like snow or other very light backgrounds.

2. Image Clarity - With the two cameras side-by-side with the same scene of near-and-distant objects, the D-Link by comparison looks optically out-of-focus, though neither camera is great in this respect. If you want to recognize a face at a distance Linksys is better. The D-Link video clarity is fine for a baby's bedroom, because a near-field view does not demand the same sharp focus as a distant view.

3. Sound Quality - The D-Link has good audio performance on an wireless "N" lan when accesses directly within your home using the camera's local IP address. Very little "noise", no skipping or break-up and good microphone pickup. I didn't check it out across the internet or with the "MyDlink" connection, but I am guessing audio would not perform so well there . . as other reviewers have noted.

The Linksys has more audio artifacts and is more vulnerable to the audio breaking up when the video settings are too demanding even on the local network. Across the internet with high speed cable service at both ends, the Video has to be set at "Low Quality" and 2 or 1 frames per second for the audio to work without breaking up.

Some Feature Comparisons
1. The one obvious advantage with the D-Link is the night vision. It works pretty well up to 20 feet but the pictures are very soft-focus. For your night-time application you may want to consider that the 4 red LEDS are very bright and draw your eye to the camera.

2. The D-Link camera cannot stream video to a PC without using the full web management interface or using the MyDLink web service. With the Lynksys you can play the video stream directly on an iPad or on a PC using Google's Chrome browser without the surroundings of a web interface. Internet Explorer will only show 1 frame of a video stream if you bypass the full management interface explaining why Google Chrome is mentioned. With the Linksys camera, Right-Click on the video in the normal interface to get the URL for the direct video stream to used on your iPad or Chrome.

The D-Link can display a single .jpeg snapshot without the managment interface. This feature can be enabled in the camera's web interface and it tells the address format to use. This is for direct access, not using MyDink.

2. The D-Link cannot upload a video clip to an ftp server when it sees motion. It will only upload a single .jpeg snapshot. This will often give you a useless premature snapshot of a shadow but not the person, or a door opening but not the person. With the Linksys .mjpeg video clip, no video compression is used so each frame is a good .jpeg snapshot. You can select the best frame from the 5 second video that would give you the best view of the motion event that triggered the clip.

3. The D-Link will only email 6 frames when it sees motion. You can choose 1 or 2 frames per second. It will include the 3 frames it had buffered before it saw motion which is a good feature. This makes the email feature much more usefull than the D-Link ftp upload of a single .jpeg snapshot.

For motion detection features, you may prefer the Linksys which will email, ftp (or both) a 5 second video clip at a normal video frame rate.

I had no reason to examine the motion detect performance on the D-Link camera, but the motion detection on this Linksys camera works much better that on the prior similar models. With careful detection-area and sensitivity tuning, motion detection works great. Motion Detection responds to shadows which makes outdoor use tricky but manageable. Shadows on the ground caused by wind blowing the trees will trigger the camera so your detction areas need to be carefully targeted at areas of interest.

Setup / Wireless Compatibility
Working in a related tech business, I believe the negative reviews on either of these products regarding wireless compatibility or networking issues are the result of bad programming on the manufacturer's setup CD or the buyer's lack of network troubleshooting experience. If you have a friend who is very tech-savy to help you get past wireless and networking complications, either of these products will work reliably on virtually any wireless network. Sometimes the installation CD's will simplify networking issues and sometime they won't.

Reading the complaints on Amazon about the D-Link setup, I had the same problems but they were caused by poor programming on Setup CD; not the camera. If you get failure messages going through the Wizard on the CD, just use the web interface on the camera and save yourself a lot of grief. The web interface on the camera is excellent.

Another reason to skip the DLink CD . . . it forces you to to create a MyDlink account with DLink even though you may have no need for the service because you prefer to port-forward to this camera.

I returned this camera because it was a video quality downgrade from the Linksys cameras already in service.
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92 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, December 25, 2011
Searched the web looking for a camera and reading all the reviews and seeing all of the horror stories I was certain I would be disappointed with my purchase. I was pleasantly surprised with this DCS 942L.

I placed this camera in my window pane pointing towards the front lawn. The picture is awesome, the motion sensor is awesome up to 50 feet (confirmed with my wife and a tape measure)

I tested it inside the house and it is awesome. The picture quality is scary. This is a great baby or pet monitor.

I wish D-Link made an affordable outdoor camera, I would purchase it too.

Pros:
1. Easy to set up. My wife and I set this one up in about 20 minutes.
2. Truth is I did have to call customer service to get the password for the advanced settings on the mydlink site. FYI admin is your username and the password is the same password you use to set up your camera on the mydlink site.
3. The mydlink site is intuitive. I have minimal to basic computer skills, and I was able to navigate it comfortably.
4. Viewing your camera from anywhere there is an Internet connection is awesome.
5. You can set the camera up to send you emails when the camera senses motion.
6. The camera can take 10 pics and a 10 second avi each time it senses motion in an area you select.

Con:

1. The arm to adjust the camera is plastic and flimsy. You want it to lock it in but it is just to cheap.

That is it for cons for me. For $150 bucks I was not expecting a HD camera. I just want video proof of who is in my yard, maybe even catch the dog in the act and show its owner the proof.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well. A comparison to DropCam HD, March 29, 2013
Length:: 0:10 Mins

I own four of these cameras and two DropCam HDs. The two are very different, but for my purposes, the D-Link cameras are actually more useful.

Connectivity: Both offer 802.11N 2.4GHz connectivity, which is fine except when there are many networks nearby and frequency congestion becomes a problem; 5 GHz would be much better, but isn't offered. Neither camera streams effectively with a weak signal. The DCS-942L can capture to the SD card, which is good to have if the signal is iffy. The DCS-942L also has a wired ethernet port. For your sanity, use wired ethernet if at all possible. (With Dropcam you have no choice but to use wireless.)

Optics: The DCS-942L is VGA quality only, not 720p. But the lens on the Dropcam is wider angle, so the level of detail on objects is the same--the Dropcam simply shows more of the room. For a camera pointed directly at a door or hallway, it won't really matter. The bigger improvement comes from 1080p cameras such as the DCS-2230 which I also own.

Night vision: The DCS-942L has much better night vision than the DropCam. The DCS-942L has four LEDs that glow rather noticeably; DropCam HD has several (maybe ten) behind tinted plastic that is more stealthy but blocks a lot of the light. Consequently, DropCam HD's night vision in mediocre, while the DCS-942L has good night vision for indoors.

Live viewing: I use a Mac and an Airport Express router which does not support UPNP for on-the-fly port mapping. Therefore the MyDlink service will not stream video above 320x240 because it is relayed through the MyDlink website first. I find MyDlink kind of useless and just use the camera's built-in Web server for control. Dropcam streams continuously to their cloud service and does not depend on any special configuration for your router. They use Flash video for playback.

Playback: Dropcam shows the entire recorded video, either 7 days or 30 days, on a timeline view, which makes it really easy and fast to navigate. If you receive a motion alert via e-mail, you click the link in the e-mail to go straight to the video when the motion occurred. The DCS-942L will e-mail you up to a 10-second video file, between 200K-2MB depending on settings and degree of motion, and you have to then go to the mydlink.com web site, access the camera's Web server directly, or go to your NAS if you have one to get the full-length video. However, because my DCS-942L's are set to record on motion, they have clips on the SD cards from as long as three months ago. (The D-link cameras automatically throw away old video clips to make room as needed.)

Motion detection: The D-Link camera offers very flexible video motion detection where you can draw a specific region in the picture to capture movement. There are firmware issues in the D-Link when using highly irregular regions shapes, so keep the motion regions simple and rectangular. Both D-Link and DropCam HD, but especially the DCS-942L, have some trouble in very low lighting conditions, such as late afternoon indoors, and false trigger on video motion. On the DCS-942L, I had to set the sensitivity to 30-35% to stop it, but then the camera wouldn't detect any motion at all! For best results, use a normally bright region of the picture for the motion detection. Dropcam's video motion has no sensitivity or region adjustment but works pretty well, false triggering once or twice per day in early morning and evening. Unlike DropCam HD, the DCS-942L offers passive infrared (PIR) motion detection using a separate, dedicated infrared detector on the front of the camera. On the Medium or Low settings, it triggers reliably with ZERO observed false positives in my experience. High sensitivity will false trigger in very cold weather. PIR does not work through windows. Neither camera has I/O ports for connecting external sensors.

Long-term cost: Once you buy the D-Link camera, it's yours. You record to an SD card or to a NAS on your network as your DVR. There are third-party services that stream 24/7 from the D-Link cameras to provide offsite DVR also. To do any recording with DropCam, you have to pay monthly fees that, for the 30-day plan, exceed the cost of the camera in about a year. You also need to upgrade your cable service if you have more than one or two Dropcams. With DropCam, you pay for simplicity and convenience at the expense of configurability.

Scalability: Local recording means no bandwidth usage on your home Internet connection unless you are watching a live feed from outside your network, whereas the Dropcams use bandwidth 24/7. You can record continuously to files on an SD card (each file up to 6 minutes) for weeks at a time, and the camera rotates the oldest recordings out automatically. If you're technically inclined, you could set up a Linux box with ZoneMinder and add other types of cameras to the mix later, whereas Dropcam doesn't offer that possibility. Dropcam scales poorly because the Internet connectivity must support constant streaming from all cameras. I had trouble with WiFi performance and video stream stutter with both types of cameras when I had multiple streams running from any sort of distance. If you can do so, run Ethernet to the cameras. For just one or two you should be fine with wireless.

Support: I haven't needed Dropcam support yet because the product is pretty solid. The D-Link e-mail support is laughable and reminds me of the old DOS days when the solution to all problems was to reboot. If you find a firmware bug (I've found several), they just tell you to reset everything to factory defaults and try again. Once you do that, and find the bug again, you just have to cross your fingers that they fix it.

Summary: If you are not technically inclined, it's hard to beat the ease of setup of the Dropcam HD. It just works with no fooling around and has a great web-based interface. If you are willing to tinker with the sittings directly through the onboard Web server, the D-Link cameras have more flexibility and no recurring cost.

After living with my setup for over a year, I suggest setting up a micro recording server or NAS for centralized control. Beyond a few cameras it starts to get really cumbersome to have each camera mapped out through the router on its own port with its own SD storage. Also, if you have the cameras in your home and don't want to be bombarded with clips of yourself constantly, you'll find yourself unplugging the cameras and having to plug them back in. A centrally-managed setup with multiple profile such as Blue Iris would be less irritating.

If you are willing to forego on-camera SD card storage, there are many IP cameras such as the ones from Dahua with much better image quality and night vision for not much more money. For stand-alone use of one or two, they're a decent value.

The attached 10-second video is the longest that the camera will send via e-mail when it detects motion. It will simultaneously record up to 1 minute to the SD card, or record to the SD card 24/7.
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101 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deteriorating Wireless Strength, July 2, 2011
By 
Mike MG (Maple Grove, MN, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera (Electronics)
I purchased one of these cameras several months ago and it worked so well for the first month that I decided to get a second one. I have now had both for about two months and am finding that my first camera's wireless connection has slowly gotten less and less reliable. It had been in a fixed location the whole time with two walls and a floor between camera and wireless router (about 25 - 30 feet away). Router settings have not changed. I have performed extensive diagnostics, i.e. went through camera setup several times, changing router settings (removed all wireless security, used fixed IP) and nothing worked. Reset button on camera did not help. Firmware update did not help.

I have finally found that the camera now only works within 15 feet or so of the router, and it must be on the same floor as the router with no walls in between. This is unacceptable for a wireless camera, and my concern is that the wireless card within the camera is losing strength. The other camera I own once worked outside of the house entirely and now will no longer work there nor in the location of the first camera (which is closer and less obstructed than being outside). All other wireless devices we own have ample wireless signal throughout the house, our garage, and most of our yard, and as far as I can tell none of that has changed.

As I am using an Airport Extreme router and thought that there might be some sort of compatibility issue I have even tried running the camera wireless through my old D-Link DIR-615 wireless router with a fully open wireless connection and have not had any luck...the signal range for the camera is the same. DLink support has been no help, other than suggesting only using their routers (which didn't help) and rebooting everything and reconfiguring the camera (also did not help).

I cannot recommend this camera to anyone due to this reliability issue. It is fairly easy to set up and has a useful iPhone app available, but will likely be no use to anyone unless they can keep the camera within 15 feet of their access point with no obstructions in the long run. All I can do is wait until I have the money to replace these cameras with something better. Don't let this happen to you. Start with a different camera first.
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89 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great IP Cam if you have networking IQ, December 31, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera (Electronics)
I'm really digging this camera. If you have some basic networking chops then setup is a breeze and can easily be done on any operating system with a web browser without using the CD. Here's what you need to do.

1) Plug the IP Cam directly into your router with an ethernet cord (there should be one provided in the box).
2) Plug the power cord into your camera. =D
3) From a web browser, log into your router and find the IP address of the camera. Finding the IP address is probably the hardest step. On my D-Link router the IP address can be found in the Setup -> Network Settings tab.
4) From another browser window, enter the IP address of your camera. If you successfully entered the right IP address then you should see a login window. The default username is "admin" and the password should be left empty.
5) Now you are at the setup page and you can add your wireless router and modify various settings.

Here are a few extra steps that I highly recommend.
- On your router, set up a DHCP Reservation to your IP camera or if your router doesn't have this feature then set up a static IP address on your camera.
- Create a free dyndns.org account and set that up on your router, NOT directly on the camera.
- Once you have dyndns setup on your router, set up a virtual server to forward a specific port to port 80 on your IP camera. (For instance yourname.dyndns.org:4444 will point to your ISP's DHCP IP address and then forward port 2000 directly to port 80 on your IP camera. This allows you to see your camera from any browser on any internet connected computer.)
- If you have an android phone, install Tiny Cam from the Market and you should be able to see a live video feed on your mobile phone from anywhere you have wireless access.

Setup was a very straightforward breeze for me. It took approximately 15 minutes to set everything the way I wanted it and I never touched the CD or instruction manual.
For the price, the camera quality more than met my expectations. This is a perfect camera for me to monitor my dog on my phone or laptop while I'm away from home.
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148 of 173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real life review, using this item for weeks, then..., December 7, 2012
By 
Toshi W (Garden Grove, CA United States) - See all my reviews
One of the reason I purchased this security camera is that it has MicroSD slot where it can save the video directly rather than saving it on the computer or transferring to FTP server, so I don't have to keep running my computer 24/7. That's what I thought. Here's why I'm so disappointed and giving only 1 star.

The motion detection is working. Good.
Night vision is working. Good.
It does save videos to MicroSD card. Good.

But!... One day there was a burglary and I started checking the recorded video. In one of the video I saw thief's feet moving top left corner in the video. Then when he is about to move to the center so I can see his face, then video abruptly ended. I was so mad, I can't even explain how mad I was! That's all this security camera recorded. Thief's legs!!

Their recording function has big big problems.
1. It records only MAXIMUM duration of 10 seconds at a time. It does NOT record whole scene while motion is detected.
2. After 1 recording session, it waits MINIMUM of 60 seconds until it starts recording again if there's any motion detected.

So this camera started recording because it saw legs moving, but it decided to stop recording because it can record only 10 seconds! And it decided to ignore everything happened in front of the camera afterwards because it needs 60 seconds break.

I do not understand these restrictions because I'm saving the file directly to MicroSD, not to FTP nor sending it over email. There is no wireless issues or bandwidth issues worry about. They cannot call this "Security" camera.
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