The home security camera market is getting incredibly crowded as of late and D-Link is one manufacturer who has had security cameras in their line up for quite a while — although you may not have known that given they aren’t one of the big names you normally hear when security cameras are mentioned.
We were sent the new D-Link DCS-6500LH Compact Full HD Pan and Tilt Wi-Fi camera (yes that is a mouthful) to check out and after checking it out we can say they are on the right track to become a much bigger player in the home security Wi-Fi camera market. Read on to find out why we think that.
Key features and specs
- Full HD 1080p resolution
- Pan & Tilt functionality allows moving the lens to view a specific area
- Full 340⁰ Pan Range and 90⁰ Tilt Range
- IR Night Vision up to 5 metres lets you see what’s happening even in total darkness
- Auto-track Motion whenever it’s detected, wherever it goes
- Enhanced Sound and Motion Detection add new lines of defence to your Home Surveillance
- Built-in microphone and speaker for two-way communication
- Supports WPA3™ encryption for more protection
- microSD card slot lets you backup videos and images to a flash card
- Works with the free mydlink app
- Works with the Google Assistant and Alexa
Setup and use
Setting up the camera is incredibly simple. Download the mydlink app, log in, scan the QR code that is on the camera (it is also on the config card that is included in the box), connect it to your Wi-Fi and you are good to go.
The app will then guide you through a basic set up, explaining along the way what each setting is and does. At the end you are also offered the chance to sign up to their online storage service (there is also local storage on device if you don’t want the added cost of a subscription). The cost of the D-Link online storage though is one of the lowest around with up to five cameras included in the $6.99. Recordings are saved in the cloud for 14 days with storage for up to 500 clips. Want 30 days of storage you will pay twice the price but get more cameras. A free trial is included with the camera, and I encourage you to check out the free trial first to see if it is for you.
A lot of the camera use is automated using rules, scenes and automations but you can also manually pan and tilt and record using the mydlink app on your phone. It is incredibly simple to use your finger to pan the camera around the room where it is located. It’s just a matter of sliding your finger up or down, left or right. The only, very slight, issue I had with it was the slow reaction of the camera to my actions but when you think about it, it’s a web connection so a bit of lag/latency should be expected.
Just how useful are the features?
First thing you set up before any notifications should be your geofencing. This allows you to connect the GPS of your phone to your camera so that when you are home you can have notifications turned off and turned on when away. Not only that but you can set the camera to be in privacy mode while you are home — so dance around in your underwear all you want! You can also set bedtime modes which can put the camera into privacy mode overnight.
Privacy mode is the camera shutting itself down by the camera tilting all the way down and turning off any capturing.
Sometimes motion tracking on security cameras leaves a lot to be desired. Although not buttery-smooth and a bit pixelated at times while tracking the movement, the motion tracking on the D-Link Pan and Tilt camera followed any motion extremely well — as you can see in the video below. If someone breaks into your house you can be sure that the camera will track them as they move through the room.
Notifications received are “rich notifications” which means you get a small thumbnail of the image captured by the camera along with text saying motion has been captured on the camera. Using automations these notifications can be used to run other devices such as lights, sirens and more. The notification will also give you the option to call your contact (your partner most likely) with a single touch of the shortcut on the rich notification.
Recording on the microSD card is simple but you cannot save to both the microSD card and the cloud. There is also no option to save to a remote drive in your house which would be a nice addition but with the cheap option to store on the cloud it seems unnecessary and superfluous.
The camera supports night vision and it was excellent — it looked like there was a light on somewhere but this was pitch black in the middle of the night. You can see in the picture below just how good it was. At $99 it is more than acceptable.
So what is it missing? A siren would have been nice but at $99 you are bound to miss out on something. Unfortunately the siren is lacking on this camera but the other features make up for it.
The D-Link Pan and Tilt Wi-Fi camera surprised the hell out of me. It does all the basics without too many bells and whistles but in my opinion the basics are all you really need for a good home security camera in most cases.
It’s geofencing and automatic switching modes using this along with the bedtime mode make it better than the Ring cameras which now have geofencing but will not automatically switch the modes itself, they just tell you to go into the app to do it. The geofencing make this camera totally worth it.
The automatic motion tracking is fantastic and works extremely well as you can see in the video above, as is the manual tracking of the room using a swipe functionality within the app. The image produced is 1080P so still great quality and is easily good enough to discern facial features etc.
The final kicker and amazing thing about this camera is the price — $99.95. You get all of the above in a camera that works extremely well for under $100 and if you want the cloud recording you can use up to five cameras on the one subscription for just $6.99 per month.
If you didn’t have any cameras and wanted to start out your home security system then I would have a hard time going past recommending not just this camera but the even smaller D-Link Compact Full HD Wi-Fi camera which is priced at $79. D-Link also offers some outdoor weather resistant cameras too if you need to fill out your coverage there.