There are a lot of Baby monitors out there, with all the popular baby brand names offering their own solution. There are also a fair amount of home monitoring devices available, albeit complicated to set up and not too user-friendly.
D-Link, the maker of all things internet routing-related have decided to step into a fairly crowded market with a new take on the home and child-monitoring format. The big differentiator here is their unique portal, MyD-Link, that enables the user to view the video online, via the web or a mobile phone on the iphone/ipad or android platform (at this point in time)
The DCS-932L D-Link Wireless N Day and Night Camera offers home and child monitoring with build-in infrared ability to allow night-time viewing – something thats obviously a necessity with a baby. The camera has an internal web server, which means its always ‘on’, even without a computer and connects wirelessly to your network.
Its small and easy to move around from room to room, but it does need to be plugged in at all times, which means loose cables if you plan to take it with you. There is also a microphone so you can listen as well as watch.
Setup is amazingly simple. D-Link supply a CD which takes you step-by-step through the setup process. You can use a WPS button to connect wirelessly immediately if your modem has that facility, else you need to connect initially via a supplied ethernet.
I must admit, for me, these 2 processes are my nightmare! I don’t have an internal CD Drive on my laptop so have to rummage around finding my external drive and my router is not in the same room – so I have to carry everything into the room with the router to install anything relating to the internet hardware. This isn’t a negative at all for D-Link – just me grumbling at my own setup!
I honestly thought I would have a problem installing the camera, but it genuinely took about 2 minutes and the ‘green’ light showed as soon as I connected. The camera then re-booted itself auomatically to enable to wireless connection.
The installation proceeds to take you straight to the MyDLink portal and you register a profile just using an email username and password. Activate the account and thats it.
At this point, the doorbell rang – my husband had returned with the Little Monster and I went to answer the door. And the whistling started. And it was loud! Really Loud. I had no idea where it was coming from but it was screeching and painful. Following the sound took me back to the camera. I looked at the screen and then looked at the volume. It was up at its highest and the feedback was horrendous. OK, I’m an idiot – two things learnt immediately – turn down my volume (!) and move your laptop away from the camera – it picks up the feedback and its not a pleasant sound.
The camera picture is pretty good. I didn’t have very good light so it switches to infrared and shows a black and white picture. It does depend on your connection as to how well it streams, but overall, the picture is good and comparable to other baby/house monitors available.
In summary, the D-Link day and night camera offers an 24-hour online solution to monitoring your house or kids using any platform.
Right now, I’d be wary to say it could take the place of a fixed, standalone baby monitor for a variety of reasons – including the fact that it does depend on an internet connection and viewing is via a browser (which obviously means you have to have your PC/laptop/phone open at all times to watch it).
However, I think its a fantastic secondary monitor, or as an option for slightly older kids. If they want to go outside whilst you need to do something, you can easily set it up to watch them – or if they’re playing upstairs you can keep an eye on them. Another great way to use it is if you are using babysitters when you go out. Put it in the room and you can check in online on your phone whilst you’re out – it might stop you from calling the babysitters every 5 minutes to check on the kids 😉
The D-Link monitor is also a great option if you’re travelling and want to keep an eye on the house or office – just hook it up and off you go – as long as you have an internet connection you can watch the video and that ultimately is the beauty of it.
So whilst there maybe some initial flaws to being your sole baby monitor, I think in the long run, this is the future. Maybe if D-Link could somehow include a single standalone monitor for home-use, that could be a quick-fix solution but they’ve got the difficult bit right – its simply and straightforward to set up – especially for people that find internet technology daunting, and you can view it online over the internet on any platform
The DCS-932L D-Link Wireless N Day and Night Camera is available for £99.99 at the usual online and high street stores