IP security cameras offer many benefits over traditional analogue CCTV. The digital video they output can be streamed over the internet, monitored from anywhere, and stored on a remote server.
Not long ago, they cost four-figure sums, but cameras such as D-Link’s DCS-932L are now considerably cheaper. At £85, it’s affordable for security-minded home users as well as businesses.
As it uses your wireless network, it doesn’t need to be particularly close to a router, nor directly connected to a PC, but it does require access to mains power.
The D-Link DCS-932L camera is simple to initially set up with D-Link’s software, and at the end you can register it with an account at mydlink.com, a gateway used to remotely monitor the camera’s output. When you log in to this site, video appears in a web page, via an ActiveX plug-in for Internet Explorer, or a Java plug-in. It can also be monitored on a mobile phone with an app for Android and iOS devices.
The image quality of the D-Link DCS-932L isn’t especially brilliant, even at its maximum 640x480 resolution, while the audio stream produces a light hissing. The images it produces aren’t even as clear as HD webcams.
With the D-ViewCam software for Windows, multiple cameras can be monitored and video automatically recorded on the hard drive or a remote server, then played back.
This software is quite advanced, with support for multiple users, a logging system, a way to schedule recordings and to search for recorded videos by date.
However, it wasn’t particularly user-friendly, and often crashed.
The built-in web server is better. It has settings to send still images to an email address or an ftp server. It can be set to capture at specific times, as can the infra-red night-vision mode.
Motion detection can be set for areas of the camera’s viewing area using a simple grid system. These settings can then be saved and loaded onto additional cameras to keep them synchronised.