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D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera review

£129 inc VAT

Manufacturer: D-Link

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera is an easy to set up IP camera.

Until now, many IP cameras required a separate computer to be left running in order to store recorded video, including D-Link's older DCS-932L IP camera. A better approach is to have a small single device dedicated to the task. So D-Link has added a MicroSD card slot in the D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera. It comes bundled with a 16GB card, enough for recording up to seven days worth of video (at low video quality settings).

The camera can now record video at up to 640x480 resolution at 30FPS, rather than 20FPS in the DCS-932L. Infrared recording at night works better too, since the illuminating LEDs that previously drew attention to the camera are now more subtle.

However, even with a larger capacity MicroSD card, the camera still requires regular maintenance to continue recording for weeks and months. This is especially a chore if you use multiple cameras. What's needed is a large-capacity storage device built for the sole purpose of recording video from an array of IP cameras such as the D-Link DNR 322L Network Video Recorder.

After running through the software wizard for the D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera it worked fine. We were able to view a video feed, set the camera to record to the SD card, and change the recording time. This took less than five minutes. Saved videos can be browsed by the hour, downloaded from the camera and then played back.

At the end of the setup wizard, you're invited to create an account with D-Link's video monitoring portal, and register your device with it, a requirement for using the Android and iOS monitoring apps.

However, things didn't go quite as well when we tried pairing it with the DNR-322L NVR. The wizard completed successfully, formatting and creating a volume on the hard disk. Once complete, we chose to log in to the camera's web interface remotely to check the video feed, and here we ran into problems.

The NVR's on-board software picked up the camera on the network, we entered our login details for it under the Camera Setup heading, and it connected successfully. But when we tried to view a video feed from the camera, it fell over.

The D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera is compatible with Macs.

The D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera can be set up to use motion detection, and there's a microphone to capture audio too.

Despite the relative ease in setting up D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera, we think they have plenty of room for improvement, especially with the software. While it works, it could do with a makeover. We're none too keen on the ugly orange and brown look of D-Link's standard web interface, used on all its products, including the D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera, as it now looks dated compared with the efforts of other networking companies.

D-Link DCS-942L Wireless N Day/Night IP Camera Expert Verdict »

IPV4, ARP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, DHCP Client, NTP Client (D-Link), DNS Client, DDNS Client (DynDNS and D-Link), SMTP Client, ,FTP Client, HTTP Server, PPPoE, UPnP Port Forwarding, LLTD
10/100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WLAN
WEP/WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption
Wireless Transmit Output Power (typical): 802.11b: 16 dBm, 802.11g: 12 dBm, 802.11n: 12 dBm
Flash Memory: 16MB
Accepts MicroSD cards up to 32Gb (16Gb MicroSD card pre-installed)
Records video continuously or based on events
Automatic write-over option for cyclical recording
640 x 480 @ 30 fps
Focal length: 3.15 mm, F2.8
VGA 1/5" CMOS Sensor
lux @ F2.8, 0 lux with IR LED
27.2 x 60 x 96 mm
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

For small businesses that need a few cameras just to keep an eye on things, D-Link's cameras and NVR are incredibly good value though when compared with professional surveillance systems. The video quality is just about good enough to compete too, and the software does the job, although this is the weakest aspect of D-Link's offerings by far.

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