Long before “smart home” was a household term, D-Link was an early pioneer in the connectivity space, initially manufacturing network operating systems for small- and medium-sized businesses.
But today, their line of functional Wi-Fi cameras, with new A.I.-driven devices, have hit the market,1 helping D-Link to maintain their spot in the competitive home security industry.
We recently reviewed D-Link cameras hands-on. We took a close look at the features and tech and what it’s like living with the cameras. But today, we’re pivoting to look at the brand’s equipment pricing, packages, and monitoring plans.
We had to ask: with the brand’s relatively low prices, is a D-Link camera a good buy? Let’s find out.
First, let’s lay out some features worth noting across the brand:
Since their humble beginnings, we’ve seen D-Link make tremendous improvements to their cameras, both in design and technology. In early 2020, the brand released new cameras with edge-based2 A.I. features that can tell the difference between people and other objects, as well as detect the sound of glass breaking. This tells us that keeping up-to-date with the latest smart-home technology is a top priority for D-Link.
And all the while, we’ve seen this burgeoning brand manage to keep their prices relatively low – a trend we always like to see in this biz, as we believe that everyone deserves the chance to build a safe, secure home, regardless of their budget.
Pro Tip: Similar to cameras from Amcrest, D-Link has a pretty massive list of products, as well as numerous retailers that sell them. This gives users great control over how much they want to spend on equipment, but be warned: sorting through all of the options can be daunting. Time and patience are virtues here.
For $150, D-Link’s outdoor spotlight camera provides a glimpse into your space never before seen by the naked eye, thanks to a 400-lumen spotlight that’s powerful without being too obtrusive.
After testing a number of spotlight cams – including the slightly boxier Spotlight Cam from Ring – we have to say we really liked D-Link’s contribution to the spotlight camera space. Ring and D-Link happen to share much of the same features, including 1080p HD resolution, advanced motion detection, wide field of view, two-way audio, and inexpensive monitoring plans. Their prices are similar, too, with Ring’s version just slightly higher than D-Link at $160. Neither offers professional monitoring, by the way.
And, thanks to a built-in smart home hub, D-Link’s spotlight cam can now connect to your existing smart home ecosystem as easily as Amazon-owned Ring cameras can connect to an Alexa device. In terms of spotlight cameras, we think D-Link presents a quality alternative. Plus, we happen to prefer this camera’s design to the Ring Spotlight, as it’s slimmer and more discreet.
In terms of pan-tilt cameras, D-Link’s $99 indoor camera handled pretty well. One of the advantages of pan-tilt cams over traditional cams is that they cover a wider space, so you end up needing fewer cameras per room. Not only does this save money, it also prevents having to stack your house with equipment that might not blend in too well with your decor.
And speaking of blending, we liked the look of the camera, but we also think its design is becoming somewhat obsolete. Over the years, we’ve seen customers lean heavily toward slimmer designs of many top-rated indoor cameras and away from bulkier, more robust builds of previous releases.
Lorex’s line of cameras, for instance, includes a solid indoor model for $50 that features an attractive magnetic mount design. That’s half the price of our D-Link, but here, we also have the option to mount upside down from a ceiling, as well as the ability to remotely pan and tilt over our space to capture ideal angles.
|Model No.||Camera Type||Key Features||Price|
|DCS-8526LH||Indoor||Full HD, 360-degree pan & tilt, motion tracking, ethernet port||$89.99|
|DCS-8525LH||Indoor||1080p HD, pan & tilt, two-way audio, sound/motion detection||$99|
|DCS-8302LH||Outdoor||1080p HD, night vision, two-way talk, weatherproof||$79.99|
|DCS-8300LH||Indoor||1080p HD, two-way talk, night vision, 137-degree viewing||$89.98|
|DCS-8010LH||Indoor||720p video, 2-way rotation, 120-degree views||$59.99|
|DCS-8600LH||Outdoor||1080p HD, works with Alexa, IP65 weatherproofing||$149.99|
|DCS-8630LH||Outdoor||Full 1080p HD, weatherproof, person detection, color night vision||$149.99|
|DCS-8000LH (mini, 2-pack)||Indoor||1080p HD, two-way audio, night vision||$89.99|
Since most people would rather have a root canal than be locked into a contract, the home security industry is teeming with cutting-edge DIY security systems that don’t require monthly fees or service agreements. If this interests you, we recommend checking out our guide to the best DIY home security systems. With D-Link, all cameras include a Micro SD port for internal storage using a micro SD card.3 This option lets you monitor your camera’s video and store history without paying for cloud storage. It’s a do-it-yourself approach to video monitoring.
FYI: For us, buying cameras with local storage is more ideal than signing up for a monthly plan. But not everyone is like us; if you’d prefer cameras with professional monitoring through a service, a system from Alder might be a better fit for you (their cameras are pretty solid performance-wise, too).
But choosing cloud storage with D-Link does have its advantages. Namely, we learned you can monitor up to three cameras at once for only $2.49 per month. For context, that’s half the cost of an ExtraSafe plan from Swann cameras; while you do get more storage space with Swann, D-Link still presents a viable, low-cost option for a decent amount of storage.
|Video History||1 day||7 days||14 days||30 days|
|Number of Cameras||Up to 3||Up to 3||Up to 5||Up to 10|
True to their smart-home philosophy, D-Link provides a ton of customization on their cameras. The idea is to connect as many devices as possible – thermostats, kitchen ranges, light fixtures, printers, smart speakers, Wi-Fi routers, and smart plugs – to automate your home in a series of fluid, hands-free actions.
Today, we broke out some key features D-Link cameras share to help deliver that smart Internet of Things (IoT)4 connectivity to your home. For more ideas on automating your home using cameras, check out our home automation starter guide.
Customized Mobile Alerts
With D-Link, we were able to customize our motion alerts to improve our experience. D-Link’s motion settings allowed us to adjust clip length, restrict motion detection to specific areas, and adjust video resolution to ensure smoother viewing.
Wireless DIY Equipment
D-Link cameras are wireless, which means they don’t need to be hardwired into your home. You can install them basically anywhere you need to, whether you’re looking to catch porch pirates in the act or keep an eye on your roaming kitten.
D-Link offers two options for video storage: micro SD card (the slot is included, the card is not) or a paid cloud storage plan. Also, you can store your video history, record and save custom clips, and share video with others through the mydlink app.
Smart Home Integration
D-Link is smart-home friendly. In the mydlink app, we simply tapped the smart home compatibility button to set up our camera to connect with our Amazon Echo Show. From there, we could monitor our camera through voice commands. D-Link also works with Google Assistant devices as well as the If This Then That (IFTTT) ecosystem.
Most D-Link cameras these days will get you 1080p HD video indoors or out. The clarity of your videos might vary depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal, but for us, D-Link cameras performed much like their peers – mostly clear video and images, save for a few moments of graininess.
Two-way audio is a useful feature in security cameras because, essentially, it turns your camera into a megaphone that can send bad guys scurrying. Several D-Link cameras have it, and though it’s not essential, it certainly adds more peace of mind.
Many D-Link cameras have infrared night vision, which helps zero in on details you might miss in complete darkness. It’s great for detecting activity in dimly lit areas, which can be crucial if a criminal is in the vicinity.
In addition to selling directly from their website, D-Link cameras are available at many big-box retailers and Amazon. From time to time, we’ll see markdowns on earlier generations of cameras after new releases come out. But currently, prices seem to be pretty unchanged regardless of the source.
It’s also good to remember that D-Link doesn’t bundle their cameras together.5 With the exception of a 2-pack option for the mydlink Mini, your only option to buy D-Link cameras is a la carte, which can be either a fun shopping experience or a real headache, depending on what kind of customer you are.
If you’d rather buy multiple cameras as a package or even as part of a whole-home security system, D-Link might not suit you. Instead, we urge you to check out one of SimpliSafe’s systems, as those are incredibly easy to install and contain a mix of cameras, sensors, and alarms. Or, consider a multipack of cameras from Canary, a more straightforward brand with only three cameras to choose from.
As we noted in our comprehensive guide to securing your home, security cameras are one of the best deterrents against burglaries. With a D-Link camera, there’s no doubt you’ll get quality equipment; after all, they’ve been making top-of-the-industry networking hardware since before the dawn of the millennium. But you’ll also get great camera performance when you need it most, with video that captures your space and sheds light on whatever crosses its path.
And if you’re not there to see the action for yourself, rest assured your cameras will alert you instantly and allow you to view and save the activity from wherever you are.
So when it comes to reliability and construction, D-Link cameras are priced fairly. But bear in mind that D-Link is pretty basic when it comes to features. Clearly not a high-tech brand, D-Link doesn’t sell ultra HD (2K or 4K) cameras or A.I. facial recognition, for instance. You’ll find those features in Arlo cameras, for sure, but you’ll also pay more for the equipment. If you’re curious about high-performance cameras, we recommend reading our in-depth Arlo review or our review of Vivint Cameras.
All told, we found D-Link’s line of devices to be solid and affordable, with basic functionality that won’t knock your socks off, but won’t let you down when it matters, either.
Not really. D-Link’s cameras work great, but they’re pretty standard in terms of features, with solid 1080p video resolution and a basic motion sensor. They’re great for folks who are just starting out in the security camera space.
Yes. Smart home ecosystems play well with D-Link, thanks to a built-in smart home hub in many models. You can use your Alexa device to show you the view of your cameras wherever you are in the house, just by setting up smart home automation in your mydlink app.
D-Link is a pretty big company, and its customer service is similar to other big tech brands – slow to respond, long wait times, and all the other things we don’t like about calling customer service. But for us, using D-Link’s support page was sufficient when it came to downloading resources and getting help with individual camera issues.
In addition to saving your video history, D-Link’s cloud storage plan lets you record snapshots and video clips to the cloud, or download footage to your phone or tablet. Subscriptions start at $2.49 per month for 7 days of video history. That’s a great price compared to the competition.
D-Link’s cameras are DIY-friendly, from installation to how they work everyday. Other than some basic handiwork (climbing a ladder and using a drill), you shouldn’t have any trouble installing D-Link cameras.
Bayern, M. (2020, Jan. 4). D-Link unveils Wi-Fi 6 and mesh routers, 5G products, and mydlink cameras. Tech Republic.
Wuh, J. Cognitive World. (2020, April 16). Edge AI is the Future, Intel and Udacity are Teaming Up to Train Developers. Forbes.
Strom, E. (2018, Nov. 2). Choosing the right SD card for surveillance cameras. AS Mag.
Burgess, M. (2018, Feb. 6). What is the Internet of Things? WIRED explains. Wired UK.
Campbell, P. (2020, Feb. 24). Price Bundling: The Simple Strategy that can Optimize your Pricing and Boost Sales. ProfitWell.