D-Link DCS-8010LH Review (Page 3 of 5)

Page 3 - Configuration and User Interface

Setting up the D-Link DCS-8010LH is a straightforward process. First, you will want to download the mobile application, which is available on both Android and iOS app stores. It is called mydlink and can be used for other D-Link security cameras, power plugs, and other home automation gear. To be honest, D-Link does not have a whole lot of other home automation products, but I think their idea is to continue to grow this portfolio out. It should be noted these cameras can only be used with the mobile app and there is no web browser experience. While this is the way to go for the future, I would have liked to see D-Link provide some sort of access through a traditional desktop or laptop computer. Otherwise, I did all of my testing on my Android phone, but I would expect the iOS experience to be the same if not very similar.

After plugging the DCS-8010LH into the wall socket, I launched the application and went to add the device. I had some difficulty getting the camera synced with the phone, but after a quick reset, it was ready for use. The camera connects to your wireless network through the application. Internally, the D-Link DCS-8010LH has 802.11b/g/n connectivity over a WPA or WPA2 encryption. After you find and setup the camera, the application allows you to quickly add the device to your home screen for quick access. The home screen looks nice, but I personally would have liked a solid color background so that the interface would be easier to read. The cogwheel on the top right side is used to adjust what you want to see on the main dashboard, but you cannot change the background image.

Hitting the hamburger menu on the top left allows you to go through a few more configuration settings, including setup of cloud storage. Just for your information, different cloud storage options are available through D-Link, but you can add up to 30 days of cloud storage for up to ten different cameras for $100 USD per year. The cheapest plan is a freebie of one day of cloud storage for up to three cameras. I think D-Link could offer at least three days of storage for free, but I guess this is their model for pricing. Cloud storage is meant to only store videos that have been triggered by actions. You can set up different rules, such as triggering it through sound detection and/or by motion. This will then trigger different actions including starting to record, turning on privacy mode, and trigger a push notification to your connected mobile device. These triggers can also be based on other connected devices.

One interesting thing you can do is also setup their "One-Tap" setting, which allows you to quickly change multiple things for multiple devices, depending on what you set up. For example, if you have one of D-Link's power plug, you could set up an "Away" mode to turn on your security recording, while also setting lights to turn on or off at various times. This certainly beats the older manual timers you could buy, but of course this is dependent on how much you invest into this ecosystem.

Going straight to the camera, the main page shows you a live preview of what the selected camera sees. From here, it shows a half screen image, though you can rotate the screen for a full-screen experience. You can change the recording settings, such as the resolution of the recorded video/image or if you want sound recording enabled. You can also take a picture by selecting the camera or take a video recording by selecting the white circle. When either a photo or video is taken, it will be saved to your device rather than to the camera.

If you tap the play button near the top right side, you can see the timeline of past triggers and review the videos recorded from there. As you can see, D-Link has already picked me up multiple times from just sitting here. The calendar in the top right corner of this menu will allow you to go back further in days, depending if you have the local storage installed or if you have a longer subscription plan.

From the camera's page, you can select the cogwheel to go into the device settings. From here, you can change the settings of the microphone, motion settings, night vision, or privacy mode. Most of these settings are pretty straightforward, except for privacy mode. Under privacy mode, no one can preview the images of the camera. I would like to see the LED light turn off in privacy mode to make the camera a bit more discreet. Otherwise, you can also select where you want the recorded data to be stored, whether it is on the cloud or in the external storage. However, you cannot select both of these options at the same time. This is important, especially for a camera this size, as any intruders could just take the whole camera unit. If you are only storing the data locally, then the captured video is of no use to you. Finally, you can schedule firmware upgrades here. Interestingly enough, you actually cannot push firmware upgrades manually.

In the motion settings page, you can change the areas you want the motion detection to be active in. This can be helpful if you have pets at home, as you could block out the lower regions when you mount this camera on a higher area. You can also change the sensitivity of the selected areas, though you probably want to adjust based on your own calibration.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Sample Videos and Analysis
5. Conclusion