+ Friday September 20th, 2019

The Smart Home or the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming increasingly popular and amongst the range of devices that are rising in popularity is security cameras. Just like most modernisations of old technologies, the ‘Smart’ variant of the old security camera brings with it some great improvements.

We’ve been testing the D-Link DCS-8600LH Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera for a few weeks now using it as an external camera. With features like movement detection, 2-way communication and of course Google Assistant integration D-Link has a compelling offering on their hands.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

Hardware wise the D-Link Outdoor Camera includes a 1080P FHD camera with a 135 degree viewing angle. A day/ night sensor with inbuilt IR LED for video capture of up to 7m in complete darkness, IP65 waterproofing, two way communication with a speaker and microphone, WiFi built in SD card and motion and sound detection.

If there’s a feature you’d want out of smart camera hardware that’s not included I can’t think of what it would be. The device is powered by a USB A connector and there is a weather resistant power adapter included in the box, between the USB A cable and power adapter there is 7m of cable to wire the camera into a standard power outlet.

BASIC OPERATION

The D-Link Outdoor Camera functions as a typical WiFi camera, via the app or a compatible Google Smart display or chromecast target you can view what’s happening on your property.

Via the app you are able to receive notifications about motion and sound triggers allowing you to quickly pop into the app and check out what’s happening. Using the inbuilt microphone and speaker you can also converse with whoever has arrived at your door.

I did find that I need to calibrate the sensitivity and activation regions for the camera. On default settings, even a small gust of wind, or a passing cloud would be enough to trigger the motion sensor. As a result, you’ll spend half the day checking your front door.

Within the app however you can configure both the regions of the camera that will be monitored for motion as well as dialling down the sensitivity. I did find that even after setting up the camera that I got the occasional false positives especially at sunrise and sunset where the change in camera modes between night and day mode triggers a motion detection, you get used to them and this isn’t the only security camera I’ve heard about that does this!

VIDEO STORAGE

One big consideration with a smart wifi camera is how the footage is backed up and for how long. Right out of the gate I think the Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera has a decent head-start over much of the competition. Not only does the unit include a Micro SD card slot to allow local onboard storage but it also seamlessly integrates with D-Links online portal.

Upfront you’ll get 24 hours free online rolling recording for 3 cameras. I have found this is more than enough for my normal usage, and when combined with rolling recording via the SD card you can get longer backups if you ever need to access them. If you just want the simplicity of a cloud solution there are a range of monthly and annual solutions to suit most budgets, check them out below.

You can also download any recorded clips from the D-Link cloud storage before they expire depending on your storage plan. Once downloaded they can be easily shared, saved or stored.

GOOGLE ASSISTANT INTEGRATION

With Google Assistant now supporting smart security cameras via Smart Displays, Smart Clocks, Chromecast and phones/ tablets there’s an expanding expectation that smart cameras will integrate with that system.

D-Link has been on the forefront of integrating their new cameras with the Google Assistant. As such you can ask any compatible Google Assistant device to “Show me my front door” (where “front door” is the name of your camera), and it will display on your screen or paired Chromecast device.

Unfortunately the Google Assistant Action for smart cameras does not support 2 way audio. This means the devices like the Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera that has 2 way audio can not utilise that function via Google Assistant devices with a microphone.

CONCLUSION

Do you need a smart video camera? I guess the real answer is do you need a video camera at all. If you want the security or peace of mind offered by 24/7 surveillance backup, or if you have a specific use for a camera then I would argue why wouldn;t you get a “Smart variant”.

In my time with the D-link Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera I have found it to be a fun and valuable addition to my growing smart home. I loved monitoring when packages arrived and knowing when my family had arrived home.

The two way chat feature is also handy if somewhat laggy. Overall having the Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera has solidified for me that going forward that I would like to incorporate more security monitoring cameras into my home, and the D-Link DCS-8600LH ia a great option especially if you’re in toe Google Assistant or Alexa ecosystem.

The D-Link DCS-8600LH Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera retails for $279 from D-Links website and various Australian retail partners.

D-Link Full HD Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera 4.5 / 5
Disclosure Statement:


D-Link has allowed Australoid to retain the review same as it has been professionally installed for review

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan Jaffrey

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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Tom Sekulic
Ausdroid Reader

Another interesting feature to mention would be ONVIF Profiles so we can learn whether it can integrate with an existing NVR.

Brad
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Brad

I totally agree with Jay. This review definitely sounds like a paid review and is terribly brief.

Jay
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Jay

What’s up with the disclosure statement? It literally makes no sense.

Sounds like a paid review, since there’s no negative points by reviewer who seems to be lazy, even says “I can’t think of any other features I’d want”. That’s funny.

No mention of how the camera is powered, or battery life, or any interesting details about how to transfer videos from the SD card… can the full HD videos be transferred wirelessly? If not, then this is a feature people would want. No mention of competition in this space, or comparison with other cameras.

Adam
Ausdroid Reader

“The device is powered by a USB A connector and there is a weather resistant power adapter included in the box, between the USB A cable and power adapter there is 7m of cable to wire the camera into a standard power outlet.”

No mention of a battery so I assume it’s wired power only.

Getting data off the SD card is an interesting question though.

Jay
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Jay

OK I missed that about power, I was looking for battery details. The competing Uniden camera has one crucial flaw whereby you can’t download the HD video clips recorded on the SD card. Need to physically remove SD card and manually copy the files. Same for deleting clips, it can’t be done via the app. Uniden wants users to pay for cloud storage which don’t have the shortcomings of using the SD card only. I see that D-Link is also hoping people will keep paying for cloud storage after initial camera purchase.

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