Security cameras used to be the province of big companies and the price reflected that — especially if the camera did more than just convey a video picture. So manufacturers decided the best way to attract the home user was to keep the camera simple and strip away features. Guess nobody told this to D-Link, because their Full HD Pan & Tilt WiFi Camera is not only inexpensive (retailing for $99.99), but chock full of features.
The D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera streams 1080p Full HD video to wherever you are through your home network’s Wi-Fi and the app downloaded to your smartphone. Unlike some, there’s no subscription or other cost for accessing recorded video through the “cloud” either (providing you’re willing to settle for 1 days worth of recordings rather than go for the paid options which hold onto videos longer and supports more cameras). Of course you can forego all this by just recording directly to an SD card inserted into the camera.
For audio, the camera has a microphone/speaker for listening and talking back. But what’s even better is that there’s no need for a distorting wide angle lens – the camera’s view can be augmented by directing the camera to move: it can pan 170 degrees and tilt up or down 120 degrees. This explains the vertical design with the “eyeball” like lens mounted on a vertical base sorta resembling one of those sky telescope observatories. The reason for the side-mounted antenna is obvious.
Plus there’s a 4X digital zoom for taking a closer look at things (fyi – this degrades the image so use it sparingly). All remotely done through the app. So there has to be more than just a battery-amount of power to do this, which is why it plugs into a wall outlet. But for sure there’s no wiring it to the home network router if you don’t want to — thank a strong Wi-Fi signal strength for that.
Now let’s set the camera down and get it running. Use the app and Bluetooth for that and be surprised just how fast and painless this can be. The app allows for control and viewing and pretty much behaves as you’d want/expect it to.
You’d also expect the camera to have night vision capabilities, so it does; a series of LEDs blanket 16 feet out with “invisible” light so the camera can see when the lights are out. You’d also expect the camera to slap itself awake when there’s a sound or motion detected against its field of protective “fencing.” Here that translates into it sending out alerts, which then prompt you to take a look at what’s happening live or has been recorded (the unique “3 second look back” feature providing a simple way to catch that blur which could have been the cat, but still….). Besides being able to view live or record and then watch, the app also allows for scheduling recordings as well. And for those who tend to go micro rather than macro, what’s playing on the phone or tablet can be pinched to do an up to 10X zoom. And like D-Link wouldn’t make the app free? Of course they do, and for iOS/Android users.
Still not enough features to suit you? Then add being able to cast the video from the mobile device to a Google Chromecast or an Amazon Fire TV, Echo Show or Echo Spot. No surprise then that both Alexa and Google Assistant are supported. And for those who really need that cherry on the top, the D-Link Full HD Pan & Tilt WiFi Camera is also compatible with IFTTT supported devices for automating the home.