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D-Link SecuriCam DCS-2121 review

Kat Orphanides
21 May 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
160
inc VAT

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D-Link's SecuriCam DCS-2121 is a smart-looking wireless IP camera designed with home security in mind.

It has plenty of handy features, including night mode, motion detection and the ability to record video directly to an SDHC card. It also has a built-in microphone and a 3.5mm line out jack, so you can connect a speaker for two-way audio.

You access the feed either with D-Link's D-ViewCam software or via a web browser. You'll need to connect the camera to your network with an Ethernet lead in order to configure it for wireless use.

The clear, well-annotated web interface makes configuring everything easy, including audio, video and timecode settings. We set up the SecuriCam to record automatically when it sensed motion, providing us with both short video clips and JPEG snapshots.

You can set up the SecuriCam to send these snapshots to an email address or upload them to an FTP server, and it can record video to an SDHC card, FTP server or network folder. If you choose the latter, you can also select continuous recording (with automatic overwriting of old files) or record video according to a set schedule.

The D-ViewCam software looks dated. Most of its configuration options merely use Internet Explorer to open the camera's web interface in a cramped window. The only real advantage is its ability to manage and view output from up to 32 cameras simultaneously, which is great if you're building an IP CCTV system.

The maximum video resolution of 1,280x1,024 looks great, but motion detection is disabled and video is restricted to a 10fps MJPEG stream. Lower resolutions - including 640x480 and 800x600 - support MPEG4 video at 30fps. Video quality at each of these resolutions was good, and motion was smooth, with only very slight lag when viewed over our network. To work in low light, you have to enable night mode in the web interface. This merely slows the shutter speed, leading to jerky video and, without infrared LEDs, the image simply turns black in very dim conditions.

For those who want to log in remotely, the camera supports Dynamic DNS through the free DynDNS service, so you can associate it with a fixed domain name even if the IP address from your ISP changes from time to time. We connected it to an 8Mbit/s ADSL line with an upload speed of just over 300kbit/s. Over this typical home connection, video displayed at around 1fps at a resolution of 640x480. That's good enough for security monitoring but isn't quite the live video feed we'd hoped for.

We liked the DCS-2121's web interface, great-looking video and wide range of recording features. Unfortunately, the price is high if you simply want to keep an eye on things while you're away from home. The lower-resolution WVC54GCA is suitable for most uses and is better value at only £75 including VAT.

Details

Rating***
Maximum image resolution1,280x1,024

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100Mbit/s
Wireless networking supportYes

Other Features

Night visionno
Weatherproofno
Audioyes
Motion detectionyes
Power consumption on4W

Buying Information

Price£160
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com
Detailswww.dlink.co.uk

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