Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Peak at D-Link Wire-Free Camera

IP cameras are common in many smart homes, but getting them installed, especially with supplying power, tend to be cumbersome to handle. Enter wire-free cameras. D-Link’s DCS-2802KT isn’t the first wire-free camera in the market, but they do seem well-designed and feature packed.

Wire-free cameras means that they can operate free of any wires, including the wire that is often needed to supply power. This means the camera itself has to be battery operated. There are already such cameras in the market, like Blink which I reviewed in early 2017, and Netgear Arlo Pro which I reviewed later in 2017.

I just want to do a quick mention of this D-Link DCS-2802KT, because for my full review, I want to use it for some time to get a sense of its battery longevity. The challenge with these wire-free cameras is about the careful balance between functionality, performance, and battery longevity. There are, after all, limits to how much battery you can pack into the camera for it to count as portable.

The D-Link DCS-2802KT comprises a hub and two cameras. The hub functions as a wireless base station to communicate with the cameras. This is a proprietary wireless communication protocol, presumably designed and optimised for security video surveillance while minimising power consumption. The hub connects to the regular Internet or home network via a wired Ethernet port. In principle, this is how the Blink and Netgear Arlo Pro work too.

My initial impressions are that the D-Link DCS-2802KT’s 1080p Full HD video is pretty good. Video latency is low. Connecting to the camera is relatively quick. It is too early to comment on battery life, but D-Link says it should last “months”, whatever that means. There’s a 100 dB siren built into the hub, so when configured with motion detection, this can be used as an intruder alarm.

The D-Link DCS-2802KT retails at a rather pricey S$649. However, if you need to put a camera somewhere you just cannot easily get power, or it just isn’t cost effective to do so, then this DCS-2802KT might just save your day.

There are also other neat features with the DCS-2802KT that may justify the premium price tag. For example, it works with Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. Netgear’s Arlo Pro, costs more, with more basic features, but I suppose back in 2017, you would expect to pay premium for wire-free cameras given the very limited competition.

Watch out for a full review coming soon.

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