D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera

D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera

Pros

  • Easy to setup and use
  • Google Assistant, Alexa and Onvif connectivity
  • Pan and tilt functions
  • Automation functions
  • Great customisation options

Cons

  • Haven't found any yet...

As someone who knows the pain and frustration of a break-in, I’m always on the lookout equipment that can make my home that little bit more secure. Does the latest D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera offer enough to become part of a well-rounded home security setup?

 

D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera

Disclosure: D-Link provided Blog of Dad with the D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera for the purpose of review. All thoughts expressed about D-Link products in this article are based on my own experiences with the devices. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.

 

D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera – Features

A quick look at the specifications of the new D-Link Wi-Fi camera gives me plenty to like.

The wide-angle, full HD 1080p lens provides an impressive 138 degree field of view. This means that, when placed in the corner of a standard room, such as a bedroom, you can see most of the action.

Video is recorded at up to 30 frames per second (H.264 format compression), which means that it can capture clear and smooth footage of any events.

For more complex spaces, a pan range of 340 degrees and a 100 degree tilt range provide plenty of scope for monitoring the environment. This is further enhanced by the included mounting bracket. Wall or roof-mounting the D-Link DCS-8526LH means that you can find the ideal location to maximise the surveillance potential of the camera.

Motion detection, person detection and sound detection options combine with push notification and quick action options to enable real-time detection and easy action.

There are cloud, SD and  ONVIF recording options, which can be played back or downloaded to your phone for ease of access.

IR LEDs provide effective night vision in even the darkest rooms.

The D-Link DCS-8526LH can be connected to a network via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (128-bit wireless encryption), or 10/100 Ethernet. It supports a wide range of network protocols.

The D-Link DCS-8526LH is designed for indoor use only. For outdoor applications, D-Link have also just launched the

DCS-8630LH.

Rounding out the feature list is Google Assistant and Alexa integration, to integrate the D-Link DCS-8526LH into your existing connected home setup.

 

D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera – Setup and Use

D-Link DCS-8526LH settings

After using the D-Link COVR 110* systems extensively in both my house and my parents’ house, I have come to expect an extremely easy setup experience from D-Link.

While the app for this camera is different, my high expectations around ease of use and user experience were definitely met. After signing up (or signing in), users choose which D-Link connected home device they wish to connect then follow a few simple steps to identify the camera (via QR code located on the bottom of the device) and connect it to the chosen network.

Once setup is complete, the D-Link app will prompt you to complete a panoramic scan of the room. This is used for fast navigation and setting some of the many custom options.

Once this is complete, the camera is up and running. There are plenty of other options to explore in order to further customise your experience, but for now you have the ability to view the room in live view, listen or communicate through the two-way audio system, and pan/tilt to view the whole environment.

I was up and running in a matter of minutes and the experience was very smooth. The camera was detected on the first attempt and it connected to my wireless network seamlessly. The camera was located in close proximity to a Wi-Fi mesh access point and the signal was strong and constant.

Just before I published this review, D-Link launched a revamped version of the app that is more intelligent and has improved features. You can now use the “Smart Bluetooth Setup” and control multiple devices and automation at once with “Scenes”. This new version of the app also looks great!

 

D-Link DCS-8526LH scenes
D-Link DCS-8526LH Scenes

D-Link DCS-8526LH Full HD Pan & Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera – Customisation

The D-Link DCS-8526LH offers a range of options for customisation, to suit the needs of just about any surveillance/monitoring setup. From my perspective, I could see two immediate benefits – home security and child monitor.

 

Protect the family home

When it comes to home security, there are two main things to consider – prevention/deterrent measures and detection measures. Things like quality locks on windows and doors, motion-sensor lights and roller shutters are all excellent prevention measures that stop would-be thieves from entering the premises in the first place.

Detection measures are the second line of defence. Early and effective detection methods alert the appropriate people and can reduce loss by interrupting the incident. Things like motion detectors, door monitors and security cameras fall into this category. The added bonus of a security camera is that it records the event to capture valuable evidence that could be used by authorities, or even for insurance purposes when attempting to recover loss.

The D-Link DCS-8526LH combines the best of a motion sensor and camera, to both alert and record any events according to the parameters you set.

 

Caught! (Zoomed in via in-app digital zoom function)

 

In my testing I have found that the motion, person and sound detection settings work well to register an event. The sensitivity of each control can be adjusted to fine-tune the setup to suit specific needs. Each incident sends a push notification to my phone. The notification states what has triggered it (sound, motion) and clicking on it takes me through to the live view from the camera.

The level of detection and reporting is highly customizable. You can set the camera to automatically detect and follow motion, or you can keep it stationary in one spot. You can set specific areas in the room for monitoring motion, like a window or doorway. Minimum times can be set to reduce false alerts and the motion detection can be set to specifically recognise and respond to people only – D-Link call this “Edge-Based Person Detection”. No more pets or other animals setting off false alarms!

 

Select an area to monitor

 

Rules further customise the response to incidents, which can lead to shorter response times. You could, for example, add a quick-action call button to alert a trusted neighbour or close-by relative, who could quickly check out the incident if you are out of town.

 

D-Link DCS-8526LH automation rules

 

Privacy mode is another great feature for those of us who don’t want enhanced security to come at the cost of lost privacy. Through Scenes, users can set parameters around when the camera is active and recording, and when it is not. Privacy mode ensures user peace of mind by physically covering the camera lens to ensure that no unwanted footage is recorded. It is a simple, but great, feature of the D-Link DCS-8526LH.

Pro tip – dive into your phone’s settings and customise the notification sound to something distinctive. On Android 10 you can also allow the push notification to override “do not disturb” settings. I have no idea if any of that is possible on Apple devices.

This seems to me like a reasonably strong setup for recording and alerting about events, although thankfully I am yet to experience my setup in a real-world scenario. I highly recommend taking the time to thoroughly test your setup and make sure it responds in the way you expect.

 

Monitor the kids (or pets)

I have tried my fair share of baby monitors over the years and some are better than others. The D-Link DCS-8526LH offers an alternative to the traditional child-monitor setup that is worth considering.

I often leave the four year old and one year old upstairs playing in a bedroom while I rush around cleaning or cooking dinner. My current baby monitor does a good job of letting me hear what is happening, but the narrower viewing angle and fixed position often makes it impossible to see the mayhem. My previous monitor was manually adjustable, but it can take a while to find where the action is that way – it is often quicker to just run upstairs and check it out.

With the D-Link DCS-8526LH I can set the camera to auto-tracking and let it follow the kids around the room while they do their thing, meaning I can always check at a glance what is going on. Two-way communication means that we can also have a walkie-talkie-style chat, although a slight delay can make that difficult with a four year old (The 1 year old just says “hi” a lot). It is good for simple instructions – “come downstairs, dinner is ready,” or “stop sitting on your brother’s head.”

 

Not my actual child….

 

The added advantage of the D-Link DCS-8526LH as a child monitoring device is that it can take advantage of a Wi-Fi mesh setup to provide constant monitoring right throughout the home. It means I can go into the backyard to hang out washing or down to the basement garage to pack something away, and still maintain a connection with the camera. Very handy!

While I wouldn’t recommend going any further then your boundary fence when monitoring kids, pet owners could use the D-Link DCS-8526LH to go one step further and monitor their loved ones from anywhere with an internet connection. Ever wondered what the dog watches on TV while you are at work…?

 

ONVIF Recording

The D-Link DCS-8526LH is ONVIF compatible, which means it can be added to custom home security setups. I tested this by connecting the D-Link camera to Security Station on my Synology DS420+ NAS. The connection was a breeze, once I had figured out that the PIN Code on the bottom of the camera was the password to get it connected.

The Security Station software detected the D-Link Camera on the wireless network immediately. There are a range of setup options, including the ability to take advantage of the 1080p, 30fps quality. It all worked very well! Through the Synology web interface I can control the pan and tilt (although not through the mobile app, as far as I can see). Interestingly, the D-Link DCS-8526LH seems to retain some of its settings from the D-Link app, because it still automatically tracks movement and returns to home after a period of inactivity. I’m not sure if these more advanced settings can be adjusted in the Synology interface. I haven’t found the option yet.

It is worth noting that the D-Link DCS-8526LH gives full control to the Synology software when set up in this way. While the D-Link app still recognises its presence, it states that another application is controlling it and does not allow you to make any changes. D-Link have made the resetting process easy, with a simple pin-insert reset button returning the camera to default and enabling reconnection with the D-Link app. Easy!

 

 

 

Final thoughts

The D-Link DCS-8526LH is packed with extensive, useful features that make it an attractive proposition for those looking to beef up their home security and/or monitor children (or pets). Excellent customisation and storage options add to the versatility of the D-Link DCS-8526LH, whether using it through the impressive D-Link app or via a 3rd party ONVIF setup. High-quality, 1080p recording at up to 30fps produces great, clear video.

 

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