NetGuide NZ - D-Link gets serious with security

Dlink_Vigilance_01.jpg

D-Link gets serious with security

D-Link are no strangers to providing various Wi-Fi-based home automation and security systems to the consumer. With their Vigilance range of indoor and outdoor networked cameras they have most definitely upped the ante. Netguide’s Darren Price takes a look.

Both the DCS-4701E Vigilance HD Outdoor PoE mini Bullet Camera and the DCS-4602EV Vigilance Full HD Vandal-Proof PoE Dome Camera are primarily designed for Power-over-Ethernet, that is they are powered via the Ethernet cable, but also come with a power socket for an optional 12v supply.

It’s worth checking that your router is capable for PoE. For the test D-Link provided a snazzy 8-Port DGS-1008P desktop switch with 4 PoE ports which was more than enough to power both cameras.

DCS4701E

The DCS-4701E Vigilance HD Outdoor PoE mini Bullet Camera offers homeowners a premium security camera that’s easy to install and even easier to use.

The all-metal chassis houses a 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, capable of capturing clear footage, up to 1280x720 at 30 fps, even in low-light and no-light situations. The camera lens is fixed with a focal length of 2.8mm and an F2.0 aperture.

The lens is surrounded by infra-red illuminators which automatically switch on as it gets dark allowing the camera to capture some good-quality grey-scale video even when it’s pitch-black outside.

The metal ball and socket joint allows the camera to be aimed exactly where you want it and locked securely in place. This is the difference between the Vigilance cameras and the plastic consumer models. These are built to last.

For such a professional piece of kit to be so easily installable is another huge positive. The use of Power-over-Ethernet technology means that anywhere you can route a network cable to you can install a Vigilance camera. You don’t need any other cables. There’s no power or fancy video cables required. The camera’s built-in computer system compresses video in H.264 an MPEG formats on- the-fly, making 24-hour recording a very economical option.

With the camera connected to your network, installing the included D-ViewCam surveillance software gives you at-a-glance access to up to thirty-two cameras. You can manage, schedule and record video feeds from your desk, as well as set up e-mail alerts for when the system is triggered via motion detection.

DCS460EV

The DCS-4602EV Vigilance Full HD Vandal-Proof PoE Dome Camera offers full 1920x1980 HD video capture using the same PoE system as the DCS-4701E. The 3-megapixel lens is housed in an IP66 and IK10 rated chassis along with a ring of IR emitters for low-light and night-time surveillance.

Mounting the DCS-4602EV is made easy by the single network cable connection, but extra care needs to be taken when choosing a location as the camera only has a very limited range of movement. With the chassis mounted the camera’s aim is done by removing the outer casing using the special star-driver tool included, loosening the retaining screw and twisting the lens to the desired position.

With the camera connected to your network, installing the included D-ViewCam surveillance software gives you at-a-glance access to up to thirty-two cameras. You can manage, schedule and record video feeds from your desk, as well as set up e-mail alerts for when the system is triggered via motion detection.

DViewCam

Both cameras can be set-up to automatically obscure up to three areas from recordings. This enables sensitive locations to be monitored without compromising the privacy of surrounding areas. Being aimed at enterprise customers rather than consumers, it is not possible to monitor the cameras from a remote location using the popular myDLink app. Whereas it is possible to record to a remote server, it’s not as simple as it is with D-Link’s consumer- focused home automation products.

With the D-Link DCS-4602EV at around NZ$450 and the DCS-4701E at around NZ$300, there’s no doubt that both cameras are a serious investment. But when you compare the price of a professionally installed security solution, its actually pretty reasonable. And, if you want really solid security cameras that are likely to last for years, inside or out, like these ones, you are going to have to pay for the privilege.

Putting the cost aside, even though they are aimed more towards the security conscious small enterprise user than the home consumer, the ease at which the D-Link’s Vigilance cameras can be installed by someone with very little effort, make them a very viable home security solution.

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