D-Link DCS-2802KT review: A smart, simple security camera kit

sk© Security SAVER SALE cameras used to be overkill, unless you happened to be a bank protecting a safe filled with other people’s valuables. Over the years, however, the technology has shrunk and the price has come down to the degree that regular consumers can make their homes a bit more secure with a Wi-Fi-enabled system.

That doesn’t make them cheap, by any means, but if you really can’t put a price on security then it’s an option worth exploring. Probably not for me though: as I reviewed this at the same time as the rival Arlo Pro 2[1], I essentially had GBP700 worth of security cameras pointing at two not hugely interesting cats.

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: What you need to know

Just as with the Arlo Pro 2, the D-Link DCS-2802KT is a security camera system that comes in two parts: a hub that connects to your router and the cameras, which can be placed around your home and report back to you when there’s movement or sound.

The cameras are IP65-rated weatherproof and powered by rechargeable batteries, so this system is very easy to set up for DIYers.

Although the DCS-2802KT hub can support up to four cameras, there are only two in the box and there currently isn’t a way of buying additional units. This will, I understand, be rectified soon.

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: Price and competition


The D-Link DCS-2802KT two-camera pack retails for GBP440, but is frequently found cheaper and, at the time of writing, seems to hover around the GBP360 mark. Considering it comes with a year’s Premium cloud storage, that makes it a keenly-priced offering in the expensive world of wireless security cameras.

It also makes it seem like a better option for those on a budget than the Arlo Pro 2, which starts at GBP290 for a single-camera pack, with each additional camera adding an extra GBP250.

That’s a bit harsh on Arlo, though, as it offers up some useful extras for the pro user: for starters, it can be plugged in at the mains, allowing for constant video recording (CVR) footage for an additional subscription price.

The batteries are also removable, meaning if you have spares, there’s no camera downtime and, on top of that it, allows you Arlo’s system allows you to mark out specific parts of the view for motion detection to prevent false positives.

I also found the app a lot more user-friendly overall. Does that add up to GBP150 more features? That really depends on your usage.

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: Features and performance

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: A smart, simple security camera kit

The two cameras that come in the box are certainly easy to set up and they’re very effective once up and running.

As with the Arlo Pro 2, they’re charged via microUSB and pop magnetically onto a half ball mount that can be screwed into the wall. That may sound like a dream design for burglars but even if they do manage to pop the camera off the wall, footage of them doing so will already be in the cloud and ready to view on your phone.

Unlike the Arlo, the battery itself can’t be removed, which means you will have to endure some downtime while the battery charges. Not that charging needs to happen very often.

At the time of writing, the D-Link cameras have been active for 21 days and in that time the battery gauge has dropped 11% on one camera and 15% on the other. Scaling that up to the least optimistic estimate means you should be looking at charging every three and a half months or so.

The negative is that, because the battery can’t be removed, the camera will, have a limited lifespan: once the battery is exhausted and can’t hold a useful amount of charge any more, you’ll have to throw away the camera, lock stock.

For the most part, though, you can just forget that they’re there. Yes, you can watch a livestream on your phone if you really find yourself that bored – although in my experience it takes a lot of buffering before anything shows up, if it decides to at all – but the real appeal is the motion and noise detection.

Any time anything moves within its field of vision, the camera snaps a short bit of video and logs it, with an instant notification so you can check in right away.
In my case it was always cats. Always. Here’s Humphries stretching his claws:

Video of D-Link DCS-2802KT cat cam
Said cats can be seen in crystal-clear 1080p video as seen above and the camera even works in the dark as the extended clip below of Hamilton enjoying some cat nip demonstrates.
Video of D-Link DCS-2802KT catnip test

These clips are stored in the cloud for a certain period of time depending on how much you’re prepared to spend in terms of subscription. You don’t need to decide right away, mind, as a year’s worth of the Premium plan is included in the box, which gives you unlimited clips from up to five cameras, stored for two weeks.

After your year is up, you’ll revert to the free plan, which drops the maximum number of connected cameras to three and holds onto captured footage for a mere 24 hours. The Basic plan ups this to seven day of storage for GBP2.29 per month or GBP21.99 per year, which is actually pretty reasonable, or you could continue with the Premium offering for GBP4.49 per month or GBP43.99 annually.

If you really want to push the boat out, the Pro package supports up to ten cameras for 30 days, and comes in at GBP8.99 per month or GBP87.99 per year.

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: A smart, simple security camera kit

You might not need any subscription at all, though.

After all, you can download recorded clips to your phone at any point up to their scheduled deletion. Given that notifications are instant, this should be sufficient for most people who spot something out of the ordinary they may need to send to the police at some point. And if that still sounds a touch dicey, you can also connect your own storage to the hub via microSD or USB.

Two more features that deserve a mention before I wrap up.

First, the hub has a very loud siren built into it, which can blast out over 100 decibels when movement is triggered. You can set this to be on or off depending on whether you’re at home or not. The cameras also come with a two-way microphone, meaning you can speak to people if they unexpectedly appear at the other end of the camera.

D-Link DCS-2802KT review: Verdict

All-in-all, the D-Link DCS-2802KT is, awkward name aside, an excellent camera system which will be more than enough for the majority of people’s needs.

The price is decent (for a wireless camera setup), the batteries last for ages and the year’s worth of premium cloud storage is a very nice touch indeed.

As I explain in more detail in the ‘price and competition’ section, the Arlo Pro 2 offers a bit more, but it does so at a price and if those little extras – especially CVR – are super-important to you, then it may be worth paying the extra.

For everybody else, D-Link offers peace of mind and then some at a more competitive price.

References

  1. ^ rival Arlo Pro 2 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)

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