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D-Link DCS-2530L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera review: The second time is the charm

Michael Ansaldo | Dec. 15, 2016
This new iteration of D-Link's wide-angle Dropcam clone overcomes its predecessor's weaknesses.

Earlier this year, we reviewed the Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera (model DCS-2630L), a good camera handcuffed by a limited app. This second iteration of this camera, model DCS-2530L, retains all the previous version’s strengths while eliminating its weaknesses.

At first glance, the design of the DCS-2530L would seem a carbon copy of its predecessor: a round camera body mounted to horseshoe-shaped stand, all in a black finish. But the new camera is actually about two-thirds the size of the 2630L. As one of our knocks on the earlier model was its bulk, this is a vast improvement. The ability to conceal a security camera among your home décor is desirable for both stealth and minimizing the creepy factor inherent in any kind of surveillance. This new version achieves that much better than the original.

Beyond this, however, the 2530L’s specs are nearly identical to the 2630L’s. It boasts a 180-degree field of view with de-warping technology to mitigate the fish-eye distortion common to wide-angle lenses. The new model also still supports motion and sound detection alerts, up to 1080p video recording, two-way audio, and night vision up to 16 feet. The only significant deviations from the original that we could find are its 10x digital zoom—which betters the 2630L’s 8x digital zoom—and the fact that D-Link downgraded wireless connectivity to the 802.11n standard from 802.11ac.

One of the things that sets D-Link’s home security cameras apart from most of its competitors’ is the lack of a cloud offering. The 2530L, like all D-Link models, records video locally to MicroSD/SDXC card (up to 128GB). The obvious benefit of this is that there’s no ongoing cost for a cloud subscription, which can add hundreds of dollars of year to the cost of ownership. Not recording to the cloud also frees a lot of network bandwidth. The drawback, though, is that you don’t have a backup of your security footage if intruders decide to take or break your camera to their tracks.

Setup and usage

I still have painful memories of the 2630L’s troublesome setup. But though the process is essentially unchanged for the 2530L’s—scan the device’s QR code with the mydlink lite companion app, and the connect it to your Wi-Fi network either manually or via WPS—it went way more smoothly this time. The camera was up and running within 5 minutes instead of 45.

You can view the camera’s live feed in three resolutions—480p, 720p, and 1080p—which you can toggle through on the app’s menu bar below the feed window. Full HD provided the crispest image, not surprisingly; but even at 480p, the image was still pretty good, with none of the pixelating you sometimes see at lower resolutions. That’s a plus if you’re planning to run the camera a lot and want to conserve bandwidth.


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