Outdoor surveillance cameras typically cost more than indoor surveillance cameras, but D-Link's DCS-8600LH full HD WiFi outdoor camera is great value for $ 149.99. It's a weatherproof camera with features like sound and motion detection, free cloud storage for recorded video, a microSD card slot for local storage, and support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. It installs in minutes, delivers crisp 1080p video day and night, and can easily interact with other mydlink devices and third-party products using IFTTT applets. Apple HomeKit is not supported, but that doesn't stop us from choosing our editorial team for outdoor surveillance cameras.
Design and functions
The puck-shaped DCS-8600LH is 3.4 inches wide and 2.7 inches deep. It features a white, weatherproof IP65 case with a glossy black face that houses a microphone, status LED, light sensor and two infrared LEDs that offer black and white night vision up to 30 meters. The 2 megapixel camera has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and a field of view of 135 degrees.
There is a magnetic plate on the back of the camera housing, which is used for quick and easy installation. At the bottom edge there is a hard-wired 10-foot USB power cable, a speaker and a removable rubber plug that protects a possible microSD card slot and is used to store recorded videos. However, you must provide your own card. The camera comes with a weatherproof 13-foot power cord with a USB-A connector on one end and a two-pin power plug on the other end. It also comes with a quick start guide, a magnetic bracket, a permanent bracket, cable mounts and mounting screws.
The DCS-8600LH works with other mydlink devices such as the DSP-W118 smart plug and the DCH-S161 water sensor. For example, you can choose to have the water sensor trigger the camera to start recording, or have the camera's motion detection turn the smart plug on or off. The camera also supports IFTTT applets that allow it to interact with third-party smart home devices such as lights, door locks, thermostats, and sirens.
In addition, the DCS-8600LH supports voice commands from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which you can use to display live videos on a compatible smart display. You won't get smart alerts telling you what triggered a motion event you get with the Lorex W281AA-W, but the Lorex camera won't work with third-party smart devices.
As already mentioned, you can save recorded videos locally on a microSD card or have them saved in the cloud by D-Link. The camera comes with a free plan that supports up to three cameras and gives you access to the last 24 hours of shooting. If you need a longer storage period, you can subscribe to the basic plan ($ 2.49 per month or $ 24.99 per year), which gives you seven days of rolling storage for three cameras, including the premium plan ($ 4.99 each Month or $ 49.99 per year) 14 days of storage for five cameras or the Pro-Plan ($ 9.99 per month or $ 99.99 per year) that offers 30 days of storage for up to 10 cameras.
The DCS-8600LH uses the same mydlink mobile app (for Android and iOS) as other mydlink devices. A dashboard screen opens on which you can place links to your installed mydlink devices and automation systems. At the bottom of the dashboard screen are buttons labeled Devices, One-Tap, Events and Video, and Settings.
The Devices button takes you to a screen with bubble symbols for each installed device category such as cameras, sensors and smart plugs. To access the DCS-8600LH, tap the camera bubble icon, then tap the camera icon. This will open a screen with a live feed that can be viewed in full screen mode by turning your phone sideways. At the bottom of this screen is a control dial that allows you to change the video mode (1080p, 720p), mute the speaker, and enable bidirectional audio. There are also buttons for manual video recording and taking a snapshot.
In the upper right corner there are cloud and gear symbols. The cloud icon allows you to view event-driven videos that are stored in the cloud or on the microSD card. Tap a thumbnail to view, download, share, or delete the clip. The gear icon takes you to a settings screen where you can adjust motion sensitivity, edit Wi-Fi settings, activate privacy mode, update the firmware and rename the camera.
The one-tap button on the dashboard lets you create scenes that let you control multiple devices with a single tap. Tap the Events and Videos button to view videos captured by the DCS-8600LH. Finally, the Settings button takes you to a screen where you can create automations that mydlink devices can work with, add new devices, and edit account information.
Installation and performance
Installation of the DCS-8600LH is quick and easy. However, you need to download the mydlink app and create an account before you start. I already had an account from previous reviews, so I tapped Add Device in the menu system and scanned the QR code on the power supply. I plugged in the camera and tapped Next when the LED started to flash orange, which took about 30 seconds. The camera was recognized immediately, so I gave it a name and location and chose my WiFi at home. At this point, you can add a phone number that allows you to call a specific contact at the push of a button when something is triggered, or you can do so later. I tapped Next and waited 20 seconds for the camera to connect to my network. At this point the app installation was complete. It should be noted that the camera was automatically added to my Alexa account.
Next I installed the camera in my garden, which took about five minutes. I attached the round magnetic bracket to a wooden base, positioned the camera on the bracket, and plugged it into a nearby outdoor GFCI outlet. After a quick firmware update, the installation was completed. If you don't have a residual current device socket on hand, you'll need to find a way to route the power cord indoors to a nearby outlet.
The DCS-8600LH did good tests. The daytime video was sharp and had a rich color quality. The black and white night video showed good contrast and appeared to be sharp up to about 20 feet in height. There were no noticeable pincushions or barrel distortions. Two-way audio was clean and sufficiently loud, and motion and noise detection worked well. Alerts came instantly when motion and sound events occurred and the recorded video of those events appeared as sharp as the live feed.
My IFTTT applet, in which a movement from the DCS-8600LH triggers a Philips Hue light, worked flawlessly, as did a mydlink automation, in which a movement was detected, which switched on a mydlink smart mops. In addition, Alexa voice commands for viewing live videos in an Amazon Echo Show worked flawlessly.
There is a lot to like about the mydlink Full HD WiFi outdoor camera D-Link DCS-8600LH mydlink. It delivers crisp 1080p video, provides accurate sound and motion detection, and stores your recorded video for free, either locally or in the cloud. It also supports voice commands from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and triggers other mydlink devices as well as numerous third-party smart devices that support IFTTT applets. The only thing it doesn't do is work with Apple HomeKit. For $ 149.99, it's an excellent deal and our new choice for editors of outdoor surveillance cameras.
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