For those of us without a PHD in geekology, webcams with remote viewing can be a hassle to set up. This especially true when you want to do things like send still images over the web to display on a website, like we do over at MarbleSki.org. Thus, I’ve been through quite a few cycles of trying out cameras, returning, and setting up yet another one. Over the past few years I’ve been mostly happy with the feature granularity provided by D-Link’s “cloud” cameras. You can easily set these cameras up to use D-Link’s own server which you then access with your browser while you’re off-location (or you can access directly as an “IP” camera). In our case, the D-Link firmware includes robust options for sending still images or video clips directly to an off-site web server. You can find cheaper cameras and some might work for this sort of thing — especially if you’re good at configuration — but I’m happy with these cams so I thought I’d share our latest install.
I had high hopes for this camera’s infrared illumination for night shots, but that proved to be the only disappointment. The infrared light is weak; too dim to legibly illuminate our storm board that’s only about 15 feet away. Despite that con, I’ll keep using the DCS-233 as I like all its other qualities. But keep that in mind if you’re needing something for 24-hour surveillance over a larger area.
The DCS-2330L is rated for outdoor use, though I’m not sure using it in direct rain for months on end would be wise. For a somewhat protected install I mounted the camera on a wall with an overhead eave providing some protection. I also added a piece of tape to keep water off the wiring entry points (which are sealed, but who knows how well). If the camera continues to function to our satisfaction I’ll probably install a small sheet metal awning over it for total protection. Most importantly regarding outdoors, DCS-2330L is rated for -13 °F (-25°C) and I’m sure will work at even colder temperatures as it provides quite a bit of its own heat while it’s powered up. The box enclosed user manual is lame, but a complete manual is available as a PDF from D-Link at http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/C1KwbGXVNMS.pdf