These cameras don’t upload video to the internet 24/7, which is important if you’ve got slow upload speeds while you wait for the NBN to reach your neighbourhood. When the cameras see something important they can upload a short video clip to the internet, or else save it to microSD card. Both D-Link and Netgear charge a subscription if you want to keep a video archive in the cloud.
When you are watching the live feed, each camera’s built-in microphone and speaker lets you converse with people on the other end – whether they be loved ones or uninvited guests.
The cheaper D-Link is the more practical choice if you want to install a camera in a location with easy access to power and Wi-Fi. It’s sharper picture, slightly wider field of view and jump-back replay all make it easier to see what’s happening on the end other end.
The Netgear makes compromises in the name of power efficiency, making it a great option if you need to install a camera in a really remote location, keeping in mind you need to pay for 4G mobile data usage unless you buy it on a plan from Telstra.
D-LINK 8600LH FULL HD OUTDOOR WI-FI CAMERA
The D-Link offers the best picture of the two, with 1080p video resolution and a 135-degree viewing angle (as opposed to 720p and 130 degrees with the Netgear). When installing it outside, keep in mind it needs to be within reach of a power point and your home Wi-Fi network. Unlike with the Netgear, you can split the D-Link’s view into a 5×5 grid and specify which areas it should monitor for motion. The D-Link’s video clips also jump back to a few seconds before someone walks into view, to ensure you don’t miss anything.
NETGEAR ARLO GO
$599 or $15 p/m from Telstra
The Arlo Go is a lot more expensive because it’s designed to use off the grid, connecting to the 4G mobile phone network rather than Wi-Fi. It has a built-in battery, connecting to AC power or running off an optional solar panel (see Check This Out). When an alert pops up on your phone, you can tap it to watch a video replay of the incident or see the live feed from the camera. Netgear stores these clips online with 7-days worth of free cloud storage, while D-Link’s free storage is limited to 24 hours. If you need to store clips online for longer you’ll need to pay for a subscription, or both cameras let you store clips on a microSD card for free.
CHECK THIS OUT
The D-Link comes with a 7m outdoor AC power cable for installing in hard-to-reach locations, while the Netgear’s power cable is only 2.5m. The trade-off is that the Netgear had a built-in battery and supports an optional $149 solar panel which, combined 4G mobile, lets you install it practically anywhere. The battery lasts for weeks on a single charge, so it should never run flat as long as the panel gets a few hours of sunlight each day.
Adam Turner is an award-winning Australian technology journalist and co-host of weekly podcast Vertical Hold: Behind The Tech News.