D-Link DCS-2630L review:

No distortion here -- D-Link's 180-degree camera is fisheye-free

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The $180 D-Link DCS-2630L offers a 180-degree distortion-free live stream along with local cloud storage (up to 128GB, microSD card not included), one of the first DIY models with these combined options.

The Bad Setting up a connected D-Link product is notoriously complicated (according to our experiences, at least) and the DCS-2630L is no exception. The camera is huge -- literally. It's way bigger than Nest Cam and other competitors.

The Bottom Line If you are specifically looking for a wide-angle DIY indoor camera with local storage, the D-Link DCS-2630L will work well. Just don't expect stellar design or a headache-free setup process.

6.5 Overall
  • Features 7.0
  • Usability 6.0
  • Design 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

I'm conflicted about D-Link's $180 DCS-2630L indoor security camera. Complete with a 180-degree wide-angle lens, local storage via a microSD card slot, highly customizable settings and fine performance, it's definitely recommendable.

But, there's one big caveat, and I mean that literally: This camera is huge.

Where competitors like the $200 Nest Cam, the $150 Kodak CFH-V20 and the $190 Samsung SmartCam HD Plus stand somewhere in the 4-to-5-inch range, D-Link's DCS-2630L is closer to 6 inches. Its width and depth are similarly super-size, too, meaning this camera will take up noticeably more space than most other models.

Dimensions may not be a deal-breaker for most, but the idea with home security is discretion. And if a camera isn't especially discreet, it should at least be pretty, a nice design element that works with your home decor.

D-Link's DCS-2630L is neither, so I'm stumped. Sure, the glossy, black plastic finish is fine, but it also isn't something I'd want to draw undue attention to.

A not-so-simple set up

This camera is also difficult to set up. As with the brand's Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera and its Wi-Fi Smart Plug, the step-by-step instructions are convoluted at best and glitchy at worst. For instance, the last step in the setup process is creating a new account on the Mydlink Lite app (available for Android and iOS devices). Typically that happens at the beginning of gadget configuration, and it's a logical first step. Not so with D-Link.

In this case, I received an error message when I tried to create an account even though I had already successfully connected the camera to Wi-Fi and finished all of the other steps. Specifically it said, "Could not connect to the Mydlink server."

And instead of taking me to the previous step so I could try again, it canceled the entire configuration, forcing me to reset the camera (there's a tiny pinhole on the back of the camera for resetting; press it until the light begins to blink red). Other times it said "Connection timed out" before I could complete the installation. Thus, I became very familiar with the DCS-2630L's reset button.

When I finally did get through all of the steps, the software told me that the email address I had been trying to register for the good part of an hour was already registered. So, even though the app gave me several error messages that prevented me from completing the set-up, it must have actually worked during one of those earlier attempts. Frustrating.

A better D-Link?

Things did get better after that initial configuration, though. The app, although not as intuitive as Nest's, was easy enough to navigate.

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