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How to set up an affordable home monitoring system

Detached house illuminated

A home monitoring system need not be expensive or difficult to set up. With the right products, setup requires only a few pieces of equipment and few or no tools: Just place a few cameras on a shelf or bookcase (or attach them to a wall or ceiling) and plug them into a power socket. Connect them to a home network, step through the setup wizard, and you’re ready to go.

The Cloud Camera (DCS-930L), the Day/Night Cloud Camera (DCS-933L) and the Enhanced Day/Night Cloud Camera (DCS-942L) fit the bill: They’re discrete and easy to place on a shelf or hang from a wall or ceiling. They communicate via Wi-Fi, so they connect to a home computer network automatically without the need to run cables throughout the house, and plug-and-play setup ensures fast, foolproof configuration. Finally, they’re affordable, so you can cover a wide area without breaking the bank.

DCS-930L

Networked cameras are different from webcams because they operate independently of a computer, you can access a live stream of video and audio from each camera via the Internet or 3G, using a computer or smartphone.

With your cameras mounted and positioned, it’s time to figure out how to send video streams from the cameras to the Internet. That’s where your existing computer network comes in. A home network based on the latest Wireless N standard is the best option, since live video requires a good deal of bandwidth, and the newest routers offer enhanced performance and range. If you need a new router to support your camera network, the D-Link DIR-850L is a solid choice, offering exceptional performance and range affordably.

Finally, you’ll want to check out the live streams. There’s no need to install software. The DCS-930LDCS-933L and DCS-942L support the mydlink Web portal, which lets you access your video feed from any browser, and the mydlink™ app, which lets you view it from an iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ device. If you need more advanced features, such as the ability to record video on a schedule, archive it to a storage device, or set up motion detection triggers, the included D-ViewCam® software offers those capabilities and more.

With the D-Link’s wireless network cameras, it doesn’t take a lot of effort or money to set up a home video monitoring system. The reward — enhanced security and peace of mind — is priceless.