D-Link Cloud Surveillance Reviewed

By Ethan Ace, Published Mar 27, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

While 'cloud' is a big buzzword, low cost cloud security solutions are mostly a myth. D-Link aims to change this with their DNR-322L, a NAS-based NVR integrated to their D-Link Cloud Services. In this note, we overview this offering, and compare to competitive offerings from Axis including AVHS and Camera Companion.

Overview

The DNR-322L [link no longer available] is a NAS-based network video recorder with the following features:

  • Support for up to 9 D-Link IP cameras, maximum resolution of 3MP. No third-party cameras are supported.
  • Maximum specified throughput handling of 90 Mbps in NVR-only mode, and 68 Mbps in NVR/File server mode.
  • Automatic discovery of cameras via UPnP.
  • Two hard drive bays, no drives included. Supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD.
  • Remote access via D-Link's Cloud service.
  • Street pricing is estimated at $300 USD excluding hard drive.
  • Projected ship date: June 2012

Additionally, D-Link's new cameras also support cloud access but only for live video, not archived.

D-Link Cloud Support

The DNR-322L's most interesting feature is D-Link Cloud services [link no longer available] support. This free service allows users to remotely connect to their NAS via a web portal, without any remote network configuration, so that they can access live and archived video. This portal is available via web browser, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

Competitive Comparision

Comparing DLink to AVHS and Axis Camera Companion

  • AVHS: While both D-Llink and AVHS allow remote access to cameras without onsite setup, D-Link's service is free. In contrast, AVHS partners charge between $10-25 dollars per camera per month. The total cost of ownership for DLink is, therefore, far lower than AVHS.
  • ACC: Axis Camera Companion and the DNR-322L both allow cameras to record directly to NAS devices. While ACC also allows cameras to record to on-board storage, this is not a practical benefit for SOHO/SMB as Axis only supports this on its more expensive cameras (minimum $500 USD). For remote access, DLink's 'cloud solution' is a major advantage over ACC's dependence on UPnP and manual copying and pasting of files (see our ACC report).

Recommendations

Users seeking a simple, small camera count system will likely find the DNR-322L attractive. Few other options provide free cloud access, making remote set up simpler. The sweet spot is likely 3 - 9 cameras as less than this makes buying a NAS difficult to justify and more than that is not supported by the unit. Additionally, as our low-cost camera comparison shows, D-Link offers some of the lowest-cost professional IP cameras, likely making their total cost lower than other options.

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