D-Link DCS-950G Review
Let's get to the point - the D-Link DCS-950G is a
piece of crap. Under no circumstances should you buy
one, and if you're struggling with your DCS-950G you
should send it back.
On paper, the DCS-950G looks to be a good piece of
kit, and indeed it does have its good points. It's quite
easy to connect to a wired or wireless network, and
it's fairly straightforward to configure the DCS-950G
for email alerts. The image quality on video captures
is pretty good.
As soon as you try to install the DCS-950G, the problems
begin. The main one is that the installation CD (in
our case the latest version) is faulty and does not
come with the software that you need to install to make
the DCS-950G work. It's not buggy.. it just doesn't
install at all because D-Link forgot to include the
software on the CD (you need to download this version
This extreme sloppiness shows throughout the product.
The web browser interface is strictly an Internet
Explorer on Windows affair, so if you were hoping to
use the DCS-950G in any other way.. forget it. The ActiveX
control that the DCS-950G installs is unreliable and
crashes the browser ofter. The camera appears to reset
and reboot regularly, so you'll lose communication with
The controls are unreliable and fiddly, and worse
still the camera cannot remember some important settings
when it reboots (such as the light frequency and image
quality). Slider controls are very difficult to use,
and the interface overall is badly laid out. Although,
if the results were good then it would at least be usable.
The problems with the DCS-950G run deeply. The main
one is that the motion detection is truly awful and
is extremely unreliable. It will trigger happily if
there's a small variation of light and dark, but will
completely ignore a person walking by. Or a car driving
past. Or a burglar removing your possessions. It will
usually trigger long after the event has happened.
If by chance the DCS-950G does capture something,
it will send a large 1Mb file containing a very short
video clip, which you then won't be able to view
because of the esoteric settings that the video Codec
needs to work (these are buried on the user manual on
the CD.. at least there is something useful on
the CD, settings are below).
Now, you might be thinking that this is a configuration
problem.. but I'm not a complete novice with these cameras
and have set other ones up reliably. However, the DCS-950G
is completely unfit for purpose. And yes, the DCS-950G
was running the latest software version when tested.
There are a few other minor problems - the shiny
surface of the DCS-950G makes it unsuitable for surveillance
operations because of the way it reflects light, and
you cannot turn off the DCS-950G's LEDs. This can be
fixed with some tape though (as you can see if you look
closely in the picture).
Overall, the DCS-950G is a very poor product, and
yet it could have been so much better. The network connection
is fairly easy and the video capture quality
is good, but serious flaws in the product make it pretty
useless and you'd be much better off looking at another
D-Link DCS-950G: ffdshow settings