Hands-on: D-Link EyeOn Baby Monitor review
Baby monitors are one of those things that have changed things for the better. These days, you can listen out for murmurs and requests and make sure your little ones stay asleep. And that's exactly the one thing all parents want: sleep.
D-Link is best known for routers, security cameras and all things network-based. So when the offer to try one of its new baby monitors arose we wondered how the techie company would tackle it. As boring as these things sound, the advances that are being made in this technology are staggering.
Our two current main monitors are both made by BT. One is audio-only, the other has basic video. The video function is great, because you can see that all is well and your baby is asleep, but the quality is a frustration. What the D-Link offers is 720p video direct to your phone or tablet and even has a temperature monitor. Now that's an upgrade on our current setup.
This video capability means you have complete flexibility to use the monitor around your home, from more than one location at the same time, or even from outside by using D-Link's cloud service. That means it's possible to check in on your child when you're out for the evening and have left junior in the charge of someone else.
The camera is simple enough to set up, power it on and find the Wi-Fi network it generates with your phone. Start D-Link's app and you're ready to configure the monitor. To do this, it's simply a matter of telling it how to log on to your home Wi-Fi, then signing up for a D-Link account if you want to use the camera when you're away from the home.
Once that's done, position the camera and load up the app. You can have more than one camera, so if you have lots of the little nippers, you can keep track of them all via the D-Link app.
Video quality is impressive too. However, to use it as a permanent monitor you will need to have a phone or tablet dedicated to the task. Most other monitors are a complete solution - base and remote unit bundled together - whereas the D-Link is just the camera component.
We did find one issue when using the monitor though: on one occasion when our tablet was put in standby, upon unlocking it again the monitor appeared to be working. But the app had crashed and the image frozen. This is bad, because you obviously assume all is well. The app does have a live clock, so you can check what's going on, but we just didn't realise until the cries came floating down from upstairs. Something to keep in mind.
The other issue is one of lag. There's a "chat" feature, which allows you to talk to your child, but in our tests this lagged so badly that we couldn't use it. This is one area where traditional audio monitors are much better, despite their distance limitations.
The D-Link DCS-825L Wi-Fi HD Baby Monitor costs £108 and is available now. We think it's the bee's knees and love the amazing picture quality.