D-link DCS 5020L Review - TheWackyDuo.com - Singapore Wacky Magazine

D-link DCS 5020L Review

D-Link 5020L
Daddy talk

 Techie Thursday is back!

Ever feel the need to have a surveillance camera at home? There are several usage of surveillance cameras from home protection, keeping an eye on kids or even keeping tabs on helpers. Given the many permutations of possibilities that may occur at home, it gives a piece of mind to have a surveillance camera at home to keep a watchful eye on the house and the happenings within.

I had thought of getting professional help in setting up a survelliance network. However usually we were quoted an arm and a leg. Intending to set one up for under $500 bucks, I decided to get a 4 camera set up from d-link ( available at challenger and Southeast Asia computer) and DIY my security network.
I had on the network 2 DCS 942, 1 DCS 932 and the latest model DCS 5020. Each cost me about $109 during GSS with the lower end DCS 932 costing a mere $99. Today I will review the DCS 5020 .
The camera comes in with the installation disk , LAN cables for router connection, power plug and a wall installation unit. As this belong to the 'Cloud' family of cameras. Installation is touted to be fuss free. If paired with certain D-link router, it is said to be a simple plug and play procedure.

Installation Guide
The router I had at home was from Starhub. It is a D-link model DVG-N5402SP. During the set up , the process is aborted and the error ' D-link server not found' kept popping up. Efforts to call to the D-link hotline was in vain and I was put on hold for more than 30mins. To their credit, they did call at the stipulated time after I dropped an email, thereby redeeming the earlier service lapse.
Set up took an incredible 1 hour after we bypass the local network and piggyback on the iPhone hotspot to register the product. The product needs to be registered to your dlink account before it can be use. You need to set up an account before installation.

The Camera
The D-link 5020 gives sharp images when view via mobile devices such as iPhone or iPad. The ability to pan/ tilt at 340 degree is great. If located at the right angle, one camera is sufficient to cover the whole span of the room. With a horizontal viewing angle of 66 degree, it covers a much wider area compared to its fix lens brethren DCS 932/942.

Setting up
This is a day and night camera. The night vision is excellent for up to 26 feet ( sufficient for most rooms) in addition , there are motion sensors that allows it to send email alerts. It does no come with a memory card and thus have no recording functions. It has a viewing capacity of 640 x 480 , which is sufficient sharp for mobile viewing. It also comes with an adjustable lens for sharpness adjustment.
After installation and comparison with the existing similar price DCS 932/942, I was impressed with the quality and the field of vision. I would gladly trade in my older models for this. Given the similar price range, this would be the first choice amongst all three. However if you need a recording function, this model lacks that particular function. Nevertheless remote photo can be taken on your iPhone/iPad/ android phones while you are out.

You can use remote viewing via computer or mobile devices. There are apps on IOS and GooglePlay call D-link lite for viewing as well. The apps are free of charge. One problem is that signals may not always be stable. After a couple of days of getting it right ( including updating the firmware) , the setup was up and working , but not always at 100%.

At the current price point, this singular network camera makes good economic sense. However you may need to be technology savvy to set this up on your own if the cloud system does not work. There are no issues on performance in both day and night, provided if you get stable connection to the network via your phone. There are more than one occasion when the connection fails.

If you have more than 1 camera, you may consider the mydlink+ available for $1.99/$1.29 at IOS/Googleplay. With this app, you can view all 4 cameras at a go. However do note that relaiblity issues still occurs even for a paid app.

I use the camera mainly for occasion survelliance when I am at work or on holiday. If reliablity is the key, you may need to invest in a more stable system. If your aim is just to have an occasional pair of eyes when you are away, this may be a good option to indulge in for that peace of mind. On occasions when my house alarm are triggered, I use this as a backup to check the cause as there may be false alarms. Nevertheless given it is not a 100 % fail proof, I will ultimately invest in a more reliable CCTV for that peace of mind.

The current retail price for this is at $139 and available at Challenger.

DisclaimerThis is NOT a sponsored post.


  1. I just bought two of these cameras and I am very satisfied thus far. I would give it a four star or higher rating.

    1. I think Challenger is selling them for $90 now. Worth it

  2. Can I check if this camera 5020L if I am to hook it up on the celling will the image be upright? As I do have 932L also I can turn it upside down to make the image look upright. Pls advice.

    1. Don't think you can secure to ceiling as the image will be upside down.
      Might consider securing to a wall. I had mine on chest level and it covers well.


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