How to Keep an Eye on Your Vacation Home All Year Round

Pipes burst. Vandals case your place. Try as you might to keep your cottage intact, things go wrong with vacation properties. Here's how to monitor your vacation home... when you're not actually on vacation.

DCS-930L
1. Install cameras
First, decide on the camera that is right for you: the D-Link Wireless N Network Camera, the DCS-930L, or its day/night counterpart the DCS-932L, which provides infrared illumination for night vision up to 5 meters. Next, determine where to place your cameras. Both models feature a sturdy base that lets you set the camera on any flat surface, whether it's a shelf or the top of a bookcase. Or, if you prefer, you can mount it to a wall or ceiling. When monitoring a home that you expect to be empty, you'll want to keep an eye on as much of the house as possible, with a particular focus on entrances (front, back, and garage doors) and accessible windows. Worried about vandals? Aim cameras so they can spy outside: Upper floor windows can give you a bird's eye view of the grounds. Don't forget about areas where utility problems can occur. Owners of winter homes may want to keep a camera where it can catch any potential water pipes exploding.

Be creative: The DCS-930L and DCS-932L cameras are wireless, so there's no need to worry about cabling aside from access to a power outlet. Both cameras use 802.11n protocol for wireless networks, which has a much greater range than that of the previous 802.11g version. One account can support up to 32 cameras, enough to cover a very wide area.

DIR-655
2. Add the cameras to your network
Your vacation home's wireless network can probably support the D-Link wireless cameras, but if it doesn't have one, you'll need to add a router. The D-Link DIR-655 has the range and performance to cover almost any home. With a wireless network set up, all you need to do is add each camera to the network by following the steps in the included Camera Installation Wizard. It's really simple and only takes minutes.

3. View the video stream
Once the cameras are on the network, you can access a live view from your cameras via your iPhone or Android device with the free mydlink app. Or, if you're at a computer, the mydlink portal is always available via any web browser, giving instant access to your camera feeds. For more advanced needs, the included DViewCam software can help you set up notifications (including setting alerts when motion is detected, extremely helpful when you expect to see none) and a recording schedule.

A D-Link camera system will give you peace of mind that your vacation home is intact -- and immediate warning if something goes wrong. Sleep easier (and bypass the housesitter) by installing an network camera system in your home away from home.

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