mydlink Home Test & Review
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It's a nice feeling when totally new products land on your desk for testing. And, this is certainly true for the mydlink Home products. They all have a nice quality feel about them - just what you'd expect from D-LINK. So how they perform? Let's see...
All the products in the mydlink Home range are Wi-Fi devices - they work directly as part of your Wi-Fi network. You can download Android or iOS apps and you then have control from your phone or tablet. Curiously, there isn't a full size tablet app available for either Android or iPad, which is a shame. Another thing to note is the app expects an Internet connection, if you don't have an Internet connection the app can be a little unstable or even the odd crash, especially when adding devices. Although the App appears to need access to the Internet for configuration purposes, the devices do work autonomously with their schedules and actions.
Adding new mydlink Home devices is very simple using WPS. If you have a WPS button on your router then just press that and the button on the device and it's included in a couple of seconds. No hassle, it really is that simple!
On our test system, unfortunately, we didn't have a WPS compatible router. We tried for a long time to get the devices to include, but following several app crashes, attempts to use static IP addresses and other not so obvious workarounds we gave up. We swapped the router for a WPS compatible one and everything works as it should. We've asked D-Link for some ideas on how to get around this limitation and will update this review when we get some information from them.
So the bottom line is - WPS = easy, no WPS = tearing hair out for many hours!!
The Smart Plug is a nice looking, solid wall plug - although it is a bit bulky and I doubt you'd be able to get two of these side-by-side on a double wall socket. First time you power-up the smart plug you need to wait for it to fully boot (all mydlink Home devices run embedded Linux), until it's fully booted you can't do anything with it - even control it from its manual switch.
Control and Power Consumption
Once it's running and added to the Wi-Fi network it can be controlled from the App, It also reports power consumption to the App so you can see exactly how much you're using or you can set it to send you an alert when it reaches a particular level. Another nice feature is a 'thermal protection' cut-out, this switches off the smart plug if the pins exceed a preset temperature. Nice feature if you accidentally leave a high current appliance on for too long or if a fault occurs causing it to overheat.
The App allows you to create some basic automation for the smart plug. You can create one schedule for the smart plug. From what we can see you can create a total of 5 schedules for the system as a whole but only one for any one device. Maybe a little restrictive, but it's a nice way to have a lamp turn On and Off at set times during the day. You can then take this further with some simple logic rules to control the plug based on current consumption, temperature and you can have email notifications for exactly what's happening.
WiFi Motion Sensor
Another nice looking device, the Motion Sensor simply plugs into a wall socket and you then add it to the network using WPS. Once registered in the App we received a message saying "new firmware is available" - when acknowledged the App will then download and upgrade the firmware. This update worked faultlessly, often a worry when installing new products that require updates.
When it's all sorted, the App keeps a nice log of all the times the sensor has been tripped - or "detections" in D-Link speak. From within the app you can also set the sensor's sensitivity, assign a schedule to tell it when to be active, set "rules" to send notifications when motion detected, or turn on another device (tested with plug). One criticism we would have is that we could't find an "off" period, so you can't set it to turn on for motion, then off 30 minutes later for example (we're checking with D-Link about this).
Monitor HD Camera
The Monitor HD Camera is a very slim, stylish camera that'll look good anywhere in your home - the cool mount allows decent positioning, wall mount, ceiling mount, etc.
It easily adds to the app using a wizard, the camera also needed a firmware update, which took about 10mins to download and install. The camera has a nice web UI, which means it can be used as a stand alone camera solution without other mydlink Home devices in your system. The 1280 x 720 resolution gave a good quality image, and the InfraRed capability means it can see in the dark! All tested nicely. The App gives you a lot of control - viewing the picture, and setting of motion and sound detection (and their sensitivities). You can also create "rules" for sending notifications when motion or sound is detected.
As a separate test we tried using the camera with a Z-Wave controller (just to see if it worked). The result was surprisingly easy in the Fibaro HC2, so we can also confirm that the camera works nicely for snapshot and streaming images in HC2!
Not much to say about the Music Everywhere audio extender. It does what it says on the tin! Plug it in anywhere, connect a set of speakers and you can wirelessly stream your music using DLNA or Airplay. It doesn't get detected by the App, so you can't use it together with any of the other mydlink Home devices - hopefully this will be something D-Link add in a future release of the App as it would be a nice touch!
We like mydlink Home.
Overall it's a nice simple system giving you basic home automation functionality. It's no replacement for a Z-Wave system, but not everyone needs that level of automation. At this stage we don't see any way to integrate mydlink Home with a Z-Wave system as there's no published API is published - so it is aimed at people looking for a less complex home automation system. For simple lamp or appliance control from a smartphone, motion detection and cameras - mydlink Home is a very nice system.
From my view, if you looking to put your toe into the home automation arena mydlink Home Home is well worth a look!
Speak to you soon.