The D-Link Omna is the first camera to integrate with Apple’s smart home platform, HomeKit. The gray, silver device is tall and shaped like a cylinder, about the size of an energy drink can. The shape of the camera lens and design surrounding it look like an eye.
It’s a bit of a surprise that this is the first camera that’s compatible with Apple’s smart home software, so that may lend itself to high expectations. How does the camera actually perform?
The Camera Specs
The D-Link Omna is priced at $200, around the same price as many of the other stand-alone DIY camera options available on the market. D-Link captures 180° of zoned motion activity, which allows it to see more than the Nest Indoor Cam, Netgear Arlo Pro, and most other DIY options on the market who mainly have 120° degrees of view.
A micro-SD that stores local footage is inserted on the bottom of the camera and it can support an SD card of up to 128GB, though the card is not included with purchase. The only storage option is to save videos locally on the app, but we’ll come back to this later.
The Omna camera is equipped with a built in microphone for two-way audio and it’s IR LED lights allow you to see up to 16 feet in the dark. It’s a full HD 1920 x 1080p HD camera. Since this device is Apple HomeKit integrated, you can even ask Siri about the status of your security system camera and a live-feed will pop up for you on your phone.
The camera also acts as a motion detector that activates other HomeKit accessories. For example: a HomeKit light turns on whenever the camera detects motion. Using the D-Link app, you can customize which “zones” of the camera lens are the important spots for detection. Then when you use the Apple HomeKit and iOS 10 Home app, you can create scenes that work based on your motion detection preferences.
The Omna camera features live video streams and push alert notifications similar to most modern home security options. But within that, it’s missing some features that you’d imagine an Apple integrated product would have.
Omna, not Omnipotent
This D-Link camera is decently slick, but there’s a number of problems with it. For starters, it’s a marvel that even though it the first product that is integrated with Apple’s HomeKit, it doesn’t store any video footage over Apple’s iCloud. This seems like an obvious miss. All of the video is stored locally on the micro-SD card at the bottom of the device. This is a problem.
Since the camera isn’t the most discreet and concealable device, if a burglar were to break into the home and take the camera, he will not only be taking all evidence, but also all of the footage of your home and family. The only way to avoid this is to hope that your camera is well hidden and concealed.
The D-Link can’t be mounted to a wall. The only option for placement is a flat surface. As you might have guessed, the product only works with iPhones, iPads, and iPods. The feed from the camera can also be viewed on an Apple watch, but other than that, the product is not compatible with Android or other devices.
You can’t zoom in with the Omna via the Home app or the Omna app. Other product specs don’t make sense either, like the video apps inability to delete files from the app in bulk. You have to delete everything one by one, and you’re only able to view videos from the Omna app, not the Apple Home app.
If you want to access your devices that are enabled by HomeKit from outside of your WiFi network, you have to have an AppleTV. AppleTV serves as the hub for how all HomeKit devices are accessed.
D-Link Omna is easy to use, sleek, and similar in price to its competitors. But even in its own space of stand-alone DIY cameras, there’s much better options. Omna doesn’t have continuous recording, sound alerts, and has few integration options, far less than its Amazon counterpart.
We recommend never opting for DIY and unmonitored home security over monitored options. Leave home security tot the professionals that provide all-encompassing security.
Omna actually comes from the Latin word “omnis” which means all-encompassing, but this security set up surely isn’t.