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Consumers are being pushed to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase computer equipment that just simply doesn’t work, and local stores like Fry’s Electronics in Downer’s Grove, Illinois sell the faulty technology without any concern for consumers. Viruses are an issue, but the real threat to consumers is the garbage produced by incompetent computer technology creators and the retail establishments who sell it without warranty or even knowledge about the effectiveness of the crap they sell
By Ray Hanania
Like a lot of consumers, I am interested in the new technology involving security cameras for my homes and properties. I have many.
But not being a PhD graduate in Computer Technology, I always look for systems that are simple to install and offer options for use.
One of those that has been pushed hard by the computer industry and the computer retail outlets like Fry’s Electronics in Downer’s Grove is a security camera system called D-Link.
Basically, you purchase the camera for $149 — I bought the DCS-5222L camera which allegedly offers pan, tilt and “easy remote access”. And I purchased another device by D-Link called the DNR-202L which basically sets up a harddrive on your home Internet network.
Supposedly, the DNR-202L and the DCS-5222L are supposed to work together.
The problem, of course, is that neither actually work. I know. You spend $250 and they computer equipment doesn’t work. It’s pathetic.
I spent hours following the complex steps on these “simple” and “easy to use” systems, after spending hard earned money, only to discover that the systems are a gamble. Sometimes they work. But most of the time they don’t. The excuses run from “You didn’t set it up properly” to “Your Internet system can’t handle the camera.”
I have the fastest Internet service my cable system offers and for everything else, it almost works perfectly.
I purchased the Q-See security camera system and that is a disaster, too. It’s impossible for the average person to install the Port Forwarding that is necessary to allow you to access your cameras remotely from outside of your property. (I can access the Q-See cameras from inside the property, but the system is an utter failure, like D-Link products, and you cannot access the cameras remotely.)
I am sure if I pay some tech geek $500, they will install it and figure out how to overcome the inherent problems that are built into the Q-See Camera system and the D-Link camera systems. But the point is that I intentionally purchased both of these garbage systems because they branded themselves in their marketing material as “simple to install.” They assure consumers, “Anyone can install the system.” The installation is simple.
Believe me, it’s not simple. It’s a scam. The systems are going back.
With D-Link, the problem is the firmware for the camera I purchased has to be updated. But it doesn’t update properly or easily. In fact, the update destroys everything.
The manufacturers at D-Link fail to provide any instructions on how to address problems that you WILL encounter when you make the mistake of purchasing their garbage products and they try to install them.
The biggest problem will be the incessant error messages. The tragedy is these error messages actually have numbers to easily identify the problem. But D-Link doesn’t provide any solutions and they don’t even list the error messages that they assign.
In other words, they called the error that I received “Error Message: Video Stream Lost, Error 0.70_4_5_5_193_. But there is no reference to that error message. Not in the six page installation manual. Not on the www.MyDLink.com website where I spent time setting up a worthless account for a worthless camera that doesn’t work.
D-Link is really worthless.
My advice. DON’T BUY D-LINK cameras. Avoid them. Save yourself the hassles and trauma that I went through for you. They don’t work. D-Link offers no real support.
But I bet if I wanted to pay them a fortune, like Q-See cameras (Q-See actually offered to install the port forwarding system for me for $2,600.) The garbage Q-See Security Camera system cost me about $900, for 8 cameras and a DVR.
I swapped out the Q-See DVR for a SWANN DVR system, and the port forwarding is just as complicated. But I was able to install the SWANN App for the iPhone to get it to work. And I can access the system from my home PC, which remotely I can connect to using a software subscription service called GoToMyPC.com. Using that account for $99 a year, I can enter my home system and view the cameras remotely without doing any complex port forwarding.
But do you want to know something? The people at Q-See, Swann and even D-Link are too stupid to understand what everyday consumers want or need.
So, tomorrow, I will shove my anger in the face of the moron sales people at Fry’s Electronics in Downers Grove who insisted in a lengthy sales pitch that I must purchase the D-Link camera system because “It’s the best!” And I will return the garbage D-Link system for a full refund. And I will do everything in my power to convince everyone that D-Link is garbage.
I’ll find a new system and update you as soon as I can install it.
This post has already been read 1729 times!
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania writes columns for the Southwest Community Newspaper Group including the Des Plaines Valley News, the Southwest News-Herald, the Regional News and the Reporter Newspapers.
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