In this past year, we have seen D-Link dive hard into the smart home arena. Starting with smart plugs in late 2014, we have since seen products ranging from Wi-Fi cameras to motion sensor and alarms. With this market ripe for the taking, D-Link is furthering the user experience by offering a new sensor made to detect and alert consumers to unwanted water intrusion.
Going from recent reports from Home Advisor, the average cost to repair water damage swells to over $2,000. With the latest addition to the D-Link smart home portfolio, the DCH-S160 offers consumers piece of mind by monitoring any location for water intrusion. The S160 features 802.11g/n connectivity with WPS security via two internal antennas. It has 1.6 feet of water sensing cable that can be extended with a second cable found in the box or optionally any RJ11 cable to fit your needs. A built-in 70 dB alarm will notify users of potential water damage while users can also opt to pair this solution with an external alarm as well, the DCH S220.
The DCH-S160 is rated for indoor use only and comes in at a light 3.5 ounces. Operating system compatibility is listed as iOS 7 and above along with Android 4 and above.
Packaging for the S160 is typical of the smart home product lineup. Here we find an image of the device to the left with minimal marketing down below.
Opening the box up, we found the S160 cradled inside a cardboard box. A thin plastic film protects the top from scratches while the accessories are secured below.
The scope of delivery for the DCH S160 includes the sensor itself at the top of our image while below we have the sensor cable, extension cable, and documents for setup and warranty.
A quick look at the sensor reveals a small LED on the front of the unit with an otherwise clean appearance.
Flipping the unit on its side reveals the WPS and reset buttons.
The bottom of the unit houses the RJ11 plug that can accept the included water sensor or any phone cable to extend this sensor capability where it is needed.
As in past reviews, the S160 too uses the mydlink home application. Setup, for the most part, follows the same routine as we have seen with motion sensors and smart plugs.
You have the option of automatic setup through WPS or manual setup.
Since we had our first look at the app on iOS, D-Link has added quite a few products. As you can see in the sensor list, we have the S160 along with its motion sensor, the S150, and S220 alarm listed.
To continue with setup, we select the device we are looking to configure, enter the pin code supplied on the setup card, and after another step, we are finished.
The last step before using the water sensor is to name it either by location.
The DCH S160 is a solid addition to the D-Link smart home lineup. With everything from motion sensors to cameras and alarms already available, it only makes sense to add a device that can both give consumers piece of mind, but also save them potentially quite a lot of money. As anyone that lives in an older home knows, basements tend to take on water. Without the ability to control the weather, or monitor the health of your sump pump, the S160 can give you a backup solution. The build quality of this product falls in line with what we have seen in the past from the D-Link smart home portfolio. Here we have solid plastics that fit together quite well along with reliable internal components.
The performance is quite good. A day or two after I installed it, we did get a burst of heavy rain that backed up my sump, and that immediately set the alarm off on the S160. After going to check out the issue, I found that a very minimal amount of water had contacted the sensor to set it off.
As with many smart home products, the app is going to go a long way in determining the consumer's experience with a product. Since D-Link moved to the mydlink home app at the very beginning of the year, I have had nothing but success setting up all products I have tested, including sensors and smart plugs.
Pricing at the time of writing shows the DCH-S160 carrying an MSRP of $74.99 with a one-year warranty.
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||75%|
The Bottom Line: The DCH-S160 mydlink Wi-Fi water sensor is a solid addition to the Smart Home line from D-Link. However, it will cost you a nice chunk of cash to enjoy the securities that come with it.
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