on August 10, 2013
The first one of these I bought constantly reboot itself when it was in 640x480 in daylight (at night, I had no problems in IR mode). After trying everything, I found that setting it to 320 made it work -- but this resolution was really, way too low. Plugging it in to wired ethernet did not help.
There is a manual focus ring; however, I could not get both the left and right side to focus at the same time. The device is not great as a security camera. First, you can't slow it down to 1-2 fps for constant recording without eating your hard drive for lunch. There is an "alarm" mode, but either you FTP/email a sequence of pictures which are mostly useless, beacuse it takes a while for the camera to deal with the alarm; becuse there is a delay to alarm-based recording, you can only capture someone if they're standing still, moving slowly, or approaching for a far distance. When the unit reboots, it "patrols" the camera, rotating it all around. The problem is, you lose your place.
The second unit that I bought works pretty well so far -- it doesn't reboot unintentionally. For the price, there really isn't anything comparable -- I just hope they spend some time and energy in building better firmware and user experience.
on June 18, 2012
The camera was easy to set up and get running but there are a couple of annoyances I have with it. The plastic on the base is thin and lets through a lot of light from the led's - I had to cover the base with black electrical tape to use it as a baby monitor. Another issue I had is when I set the camera to use a fixed IP - the connection would cut in and out so I just gave up and set it back to dynamic IP. The last thing I want to mention is the IR lights - some times I found it was not dark enough for the lights to come on, but still not light enough to get a decent picture (and the button to turn the IR lights on didn't turn them on).
I have 11 Foscam cameras (9 are indoor: Foscam FI8910W; and 2 are this model: FI8919W) I have them in 3 different locations/properties. Installation and setup were relatively easy and I HIGHLY recommend watching the how-to videos on the foscam.us site and search for: MJPEG Setup Videos
One of the locations that I installed this FI8919W camera is connected to the internet via a Telus modem. Between my son and myself, (both very computer literate), we must have spent a good 10 hours trying to get this camera to work ... in that we could have it recognized while connected to the network ... we had to use our iphones on 3G and then the software would connect to the camera. As soon as we switched off 3G and connected via wifi, the camera would disappear. Yes, we tried everything conceivable with respect to port forwarding; DDNS; etc., etc. ... in the end we had to create 2 installations - one for wifi and one for 3G. Anyway, that seems to be more of an issue with the Telus modem/router than with the Foscam camera, as all of the other locations (using different service providers) do not have this issue.
So why am I only giving this camera 3 stars you may wonder? Well, for one thing, the more I learn about Foscam, the less I respect the company. First of all, while searching around for a fix to the above problem, I came across a site ( informationweek . com) (search for: Wireless Camera Flaws Allow Remote Exploitation) ... article written April 16, 2013 ... the article warns, in part that: "...Foscam have a firmware vulnerability that would allow an attacker to bypass security defenses and remotely steal credentials stored on the device..." "...prior to firmware version 18.104.22.168..." So I checked my cameras and found that: 8 were running .49 / 2 were running .52 / 1 was running .54. Okay, no big deal ... I went into the camera's software > Device Management > Upgrade Device Firmware ... and from there you find 2 options to browse your hard drive for the files to update firmware and web UI. Really? There was not link to the site to download latest firmware. There was no option i.e.: check for latest upgrade ... whatever. So the user has go to the Foscam site and *sign up* for the right to download the upgrades. In the authentication email that is then sent to your email address, it reads in part:
We received your request for the latest Foscam firmware. Before we send you the download links we want to be certain we have your permission. Please note that by confirming you agree that, in addition to receiving firmware updates, you may receive emails regarding product updates and discount coupon codes.
Please click the link below to confirm and then we will send you the firmware and discounts by email. Thanks!
Really, Foscam? I have to agree to accept promotional emails from you before you will allow me to secure my camera from unauthorized access? Okay ... whatever ... I hit the link and was taken to the site to download the updates ... BUT first I wanted to see what's new with the latest updates ... so I read the ReadMe.txt that was included in the download. One of the things that it fixes is: Fix the bug that no need to do authentication when using some CGI commands
hmmmm.... interesting ... so I did a google search for [ Foscam Fix the bug that no need to do authentication when using some CGI commands ] and found a very interesting article written just one month ago - Jan 24/14 on pcworld.com. In that article the author writes about a search engine called Shodan (The Dark Google) ... and how this search engine can allow users to find and infiltrate various devices connected to the internet. Not only will the hackers be able to control your cameras (watch you) ... they can get access to your entire system. You need to take precautions ... i.e., download the latest camera firmware updates and be creative with your username and passwords. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you google the following keywords: [ CNN money Shodan: The scariest search engine on the Internet ] and watch the video by David Goldman. Then if you have the cameras or are thinking of buying one ... be sure to immediately change the default username and passwords and fill in all 8 user/password options under Device Management > User Settings
- also change the default port for remote access and regularly check the camera’s logs, which can reveal unauthorized access attempts.
So in conclusion, I will say that these FI8910W cameras are fairly good cameras for the money. I would probably buy more if needed, however, I wish the company made the upgrades more user friendly and not require the customers to jump through hoops to get the upgrades.
Update: Also, I have had the 2 FI8919W outdoor cameras for a couple of months now and find that they are constantly going off-line. I probably wouldn't recommend this particular model to a friend and would suggest spending a little more to get a better quality outdoor camera.
on May 1, 2014
This camera worked ok for a few months then it went into a constant reboot cycle. Trying to get support has been a nightmare. Foscam Canada (the seller) is a reseller who is separate from Foscam the manufacturer. They will not support it and will only refer me to other sellers. I would recommend purchasing this directly from foscam.ca so you will be certain of warranty coverage. Amazon advertises 2 year warranty but when I contacted them they said it was up to the seller and they are not responsible. Just a big run a round and waste of time.
on May 28, 2012
So this camera works exactly as advertised. Do not buy one direct from Foscam as they are extremely relaxed about sending them out and you probably want it this year. I bought one direct and one from Amazon and I recommend getting it from here. One puzzling thing though is that the IR LEDs shine bright red. Not sure if they all do that but on the Foscam cameras they do.
on November 29, 2015
Looks good its about it. I bought it one week agao, and I had the worst noghtmare I never had in installing software. It does not work with Internet Explorer therefore a few operating commands are not avail when using Google Chrome, Firefox. Many days of frustrations reading experts or claimed experts enough to give me headache. It is frustrating when you think that you have covered all possible areas, and after thousand and one tries, you still can't even find your recorded alarm videos. I had my installation done by a Foscam support tech from India, he enterd my computer, set it up, I watched him go, and explaination were short.In his set up, the alarms recording was set on my computer, because my model does not have MiniSd card. The camera is working fine, I have an image, not to my expectation, however it does what it has to do. However to visualize my recorded alarms video...NIET...I contacted Foscam support a second time, and the tech from China could not help me to find the location of them,
He gave my what seemed to be where my recorderd videos should be, but not avail. I am going in holiday tomorrow, and on my return , the camera will be ship back to Foscam Canada. Another frustraton is the installation on Samsung Tablets, 80% off the apps were not compatible with my tablet. After several apps, I finally found one, and it was not from Foscam website....It is a gadget that I regret of having tried, as many hours were lost in the installation process.
The instructions in the box are limited, you must go to the website to leran more, go to the forum, lost of time. It seems that the old KISS (Keep it simple stupid) is no longer in use. Companies take for granted that all users are computer minded which is not all the time right. FRUSTRATED...YES
on April 9, 2014
I saw all the reviews from the amazon.com site where people were having trouble configuring this camera. I thought I would risk it since there are thousands of reviews for this camera and thought the user base is good enough to try. I admit you probably need to be a bit more tech savy and It does take a little while where you have to restart the device maybe half a dozen times. Getting it configured to view while at home was a breeze and took under 5 minutes, but getting it on the iPhone was the challenging part. I managed to get it working (my ISP is Telus, using the Telus wireless modem that they provided in case you are wondering). I also paid for the Surveillance Pro app $5.00 which works flawlessly.
I updated the camera's firmware right away from the website. Lots of online resources for instructions online and they are very good. The only thing I noticed that most instructions do not state is that the final step when you to test the URL, you need to test it from a computer/device outside of your network and not on the same computer you are configuring the camera! I won't go into the technical details but use your smart phone browser through LTE/3G/4G. You'll be glad that you did!
Confirm that your your port is properly configured using the online tools like whatsmyip and canyouseeme websites and if those are good you should be on your way.
on August 1, 2013
WAY cheaper than any competing product marketed as a Baby-Cam.
You can view it on your Internet-enabled from ANYWHERE you get a connection (WiFi, 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.)
Viewable on Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads, PCs and MACs!!
It has a pan-and-scan feature.
It has two-way audio (If your device has a microphone, you can talk to the person at the other end...and vice versa!)
After your kids grow up, you can use it as a security camera!
If you're not at home, you can view it using the free FOSCAM app, or by surfing directly into your router's address.
No zoom (kept it from being a 5-star for me)
The speed of transmission for audio is limited by the speed of your internet connection. If the camera is wired, lag is almost non-existent. If you've set it up wirelessly, it may lag.
If you don't know how to set-up a WiFi router and open specific ports, then you'll need help with this one.
Some people don't like the constant flashing in the back, indicating that it is transferring data, but if you're kid can't get to sleep because of THAT, then you have other problems!
on June 28, 2013
I bought this camera to be able to peek in on my baby's crib while we were doing sleep training.
The camera has full pan and tilt with a great range of motion, completely controllable through the bundled web interface or through third party applications (desktop or mobile). There is a light sensor at the top of the array of infrared (IR) LED's that automatically switches them on when dark for night vision. The software/third part apps also let you switch back and forth between automatic IR and Off modes.
When properly focused, the video is very clear and was perfect for our needs. Picture/audio quality is far from HD, but it is not advertised as such and makes no false promises.
Setup was a bit tricky and to get the installation just right it helps to have a good general understanding of network systems. The instructions appear to have been translated from another language or written by someone still learning English. If you were unfamiliar with networking protocols and were reading the instructions verbatim it may be confusing, but not impossible to set up.
My only real complaint about the device is the inability to default the IR on/off mode. The firmware provided with the unit has many features and I think this could be added quite easily. While I doubt the small amounts of IR cast by this device are harmful, I prefer to keep it off unless I am watching the video, but it seems whenever the unit is powered down and back on it defaults to turning the IR on. There are also other times when the IR comes on seemingly on its own. I am testing a hypothesis that if you turn the IR off one night, it may turn itself back on the following night after a day of sunlight. I can't prove that yet and am still troubleshooting.
on November 11, 2013
This is an amazingly full-featured camera for under $100. They have thought of everything.
When combined with the Foscam Pro app on the iPhone/iPad (highly recommended but not necessary), it's perfect.
Motion detection, audio detection, scheduling, recording, night vision, audio in and audio out, Internet wireless, great video quality, OK sound output quality, although I had to plug it into an external speaker for it to be understood by my elderly mother. But at least there is a port for an external speaker.
Set up was a bit tricky because you have to plug it in to a router using an Ethernet cable and my wireless router (an Apple Airport Express) doesn't have a slot to plug a cable into. I managed to daisy chain a couple of Airport Express routers and used the Ethernet port on the 2nd router. Set up might be tricky for non-technical people but once set up, it just works, every time.