So... with the Foscam FI8918W camera, does my computer need to be on in order for this to work? Do I need to have my computer on to be able to "check in" online from a remote location? I want a camera that is basically independent of my computer and just connects to my home wireless internet connection. Thanks!
The camera is an independent node on your network. It needs to be configured for DDNS service through a provider such as no-ip.com. No-ip.com is free. You also need to configure your router for port forwarding.
no , you simply add a port forward to your ROUTER for the FosCam, use DynDNS to setup and address to your external IP like myipcam.gotdns.com:83 (DynDns will have your external IP listed and ready to map, very easy, pick a name). Then I can use myip.gotdns.com on port 83 (80 is usually for websites, use custom port) and then map to local ip, I would set Foscam IPcam to static IP like 192.168.1.81 for example. In the router (linksys,netgear,Dlink etc) add a Port Forward item, which would be incoming port 83 (83 for the myipcam.gotdns.com:83) and then destination would be 192.168.1.81 (Foscam port 80 - its default). Done! Now you can use myipcam.gotdns.com:83 on your phone, NVR programs, tablets, anything.
If you want to skip the firewall config, try Sensr.net. No computer, no firewall config. See the setup guide here: http://bit.ly/fi8982w We charge a monthly fee but we have a free trial so you can try it at no risk.