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163 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with all my IP and DVR security systems. iPhone/Andriod app is a must with this setup!!!
I have a total of 16 camera's, a couple of Panasonic BL**, Linksys, Foscam FI8910w and Askak Mole IP cam for indoors along with a SWAN DVR system for outdoors that i just figured out how to add onto the software. I absolutely love it, and it's been working great over wifi, and the customization is awesome. I mainly bought it for home security and to monitor my newborn. I...
Published 21 months ago by D. Nguyen

versus
107 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware & Be Patient!
This software is can be quite complicated. It is NOT plug & play. There are many, many configuration options. The software requires extensive knowledge of settings and the language that go with knowing HTTP, FTP Servers, WEB Servers, IP configurations. I have written & currently support multiple web sites & maintain a Windows 2008 R2 network for a company of 35, so Im...
Published 22 months ago by Robert145


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163 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with all my IP and DVR security systems. iPhone/Andriod app is a must with this setup!!!, March 18, 2013
By 
D. Nguyen (San Jose, Ca.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I have a total of 16 camera's, a couple of Panasonic BL**, Linksys, Foscam FI8910w and Askak Mole IP cam for indoors along with a SWAN DVR system for outdoors that i just figured out how to add onto the software. I absolutely love it, and it's been working great over wifi, and the customization is awesome. I mainly bought it for home security and to monitor my newborn. I can setup to record motion for all the camera's and motion + email/sms alerts on specific ones that I would want to know about like front door, drive way and side gate access. I like using the text feature because it's almost instant. I get notifications on my iphone within 6-10 seconds of a trigger. It's awesome, example my text will read "Alert Motion detected on Side gate" ...I log in with my iphone Blue Iris app ($10) to see that the PGE guy is in my backyard reading my meter and throwing in lunch away in my trash can. If i miss it, the the iphone app has the ability to watch the DVR'd recording (with audio if your cam supports it). This feature alone is why i bought it. It is invaluable. Since most break in's happen in the day time, and thief's usually ring the door bell to see if anyone is home then go to the backyard where no can see to break in, this alerting system is critical along with the ability to review the alert to determine if it's legitimate or not. With the iphone app along with the PC version, I have reduced my remote viewing iPhone apps from 3 to just 1. Its so cool, i show it off to all my friends and co workers. Since I figured out all the settings, i helped them get it setup up to at their homes. They all love it. I use it all the time, even when I miss place something, it's awesome to have to abiliy to replay past events to find what you lost.

The web browser functions works pretty good as well, I have noticed sometimes the image will get frozen and I need to refresh the browser to start up again using Firefox. This could be due to my companies firewall and proxy settings. The fix for this is to download the free add-in Auto Refresh v.1.02. I like this one the best because it has the option for hard refresh or the just a "soft" refresh of the view you are on. this is helpful if you have groups setup. I have Outdoor cams, Indoor Cams / and Kids room cams groups. Doing a hard refresh goes back to the default view which is view All camera's. I do not select this and only do a normal refresh every 1min (adjustable). This way when I only want to watch my kids rooms to make sure they are doing their homework or chores, when the page refreshes it remains on my 3 large camera's views of my kids rooms instead of going to the main "All camera's" view like with a "hard refresh" which makes them all very small b/c it's showing all 16 cams.

I have and monitored ADT security system as well but the Blue Iris application is like my front line of defense in case thief's try to cut the power or disconnect the phone line. Additonally it has the best user interface and endless features that are not available on any of the other security applications. I have the BI software running on a dedicated laptop recording to it's own HD and also to an external HD both hidden in my home. The PC is also running CrashPlan backup software, so the video clips are constantly backed up to the cloud in real time.

Another cool feature is the ability to not only send alerts but it can play audio or turn on lights if alerts trigger. I have a profile setup for when I'm on vacation to play a 30min audio track of some action movie with explosions and dialog to simulate someone watching TV. The audio plays on my computer BOSE PC speakers that are turned up pretty loud. I also split the speakers out so they play on the opposite side of the house so that thieves could hear it from whatever entry point they are thinking about going in.

I did run into an issue with my Astak mole cam is very flaky on the BI software. I can get to it fine using its own webserver and on the Free IP cam app I have on my iphone, but with the BI software, it's hit or miss, sometimes it working and sometimes its not. This could be the camera though so I'm not going to knock off a star until I do some more research. I submitted a case with the BI support and got a response a few hours later from support. Ken offered some suggestions and also offered to help work on it if I put it online for him to take a look. Working in IT support myself, I was impressed with the support I received from the BI software developer.

Other features that would put this over the top would be the 2 way talk feature for both the remote web view and smart phone app. Some of my cameras (foscam/Astak) have the ability to speak into your phone or computer and with the built in speaker on the camera, it will output your voice on it. This is a neat feature to communicate to someone in the house when they are not picking up the phone. I purchased the foscam iphone app just for this feature alone, however it is lacking big time in comparison to the BI iphone app.

All in all I'm very impressed with both the Blue Iris PC app and the iPhone app. With the rising crime rate across the country because the cities have no money to fund police and investigators, burglar's know this and are taking advantage. As a homeowner, I understand that this will not prevent a break in, but at least it may catch one, or better yet deter one. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting the flexibility of remote viewing and alerting for their security camera's.

UPDATE 6-21-2013:

Stability: I have had this thing running no stop for almost 4 months. There have been a few updates for BI since then and they have been all very nice enhancements and or fixes. The BI web server is bullet proof; I have not had the webserver crash at all since it's been up. I do restart my computer ever now and then for Windows critical updates but I have it setup so that when my computer reboots, it auto starts the BI software but minimized and password protected.

BI Mobile App: I have asked for it and now it is here! The ability for two way communication with the foscam camera¡存. I can now hear and talk through the foscams via the BI mobile app. It works pretty good, but I do have to admit the quality and responsiveness is not as good as the native Foscam iphone app perhaps because it is going through the BI desktop webserver first then to your phone, whereas the Foscam app goes directly to your camera. But it is a good feature and probably needs to be optimized a bit to be on par with the Foscam mobile app. But I wouldn't buy the foscam iphone app to make up for it, I just happened to have both already so I'll continue to use the foscam app for now. ***Update 4/1/2014***. BI mobile works with Foscam FI9821 HD with two way audio. The Native Foscam app does not support audio on the HD version..

Security: Since I have multiple camera's of all types Foscam's, Panasonic's, etc, it was a lot easier to secure One Blue Iris interface in terms of accounts, devices, access times and permissions vs. ALL my other 16 camera's own user interfaces. Not to mention if I then had to forward all those ports on my router, making my home network more vulnerable to attacks with all the ports you are exposing to the world. Case in point Foscam had a firmware issue that allowed anyone to login without a password. I had that camera with that bad firmware, but because, the Foscam was not exposed to the internet, only to my local LAN at which point Blue Iris presented that video stream to me, I was not affected by that security risk. BI also has very good logging of device's and users that log in, their times and how many frames they viewed.

Wireless Speeds: Since I have 16 Camera's, 6 of them are foscams and 2 other ones that are wireless, I notice that my wifi speeds for the home have decreased dramatically. My wired speeds are great getting 21mbps down and 3-4mpbs up. But when I run speed tests for my wifi, i'm getting 128-256 kbps transfer speeds on my N wireless network. Turning off the BI software gets me back to almost my wired speeds using the speedtest.net 6000-7000 KB/sec. Looking at the BI logs, I see that my wifi cams at 5 fps (frames per second) are sending about 64-128kbs per sec for each wireless cam (8x) so it¡存 not that bad, and my wired cams are sending about 400-500kbs per sec at 15 FPS. There is a constant flow of data across my wireless network. I have an Linksys N router and a Cisco repeater/access point (G). My speed tests are done while connected to the N Linksys router.

Now this does not happen all the time which is frustrating, meaning sometimes when BI is on and running, I get normal fast wifi speeds, and sometimes I don't when it's running so I¡妃 thinking there is something else saturating my wifi network like the camera¡存 internal web server. I need to do more investigation, but it seems like BI has a hand in it since when I do disable it my speeds come back instantly. I have since moved a lot of the camera's on Ethernet since the picture quality and frame rate is way better anyway, this has helped with intermittent wifi. I run a lot off wifi, TV Netflix, Apple Air Play, iPads, laptop, etc so this was of great concern. I now have only 4 cams on wifi and it seems to be working fine now. Just food for thought if you were running more than 8 wireless camera¡存 you may see saturation on your wifi network. ***Update 4/1/2014*** So the issue was channel crowding on my wifi network and not BI. Download inSSIDer to view all the channels being used by you and your neighbors. Then setup you wifi router to a channel that is less crowded. This resolved my wifi issues, but nothing beats a wired connection!!!

Storage: I bought BI because I wanted to keep an eye on things due to the increased crime rate in our neighborhood, but also because I have a new born and 4 year old in the house and it¡存 nice to capture those cute moments and funny things kids do or say that made you wish it you had a camera recording while it happened. I have found myself going through these recordings and not wanting to delete anything !!!! Storage is cheap these days, and I picked up a Seagate 3TB backup plus drive for about $130. At the rate I'm capturing videos, I have managed to fill up 400GB over the last 4 months. About 100GB per month, so I figured a 3 TB (275Gb usable) will last me for 2 years of cuteness before I buy another 3-4 TB drive. I¡妃 sure by that time they will be absurdly cheap. The other nice feature of this is that this drive doubles as a SATA drive docking station so I will just need to buy a HD only with no fancy case and slap it on.

Final thoughts is that I Still love this App and one of the best purchases I have made all year. I use it everyday not just for security, it has become the number on of my top apps I use on my phone and the live view and alerting feature has been invaluable. With the web security feature, I have allowed my parents to view my baby's room camera's during a specific time period so that they can just pop in and see the new baby sleeping and playing without having to face time me every few hours :-)

At first my wife and friends thought I was a little weird to have so much visibility/security camera's at my house, but after I show them the value of what it does for a home owner, parents of kids and dogs, I find them calling me a few weeks later asking how to set a system like that for them. If you have something to hide from your spouse then I would avoid putting camera's inside your home, but for us, we enjoy the sense of security and priceless moments it has allowed us to replay. Now my wife loving it!!Next up are some HD Cams :-)

Update 4/1/2014:

Ok so I've had Blue Iris running for over a year now and still stand by the 5 star rating. The Blue Iris software updates just keeps making it better and better. Here are some of my observations and upgrades since my last review.

HD CAM's: I just upgraded from an older Swann DRV8 analog 480TVL system to an HD NVR Lorex 1080P system from Costco. Had a car break recently in and those cams just did not cut it for recognition of the thief. Did a good job of showing me how they did it though :-). Blue Iris notified me via text (I was sleeping and didn't hear it) and I got the video but it was too dark and grainy and I did not have enough cameras on my driveway to view all the action. Not BI's fault, but helped me pull the trigger on HD Cams!!!

So now I run Blue Iris in addition to a LOREX NVR which is recording 24/7 @1080P @30 frames per second on 9 HD cams :-). The BI is setup to tap into 8 of the 9 HD Lorex cams to record on motion and send me alerts, make noise by triggering .mp3 etc and has been working great, a lot better than the Lorex native NVR app. Like my old Swann DVR system, the Lorex NVR motion detect/alerting system was too sensitive, even on the -1 or 0 setting (lowest possible setting). As a test I setup alerting over the weekend on both BI and Lorex using identical area's for detection. By Monday morning, the Lorex sent me 170 email alerts vs. BI's 56 email alerts. 48 of those email alerts were legitimate, while the rest were of bugs flying in front of camera, tree shadows, etc. The BI's motion detection algorithm while not perfect is way better than the Lorex or Swann systems I've had.

Plus blue iris does a better job of H.264 compression it seems because the BI mobile app is much smoother whereas the Mobile Lorex HD iphone app is laggy especially during playback. Blue Iris play back is super smooth, but the Lorex mobile playback is painfully slow. It looks to be playing playback in a full resolution and not the lighter substream (I'm connected directly to NVR and not using the Lorex Stratus Cloud streaming service)

Now this comes at a resource cost to your computer. I have Blue Iris running with now with 16 camera's, tapping into 8 Lorex HD 1080p @15FPS, and 3 Foscam FI9821 720P HD cams @15FPS. Blue Iris was using between 40-50% of my CPU and 2 GB of memory. I have a Intel I7 3.40GHz quad core CPU, with 8GB's of memory and SSD Hard Drive. You don't feel it when doing normal email, web browsing, but if this is a shared PC that is used for gaming or picture / video editing, then you should disable BI while doing those things. Update: Now BI has a setting for "Direct to disk" recording meaning it uses the camera's H.264 compression instead of BI's compression. This saves on CPU's dramatically, now i'm down to about 25-30% which helps cut down on the heat and cpu fan running.

Now without any HD cams, BI was running at about 5-6% CPU utilization and 256MB of memory. So the moral of this story is you will take a hit with HD!!! But it's so worth it. Just remember you'll need at least a Intel I7 CPU or something comparable if you plan on running a lot of HD IP cams, or a dedicated laptop running BI only.

Blue Iris vs. DVR's NVR's: For those of you who don't know about DVR's and NVR's. They are basically all in one boxes that camera's hook up to. They record, alert, etc just like what Blue Iris would do but with clunkier user interfaces and very little advanced features, but the good thing about them is that's it's basically plug and play. I do have to admit with this NVR system, I'm loving the POE (Power over Ethernet) so running cables was "easier" and cleaner. Additionally all the cams can be easily put on a single UPS for constant power via the POE switch.

With Blue Iris, you run it on a PC and do everything the DVR/NVR would do, but you have endless configuration possibilities, but it can be more complicated depending on what you are trying to do. There a lot of options!!!

I'm using a hybrid approach because it's offers me redundancy (PC Recording + NVR recording). I use Blue Iris with it's almost infinite configurations, and the Lorex NVR for it's 24/7 HD recording also in case the my PC crashes or the burglar steals it I'm still recording :-). It's also a resource issue because if I tried using my PC with Blue Iris for all my HD 1080P cams, it would probably render my PC useless because of the high demands of rendering HD. But most of you are not a security camera freak like me so you may not have to worry about it :-).

New Features: Geofencing, basically what this will do is the app will notify the server whenever the device leaves or enters a specified location. For example, You can customize your alerts so you are not notified when you are home but when you leave via a specified distance, they will start to trigger. I personally have alerting on all the time and manually "pause" the camera's on my mobile app when I'm working in that area. (Pausing will not send alerts but still record motion).

Tips and observations: I was noticing that my BI records only about 10-15 seconds of a motion. I wanted a little more because I like to ability to review it later in it's entirety. If you need to record for longer periods of time, you should adjust the "Make Time" to .2 and increase the sensitivity a bit. This is under the Motion/Trigger option of the camera. The "Break Time" is the time you specify how long after a trigger to record. Those two options together help me get all the video I need. You will get larger files due to longer record times but it may be very beneficial if you want to review a motion trigger without lapse in the timeline.

Get you a good bug poison and spray around the cameras, I have a bad spider problem at my house and these little guys are attracted to the IR lights at night causing false alerts with the web's and them crawling in front of the cams etc. I have to spray about once a month to keep the false alerts down.

So again, after a year of solid use, I'm very happy and impressed with this piece of software. Not a day goes by when I'm not alerted of the comings and goings of my family members, deliveries (Amazon Prime Junkie), gardener, cleaning service, suspicious door sales men, etc. LOVE LOVE LOVE this APP!!!!

Lots more information on this site (cam-it.org) which is a user forum for Blue Iris and security camera's in general. [...]
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107 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware & Be Patient!, February 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
This software is can be quite complicated. It is NOT plug & play. There are many, many configuration options. The software requires extensive knowledge of settings and the language that go with knowing HTTP, FTP Servers, WEB Servers, IP configurations. I have written & currently support multiple web sites & maintain a Windows 2008 R2 network for a company of 35, so Im somewhat familiar with what it takes. If you want to record activity from installed cameras, logic says you need to move or copy those recordings "off premises" to be reviewed later, which this software does provide. Why? Because if your property is being stolen or destroyed, so are the recordings if they are only being stored locally, on premises. Its like any good backup. So an FTP off-site or cloud is necessary to protect your files. Read and take your time or you will find yourself being overwhelmed by technology. Update to backing up your files off-site. I discovered that the popular cloud-type backup companies do not support backing up video file types, ie: MOV, AVI or MP4. What you can do is to purchase an ISP account which generally gives you about 10GB to start. Then you need an FTP enabled synchronization type software to copy the jpg & video files to that off-site location. I have it set to copy from the directory every 10 min. These are just things you can never know up front.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Foscam, December 19, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
This is great remote viewing and recording software for the Foscam IP cameras. It does everything I want it to do. Email alert functionality works fine for me, and the motion sensing algorithm is easy to adjust and seems to work remarkably well. The pan, tilt interface for the Foscams works very well also - better than the software that comes with the cameras. There are a plethora of feature controls, triggers, alert settings, and record options - more than I will probably ever use. The navigation is well laid-out and things are easy to find.

My only criticisms are that it does not seem to provide a control for the IR lamps on the cameras, and the user interface is a bit "clunky" looking. But the latter issue doesn't affect functionality or usability, so who really cares? Overall, I'm quite pleased.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works with Logitech Wilife - Gr8 4 Security Cam Control Freaks, March 16, 2013
By 
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I'm a longtime Logitech Wilife user, which means I'm used to limited security cam functionality, time delays, and things not working how they should. But we recently lucked out and got a Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt Security Camera for half off at Target. I'd been coveting these cams for awhile, so I jumped on the opportunity to get one at such a good deal. The cam was very easy to setup, and I was so impressed with it, that I decided to give Foscam's Blue Iris a whirl as well. So we downloaded the free trial and it was immediately apparent how limited and wonky Logitech's Wilife setups truly are. And better still, Blue Iris works with my Logitech cams, so there's no looking back; we should have made the switch to Blue Iris long ago.

Easy Setup

If you're the type who likes to have a disk and retail box, then order that and wait for it to arrive. Otherwise, just go to Foscam's website and download the 15 day free trial like I did. It's a fully functional copy, but has a line of text running through the center of the video stating that it's just a trial version of the Blue Iris software. Within the first hour of installing the trial, I had my new Foscam FI8910W running, AND all 6 of my Wilife cams, and 1 webcam all setup and running on my Blue Iris trial software.

>How To Make Logitech Work on Blue Iris
Within Blue Iris, just click:

> Add Camera
> Video Tab
> Configure
> Select Camera - in my case, Logitech Wilife
> Set BOTH the HTTP/Web Port & HTTP/Video ports to 8080
> Set the IP address to the Wilife cam you want to add
> Click Ok
> Set the Video format to your liking (I chose 640x480 @ 15fps)
> Click Ok again

Voila - you just added a Wilife cam to Blue Iris. Repeat the steps above for all your Wilife cams.

**Note** - to find the IP address of your Wilife cams, click >Computer >Network and you should see a list of all your Wilife cams there. Then just >Right Click >Properties to find the IP address for each cam. Alternatively, you could open your Wilife Command Center, then click >Setup >Advanced >Diagnostics and you'll find info and IP addresses for all your Wilife cams there.

Blue Iris Tweaks & Settings

This software is a control freak's dream. You can literally tweak most anything and everything on your cams through this software. Fantastic! Here's some of my fave features:

> Motion Trigger - set the sensitivity and triggers for each cam. Triggers can be based on contrast fluctuations, and object size. You can also set the minimum and maximum motions that set the triggers. Such as, 1 second of movement before recording begins.

> Custom Zones - it's MUCH easier to setup trigger zones with Blue Iris than Logitech. Just use your mouse to paint pixel blocks you want the cam to ignore. There's a HIGH degree of control over exactly what pixels and areas to mask off. Very nice.

> PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom Controls) - control most ANY capable camera via Blue Iris -- pan, tilt, zoom -- whatever the cam is capable of doing can be controlled via this software. You can even set custom motion paths for your PTZ capable camera, so it'll automatically scan the room in any pattern you want. Try doing that with Logitech.

> Event Schedules - trigger custom camera settings and events at specific times of day. Automatically pan the room and record at specific times and intervals. Change color settings, brightness, contrast, etc., all on a schedule. You can even set these triggers to occur daily based on sunrise and sunset times. Cool!

> Alerts - send text messages and email alerts to yourself whenever activity is detected

> Remote Viewing - Use your tablet, smartphone or computer to log into your Blue Iris security system directly to view clips, cams or change settings while offsite.

***Note*** Apps like TeamViewer for Remote Control and Splashtop Remote Desktop can also be used to access your security cams while offsite using your cell phone, tablet or computer. It's actually very easy to do it that way, and you have the added benefit of being able to fully control your computer. So if something goes awry with a security cam, you'll have the ability to fix and reconfigure everything, just like if you were physically sitting in front of the security cam's host computer. Very nice.

Good Deal & Easy Transition

I got my paid copy of Blue Iris online via a security key that was emailed to me by the manufacturer. Just type the code into the trial software and you're good to go. All my settings from the trial software were seamlessly carried over into the paid version; no hiccups or re-tweaking. And the price for the digital key was almost 10 bucks less than the retail boxed version of the software. No waiting for anything to arrive in the mail.

Add Up to 64 Cameras!

Blue Iris can handle up to 64 cams at once; recording, triggering and monitoring all of them at the same time. We've already bought more cams and plan to keep adding to our system over time. We recently added this new Foscam FI8916W - Newest Model) and this Tenvis JPT3815W Ip Camera and also just ordered this Tenvis Mini 319w Wireless Wifi Camera. That's the cool thing about this software -- it'll work with pretty much Any WiFi IP camera, or most any USB camera too.

Networking Know-How

Yup, you'll need a little knowledge about networking, IP addresses and maybe even port forwarding. But it's nothing all that difficult if you have any experience with that sort of thing. And if you don't, it's not hard to learn; just a few paragraphs of reading and you'll be up and running.

Tech Support

Good to know Blue Iris stands behind their product, but I doubt I'll ever have the need to call them. Everything looks and works great!!

Bottom Line - we're really happy with our new Blue Iris software and how it's enhanced our security system. Love all the custom features. Love that we can keep adding more cams over time. Love how easy it is to use and tweak. We took to it right away and found everything very well laid out and straightforward. Very happy with it and glad we found it. Fantastic. Happy! ;oD
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent display, control, motion activation, communication/notification capabilities, and value, December 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
Blue Iris ("BI") is a significant improvement over painfully basic OEM supplied control/display software. BI is reasonably intuitive and compatible with most-all IP cameras, and if a camera is not listed specifically in set-up, generally a set-up file for a similar camera will work fine. There are lots of IP camera forums on the Internet that discuss using BI if you run into challenges.

Note that the BI software license is for ONE HOST COMPUTER. If you monitor/control your cameras from more than one computer you will need a separate license for each additional host. So be sure to install your software on your primary host.

For the price, this is an excellent buy. Full-up professional IP camera control packages typically cost 4X the asking BI price.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish they had a native MAC version, December 28, 2012
By 
Bill James "Bill" (Elzabethown, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I know you can run BootCamp/Parallels/Fusion to make this work on a MAC, but it would be nice to have a native MAC version. I did purchase this via the download from the Blue Iris website and did setup Bootcamp to run it and it works very well. It has all sorts of cameras and covers the many different cameras I use from Foscam, to Q-See to Swann and others.

The Blue Iris App works well, but you need to have it connect to the machine running the software. Once that is done, it's a no brainer

For the price, you cannot go wrong if you are running Windows. It works very well and is really easy to setup. The help files are well written and tell you everything you need to know for any setting. Just click the question mark on the page where you are and the help opens up to show you every option on that page and what you can do. You can also open the help from the home page and do all the normal things you can do with a Windows help search
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Iris makes video security easy, February 21, 2013
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
As a Z-wave hobbyist, I am accustomed to items that work, but only after lots of fiddling and experimentation (e.g. Vera 2, Vera 3). Setting up cameras on Blue Iris is so much easier than setting up cameras on any Vera. Though you can manually set up a camera by telling Iris what URL to use to get a snapshot from the camera, the software is already set up with a plethora of camera models for which such information is already programmed. Chances are that yours is already on the list. All you really need to know is the camera's IP address. I recommend getting an IP scanner for this purpose. I use an iPhone app that scans my entire network and tells me the IP address of everything on it. Cheap and reliable.

For each camera, you can set up separate settings. For example, I have a camera on my front porch that allows me to see when a delivery is made. Whenever this camera or my back door camera senses motion, it sends an email to me with a couple of still shots and sends still shots covering the time of the motion to my free DropBox account. That way, if something happens to the Blue Iris computer (i.e., some jerk steals it), then I still have the pictures of the perp to show the police. I have another camera that faces the street so I can see whether or not the mail man has made his rounds. I don't want to get an email every time a car goes by, so this one just records a video clip to the PC Iris is installed on. Then, I can review the clips to see if the mail man has been by and admire any dogs that might have passed by in the meantime.

I have a friend who works at a food pantry in a bad part of town. I am considering using Blue Iris on a cheap PC to provide her with visibility of the front and back doors and to notify her when clients arrive (or someone tries to break in the back door) since she cannot see either door from her work area. Iris can have the PC play a noise whenever motion is detected on a camera. The noise can be different for each camera. I'm thinking the front door camera will play a door bell noise when someone walks in the front door, and the back door camera will play a siren noise when someone attempts entry through the back door. I'll probably set up a DropBox account for her so clips from the back door camera go straight to it. Also, you can set Iris to do different things at different times, so I might try having the front door camera recording clips to DropBox when motion is sensed after hours. You can also set Iris to send emails to you when motion is sensed after hours, so you can know if your business has been broken into.

Blue Iris isn't perfect. When set to full motion sensitivity, I get alerts caused by the shadow of a cloud passing in front of the camera. If I reduce the sensitivity, I miss motion events. So, I just leave it turned full sensitivity and deal with the false positives. Also, Foscam cameras will cause trouble (momentarily lost signals) when used on WiFi. I try to put these cameras on Ethernet whenever possible, but I do have two on WiFi that still work reasonably well. Of course, the stronger the WiFi signal is, the less trouble you will have with these cameras.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't be beat for cost and capabilities!, September 14, 2013
By 
Kevin M Agard (Carlstadt, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I have been playing with IP cameras around the house for the last 6 months or so and quickly came to the conclusion that the software (browser based UIs) supplied with most of them is pretty much substandard garbage. I therefore set out on my quest to find something better. I spent a couple of weeks researching, comparing and, where available, trailing the various 3rd party solutions out there, and there are quite a few at prices ranging, literally. over to $1000! Then I came upon Blue Iris and downloaded the trial. I honestly could not believe it capabilities at this price point. It pretty much does everything I want in such a package and more. And at under $50 there is not a package with similar capabilities that even come close.

With that said, there are some things to be aware of:

1. While this item is branded by Foscam, Blue Iris is actually a product of Perspective Software. I think Foscam is a VAR for them. I had already downloaded the most recent version of the software from BI's website. so when this item arrive I did NOT actually reload from the supplied CD. I simply used the serial number to unlock the version I already had installed. That went without a hitch.

2. I am an IT geek and actually am a Network Engineer, so setting this setup was a fairly straightforward process for me. And if you are looking to use the BI web interface to view your camera(s) from within your LAN, it will be fairly straightforward for you as well as the default settings pretty much handle this. If, however, you are on a typical home broadband connection with a dynamic IP number through a NAT router, and you what to view the cameras remotely, you will have to be comfortable using alternate port numbers and setting up port forwarding in your router. So be sure to read up on the subject in your router's user manual before starting and if not comfortable, enlist the help of the neighborhood wiz kid to do it for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome software!, June 18, 2013
By 
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I just purchased this software (direct from Blue Iris' website), after running the trial version for about a week. I am so impressed with this software's versatility and functionality. For the past two years I was using the Logitech Alert Commander software Logitech Alert 750e Outdoor Master Security Camera System with Night Vision (961-000337) and have always been frustrated by its reliance on Logitech's servers to proxy my video feed. I recently purchased a new Foscam Foscam FI9821W Indoor Pan/Tilt H.264 720p Wireless IP Camera, 1/5" Color CMOS Sensor, F: 3.6mm F:2.4 (IR Lens), IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless Connectivity, White, to use as a baby monitor, and wanted to integrate the two into a single view. My friend told me about this software that he has been using. After trying it myself, I am beyond impressed. I even added my webcam so that I get a third view into my home. It is so fast when viewing remotely (compared to Logitech) since there is no third party in the way.

What I like:
* Its ability to unify disparate camera hardware into a single monitoring system.
* One time cost for full functionality. Logitech charges $80/year for their "premium" service in order to just play back recorded video remotely.
* Extremely high amount of customization options.
* Instant access to video feeds, even when accessing them remotely over cellular. Logitech would take a very long time to connect, and then constantly pause and display "Loading Video."

What I don't like:
* It is much more difficult to set up than Logitech, but if you know your way around your home networking equipment then it isn't bad.
* You must purchase the mobile apps separately for an additional $10. The good news, at least on iOS, is that it is a universal app for both my iPhone and iPad. The bad news is that I had to purchase it twice: once for me, and once for my wife (we have separate Apple IDs). They are worth buying though since they give you full access to your system.
* I don't think the software is as aesthetically pleasing as Logitech's. This is very subjective though, and what really matters is how functional Blue Iris is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waste o' cash, May 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam Blue Iris Professional Surveillance Software - Up to 64 Cameras, SMS/Text Message Alerts, H.264 Encoding, Supports most major IP Camera brands and CCTV Systems (Personal Computers)
I usually do not buy software like this but I went ahead and tried.
The software came in a timely manor. I opened the package and found a disk and case.

No instructions or Registration code.
I installed the software (It took an ungodly amount of time scanning to confirm space) it asked me to enter a code or pay again to use it.

After confirming I received no code I tried to call the company (No phone number!) so I sent them an email and got no response.

Wont be doing this again through Amazon (or them).
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