27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
I bought this specifically to use as a baby monitor, so if that's not your intention for it, you don't need to read further.
I spent a lot of time researching baby monitors when I started to come across wireless network cameras. Brilliant! The idea of being able to view from my computer/smartphone/iPad was appealing since one of these things is usually near. That means I don't have to carry around a video monitor unit that I have to worry about being charged or losing or whatever. Plus, it means my husband can spy on the baby from work, too :)
The Foscam seemed to have pretty good reviews overall, so we decided to give it a shot. The price far beats some of the top-rated video baby monitors and offers viewing flexibility that a technologically savvy family can appreciate.
Without further adieu, here's my quick break-down:
- Love the ability to view baby from multiple devices. There are several options for apps on both IOS and Android for viewing on this camera.
- Infrared works GREAT. I can get clear views of my daughter from her nearly-pitch-black bedroom.
- Infrared lights are very dim and not too distracting (though I don't have experience with other infrared lights...just saying that they're not super-bright or an issue in a baby's room)
- Totally silent adjusting. Yes, this camera is all ninja when you're panning around the room. The only times it makes noises is when the infrared goes on/off, it makes a quiet clicking sound. Otherwise, it's quiet enough to give you the confidence that it will NOT wake a baby when you adjust it.
- Wireless feature allows for you to use without being hooked up to a computer--something a regular webcam cannot deliver in this situation.
- Set up (as many have mentioned) can be a PAIN. If you are not familiar with tinkering with your router settings and all that, I'd say get help from someone who does. I consider myself to be intermediate with technology, and when following the instruction manual, I got frustrated. My husband finished the job quickly. Though, when we got a new internet service provider, he had a more difficult time when a new modem/router came into play and it took him quite a while longer to get that figured out.
- It's big and ugly. I can't lie, it's not the prettiest thing to have in your baby's room and certainly much bulkier and less aesthetically pleasing than a lot of baby video cameras...but you sacrifice beauty for functionality. You'll soon forget about that when you're giggling at your ridiculous baby's antics in clear view.
- I'm not sure why, but we have issues with it regularly resetting. (You know this because when it resets, it runs through a series of panning around and will finally stop at a pre-designated position which is always pointing away from the baby's crib). Sometimes this happens multiple times a day, sometimes we go days without it happening. I'm not sure if the camera is to blame or if it's my ISP/modem/router.
52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
What an awesome product, but it can be a little tricky to set up the whole thing up, especially for remote access. Everything worked great for me by making sure I set up my port as 8000 instead of 80 and by following the instructions here: [...]
Now, it took me a while because I didn't set up my port as 8000 instead of port 80, but just in case some of you are like my parents and want a step by step guide to setting this thing up, here are the steps that helped me get my camera working on the wireless network with remote access:
1. Plug in your Foscam FI8910W IP Camera
2. Connect your Foscam FI8910W IP Camera to your wireless router with the ethernet cord that comes in the box.
3. Find out what IP address your camera is operating on.
- If you have a PC, you can get instructions for doing this here: [...]
- If you have a MAC, you can get instructions for doing this here: [...]
4. Configure your Wireless LAN Settings in the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera Device Management tab from your web browser.
- Click on Wireless LAN Settings and get your camera connected wirelessly. If you are having problems, follow the steps here: [...]
- You should now be able to disconnect the ethernet cable from the back of your camera and move the camera to the location you are going to use it at. You may have to repeat step 3 above if you are using DHCP. You probably are, so repeat step 3 and make sure you can connect into the Device Management tab wirelessly before going to step 5.
5. Configure your Users Settings in the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera Device Management tab from your web browser.
- Click on Users Settings and change the admin password to something you'll remember and also add a user and password and select Visitor for the group (this is so you can let friends and family see the video without having access to change any settings).
- After you hit Submit, you may have to log in to your camera again with the admin information.
6. Configure your Basic Network Settings in the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera Device Management tab from your web browser.
- Keep "Obtain IP from DHCP Server" checked
- Change the "Http Port" from 80 to 8000
- Keep "Network Lamp" checked (unless you want to turn off the LED on the back off)
7. Configure your Wireless Router for Port Forwarding. This essentially sets up remote access for your Foscam FI8910W IP Camera. I have a Linksys Router, so all I did was access the Linksys Router Administration Panel by going to 192.168.1.1 in my web browser and putting in my username and password. If you have a different router, the process may be similar, but you can follow the instructions for setting up port forwarding by selecting your router manufacturer on the list here: [...]
- In the Linksys Router Administration Panel, click on the Applications & Gaming tab and fill in these settings:
-- Application FOSCAM
-- Start 8000
-- End 8000
-- Protocol TCP
-- IP Address 192.168.1.111 (or the IP Address that you found the camera on earlier)
-- Enable check
- Click "Save Settings" at the bottom of the page.
8. Find out what your External IP address is.
- You can find out your External IP Address here: [...]
9. Access your Foscam FI8910W IP Camera over the internet remotely!
- In your web browser type in [...] hit enter, and then log into the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera Administration Panel as you did earlier.
10. If you want to share just the video with your friends and family tell them to type in [...] to their web browser and provide them with the Visitor Username and Password you created earlier in step 5. You are essentially done at this step if you want to be, because everything should be working correctly at this point, but if you want to have an easier web address to give to friends and family, continue to step 11.
11. Set up a free account on [...]
- Sign up for a free account on [...]
- Once you are registered and logged in, click on "Add a Host"
-- Type in a hostname
-- Select Port 80 Redirect
--- Your External IP Address should be filled in for you
--- Change the Port from 8080 to 8000
-- Type in what you want the title of the page to be along with keywords and a brief description (This is not a necessary step, but just adds to the experience).
-- Click on "Create Host" at the bottom of the page.
- Once that is done, now you can direct your friends and family to simply go to [...] and they will be able to see your video over the web. You can go to [...] to get right to the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera Administration Panel as well. (hostname is the name you typed in earlier in this step).
I hope this helps you out.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
I bought one of these cameras, set it up in my den, and later bought three more to provide coverage for other areas in my house. Is it a great camera in terms of resolution and frame rate? Not really. But is it a great camera in terms of its price? Absolutely. You won't find better "bang for the buck" at this price point.
First the good:
(1) It is very inexpensive; you'll be hard-pressed to find so many features at this price in other low-end cameras.
(2) Construction quality is very good; the camera seems sturdy and well-built.
(3) WiFi range is excellent - I am having no problems getting a good image anywhere in my house.
(4) PTZ gives you almost 360 degrees of view if you rotate from one extreme to the other.
(5) The built-in infrared diodes are bright enough to easily illuminate an entire room for nighttime viewing.
(6) You get a nice screw-in mount and a convenient retractable Ethernet cable bundled with the camera.
Now the not-so-good:
(1) The camera lens has significant "fish eye" distortion.
(2) With a 640 x 480 pixel resolution, you're not going to be getting a good picture of an intruder's face unless he gets fairly near the camera in good lighting conditions. If you need a higher-resolution image, you're going to have to spend more money on a better camera.
(3) The effective frame rate is not that high - maybe 3 to 5 fps if you're watching an image from outside your home network.
(4) The audio quality from the built-in speaker and microphone is adequate, but not very impressive. You can hear what's going on through the camera, and be understood at the other end, but it's like talking through a long stovepipe. On the other hand, it is more than adequate for a baby monitor.
(5) It is a pain to set up unless you know what you're doing.
Fortunately, at least for Mac users, it's not that hard to configure it once you know the trick. Here is what to do, assuming you have a Mac laptop and a wireless home router with at least one free Ethernet port:
(1) Copy over FOSCAM's "IP Camera Tool" app onto your Mac. You can either copy it from the bundled CD, or download it from the FOSCAM site.
(2) Now open System Preferences on your Mac, and click on the Network icon. When the network window opens, click on the Wi-Fi tab (if it's not already selected) and click the "Advanced" button in the lower right hand corner of the window.
(3) In the new window that appears, click the "TCP/IP" tab. Write down the Subnet Mask and Router IP addresses, and then close System Preferences window.
(4) Now here's the tricky part: you have to decide which IP address on your router you want to reserve for the camera. For example, if your Router IP address is 10.0.1.1, you'll want to change the last number to use as your camera IP address, e.g. 10.0.1.61 or 10.0.1.100 for the camera. However, you don't want to re-use an existing address that the router has already allocated. You have two choices: either log in to your router and check which addresses are being currently allocated, or just pick a number between 2 and 255 at random, e.g. 10.0.1.61, and see if it works. Obviously these numbers may be different depending on the router. For example, if your Router IP address is 22.214.171.124, then you can try 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52 for the camera.
(5) Turn off your Mac's Wi-Fi connection. Plug the camera into your Mac's Ethernet port using the supplied cable, but don't connect the camera's AC adapter yet.
(6) Start the IP Camera Tool app. An empty window will open on your desktop. Now turn on the camera by plugging in its AC adapter. After about 20 seconds, the camera will begin to rotate through its start-up sequence. At that point, you'll get several socket error warnings from the IP Camera Tool. Click through these errors, and you'll finally get back to the IP Camera Tool window, which will show an Anonymous device (this is the camera) with an incorrect subnet error message, asking you to double-click to fix it.
(7) When you double-click the message in the window, a small window will open. For the IP address, fill in the address you've chosen for your camera. For the Subnet Mask, use the same number you wrote down earlier. For Gateway and DNS Server, fill in the Router IP address you wrote down earlier.
(8) Leave the password field blank, with user "admin". Click OK.
(9) The camera will restart. After it has restarted, you'll start getting socket error warnings again. Ignore them, unplug the camera, and quit the IP Camera Tool app.
(10) Now use the Ethernet cable to plug the camera into an unused Ethernet port on your router. Plug in the AC adapter and wait for the camera to restart.
(11) Turn on your laptop's WiFi again. Open the Safari browser and type in the IP address you chose for the camera, e.g. the http prefix followed by 10.0.1.61.
(12) If you did everything right, you'll be able to log in to the camera's built-in web server and configure it using the Device Management tab. Specifically, you can scan for a wireless network list under "Wireless LAN Settings", select your own home network, enter the password, and click the box labeled "Using Wireless LAN". Click Submit and the camera will restart again.
(13) Now unplug the camera from the router. Again, use your Safari browser to access the IP address of the camera (you may have to close and re-open the Safari window). If your wireless connection is working, you'll be able to log in to the camera again, and make any other configuration changes that you want.
If you want to use your camera outside of your home network, you'll need to learn about port forwarding. I won't go into that, because it is dependent on the router, but for my cameras I use port 80 for the internal port of each camera, and ports 8101 through 8104 for my external ports, respectively. It works fine, and I can watch my home over my iPhone without any difficulty.
As a final note, I strongly recommend that you buy the Foscam Pro app for your iPhone / iPad. The same app will work for both (you only need to buy it once), and it will give you complete control over the camera, including access to the audio features.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
Lets get the bad out of the way first:
Foscam's documentation is a joke. It's terrible. This camera will do everything they say it can, but you kind of have to figure it out for yourself. Foscam's documentation will get you started, but that's about it. **THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE NOT TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT OR FAMILIAR WITH BASIC NETWORK ARCHITECTURE & PROTOCOLS THE ADVANCED FEATURES OF THIS CAMERA WILL BE TOUGH FOR YOU TO SETUP.**
On to the good:
The basic stuff this camera is supposed to do - connect quickly to your wireless network, pan/tilt/zoom, capture great images in regular and little/no light at reasonable distances - just works, it's fantastic. The applications available for viewing the video on your iOS or Android device are all over the map, more on this later, but initial setup was a breeze and, again, it just works.
The advanced features, such as motion sensing, the ability to email you a picture, save a picture or video stream and forward all such traffic outside your wireless LAN to the interwebs at large also just work. These advanced features took a little while to setup and again, if you're not familiar with port forwarding and dynamic DNS hosting services then this stuff will be difficult for you. I am an experienced user and it took me a couple hours to make it all work. Some of that time was spent hunting around for better documentation though because, again, Foscam's documentation sucks, but once I got it, it was awesome.
Recommended Mobile Application:
THIS IS IMPORTANT so I'm surprised there is less commentary out there on which mobile app is the best. Your mobile app is primarily how you are going to view the video stream, at least that's true for me so the app you choose affects how many of the camera's features you can enjoy. I tried a couple but BY FAR the best one out there, at least for iOS is LiveCams Pro (available here: [...]). A buddy of mine - a very advanced user who has an Android device - uses the same and I actually thought the Android interface was a little more robust and easier to use.
We bought this as a baby monitor but after seeing all that it will do I'm buying at least 2 or 3 more for home security purposes. I am VERY impressed with this little thing's skills. I highly recommend this for use either as a baby monitor or a security camera.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
Great camera, indoors or outdoors!
Will be buying more.
For help with setup go to youtube, there are great step by step videos
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
[**Updated now with 2nd camera over internet, see below for information on multiple camera set up with dyndns **]
I bought this over the cheaper, but older model (FI8918w) based on the reviews saying this had a better picture. So far I am sufficiently pleased that I will look into getting some more to cover more of the house.
* Setting up the camera.
The camera is very easy to set up as a wifi camera, by following the written instructions and the video that comes on the installation disk.
The process involves plugging the camera into your router, installing the software and getting the camera recognized on the network and then unplugging the network cable and logging the camera into your wireless network. All fairly plain sailing, and this allows you to play around with the camera settings, and get used to its operation.
Setting up the camera for web access is a little more difficult. The video on the disk is a useful primer, but the best place to go for help is foscam.us forums. In the end it took me a few hours of frustration (and reading), but I am sure this can be alleviated by considering the following points:
1. The DNS service at dyndns.org is no longer free, but will give a 14-day trial after which the service is $20 per year.
2. I am a Verizon Fios customer and it took me some time to identify that you should NOT allocate port 80 to the camera. It seems that Verizon blocks this port according to one post I read. I allocated port 8090 for this first camera and it worked fine as soon as I did this.
3. The Fios router is easy to set up for port-forwarding - it's a hyperlink on the main menu which takes you into the Advanced Options.
4. Be patient. You often have to repeat actions on the camera and allow it to reboot a few times before it will show "success" on DNS forwarding.
* Operating the camera.
There are several camera parameters that can be changed, such as picture size, frame rate, brightness and contrast. The IR works well and can be turned on and off remotely.
The camera has motion detection, with user sensitivity settings. When in alarm mode the camera can be set to record to your main network PC drive and also take still photos and email them directly to you.
The camera has 2-way audio although there is a distinct lag between network and speaker. There is some audio feedback which I managed to alleviate by rotating the camera aerial (wifi antenna) so this it faces flat. I read somewhere that this is due to the way these aerials are coiled inside the wand so that the signal is better from the sides that the wand top, which seems counter-intuitive, but my point is that you should play with the aerial (wifi antenna) position before getting too angry with it :-)
Overall I would say this is a good buy at under $100 and gives good pictures. Now that I have set it up I shall be getting some more, so I guess that says it all. The software will allow up to 9 cameras to be connected.
I deduct one star as I had to do a fair amount of research, and there really is no need for this. I would think this should be set up in under an hour with the right guidance.
[Update 24 March 2012]
* Multiple Cameras
I bought a second camera and set it up on the network very easily, simply using the IP Camera Tool already installed for the first camera and even the network cable that I had left in the back of the router. Camera #2 was picked up and identified and then I added it to the wifi network as with camera #1.
Getting access over the internet was a bit more tricky, although once I had read through the foscam.us forum posts and started thinking properly it was fairly straightforward.
I assigned port 8091 to camera #2 (remember to keep away from port 80, as mentioned above) and then copied all the settings from camera #1 to camera#2 in the DDNS Server settings and Mail Service Settings menu (except port number, obviously).
* Hint for using presets:
If you want to use the preset camera positions you MUST first uncheck the "disable preset" box in the PTZ menu under Administrator. Then, if you check "goto preset on boot" whenever the camera reboots it will start up in the preset position you last left it in. This of course assumes you have set the preset in the first place under the Operator menu (!) As an aside I don't know why they call it PTZ, as there is no zoom function on this model :-(
* Now for the internet:
In the Multi-Device Settings it is important NOT to use the local IP address of the camera (e.g. 192.168.1.11) but instead use the the DDNS web address, in my case [...], when completing the host field.
Once done this all works pretty well, and successfully emails me from either camera when motion is detected and records a video to my PC's HDD.
Next step, removing the PC as video storage by either using NAS or FTP directly from the router...
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
I purchased the FI8910W (in black) and have had it setup indoor for about a week:
Device ID 000DC5D65545
Device Firmware Version 184.108.40.206
Device Embeded Web UI Version 220.127.116.11
* Pan/Tilt (my first PT cam), adjustable speed, quiet
* Built-in web server (convenient, but not the greatest UI)
* Small and unobtrusive design
* Two-way audio (with built-in mic and speaker)
* Night-vision with decent IR LEDs and IR-cut filter (for daytime)
* Price ($95 with foscam.us discount code "WIFI1001")
* Infinite focus
* Decent low-light performance
* Good color saturation
* 640x480 max resolution (maxing out at about 6fps)
* MJPEG video only (not H.264), which is likely limiting the potential frame-rate (fps) over WiFi
* Lack of anti-aliasing
* No PoE support
* Serious background noise in audio input (microphone)
* Bad/scratchy audio output (speaker)
* Two-way audio (talk-back) does not work reliably over the Internet at all
* Will toggle IR LEDs/Cut-Filter on/off frequently when ambient lighting changes rapidly
You can see a sample picture from this camera (and side-by-side comparison with some other cameras) at [...]
I'm using Blue Iris Web/Security Camera Software with a variety of different camera types and brands and very happy with it (the software, not included with this camera).
53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
I purchased this product directly from the manufacturer due to the disclaimer on their website that states they only offer support to products purchased from them directly. Click the camera on their website to read the disclaimer.
This is my second camera from them. My first camera was the 8905W and it worked fine for a year then the wireless stopped working. I'm hoping my new camera lasts longer.
Here is my review...
I had the unique opportunity to see this camera in action before I purchased it and was impressed with the specs and ease of use. It's daylight picture is fine for my needs as I only use it to cover the first floor entrance way. It's field of view is adequate and the picture is clear enough to make out details such as objects on the floor or on the table in the other room. It's night vision is fine for a good 20 feet, maybe a little more of complete darkness and 50+ in low light. The wireless setup was a breeze and the web control works great. The only reason I give this four stars is it's lack of Zoom. This is a PT Camera ONLY. There is no zoom and that would have made this a perfect camera for the price. The camera has an outdoor setting that greatly improves the picture quality when viewing the outdoors. Unfortunately this is an indoor camera but viewing through a window pane produced no noticeable glare.
However, viewing through the window screen blacked out the picture completely. Night viewing through a window pane was useless as the IR LED's produced a blinding glare. If your going to use this camera outdoor, I suggest taking the environment into account and glare through glass enclosures.
The audio works well. I used a stereo Mic and mini computer speakers to test it (Just wanted to see if it actually worked) as I have no real need for a permanent hook-up. The wife just yells up the stairs anyway.
They offer a software bundled package from the manufacturer for a better deal than purchasing both separately.
All in all, not a bad camera for the price.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2013
Quick overview -
After returning 2 cameras that I was trying to set up to use as a baby monitor, I finally found what I was looking for. Every other camera that tries to connect thru Wifi is slowwwwwwwwwww. It would take 10-15 seconds for the camera to pop up when I set up the far more expensive "Dropcam" when I was in my own home on the same network, and I believe they take up a ton of your bandwith. Foscam loads in an INSTANT from home. It seems to always be connected, making me feel much better unlike the other monitors that seem to connect whenever they feel like it. The image even loads in less than 5 seconds at my work guest server, which is the definition of INCREDIBLY slow. I was pretty amazed about that.
Plus, Dropcam and other cameras had way way way less features in their app store as they only have THEIR app, it didn't pan/tilt, and they charged $10 a month if you wanted to record with it. And the notifications were terrible. Foscam has NUMEROUS apps on both Iphone and Droid, so you can test out many of them until you find the one that works for you (even has dedicated baby monitor apps with sound graphs and such). I use my old Droid phones as monitors now. Two-way talk works better than I think people give it credit, as the other 2 more expensive monitors I had sounded about the same or worse I thought. Plus, if you want, you can hook up a mini speaker to the camera since it even has audio jacks in the back.
One thing I haven't heard people say - I thought the camera was pretty big. It was bigger than the others for sure (won't fit on a window sill), but it does come with a mount if you want to hang it on the wall somewhere. But, you can buy 2 for the price of 1 of the other ones, and I like how much it can pan around the room a lot more than I thought I would.
For those that want to use this just to view when you are at home (like as a baby monitor), setup is a piece of cake. The install instructions have been updated it seems since many of the youtube postings (search "awkwardhamster foscam" and you'll find a ton of them), but they still help, so if you are feeling overwhelmed just watch those 15 min vids before doing anything and it will definitely help. To install from the CD, I clicked the 3rd folder (03_Central Management Software), then connected the camera power and ethernet cable, then opened the windows folder (01_For Windows OS) and it found my camera. Double click on it and follow the youtube video instructions to continue.
As for setting it up to view from anywhere - yes, this was a royal pain in the arse. It SHOULD have been a lot easier as there are pretty good step by step instructions on how to do it via those youtube videos and even the instructions that come with it... however, for me, it just simply didn't work at first.
The host site would just show it as not connected even after doing everything. After getting really pissed for about 20 minutes... POOF, the site just magically worked. At first I tried creating a no-ip.info address, and after that failed, the newer ones have their own website you can use if you enable it in the DDNS options. But... that one didn't work either.
So I tried modifying like 30 different IP numbers, port forwarding numbers, changing passwords... all failing. Then, I don't even know what I did or how it happened, but I tried it again, and BOTH redirecting sites worked. I guess some of these server things just take time to load. I'd recommend creating the no-ip host site, set up the port forwarding numbers, then going out for dinner and coming back before trying anything.
Other Camera Comparisons -
Every other non-IP camera out there costs as much as it does because they try to make it "simple." Once you figure this one out, I find it even simpler. You just have to remember/write down a few IP numbers, create some passwords, and once you have it all, you can put them into your phone apps and forget about them for the time being. The thing that bothered me most with the other cameras is that none of their apps had a "sound bar" so that if the volume on my monitor is low, I could still see that the baby is crying because it would have those red bars showing up like a traditional monitor. IP cameras have plenty of apps that will do just that, and worlds more that I have yet to discover such as recording and taking pics and whatnot.
I very much like my new toy, especially for under $100. The End.
86 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
UPDATE 2/20/2013 - Ok, I tried one of these PTZ cameras to give it another chance and Maybe my original review was harsh, here's why. I couldn't get the Foscam or the DB Power camera to work on wireless because both of my wireless routers have MAC Address filtering set up. So, I took an old wireless B/G router I had lying around, I set it up without MAC Address filtering, and guess what? The wireless settings got saved and the camera worked wirelessly. The camera I tested this on was a WANSCAM PTZ camera. Also with these camera's you do not need a DDNS service to get them to work outside of your home network. You just need to set up Port Forwarding on your router. On my Trendnet router that would be on the "virtual server" screen...very easy..
First wireless IP Camera I bought was a DB Power, returned it because I could not get it to work on wireless. Second camera was this Foscam. I bought it based on better reviews than the DB Power, and people had success setting up the wireless. I tried for a week, read all the blogs, videos, You tube, nothing worked. I tried to do a firmware download from FOSCAM, but it never gave me the confirmation email that they said I'd get. I tried 3 times. I called FOSCAM, got redirected to call another number and got nowhere. By the way, I tried this on 2 wireless routers, a linksys wrt54g and a TP Link, even went as far as turning off all security and firewalls, still nothing. Tried all the different security variations, nothing. I am returning the camera on Monday. I think all these Pan tilt cameras are all made in China by the same company and they're all garbage. I give up. I in no way blame Amazon. I like their service. My review is strictly about the worthless camera. Oh, I should point out, if you want a WIRED camera, it's not bad. It was easy to set it up without any dns services that you have to pay for to get it to be seen across the internet, you just have to port forward the ip address and get your external IP address. That part was easy. I just refuse to pay for something that doesn't work as advertised.