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270 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be a tech-but....
If you have never interfaced with your router's software before (and you are not brave!) then this might not be for you. It is not hard to set up. You plug in its AC adapter and plug it into your router. Follow the instructions and wow.
The picture is wonderful. The motion alarm is fantastic. We placed on of these inside our barn across the street from our home,...
Published on November 16, 2010 by kat

versus
221 of 251 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Active X Controls crash and freeze Window 7
I really wanted to love this camera, the feature set appeared to be excellent. The set up was fairly simple to set up a static IP address and I even gave it a higher port number. It did work well in Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but the most advanced features like sound and better quality picture appear to be in Internet Explorer. I even got it to work via my iPhone...
Published on December 18, 2010 by Andy


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270 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be a tech-but...., November 16, 2010
By 
kat (Sutton, VT, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Personal Computers)
If you have never interfaced with your router's software before (and you are not brave!) then this might not be for you. It is not hard to set up. You plug in its AC adapter and plug it into your router. Follow the instructions and wow.
The picture is wonderful. The motion alarm is fantastic. We placed on of these inside our barn across the street from our home, about 350 feet away. We added an $80. antenna to our router from Hawking, also available on Amazon, and poof! I can now see what all the sqwak is at 2AM in my barn with out walking all the way out there! Wow, wow, wow. The pan and tilt features are really nice. We setup another at our front door, and three "out door" styles around the outside of the property. I don't know how long this black "indoor" will last in the extreme temps and humitity of our barn and front porch, but that is not Foscam's problem. I will update at the end of the winter, or sooner if they die during winter!

4/3/11 Well they made it through the winter. We have been able to review motion detection alarm triggered video clips that were saved on our pc. We have been able to remote pan across the barn to see who is making all the racket and why. It is lovely to know who has been on your porch while you were sleeping! The cameras are wonderful. the there is an antenna you can get on amazon that will extend you wireless cababilities. We view the inside and outside of our barn across the street. These are great.
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388 of 424 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way more than I expected!, January 14, 2011
By 
Corey Perez (Fairbanks (AK)) - See all my reviews
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Where to start...

Well I'll open with.. I'm IMPRESSED! I opted to get the white version of the FI8918W just because it was cheaper than the black version and was identical other than the color. I was first concerned because I got two camera's and the first one was "loose" it seemed (camera from the base). The second seems to be identical so this must just be the way these camera's are. I hooked this up directly to my router as per the instructions and tried to determine a standard ip address without having to use the included software. I wasn't able to so then used the mini-disc on my windows 7 PC. The computer prompted for reboot which I did before I noticed the icon on the desktop. When it rebooted I double clicked the icon and after a brief moment it displayed the ip address of the camera. Note: I'm also using zone alarm and it requested access to 255.255.255.255:10000, which I allowed and it displayed the camera.

When I double clicked the ip address displayed in the software window I was taken to ie which then I put in the user id: admin and for the PW. I don't know if I'm just lucky because I've had so many lessons with my other IP cameras, but this one was very easy (outside trying to figure out why the wireless config wasn't working as expected). One of the other things I was really impressed with was the ease of setting up the wireless. I "scanned" for wireless sources, found mine, clicked it and nearly all the fields were prefilled. I only had to input my security key. Now... The issue I had. I'm currently running 4 different cameras, x2 different Linksys camera's and a trendnet. Those all when setup kept their ip address. This Foscam uses a different one. So after you have it setup I'd recommend re-running their ip software and finding the new ip address after you have removed the cat5 cable. This took me about an hour to figure out.

My camera background:

I started out with x2 Linksys wvc54gca. These were my basis for learning about the IP camera's, the router work required to open the ports and more especially multiple camera's on the same router and how to accomplish that. After moving from the lower 48 to Alaska, we wanted a pan tilt zoom (PTZ) camera and opted for the Linksys WVC210. This camera is a very nice unit, but after getting the new Foscam night PTZ camera, I feel like I wasted a significant amount of money on this one unit, when I believe the Foscam FI8918W is easily a better buy. We also have the Trendnet tv-ip422w and compared to this new Foscam camera, the video is absolutely SUBPAR to the Foscam.

While this is a review about the Foscam FI8918W I want the readers to know and appreciate what this camera does. The Linksys WVC54GCA works perfectly in IE and Firefox (Safari as well). The WVC210 will NOT, repeat NOT work with IE. There is an active X that is required and Cisco must have an issue with Microsoft or something because I cannot force my computer to accept the active X. You can ONLY view this in Fire Fox (FF) or Safari (if I remember correctly), but FF is what we use to view it. These Foscam's work in: IE8, FF and FF on Mac OS-X (Snow Leopard). I haven't tried Safari, but our needs were met in that realm.
Mobile browsing: Both of the Linksys cam's were visible on our iPhone/iTouch. We have now ditched the iPhone (junk) and went with the Samsung captivate (android) and had the same experience. The Trendnet and Foscam units were not viewable on either of our phones. This was an initial HUGE issue, but I've found that on both the itunes and android app store there is an app (android has a free version, apple doesn't) called "IP Cam Viewer" by Robert Chou (android lite version works for free and has a banner at the top). If you use this program use "Add IP" in the settings to add your DNS address you established and go from there. This app also allows "swipe to pan" option.. NICE!!

In setting up, I mentioned that I have multiple camera's. I've resorted to using multiple different port's such as: myipcam,dot,com:1111 and the next is: myipcam,dot,com:1112, and: myipcam,dot,com:1113, etc. You will establish this in your individual camera settings and your router config.

Over all.

I know my setup was based on historical config's I've done with other camera's so I was aware of some of the pitfalls. But I believe these cameras were the easiest to setup. The camera's software/firmware is a little "hokey" and could be improved I believe, but It has everything it needs to have (that I could determine) so I can't fault the firmware (admin) settings/options about that. The actual web GUI (interface) was pretty nice, especially compared to the other camera's I have. I didn't try the multiple setup and accessing them through the internet because one of the two cameras we received will be kept a little more "private" and may have access to part of our bedroom from its location.

The camera is very quiet. I found myself enjoying that with the movement options you can hold down the arrow (on the screen) and the camera will move until you unclick it.

The status LED, which can be turned off, is located on the back. I appreciate that as well.

The only thing I found a little annoying was the IR bulbs are a little too visible. We have one of these in the kids' bedroom and the red glow (obvious) always attracts attention. This is visible even when the IR is turned "off" in the settings.

The package included everything I believe a normal user would require/desire. Camera, base (movable/adjustable which is a nice touch), antenna, screws and anchor, cat5 cable and the power cord.

On the audio, I didn't try/use the included option. I'm sorry that a review of that feature cannot be included. With the amount of camera's we are running we can't support the additional bandwith requirements.

The only problem I experienced was the wireless being a different IP address vs. the wired IP address. I've never experienced this before, but was a simple fix by using the supplied software.

In closing:

I wish I could provide a link so others could see how impressive these CAM's are. But I won't ;) Had I known how great a value these cameras would be I would have purchased at least a couple more, with the possibility of enough to replace / supplement all of our Linksys/Trendnet cam's. I'm leaving for a yearlong military deployment in 10 days so the ease in setup/config was a HUGE help and success on the part of this company. At this point I'd have no issue recommending these to anybody who is looking for an excellent camera. The day time image is excellent, the night vision (as with everything) is less grand, but the IR bulbs completely illuminate our 12x35' room with plenty of light to spare. These camera's are all usable on Win XP (laptop), Win Vista (laptop), Win 7 (PC) (Both with IE 8 and Fire Fox) and Mac OS-X (Snow Leopard) on a Macbook Pro and IMac , ipod Touch and Samsung Captivate (Android) WHEN using the app: ipcam viewer by Robert Chou (free on Android).
I really hope this review helps some other potential buyers as I had a ton of questions, to which few (if any) were answered by other reviews.
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134 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable performance for the price, March 1, 2011
By 
John Colby (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Personal Computers)
There are a ton of well-written reviews for this camera (also check out the other versions, e.g. FI8918W White, FI8905W) that give an excellent sense of its many strengths, minor weaknesses, as well as tips for setting up IP cameras in general. I won't rehash the basics, but I will give a brief overview of my setup. Then I'll make a comment on security, and finally go through some of the ways you can extend this camera's capabilities. This last section is where the Foscam truly shines, in my opinion. After all, if I just wanted a no-hassle cam/DVR, I could get something more basic (but much more expensive) off the shelf at Costco or through a residential security company.

If you have any questions, just comment on this review. I'm happy to respond.

Setup:
The setup process was very standard for any sort of web-enabled device. It'll take a bit longer if you've never gone through the steps before, but once you do it, you'll know how to set up a whole slew of similar devices (e.g. home webserver, media servers, etc.). There are literally hundreds of great tutorials on all of these topics around the web, so if any step or terminology is confusing, just google it and you'll find a bunch of good links. (i.e. don't get deterred by reviews that say "bad instruction manual" or "bad customer service", since you won't need either if you have the whole internet and the power of google at your fingertips). Anyway, here is the rough outline of the setup process for me:

1. Connected Foscam via LAN cable, checked "DHCP clients" list on router (I have a MacBook Pro and an Airport Extreme router) to get local Foscam IP, and then typed this into my web browser to get to the Foscam web interface. Alternatively, use the little utility included with the Foscam to get to the same place.
2. Added a new login/password, deleted admin login, and set up wifi access in the Foscam settings. Then disconnected from LAN and moved Foscam to the desired location. Plug it back in and now it's working via wireless.
3. Went into my router's settings and assigned a static IP to the Foscam's wifi MAC address (note: this MAC is different from the ethernet MAC). This is done with "DHCP Reservations" on the Airport, but of course the exact label will vary by router. Now the Foscam web interface will always be accessible at the same local address within my home network.
4. To get external access outside of my home network, I went into my router's "Port Forwarding" settings and forwarded some external port to port 80 at the static local IP of the Foscam.
5. Since I have a residential internet provider, my external IP is dynamic, which means it could potentially change. To get around this, signup for a free dyndns account. Then just use the updater client on the Foscam, itself, or one of many others that are available for free for mac, windows, and linux.

Security:
This is a bit confusing since the Foscam advertises "encryption". The part that IS secure is the Foscam's communication to/from your router via wifi. This is very good, and considering how easy it is to snoop traffic over an unprotected or WEP-protected wifi (there are even NYTimes articles describing the basics!), I would consider this a mandatory feature of any IP cam. While this is excellent to have, if you choose to make your Foscam web interface accessible from the outside internet (i.e. you did port forwarding), then this connection is public and completely unencrypted. Firstly, this means you should immediately add a new user in the Foscam settings and then delete the admin login. Even once this step is done, it means that there will be no little "lock" symbol in your browser indicating SSL encryption, and your new login/password and video stream will still be sent in the clear. This doesn't bother everyone, but if it does, you can use a computer on your home network to set up a VPN or SSH tunnel (easier) to make the connection encrypted (or just disable external access completely if you don't need this feature). At any rate, it's good to be aware of this limitation at least.

Enhancing functionality:
- Misc information on advanced features - There is a lot of useful information about these Foscams, including some more advanced topics, scattered around on various blogs and forums. Here are a couple (I'm sure google will find even more): gadgetvictims dot com, forum dot networkwebcams dot com, networkcamerareviews dot com.
- mangocam dot com - Free online storage for your cam stream. What's the point of having a security camera if the crooks steal all your computers with the footage!? This site just popped up with a free public beta, so it's definitely worth checking out. Sort of like the built-in FTP/email features taken to a whole new level.
- Smartphone apps - A neat way to check in on your cams remotely (but see important security note, above). IP Cam Viewer Lite works great for Android, and other reviews mention other apps for iPhone, etc.
- ZoneMinder - The holy grail for getting the most out of your cam. This is a free and open-source web application for managing your cam feeds. It is sort of like mangocam, but you install it yourself on your own webserver, and it does a whole lot more. For instance, you can define different motion detection "zones" in the image. Maybe zone #1 is the whole image, zone #2 is just a doorway, and zone #3 is a tree that is always moving in the wind. Then you can define all sorts of complex filters, like 1) Record a section of video footage when there is any motion in zone #1, excluding zone #3, or 2) Record a section of video footage when there is any motion in zone #2, but only during work hours on weekdays; then automatically send some still screenshots to my email and upload a movie of the event to some off-site server. Wow...the options are truly endless! With just this program, some $200 linux boxes, and some Foscams, you could start a business setting up surveillance systems for people!
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221 of 251 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Active X Controls crash and freeze Window 7, December 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Personal Computers)
I really wanted to love this camera, the feature set appeared to be excellent. The set up was fairly simple to set up a static IP address and I even gave it a higher port number. It did work well in Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but the most advanced features like sound and better quality picture appear to be in Internet Explorer. I even got it to work via my iPhone. The problem I have is the constant freezing upon logging via Internet Explorer on my Windows 7 Laptops. I'm running both 32 bit and 64 bit IE. I looked for solutions and saw users have been experiencing IE issues with the buggy Active X controls since Vista.

I'm on the fence if I should keep this Wireless IP Cam, since the Activex code crashes on both my laptops and freezes them. I'm sick of having to reboot. It's very annoying, but I'm not sure if I really need the audio anyway, I'm more interested in photos and ability to ftp, and email pictures to an account. It's annoying since I even upgraded the firmware to the most current version and tried to follow all the useless instructions of disabling firewalls, disabling antivirus, and allowing all active x controls even whitelisted the IP in a trusted zone. NOTHING WORKED. So far the Active x controls are the only thing broken, besides two IR lamps seem to dim compared to the rest, the ability to pan and tilt are excellent. Image Quality is fair, seems almost better in the dark, but in the dark it's black and white.

Update:
I decided to keep the Camera. I've noticed it seems to go into a "look" mode randomly moving everywhere occasionally, but overall I'm happy with the product. I signed up for the free dynamic dns account, then put the info in my Verizon Fios Router and Foscam settings. I also used my ISP and set up an FTP Account. I also enabled UPnP, which allowed me to set up the port forwarding rules in my Verizon Router. I'm using a higher 4 digit port number ending in zero so I can add additional cams in the future. Other then the remote control with Internet Explorer, I was able to get all the other features to work, including motion detection, emailing via the SMTP settings (used my ISP again), and FTP of any activity out to my account (my hosting ISP is Bluehost - which allowed me to configure the FTP and SMTP info very easily).

Let me know if you require any assistance configuring settings, it's convenient to access via Dynamic DNS Address or directly via the IP Address (must add high port to each to connect). The 5 dollar iPhone app is also a nice access option.

If they resolve the Win 7 Active X issues or allow sound via other browsers, I'll raise my review. Also we'll see how the quality holds up over time.
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89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A basic pan/tilt IP Cam at an entry level price, November 11, 2010
By 
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This is a decent IP camera with enough features for most first time users. I was able to configure and use the camera without having to load any of the included software without any trouble, but an average person might have trouble getting every feature working. If you don't know what DNS or FTP means, you are one of these people.

If you are planning on just sitting this on a window sill and pointing it outside as a 24/7 security camera, think again. It works fine in the daytime, but interior reflections on the window glass make it less useful at night. The IR LEDs reflect back off the window and effectively blind the camera.

Image quality is typical of a low-cost CMOS sensor. Color accuracy and saturation is poor, but adequate for most uses.

It also has several shutter speed settings....a 60hz speed for night/low light, a 50hz speed for medium lighting, and a slow shutter speed for outdoor use. While the camera is able to automatically adjust sensor sensitivity a bit to compensate for changes in lighting, it doesn't have an automatic shutter speed setting. This means that if you have the shutter speed set on the "Outdoor" setting, it works great on a sunny day, but at night is far too dark to be useful. You'd have to manually switch shutter speeds every day if you were using it as an unattended security camera. Leaving it on 60hz setting and trying to view an outside scene just results in a white video image...the sunlight totally overwhelms the sensor unless you use the "outdoor" setting.

The motion detection feature is excellent. You can have the camera automatically email you a sequence of still photos everytime it detects motion. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this worked. You can specify up to 5 individual recipients.

It is also capable of uploading the same still images to an FTP server if you wish to archive them for review later. A date/time stamp on the image would have been a nice addition but isn't a feature.

I did not try the audio features, thus cannot say if they are improved over the old camera. If you are looking to integrate this camera into your DIY home security system, you should purchase the previous model (FI8908W) as this new one doesn't have the RS485 port anymore.

Bottom line, whether you want to use this camera to monitor an interior room, or an outside scene, it's a good entry level camera. Just don't expect it to be able to do both without manually making some adjustments for one or the other.
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84 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, busted my neighbors dog!, December 28, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Personal Computers)
Length:: 1:15 Mins

Was looking for a wireless camera to use to try to figure out what dog was making a mess on our front lawn. Bought this Foscam based on the Amazon reviews, and was not disappointed. Positioned it on the inside window sill in our living room, and before 4pm the same day, caught my neighbors dog (dogs) doing their business on our yard. This is exactly the proof I was looking for. The camera worked like a champ!

It took me about an hour or so to figure out the wireless settings and the alarm mode (motion detection). If you are running windows 7, you need to read the manual about how to add the IP address to your Internet Explorer trusted sites. Once I did that, I could set the folder where the video's are sent direct to my PC.

Picture quality is just fine. Although, the IR mode does not work when viewing through a window pane as I am. The lights just reflect off the glass. Otherwise (daytime) the quality is very good as you can see in my sample video.
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155 of 181 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warming about Port Forwarding, May 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) (Personal Computers)
We purchased this camera so we could monitor our home while on vacation. I was shocked when I set up port forwarding and discovered not only did the camera have no security but it opened a really large security hole in my home Wi-Fi.

When you connect to the camera over the internet via port forwarding you get a log in prompt of course, but it isn't secure, not even SSL, so the user id and password you enter is sent over the internet as clear text. Easy as pie for some nefarious type to grab, and if all they managed to grab is your user id the camera will help them out by allowing an unlimited number of tries on the password. To test if it would ever lock me out I entered my user id and incorrect passwords 50 times, on the 51st try I entered the correct password and it let me in. There certainly doesn't appear to be a limit.

The two things to take away from this:
1. Your user id and password is sent over the internet as clear text so it would be easy to capture.
2. Someone can just keep trying different user ids and passwords seemingly forever until they're successful.

So what's the big deal, you might say. If the camera is only pointing at my backyard or front door what do I care if someone else looks through it?

The big deal is, once someone is into your camera all they have to do is click on "Device Management", "Wireless LAN Setting" and there is all the info about your Wi-Fi network. In plain text with no attempt to hide it whatsoever is your Wi-Fi name, type of encryption, and password. With that info they're now into your home network, able to watch your activity on the internet, watch you log into your bank, and likely able to browse your computer. Might just as well unlock your front door and leave it open.

My goal in buying this camera was to increase my home's security while on vacation but it actually decreases it. I'll be sending it back as the security implications are just too large to overcome.

A bit about me:
- Software Engineer for past 5 years
- System Administrator for 15 years before that
- Electronics technician for 20 years before that.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Audio capability very limited. Only works on Internet Explorer, January 12, 2011
Just got this camera. Basic video works good to be honest. However they advertise strongly two way audio, so you can hear and communicate back with someone on the other side. Or if used as baby monitor, you want to at least hear your baby. It turns out that even that they advertise that it works with all browsers, iphones and others, the Audio part of it doesnt. Video works yes, but Audio requires ActiveX, meaning, you can only use audio if you have Internet Explorer running on windows. So the audio feature is very limited. I am looking for this option so i can use this as a baby monitor, so i can keep track from my smartphone all over the house, not going to be possible with this.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works very well, great value for the money, November 24, 2010
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I now have an FI8908W and an FI8918W. Both work very well, and both are working within my LAN as well as across the Internet. The manufacturer provides excellent, on-going support, and continues to add useful features to the Firmware in response to customer suggestions.

As someone else said, this is an entry-level camera at an entry-level price. You can control its movements remotely, and it has infra-red LED's so it can see in the dark; but it doesn't have optical zoom and its resolution is 640x480. It's more than enough for baby or pet monitoring, and adequate for general surveillance, but you probably won't be able to identify faces 100 feet away, and it's not weather-resistant. (Foscam has other cameras with optical zoom that are intended for outdoor all-weather use.)

Although I was able to monitor both cameras within my LAN, at first I could only see one of them across the Internet. The solution was to give them NON-consecutive port numbers and then supply those port numbers to my router's Port Forwarding list. Example (LAN IP address followed by port number):

Camera1: 192.168.1.121:2100
Camera2: 192.168.1.122:2200

For mobile monitoring, I'm using the FOSCAM SURVEILLANCE PRO app on an iPod Touch. Great app.

The firmware offers a surprisingly rich feature set (such as: rotating the camera horizontall and/or vertically, motion detection, email / recording / image alerts, normal recording, periodic jpeg snapshots, notification of IP address change, viewing 1, 4, or 9 cameras at once), and all of the features I've tried have worked. Very impressive. This is a good product from a good company, and if their stock was publicly traded, I'd buy some.
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103 of 123 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wifi Doesn't Work, Manufacturer Provides No Support, December 7, 2010
By 
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I haven't had this bad of an experience with a manufacturer in ages!

Foscam outright refuses to provide any support whatsoever for any of their products purchased on Amazon or anywhere else other than directly from them. They do not provide any telephone support. I sent them a detailed email message to their technical support address three days ago, and did not get a response. I just called the only number for themselves that they publish, and the guy who answered said that this was a phone number for sales, and that I should email tech support. When I told him that I did that three days ago, and they did not respond, he HUNG UP ON ME!

Their website talks about how there are several counterfeit versions of their products being sold--that's sad, but not an excuse for not supporting what they sell.

As far as the product itself, it works nicely hooked up via ethernet, as long as you don't need to configure anything differently than the defaults. And the night vision/IR lights work nicely for a normal-sized room. The wifi on the unit I received is completely non-functional. I can't tell whether it's a hardware fault, software issue, or firmware issue, but it simply does not work (I'm a computer professional, and I tried every reasonable method to diagnose and fix this, to no avail). It is unable to detect any wifi network, public, WPA, or WPA2, over 802.11g or 802.11b, even when it is just a few feet in a direct site line from a working wifi router. And manually configuring it doesn't work either. I couldn't try updating their firmware, as they don't offer than on their website, but say you have to email them to get a firmware update (which I did request by email, which they never responded to).

The documentation is sparse and VERY BADLY written. The software to configure it using their web interface is likewise very badly written, to the point where it's really hard to figure out what the non-english-speaking authors intended for various labels to mean. Whenever I updated any parameters using the Web interface and saved them, it would reboot the router and always lose every change I had ever made, except for the "device name", which was retained. That is to say, changing any of the wifi settings not only doesn't work, but it is never really saved.

Do yourself a favor and avoid Foscam. Their stuff has good specs for a good price, but it's entirely worthless when the software behind it doesn't work, and the company doesn't stand behind it.

Needless to say, I'll be returning this tomorrow.
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