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on May 16, 2014
Day 1 of the new FI9821W Camera. Had the camera setup and running in about 10 minutes. Although, I'm an experienced IT guru and like a few other comments, it's not exactly for the non-techy to configure and setup. I couldn't imagine my brother doing this setup on his own. It did take quite a bit of playing with the cam to get motion detection and the alarm settings the way I needed them. The documentation is lacking some serious QA review, one of the reasons for the 3 stars rather than 4.

The most frustrating part is that my iphone5 iOS App "PRO Surveillance" isn't working. While it appears the app supports the cam, I've been able to configure the cam and remotely access the 8921W. However, I have no controls. None of the control features move the cam. I've sent in a request to the App team to inquire.

I decided to install the FOSCAM Viewer App (didn't even know it existed before), but even that App had the same issue. I can configure and log in remotely and see the video. I just can't control the camera with the App. None of the controls work, except the mic/speaker. I've also sent in an inquiry to the FOSCAM support desk. We'll see what happens next : )

If there are no indications that the Apps are going to work, I will probably return the camera....although, the quality of the pic and speed is much faster than the 8918W.

UPDATE: I was using an 8 character passwd with a # sign in the password. I removed the # sign and magically got full control of the Camera.

UPDATE: Viewing this CAM remotely is much better than previous FI8918W that I had (which malfunctioned after 4 yrs, not bad)...

Decision: Will keep the Camera as it does the job, and the motion detection is much better than the FI8918W.

Update after Decision: After I got the camera mounted, and started playing with it more, I noticed that the image isn't as crisp as the FI8918W. It appears blurry around the outer area. The middle of the cam is clear though. This might be due to light as daytime seems to be good. It's dusk outside and I have lights turned on, but still blurry. Tried to clean lens, no luck. Hmmm....
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on July 29, 2014
I purchased this camera to monitor a water meter (for my well) in my crawl space. I also use it to check out activity (pests, water build up during heavy rain). Before I installed this camera I would have to enter the crawl space under my deck and open a small door to access. This meant I was going to get dirty and risk the chances of facing a snake (we live in a wooded area) each time I entered.

Now I only need to connect to the camera wirelessly. The crawl space is not lighted other than a couple of air vents. I can see most of my crawl space (37 x 55 ft) with one camera (IR on). The only exception is that I cannot see the entrance door (it is behind the camera) and the two corners furthest away that face the camera because my HVAC and well equipment blocks the view.

I do not use any of the alarm features and do not record. I only stream the video - which is not HI DEF but shows plenty of details for monitoring a space. Additionally - because this camera can pan/tilt, it beats any other camera's that have a large viewing angle that do not pan/tilt. This feature seems to be underrated for some reason - but one camera that can view a majority of my crawl space is pretty outstanding.

Additionally - I have no issues with low light (there is nearly zero light for me). I've posted two pictures one without the LEDs and one with them turned on (manual is the only setting I use). You have to use them to see in the dark.
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on December 19, 2013
I recently purchased a Foscam 19810w and have been very pleased with this camera. I took a gamble and got the F19821w v2 based on some positive reviews (albeit) some mixed. The question arises as to whether the newer HD camera is worth almost twice the cost of the 19810w.
Pros: Superb, wide video image. Noticeably clearer than the 19810w.
Both wifi and hardwire network camera connections work well.
Thanks to the superb work of Robert Chou, this camera is easy to view over cellphone using the IP Cam Viewer application. This application easily displays and controls both the 19810w and the 19821w v2.
Similarly, this camera (and the 19810w) work flawlessly using the Blue Iris software. Combine the Blue Iris software with a large storage drive and you have a low cost NVR. Blue Iris also has an excellent android app.

Cons: Like the 19810(see my previous review), the 19821w v2 is not simple to install. A solid knowledge of port forwarding setup is needed.
Central Management Software is not intuitive. CMS software must be upgraded from what is on the enclosed CD. Select the MJPEG and H.264 version, not the "ultra" version.
CMS software appears unable to display both the 19810 and 19821 images simultaneously. The CMS software recognizes both cameras, but only the 19821w seems to work with the software.
Camera has noticeable rainbow effect when a background light source is present within field of view. If main light source is behind camera, video image is outstanding.
Night IR lighting seems less clear than the IR on the 19810, although it is still very good. I concur with another reviewer who suggested controlling the IR manually rather than using "auto" mode.

So is the 19821w v2 worth more than twice as much as the 198210w? Probably not with the current software provided. I will update this review to 5 stars when software is stable, and more user friendly. If a superb image is your primary concern, then this is the camera you want. Few if any cameras match this image at this price.

UPDATE 12/30/2013 . I have raised my rating from 4 stars to 5 for the following reasons: After looking at the IR image for several days, it seems to be equal to or better than any camera I own. Additionally, the low-light sensitivity of 19821w v2 is spectacular. When my other cameras (2 Panasonics and 1 Foscam 19810) are struggling to provide an image (no IR), the 19821w is crystal clear even with the IR off. Additionally, the image colors with the new 19821w v2 are superb. Note that the 19821w does take longer to load an image because of the increased resolution and bandwidth used. Still, the lag is minimal and the crystal clear image more than makes up for the delay loading. Very pleased with this camera. Forget about using the Foscam client software, however...use Blue Iris instead. And for the cell phone, use IP Cam Viewer Pro from Robert Chou. I plan on replacing my Panasonic IP cameras with these new Foscams.

UPDATE 7/5/2014. So impressed with how this camera has been working, I purchased a second one at a much lower cost from Amazon. For around $100 this camera is an unbelievable bargain. I have never had any problems with my other two Foscam cameras. Highly recommend this camera.
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on November 21, 2013
I have looked at around a dozen different offerings at this price point and capability level, each one has issues, including the ones from name brands and this one as well - but for this one, no show stoppers really.

As a Network Engineer, and one who also implemented and manages an Avigilon surveillance system with 200 cameras, I can tell you that this is a pretty decent item for this price must upgrade the firmware for it to work as it should.

The reality is folks, that if you are looking for something at this price point ~$150, the picture quality is not going to be like your HD TV, it just isn't...period. For example, I just installed ONE $4500.00 2MP PTZ at work, now it is in a dome with a heater, but the camera itself is ~$2500 to $3000. And even that won't have a picture like your HD TV - Not gonna happen people.

Setup recommendations:

1. UPGRADE FIRMWARE!!!!, Follow instructions very carefully (upgrade system firmware, then upgrade transitional app firmware, then upgrade to final app firmware - this will make sense when you read instructions).

2. Manually turn IR on and off, it seems a bit flaky and in certain lighting conditions, will switch back and forth often, so I do it manually on or off, vs. Auto.

Don't expect that this $150 camera is going to be "Awesome", it just isn't, but it does the job i want, I watch my kid at home.

I haven't yet tried the audio, so...nothing to say there.

So, bottom line folks is that I am right now looking at my 7 month old son at home, while I'm at work, without any additional third party service etc., Simply follow instructions, give the camera a static IP, port forward on router to that static IP. To test, you will have to be outside your home network, so go to your neighbors or work, and then enter the DDNS address provided to you on the settings section under Network, should be something like [...]

Ok so folks, if you are not technically inclined I would make sure that you have someone in your family that is or do not get this camera. Otherwise, yes, works pretty good. Out of the box I had it running and tested in 30 minutes, then next day after seeing freezing issues, I upgraded firmware, no issues since.

Hope that helps someone.
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on February 16, 2015
He bought this instead of the baby monitor we had that costed $300! The quality is so much better with this. I can see my son breathing which always reassuring for a nervous mom. Don't waste your money on a baby monitor that will show you a blur of your child. Get this for a perfect view of your baby. Check out the picture so see the quality.
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on October 8, 2013
I had an earlier model of this camera for 2 years prior to this one. The first camera was pretty easy to set up but I have a technical background. The second camera setup was easier, not only because I had done it before but because some of the buggy stuff of the first camera was fixed. I had a few minor issues:

The non-IE plugin did not install automatically. When I clicked the link to the plug-in on the web interface, I got a prompt that asked what application I wanted to use to open the plug-in. I had to search for the browser exe, in my case Firefox, and open it with that before it would install. It took my friend a while to figure it out and if my mother was using Firefox she wouldn't have known what to do. IE just asks for permission to install an ActiveX object.

Another thing that is more troubling is the blurry spot on to the right.

I wrote to Foscam to find out what the camera URI was in order to create a shortcut to the stream in VLC Media Player. They responded quickly. Here is a link to the instructions:


I have the camera mounted under an overhang in my yard. We live in Phoenix so it doesn't rain very much but it gets extremely hot for 5 months during the summer.

My husband and I have a TNR feral cat sanctuary in our yard. This higher resolution model camera is better than the last one in many ways. Moving it around is much smoother and the web interface has improved considerably. My friends and family thousands of miles away can log in and remotely control it. They think it's awesome.

I've uploaded a video. It's very dark out there. There are many cats in the yard in addition to those you can see easily. Some are farther away from the camera so all you can see is their glowy eyes reflecting the IR light. The color is pretty sharp during the day but at night there's very little color so the white cats are either white or orange tabbies.
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on August 11, 2014
If you are looking for an inexpensive and still great security camera (and you know a little about networks) this is the one for you!

The camera works exactly as expected, it has great video quality and it has tons of features: you can view the camera through a web page and even move it, you can create different accounts with access levels (maybe you want someone to see it but not move the camera), you can set at what time it should start recording with infra-red (or let it figure it out by itself), and you can add many different cameras and monitor all of them from the same interface!

Unfortunately the great price it has is because it may not be easy to set up by everybody, you need a little bit of knowledge of networks, at least you should be able to set up port forwarding on your home router and configure a static IP Address. If you don't know how to do or don't know someone who does, configuring this camera can be frustrating but please ask around, do some research and even ask questions here! I'll try to answer them :-)

Here is what I did to set up the camera:

1. Plug it in with an ethernet cable
2. Use Foscam software to find and connect to the camera the first time (you may need to install a plugin on your browser at this point, the link will be provided there), go to Settings - Network - Wireless Settings and configure Wi-Fi
3. At this point you can unplug ethernet cable and mount your camera wherever it will be placed, plug it in
4. Use again Foscam software to find your camera
(Some network knowledge needed for the next steps)
5. Go to Settings - Network - IP Configuration to set a static IP Address on the camera
6. Go to Settings - Network - DDNS and check Enable DDNS, leave it with manufacturer's DDNS (copy the address it created)
7. Go to your router and set port forwarding to the static IP you set on step 5, port 88 (this varies a lot from router to router, sorry I can't provide more guidance here)
8. Open the address you copied from step 6 (add :88 in the end), you may need to install a plugin on your browser (link will be provided there) to view the camera

I think this is a great camera at an awesome price. I'm actually thinking of adding maybe one or two more at my house so I can test the multiple views :-)
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on August 12, 2014
Please see the review-> I'm a high-level IT person, as he/she is, so please keep in mind that I'm coming from that perspective.

I've had spectacular results from this camera. Both the video and audio are great, and they both exceeded my expectations. I'm using the camera to monitor activity in our duck house outside, perhaps 100 feet from our access point. We aren't using this one as an indoor camera, as inside our house. It's in a somewhat remote enclosure.

G gives good advice to update the firmware in his first point. Do that before you even attempt to set up the camera for remote access. Any electronic device that allows a firmware upgrade needs to be updated before you even start to configure it. Most of this stuff sets on a shelf for weeks before it's shipped, and firmware should be updated by the time you get it to fix bugs or add features.

The video isn't what I get from my HD TV, as G mentioned, but it's very clear and much better than I expected considering where the camera is located. That's okay since I'm not trying to watch an HD movie. I'm just monitoring, and it's wonderful.

The audio is also much better than I expected. When I was researching cameras for this, I found tons of reviews for other cameras that said the audio had so much static that it was practically useless. That's not what I've experienced with this camera. We have some ambient noise since ours is using wifi and in a duck house, but we had no audio problems when I was doing the initial configuration inside the house before we moved it. It's great even since the move. We have the noise from outside the house instead of just inside the house, which means it's sensitive. If you're using it inside your own house, you shouldn't have the ambient noise issue.

To go back to G's review again and put it in different terms...The setup of this camera is not for the faint of heart if you're not familiar with how to modify router configurations, port forwarding, static IP addresses or long-term IP leases, etc. I couldn't deduct a star for any of that, but maybe I should. The setup is NOT easy. There's only one person I can think of in my family/friends who would be able to set this up without my help.
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on November 16, 2013
The cam is slightly larger than I imagined but other than that this is a great device. I'm using it as a baby cam at the moment and compared to the price of other baby cam this tops them all by far. I purchased for $160 on Amazon. Most of the other baby cams at this price point do not have all of the features that this cam does. The baby industry is notorious for gouging customers! A baby cam with half the features would cost $200 or more. It's ridiculous.

- 720p
- pan, tilt is excellent. It allows me to place the camera on the ledge of the fire mantle and I can easily see my entire bedroom by moving around the cam
- Viewing angle is extremely wide. I need to zoom in because it's so wide in fact!
- Built in DVR with SD card (32gb)
- Two way audio communication
- Excellent night vision
- Remote viewing on my android phone. I can just fire up the app to see my son while I'm at work. Just a note about the official Foscam app; I don't like it very much although it gets the job done. Also keep in mind that there will be delay for remote viewing. If I'm connected at home and connected into my own wifi the delay is about 0.5-1s.
- It can do motion detection but I don't use that function so I am not as familiar with how effective it is.
- Wireless but...

- The wireless is a great feature and option, however, if you are streaming at 720p it's going to hog that bandwidth. I am only using this currently within my network so it's not an issue at the moment. The great thing about this is that after I use it as a baby cam, I can later set it up and setup a few more cameras to make a home surveillance system. Also if you want to stream it outside of your network, of course it's going to use up a lot of bandwidth. But that's like complaining that your Bentley gets poor gas mileage.

*update 2 weeks later (11/24/13)
5/5 stars still for quality and price but I just wanted to give some more feedback.

The Foscam official Android app leaves much to be desired. Fortunately there are many Foscam compatible apps. I switch between the official app and the free version of tinycam for Android. The main problem I have is that by default you cannot stream off of wifi (you have to toggle almost everytime you switch into the app) and the audio feedback when you have audio on with the mic on as well. I have to turn one off and the other on for it to be useful; which can be cumbersome.
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on May 6, 2014
A lot of what I wanted to say has already been said in countless other reviews. Here's my two cents: If you're looking to get one camera and not tie it into an IP camera surveillance software, then this is actually a really nice camera (especially for the price). I bought this in hope to replace one of my existing IP cameras that had poor color reproduction.'

The colors are rich and saturated and really accurate compared to other cheap cameras I've used. The overall image quality, however, is not sharp at all. Almost blurry. The image quality is definitely better than the FI8910W (which I have several of), but it's not a huge difference. I watched a lot of demo videos before buying this camera and they were convincing enough for me to want to try it myself. Indoor, the camera's quality in low light was like a stretched out/wider angle version of the FI8910W.

Now, the reason this is getting sent back and why this camera is not usable in my environment:
This camera uses a strange implementation of an RTSP server which is buggy at best. The image quality from this camera when streaming to my surveillance software is glitchy, drops frames frequently/green screen refreshes, and seems to send the stream in bursts. That last part sounds strange, so I'll try to explain what I mean. Through the web interface, using Foscam's internal proprietary protocol this camera steadies a nice 30fps which no visual problems, stuttering, or bursts. Utilizing the RTSP stream, however, the image is unreliable and unpredictable. The bursts are where the stream will go from 30fps to 80fps and back down to 30fps (repeatedly). A real-world example of how this looks is capturing video of someone walking down the sidewalk. Walk, sprint, walk, sprint. It's constant, and that in itself is reason enough for me to disqualify this product as a security camera.

If Foscam could fix their RTSP implementation, this would be a killer budget camera. I'm still giving it three stars because if you use it from the web interface or Foscam app on your phone, the overall quality and stream is acceptable. If you want to tie this camera into your surveillance system and will have to rely on the RTSP stream, beware. You may find yourself in a scenario just like me and countless others that wanted to give this affordable camera a try.
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