73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
I usually don't write review on Amazon but I specifically want to spend some time to review this product. So, I was looking into an outdoor camera for my house, after much research, I decided to get Foscam for their quality and value. I saw in this review, there are a lot of people having problem setting up their camera which includes an IT guy. I'm myself an IT guy so I was kinda worry when I saw that kind of feedback from other IT guy.
So after I order and received this camera, I got it working right away and set wireless, virtual server (port forwarding), giving dynamic DNS, etc. in about 30 mins. I don't even install the included software. Seems pretty straight forward to me. So here's the step I did.
1. Plug the camera using the power supply to an outlet and the CAT5 cable to the back of your router.
2. Go to your router backend (usually 192.168.0.1), login and see from status if there's a new device attached to it (the camera name itself as "UNKNOWN" or simply no name), you should see some IP like 192.168.0.101, etc.
3. To test it, go to the IP you see on the browser ex. [...] - if it loads up then you are good!
4. Then you login to the camera backend interface as "admin" with no password, from there I setup my WiFi
5. You need to click scan twice in order to saw the access point list, once it show up, choose your connection and put in your WEP or WPA key if you have your WiFi secured then hit submit
6. To test your WiFi, just disconnect the CAT5 cable and then the power supply then reconnect it again. Wait for a little while and go back to your router management website and see if there's any new Wireless device connected.
7. Once you see the new wireless device, write down the IP and try to connect using your browser.
8. After that you can use DHCP reservation to make sure your camera have static private IP. Remember: Wireless and Wired connection have different MAC address so make sure you reserve the correct one (you should be able to see the MAC address for wireless and wired at the back of your camera, top right is for wireless)
9. Setup a virtual server / port forwarding so anytime you want to access the camera from the Internet anywhere in the world, you could do that. For example, forward any port 7000 to your camera IP ex. 192.168.0.101 and port 80. Then setup a dynamic DNS from your router so it will be easier to remember (most router should support it, I know my DIR-601 does). If not, then you can setup up the dynamic DNS within that camera itself.
10. Setup your mail settings / FTP settings from the camera backend, remember you have to hit submit first after you enter the information BEFORE you can hit the test button.
11. I have tried using motion detection and it send out to my email just fine.
I guess that's it. I think it took me longer to write this review than setting up the camera but I hope you guys can learn more from this.
Some people may deduct 1 start because the manual is almost useless and written with poor English. But any IT guy should be able to do it without even reading the manual. The product itself is great and the night vision is awesome (I just wish there's a switch to turn off the night vision so it doesn't show glowing red at night when I don't want to use it).
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
I must say I've read all of the other reviews before purchasing this, so I was warned. Unfortunately, I still had questions after reading the reviews and the only way to answer them was to have a camera in hand.
THe FOSCAM camera brand is not all bad; the indoor cameras are quite worth the money and function superbly. This OUTDOOR camera, however, is one to avoid.
It wasn't particularly difficult to install. All the other reviewers focus on the network setup. I'll say only you have to know your way around your router to be able to make this work wirelessly. No step-by-step procedures from me: they're avialable elsewhere.
My complaint is twofold: the design of the camera and the quality.
As the camera is supposed to be an outdoor camera, I give it an "F" for design. It has a huge tri-purpose cable leaving the back of the camera that cannot be disconnected from the camera. On top of that, it has a massive ethernet jack at the end to plug in to the computer, a jack to connect the decidely INDOOR power supply and a reset button (all connected to the cable). The idea is that you run this all-weather cable INTO your house and if you need to connect to it later you can do it. My question is, How?
I would rather have an easy way to DISCONNECT the cable from the camera and BRING IT INSIDE than have to haul a computer up to my attic to plug it in. Also, I had to drill a 1.25 inch HOLE in the facia to get this monster connector through. Poor poor poor design.
The second complaint is quality. The camera is only 30 feet from the router yet it updates maybe every 3-5 seconds. Not really video as much as a lot of stills. It also has a very narrow field of view that, when mounted under the eaves of my two story house (all the way to the side of the house) it barely allows visibility to the front door stoop centered on the front of the house. To cover my front door and the approach, I actually need 2 or 3 cameras. Very disappointing.
After having it only 2 weeks it also appears to be failing now - not connecting on the network despite many trip up to the attic to press the conveniently located "reset" button.
The fact is, I ordered the two-pack of the camera and one is working like a champ (but 50% is still an 'F' in my book) - although it has inaccessible cable connection because of the difficulty in running the wire into the house (I actually have it connected to a LONG extension cord that hangs down the side of the house into a backyard socket - but I had to DUCT TAPE the indoor power supply to make it all weather.)
I don't know the answer to your question of "What kind of outdoor security camera should I buy", because I'm still looking. The FOSCAM Outdoor Camera didn't meet my expectations and unless you have VERY unique and convenient mounting requirements, you'll be disappointed too.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
Setup requires you to connect via ethernet, and find the IP address of the camera (If you run windows, they provide a utility for this step). I had to access my router to get the IP address of the camera.
The UI is fairly straightforward for setup, and is very responsive. It would be nice if the documentation described the APIs that are used on the camera to make settings changes so one could script them, but this isn't difficult to figure out if you know what you're doing (I needed to change the brightness settings from daytime to nighttime automatically).
The mounts supplied with the cameras get the job done, but are a little flimsy, relying on friction from drawing two opposing plates together against a ball joint to prevent movement. I had to use a small pliers to get the mount to a point where it was not moving.
While the housing itself seems quite weatherproof, there are several connectors that hang off the unit, ethernet, reset, sound, power, and I am unclear as to the suitability of those connectors to weather exposure. In my application, however, I can get those connectors to a dry place.
The antennas on these units are fixed at a right angle. They can only be adjusted by rotating the mounting nut. There are other brands of this type of camera that allow the mounting nut to be fully tightened but still allow the antenna to rotate on two axis for best signal strength.
The IR emitters are quite bright, but are narrowly focused. With the 6mm lens that shipped with my cameras (I was expecting the 3.6mm lenses) the field of view would be completely illuminated by the emitters. With the 2.8mm lenses I have since installed in the units, there is a very distinct illuminated circle in the center of my image at night. This is no fault of the camera, as the 2.8mm lens is well outside the design parameters of the camera.
For me, the cameras shipped with outdated firmware. Foscam's website has an update available but to get it you must enter your email address and sign up for their newsletter via email; they then email you the links to the firmware update. Seems kind of scummy to me, firmware updates should be freely downloadable from the website without having to agree to get newsletter spam.
Cameras that do what these do, from brand name sources, cost upwards of $300 and don't have much better image quality from what I've seen.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
I have set up the 905, 904, and the indoor 918.
I am not an employee of foscam. I am not a computer savy person. I am a scientist. I have never set up a wireless IP camera before...and just got a smartphone last month. So, you could say a am truly a newb in the wifi world.
That said... each of those models have been great. I struggled with getting the cameras to go wireless, and did contact customer service at foscam (several were purchased through foscam, several through amazon). They were helpful, but couldn't get them to work either. I finally found the silly error we were making (my fault) and now they are working perfectly. Now I can get a new camera to go wireless and recording out of the box within 5min. It takes longer to find a spot to mount than it does to set up. The Blue Iris software is a great additional purchase from foscam and helps with all the quirks in recording, etc... and think that is a must with these cameras.
In order to set these up, you will need to know your router's username/password...your SSID, your shared key, and your security settings. You will need to port forward (and/or set up as a virtual server). Foscam will help if you purchase directly from them, but the instructions are outlined very clearly in the manuals.
The 905 has a much longer range of sensitivity (than the 904)...which is longer than even the mega bright IR lights will reach at night. But as a result it has a much narrower angle of coverage...even when I pull back the protective rain shield. I would definitely recommend this camera for long range purposes.
See also my other reviews for the other models I mentioned.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
This camera has outstanding long range views - however, if you need it to cover just your front of the house or garage it is much too powerful - would work really well for large parking lots and mounted very high - or, you could use it to survey the entire neighborhood - the 30 degree lense gives you a very narrow close up range - again, as you look down the block you get great views - put it across the street and point back to your house and you would have a good view - just need power there!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I have set up 5 foscam cameras over the last year, the first time it took me forever, now it takes about 15 minutes to get the cameras to do the minimum: send me emails when motion is detected and allow live monitoring.
The camera works well for security purposes i.e I don't expect HD imagery, but I get enough clarity to tell if it is my wife, my kid or a stranger. Actually this outdoor model decent resolution and accurate colors, the picture on the package does reflect what to expect, assuming adequate ambient light. Every now and then, the camera will flicker and the colors will go crazy for 1-5 minutes, it happens once or twice a week, not sure why
Bottom light: Buy WIFI I have experimented with several different brands and models of security cameras in the past few years, most of them are now in my junk drawer, WIFI this is by far the best design ..within my +/- $100 budget. The best as far as picture quality and ease of setup
Pros: reliable, looks sturdy, meets my basic needs, the first camera I configured over a year ago, and it has been pretty reliable. Another pro: phone APPS: IPHONE, IPAD and drone apps, tried several, they do work well
Cons: this fat pig tail with reset button, internet and power connection is awkward, I will use a junction box to hide it and to protect it from the elements. The software is antiquated and needs updating
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It is well made for the price. The external housing is either cheap metal or very good plastic. It does come with the mounting gimbals and they are adequate. I bought the add-on and it wasn't really necessary.
Assembly? Go to the website. The documentation is a lot easier to read there and far more detailed. Especially if you want to set up the advanced features. The software that it ships with is easy to use and you can get the wired version working quickly.
The daytime picture is *** good. Within 15 feet you could easily do a facial recognition. At 400 feet you can tell its a person and a dog walking by.
You must have an older router or one that can be rolled back to 801g/h. I have an N series and it can't be rolled back so now I need to figure how I want to do wireless. Check your router first! You'll need to assign static IP's too.
Also the power cord is too short as are the network cables. Maybe 5 ft. on the cable and 3 ft for the power. Night time picture is not so great.
For the price I am pleased and would buy it again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2013
They are great cameras they are outside cameras. They are night and day cameras. They produce great pictures. But they have large infant mortality. They die in the sun. They stop working or the picture is fuzzy or they stop working night time. The company keep shipping the returned cameras which you end up doing with the same issue over and over as the you keep getting bad cameras. It is hard to use them in commercial interests or at home as you have to keep shipping them back. Amazon is great. If they improve the product quality and stop shipping the returns then you would have great cameras.
I finally found the issue with these cameras. it will not work as a certain angle or tilt. if you have one that will not be found or disconnects, then change the angle. if it stops working then internal harness or board is loose or disconnected.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
first, one of the 2 units only worked hard wired. wirelsee was DOA. i am returning the ONE unit to the supplier. amazon was only going to allow me to return both for a refund. next, the unit takes GREAT pix in daylight and sends them to my email addr. at night, i have it 60' from the street and when cars go by i get a BLURRRRR of a passing vehicle and a swath of car lights. nothing you could use to ID the vehicle. when people walk by, they are more visible but still HARD to identify. the manual is DIFFICULT to understand. i phoned tech support and the nice Chinese man tried to explain things to me; the language barrier was a problem. when it rains at night, the camera sends pix every minute of a streak of raindrops. a real pain to wade thru! i dont know if there is a better solution since this is my first try @ wireless video surveillance. but this leaves a LOT to be desired if you are looking for nighttime pix.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
I bought three of these and my comment is "you get what you pay for" they are cheap and work just ok. Their set up instructions are a joke which makes set up very difficult and time consuming. I finally gave up trying to get the motion alarm to work on one camera and spent an hour on the phone with a rep that I could hardly understand and obviously knew nothing about the camera and was reading from a script. Her help was useless and a month later the alarm function still does not work on that one camera. In addition, the motion alarm works sporadically on the other two. If your not very familiar with configuring DSL/Cable modems and wireless routers you are going to have an impossible time getting these to work especially if your using a Mac.