Customer Review

416 of 456 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way more than I expected!, January 14, 2011
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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) (Electronics)
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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Comments

Tracked by 11 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 2, 2011 11:31:26 AM PST
A. Bogdan says:
Thanks for the excellent, detailed review! It will be very handy as I set up my own system.

Posted on Mar 8, 2011 8:54:41 PM PST
if you want to monitor and control this camera from your cell or any browser do a google for keywords FI8918W control free
select the link to the foscam forum
the HTML script does it all with a tiny control shell

Posted on May 29, 2011 5:13:14 PM PDT
Liam says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 9, 2011 9:35:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 9, 2011 9:53:44 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 3, 2011 10:55:39 AM PDT
Debbie Lane says:
I purchased this and had to hire an IT tech to assist. He couldn't get it working and has said its defective but I'm wondering if it just isn't an installation problem.
When you plugged the camera in for the first time, did it pan

Posted on Aug 17, 2011 3:07:58 PM PDT
F. Monsky says:
Great review. Thanks.

Posted on Sep 3, 2011 2:00:28 PM PDT
Hey fellow Alaskan, how does the camera work in the cold? I want to purchase a couple but worried the cold might effect them. Thank you

Posted on Sep 7, 2011 8:10:44 AM PDT
Seth says:
Thank you for your kind efforts here. I too have been shopping extensively and it is a quagmire of stuff, with absurd range of prices for similar cameras, it seems. This review has me convinced, finally, where to start, and for much less lay out than expected. Thanks again, and good luck on you tour of duty...
Best, Stephen Thomas MD

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 9:15:56 AM PDT
Corey Perez says:
Debbie. Yes when i power the camera up it does start to pan around.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2011 9:17:51 AM PDT
Corey Perez says:
Tate,

All of my cameras are used indoors. I'm nit sure how they would operate in the cold but I have thought about that as well. Hanging them on the corners of the house. I may give it a test this winter but no promises.
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Location: Fairbanks (AK)

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