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Customer Review

86 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Junk - Maybe Not (Updated), February 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black) (Camera)
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.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2012 4:20:50 PM PST
Michi says:
I have the older version, the F8918w I think it is. It took a long time to figure out how to get it running. The manual is horrible, and lots of confusing information out there. Foscam could save themselves a lot of bad reviews if they actually hired someone who spoke English and knew how write good instructions. My guess is that your camera probably would have started to work for you at some point if you continued to mess with it. Of course, it's not everyone's thing to spend 50 hours to get a product working. I really was hoping that the new version of this camera would be improved in all ways, but reading all these reviews makes me think that's not the case. What a bummer...

Posted on Mar 6, 2012 6:49:08 PM PST
Vladimir says:
I am looking into a D Link wireless camera. I hope it works better than this one did.

Posted on May 16, 2012 8:40:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 16, 2012 8:46:17 PM PDT
Vladimir,

You're absolutely right about Foscam and their phony customer service they claim they provide. It's merely a front just so they can say they have customer service at all. Even if you buy directly from them they still don't answer their phone lines, nor do they return messages from customers. They also do not return emails from customers either. Again, it's just a front merely to claim they have a CS department. Pure BS with these people. And it isn't Amazon that's the problem here, but rather FOSCAM. If you buy direct from Foscam they tell you what wonderful "support" you'll receive. fact is you'll get *nothing* from them. not even a stinkin' email after 6 months of waiting. However, Amazon is a completely different issue. I strongly suggest ordering through them and you'll have zero problems, ever. My first FI8910W was direct through Foscam. The second and every purchase I make from hereafter will be via Amazon. They know how to run a real business and provide *real* support and Customer Service. Can't say enough about these fine people :)

The camera is so-so but I got it to work well enough to where I can at least I like it (within reason). And you're also correct as far as the firmware update download. What a crock of sh**. They provide absolutely ZERO information on this issue and don't do what they claim they offer. You're also correct about all these camera's being made by the same parent company. Everything is made in China and is worse than garbage. But that's what we get from China anymore is ultra cheap TRASH (say that fast three times).

I bought two of these FI8910W camera's. One is wired and the other is wireless, as it's in a remote location. It took a lot of "tweaking" to get them to work reasonably well but they're all set now and have been working good enough since then. And you're also correct about not having to pay for DNS if your configure things correctly. There's no need to pay for such a service but most people don't know that and will just do it regardless thinking there's no other way, which there certainly IS.

Overall this is an *okay* camera system that works so-so but can be a reasonably good buy depending on your application. If you do invest in this model just don't expect ANY support from Foscam because it just ain't there in any form regardless of their BS claim they do because that's a bold-faced LIE and they know it. Would I buy again? For a hundred bucks and for my personal application, yes. If it were for anything other than that, NO. I'd invest more and get a real system.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 11:35:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2012 11:36:29 AM PDT
CJP says:
You can download the latest Foscam firmware directly from this Foscam webpage: http://foscam.us/firmware5.html

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 2:00:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2012 2:17:36 PM PST
Before anyone accuses me of working for Foscam, let me be clear that I don't work for them. I am NOT even commenting on this product at all. I am commenting on some misconceptions and misinformation I keep seeing in many reviews of this product.

#1) The use of a DNS host service, like DynDNS many reviewers mention here, is completely optional. It is NOT a requirement.

#2) If you have a static external IP provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you absolutely DON'T need a DNS host service. A commercial / business internet line is usually provisioned with a static external IP.

#3) Even If you have a dynamic external IP, like almost every residential internet line, you still are NOT REQUIRED to use a DNS host service - although using one will make things more easy for you. This is b/c in most cases, even if you are on a dynamic external IP, the IP address doesn't really change that often at all. AND, if you DON'T plan on accessing the cam from outside of your home network, like when you are away from home, the external IP and, hence, the DNS host service, is a non-issue. (But of course, almost all of us DO want the monitoring ability when we are away from home.)

#4) There are FREE DNS host services if you CHOOSE to use one. You don't need to use the paid service from DynDNS.

#5) The reviewer says, "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."

Unless I misunderstand him (in which case I'll apologize), he seems to be saying that in a wired setup you don't need a DNS host service but in a wireless setup, you'll need a DNS host service. This is just WRONG. Whether you need to use a DNS host service or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether it is a wired or a wireless setup. The need to use a DNS host service depends on a) whether you have a dynamic external IP or not and b) if you do have a dynamic external IP, how often the IP address changes. The fact that it's a wired or wireless setup doesn't make a difference at all. The reviewer seems to misunderstand the reason why he needs to configure "Port Forwarding" for the INTERNAL ip addresses, which has absolutely nothing to do with the use of a DNS host service or not which concerns only the EXTERNAL ip address.

As you can see, I am just commenting on the technical issues on setting up this type of devices and NOT the product itself at all. Maybe this product is really junky, I don't know and will not comment on it. So please, again, before I am accused of working for Foscam, I am NOT.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 2:45:35 PM PST
Vladimir says:
Yeah you totally misunderstood what I said. I said, the wireless on this camera is crap and doesn't work, period. Second, the camera works great if you don't need it to be wireless, but just an ethernet cable to it. You do not need any DNS service, period. I have a dynamic IP setup and my IP hasn't changed in a long long time. Foscam has non existent technical support. I'm an IT Professional for 20 years and I spent several weeks on trying to get the camera to work on two different brands of wireless routers and it didnt work.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 4:43:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2012 4:44:03 PM PST
Ok, I do apologize that I misunderstood your statement. I was prompted to write my comment b/c I have seen so many of wrong comments about using a DNS host service with the cam.

Anyway, have you tried exchanging the unit? Maybe you've got a lemon?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 5:17:42 PM PST
This is excellent information for anyone wondering about this. I also have a dynamic IP that will change from time to time but I happen to use TeamViewer for remote access to my and other computers and every few months when my IP does happen to change I can use TeamViewer to remote-in to my computer and determine the newly changed IP and change it accordingly under the camera's settings menu.

This is probably too much for many people to grasp but for those who do it's a quick, simple method of getting around the issue of having a standard dynamic IP at the point your address changes. I just happen to use TeamViewer because working in the IT field for many years I seem to be the go-to guy for my entire family and their friends, and I find programs like TeamViewer allow me to fix the majority of peoples' PC issues. The added bonus is it allows you to remote-in to your own PC anytime you want, even from a smart-phone, and you can simply ascertain your new IP from there and do your thing :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 6:11:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2012 6:14:49 PM PST
Yes, TeamViewer, that's what I do too instead of using a DNS host service ... have too many accounts of stuffs already. i posted this workaround in another reviewer's comment section also for other readers to consider.
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