We've been upgrading our security system from Logitech cams to IP cams, and let me tell ya, the difference is stark. Logitech's security cams have always been wonky, but now with the addition of these new IP cams, Logitech's shortcomings have become stark. Do yourself a favor, and get these IP cams instead.
> Foscam vs Tenvis
This Tenvis looks to be identical to this older Foscam FI8918W. Tenvis performs just as well as this old model Foscam, but has a slightly narrower Pan & Tilt range:
Tenvis: Horizontal 270°; Vertical 90°
Foscam: Horizontal 270°; Vertical 120°
That 30° difference in the vertical lens movement can be a big deal, depending on the environment where you're using the cams. A little extra coverage is never a bad thing.
> User Interface
Tenvis just doesn't even come close to Foscam in this department. Foscam is much more refined, pleasing to the eye and just downright easier to use. Tenvis, by contrast, appears much cruder and rudimentary. The UI is loaded onto each cam itself, so all you need is a web browser to view all the options. Tenvis basically has the same features, but just not laid out as nicely as Foscam.
> No IR LED Control
One stunning omission with the Tenvis' functionality, is that you can NOT turn off the infra red LEDs manually. This is important, because IR LEDs will NOT work through glass. Even though IR isn't visible to the naked eye, the cam certainly sees it, and if you try to place this in a window looking outside, all the cam sees is a white spotlight reflecting off the glass. So in that instance, turning off the LEDs would be helpful. Also, there's some cam locations that have plenty of light, even at night, so turning off the LEDs would help make the cam more stealth. As it is, this is just not possible with Tenvis.
The wireless range doesn't appear to be as good with Tenvis compared to Foscam. However, adding a longer external antenna seemed to help the issue. I got this one: WIFI 10 dBi 2.4GHz Antenna and they work quite well. About 3.5x longer than the antenna that came with this Tenvis. Definitely worthwhile.
We got this Tenvis for about half the cost of the new Foscam FI8916W - New Housing. At that price, we just couldn't pass up on adding another cam to our system. This cam is excellent for the money, but Foscam is better constructed, IMO. This one just feels a bit cheap by comparison. However, once it's mounted, none of that really matters, since it functions just fine.
> Not As Many PTZ Presets
Foscam has 8, Tenvis has 6. No stark difference, but certainly worth noting.
> Works With Blue Iris Software
We recently upgraded our software to Foscam Blue Iris Professional, and let me tell ya, it's fantastic. Puts Logitech to shame for sure. Blue Iris works with almost every webcam, USB cam, and IP cam on the market. Setting up this Tenvis on it was quick and seamless.
**Note** - You can use EITHER Foscam or Tenvis settings for this cam. Both work. Just good to know, in case some unknown conflict arises.
> Picture Quality
The images from the cam look fantastic. Seems to be on par with Foscam in this dept. Nice, crystal clear images, and very detailed. Almost looks HD, even though it's the old standard of 640x480.
> Pan & Tilt
Tenvis isn't as smooth as Foscam with the pan and tilt movement. The motor works fine, but the images can be a bit jerky. This might be related to wireless range. Nothing terrible, but worth noting.
> Iffy Mounting Bracket
By far, Tenvis is inferior to Foscam in this dept. Their mount just feels cheap by comparison, and like it could easily break if you over-tighten your screws. Plus, the angle adjustment knobs just don't stay in place as nicely, or clamp down as tight as Foscam's mounting bracket. If you bump your Tenvis, or don't handle it gingerly, the bracket moves from where you've set it and you have to make readjustments.
> Loud PTZ Motor
If you're planning on recording audio from this Tenvis, be aware that the mic picks up the PTZ motor while it's moving. When the PTZ motor stops, you can hear audio just fine. But once that motor kicks in again, you won't hear much, other than that PTZ motor whirring quite loudly into the mic.
You'll need some knowledge of IP addresses and basic routing, but nothing difficult. A few paragraphs of reading at most. Very easy to setup and get going. Mine was up and running within 15 minutes. Granted, it was another day or 2 of tinkering to refine everything exactly how I want it, but the initial setup took no time at all. I didn't even read the enclosed material; just jumped right in and got it all setup in a snap.
Bottom Line -- This is a fantastic IP cam for the money, but the user interface isn't as user friendly as Foscam. If I need another budget cam, I'd definitely get another Tenvis. However, if there's a deal to be had on Foscam, I'd pick that one over Tenvis for sure. We're quite happy with our Tenvis, particularly at the price we got it for. Hands-down it kicks Logiteh's arse; very nice to finally be dumping WiLife. Happy! ;oD