Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "Bang for Buck" On the Market
I feel compelled to write this review to bump up the average score, as some of the less glowing reviews reflect limitations of IP cameras in general and not specific flaws of this product which, for the price, is excellent.

Like any IP device it takes some initial configuration. If, like me, you have some experience of this then instructions and installation...
Published on 7 Feb. 2012 by Surf Shack

versus
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by daytime colour balance
This is my third type IP cam. My first was in the early days of IP cams and very poor video quality. My next purchase which was a Panasonic BL-C131. The Panasonic was good but cost 2.5 times the price of the Foscam when purchased - no longer made and so I can't comment on pricing of its current equivalent. It makes the Foscam, although far from perfect, but good value...
Published on 9 July 2011 by Andy


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best "Bang for Buck" On the Market, 7 Feb. 2012
I feel compelled to write this review to bump up the average score, as some of the less glowing reviews reflect limitations of IP cameras in general and not specific flaws of this product which, for the price, is excellent.

Like any IP device it takes some initial configuration. If, like me, you have some experience of this then instructions and installation CD can be bypassed. I had the device connected via ethernet, looked up the IP address on my router, logged onto the camera and got the wireless going in less than 5 minutes. With prior CCTV experience I found the web interface to be limited but functional. I used this to do the initial wireless set up and, importantly, set up a static LAN IP address for the camera. This is crucial to avoid future problems connecting to the camera after power outages for either your router or camera.

Now. I can see that many people are struggling with connecting remotely to the camera, i.e. not from over the local network but from outside your home/workplace. For this you need to have a suitable port number set up on the camera and this same port number "forwarded" on your router and assigned to the relevant IP address. Then you need the external IP address for your connection to your internet provider. You will then be able to log on to your router using a combination of this IP address and port number so, for example: Your external IP might be 87.125.65.88(this number completely fictional) and you use port number 173. You would then type 87.125.65.88:173 into your browser from outside your home and voila! There are numerous guides for this on the internet and once you master this for the first time, setup of similar devices will become much easier. Bear in mind that most ADSL connections use dynamic IPs so when your router loses power or connection, it will not have the same external IP when it reconnects. The easiest option is to ask your provider for a static IP. If this is not possible, you need to use a dynamic DNS server. You can find these with a Google search.

I didn't even bother all that though. My primary purpose for this camera was to use it with a piece of iPhone/iPad software called iCam. You install a program on your MAC or PC called iCam Source which lets you connect to and control IP and webcams among your home devices. Using the app on iPad or iPhone you can then connect to up to 64 cameras running from a range of computers and devices from anywhere without the need to worry about port forwarding, IP addresses etc. The iCam Source software allows you to configure motion recording and, beautifully, notification alerts to your iPhone and iPad. This works brilliantly and gives you immediate notice whenever a motion event is triggered on a specific device. It even allows you to control Pan and Tilt functions on this camera. The app costs around £2 and complements this camera perfectly. I'm sure there are similar apps to do the same thing.

Finally I must comment on the value of the product. I install profesisonal grade CCTV and have played with a lot of expensive kit. When I saw that an IP camera with built in wireless AND pan and tilt functions AND infra red capability available for around £70 I was expecting the build quality and image quality to be atrocious. I couldn't have been more wrong. Whilst the image quality isn't great, it is adequate for home and office protection purposes. The pan and tilt works very well for the price too. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that the IR capability of the device matches some much more expensive kit, I'm talking non-IP cameras costing 4 or 5 times more than this. The build quality, although not what I would call robust, also surpassed expectations and is adequate.

In conclusion, this camera excels in no particular area except one - affordability. For the price I can't see anything beating it for functionality. I now intend to buy a few more for home use and this will save me significant money on the professional grade equipment I was intending to use.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Product., 23 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70 Viewing Angle) - Black NEWEST MODEL (replaces the FI8908W) (Personal Computers)
This was my first attempt at purchasing any product security related but after reading the reviews and product spec's and customer images, decided to buy camera. I was a bit unsure whether this would work as claimed and if so would I be able to setup the camera correctly.

After installing the initial software and looking at the function this camera offered I was really impressed. I was really interested in the remote function and the motion capture for this product. The instructions provided on how to open up ports on your router using portforward.com seemed difficult at first but finally understood this and it all configured nicely. I would advise if you are unable to configure the router on the default port 80 then I used 85.

Once the port was opened then the camera really came to life as I could now access this remotely and control the camera. Functions also include speaker to hear sounds ( in this case my living room) and also the talking function.

I was a bit confused about the email settings to use so when the camera detects any motion it can email me straight away. After look at a few web site found [...] which gives you a free email address with the settings that are needed for the camera. Once setup emails started arriving very quickly in batches of 6 attachments. Tried this with the night vision and works perfectly.

So at the moment I have my camera running Motion detection which emails me directly from the gmx email to my hotmail account. If I want to access the camera then I simply log onto the home IP address : port number and I have full access. With the Mobile phone access, you can contol the camera movement, enable night vision and a few other options. I am still looking into this but I have tried a few free apps on Windows Market place and some apps give you a extra option or so like take a picture. On the market place searched for ipcamera and downloaded the free apps.

Forgot to mention that when I login to via my laptop from work directly to my camera and no third party company in between then you get the full functions of the camera.

So all in all, it has only cost me the price tag and effort to setup and now accessing my camera for free and keeping an eye on my house.

Hope this review helps.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product but needs a little perseverence, 23 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70 Viewing Angle) - Black NEWEST MODEL (replaces the FI8908W) (Personal Computers)
First of all, if you're buying this as an outdoor camera then don't buy this one. I bought this to go on my wall above and to the side of my front door but quickly realised it is not viable. It might be waterproof, but the following aspects make it impracticle for outdoor use as a security camera:

The power connector is similar to that of any household DC appliance and there is no waterproofing of the connection at all. The power lead is bulky at the point it plugs into the camera so you could not put the cable easily through a drilled hole. The plug that comes with it has 1.5m of cable so your plug socket would have to be very close to the camera. The WIFI antenna is also not waterproofed at the connection point.

That said, I now use it as a kind of sentry in my front room. It sits in the corner and with a viewing angle of nearly 90 degrees it is able to catch entries from the front and back door entries to my house. The picture quality is quite good both day and night and it is able to pan and tilt to nearly 360 degrees so you should be able to look at anything within line of sight of the camera.

The camera is great. When I am away from home, if there is any movement my camera will take 6 photos at 1 second intervals and email them to me. I can access the camera from my Iphone or Ipad on 3G and also my laptop, and using these devices I can pick up a real time feed and pan the camera around and check everything is ok - very reassuring if I have to go away for a couple of weeks! I can also set a schedule for the email alarm so if I am normally home at evening and weekends, the camera doesn't send me hundreds of emails as I wander around my house. I can pick up sound from in my house, and the camera has the ability to relay my voice although for some reason it doesn't normally work too well. Very very happy with the camera, but like I said this is an indoor camera which would have got 5 stars if they had simply advertised it as a water resistant indoor camera.

A word of warning with setting up - it is not quite as plug and play as I would have liked. I was able to get it working quite quickly in terms of being able to view the picture on my laptop and mobile devices when everything is connected to my home network. Setting it up to work so I could access and use the camera over the internet took more time and perserverence. You will need to get into the nitty gritty of playing with the setting on your router. You will also need to set up a DNS account to help you access the camera from the internet. Also I found when I wanted to test the internet settings, when I tried to access the camera through the internet using my home network it just didn't work, then when I tried at a friends house everything worked fine so I have found I have 2 camera settings on my Iphone, Ipad and laptop - one for accessing the camera when I am home, and one for the internet. I needed to update the firmware as the DNS client Foscam used to use, no longer offers the free service - this took a surprisingly long amount of time to do. Additionally I also found Internet Explorer didn't work well with it at all, where as Firefox was able to view the camera no problem at all. At any rate, if you don't know the difference between a static and dynamic IP address, or what port forwarding is - then you will by the time you have set this up.

Anyway, if you can put up with a few hours of frustration setting it up (if you're into computers you could probably do it faster than me!) then this is a really great camera once it is fully set up. Easily worth the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just perfect!, 10 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70 Viewing Angle) - Black NEWEST MODEL (replaces the FI8908W) (Personal Computers)
After reading reviews on other Foscom products, I thought I would get myself one of these thinking perhaps it may be a little tiresome on the setup, but let me tell you, this camera really does pack one hell of a set of features for the money!

It's well packaged and arrived quickly. It looks solid as well and has options for adding your own microphone and speakers with a jack on the rear, but to be honest the in built mic and speaker are perfectly ok.

It also has wireless and you can even hard wire it in (my option) direct you your router. It even has a mounting bracket included!

Setup is quite easy if you are familiar with your router gui and you basically get the internal ip of your camera and log directly into that for the initial setup before going wireless. Please note, however, when you have configured the setup via a wired connection, the camera does change it's internal ip address once wireless. However, as noted above, just look on your router connections list and you'll see it there. It's then as simple as logging into the camera wirelessly using the wireless ip address. Sounds confusing, but it really is straightforward.

The features this camera has for the money are incredible. The DDNS alone works perfectly and I signed up for a free DNS service with no-ip.com, put the details into the feature of the camera and now I can login to the camera from the iphone (via 3rd party FoscamPro app).

Another great feature is the msn setting whereby you setup an msn account for your camera, add it to your friends list on your own msn and then you can "talk" to the camera. This is useful for finding out the external ip address of the camera, especially if you have a dynamic service and don't want to use a free DNS service to connect to your camera.

Then there is the ftp setting for uploading pictures. Again, I signed up for a free ftp service online, gathered the details and used the camera setting. If you use the built in "alarm motion detection" setting of the camera, along with the ftp setting then as soon as something is picked up on the camera, it uploads pictures to the free ftp service. If you get the one I signed up to then they also do an iphone app (which is free) and you can view the files that way.

But then, there is the email setting on the camera, which I used gmail settings for (look up foscam gmail settings). If you set it up this way the camera will email you pictures on motion detection.

There are so many more things to say about this camera. I like it so much that I'm thinking about getting another one. They really are fantastic value for money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by daytime colour balance, 9 July 2011
By 
Andy (Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is my third type IP cam. My first was in the early days of IP cams and very poor video quality. My next purchase which was a Panasonic BL-C131. The Panasonic was good but cost 2.5 times the price of the Foscam when purchased - no longer made and so I can't comment on pricing of its current equivalent. It makes the Foscam, although far from perfect, but good value for money. I simply could not justify buying multiple Panasonic IP cams for what was only a hobby usage.

The Foscam is a lot bulkier but not heavy. Comes with a mount if you don't want to leave it freestanding. Only quirk is that colour balance is way off - some greens (like tree foliage) are more like red and so I suspect that this is something to do with the IR capability messing it up when used in day time. May need to get some support advice on this.

Setup was easy. Docs are poor (at least the quick start guide that comes in the box) but then I have set up IP cams before. Maybe some people forget that a wireless cam has to be setup first as a wired cam. Then you can access the settings to enter your wireless SSID and key. Then you disconnect the Ethernet cable and voila you are wireless. You install the application they provide on the 8cm CD in the box. Then you have to find where your PC has placed a new icon on your desktop called IP Camera Tool. Open that and it will find your IP cam listed and it should have been given an IP address by your router. Double click on the camera IP address and you will get the login window in which you get a choice of ActiveX for IE or another means for other browsers. I tried the ActiveX route. One nuisance is that there is an authentication which requires you enter a username and password every time. Next problem is that the short installation guide does not tell what the default username and password is. You have to look at the full docs on the CD. The answer is username of admin and a blank password. You will get the normal Windows "do you want to allow installation of this control etc et5c". Say yes and you will see your camera output. Click on Administrator settings to do the serious stuff (and first priority is to set up wireless)

The range of movement is great. The specs quote this precisely but basically short of trying to look under the camera you can look anywhere! There are vertical and horizontal "patrol" settings and so you can have the camera scan the environment like a security camera.

Other great feature is that you can turn on a ring of IR leds around the lens and you have night vision. Works in total darkness. The IR leds can be turned on or off through the software. But it may be at the cost of normal colours during the day.

Have not looked into how you record images from the camera and upload to an FTP site. I have accessed the camera from mobile devices (e.g. iPhone and Android) and those allow you to embed the authentication into the settings and so no entering user names and passwords each time! So I have the camera output showing as a widget on an Android screen. Neat.

There appears to be swappable lenses (quite cheap) and so I may try that (although the site selling them has in small print that this invalidates the warranty!).

Price is very good on Amazon.

Loses out for poor docs, the forced authentication each time for access via a PC browser and the colour balance.

*** Update. Sorry to say I like this device less and less over time. The focus is not very sharp, the colour balance is not fixable - it is a feature. Although has good low light abilities, it is useless at night if placed to look out of a window - all you get are reflections. Great range of movement and if you want an IR camera not near a window. Bottom line would not buy another much as I had thought after a day or so. My Panasonic has much better image quality and colour balance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible (for the price), but let down by colour balance, 18 Mar. 2013
By 
LMD (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 2.8mm Lens (70 Viewing Angle) - Black NEWEST MODEL (replaces the FI8908W) (Personal Computers)
Bought to help grandparents over-seas have a bit more involvement with their newest grandchild, this camera has been an absolute marvel.

Initial setup using the supplied software (windows or Mac) is straightforward enough. Just plug the camera into the mains, load up the setup software identify your camera from the list of configurable devices and tell it which wireless network to connect to, give it the password and you're off! It really is that straightforward. Even better once configured, you can unplug the camera and move it around the house without needing to reconfigure it every time.

It's fairly bulky - about the size of a 1Kg bag of flour (but it doesn't weight any where near that much. It's supplied with a mounting bracket that allows you to position it at pretty much any angle which, combined with the pan/tilt function should mean you can get it set up just right. The slightly rubberised black finish is unobtrusive and the motors are pretty quiet so it doesn't really stand out.

Once setup, using it is simplicity itself. If you've got a UPnP firewall it will automatically configure the right internet connectivity and register itself at a dynamic DNS service (myfoscam.org) to give you a handy URL to access it through. Just log on to the camera's IP address and you are presented with the a username / password prompt. Enter the standard credential (detailed in the manual) and you're given the choice of 3 interfaces; ActiveX (for use with Internet Explorer); Server Push (for use with any other browser) or; Mobile (suited for smartphones/tablets). Of the 3 interfaces, Internet Explorere and ActiveX give the slickest user experience, but they all give you access to the video stream.

From the webcam page in the browser you can change further configuration settings for most other aspects of the camera - new user accounts (up to a total of 8, choosing between admin, operator or visitor modes), alert email addresses, integration with MSN Messenger, motion detection, sound detection etc are all possible. It really is an incredible range of features for the price.

So it looks smart, has a huge range of features, but what's the video actually like?

In truth, the video is "functional". At 640x480 the resolution is good enough for basic use. If anything, the low resolution means that streaming is a bit more tolerable for people with capped Internet usage or limited bandwidth. Frame rate is excellent, using Motion JPEG to stream the image, at max resolution it uses about 320kbps of bandwidth and it's good enough that family in australia and south africa are able to watch without complaint.

The camera comes with an array of infra-red LEDs to assist in "night mode". These can be disabled through the camera setup and when active, have a light-sensing switch so that they only come on when needed and they emit an eery red glow in the dark. Because of this preference for low-light sensitivity, and a drive to keep costs down, the lens isn't corrected for Infra-Red so there is a tendency for inaccuracies in colour - depending on the main light-source, images appear washed out and tend to have a distinct lack of red, blue or green in the images that it shows. For the indoor use I've been putting it to, this typically means that red is missing and images have a strong green or blue cast to the colour. Pinks and purples become blue, brown/beige becomes green etc. It can be a bit disconcerting, but you soon get used to it. And the colour balance is the one thing that I haven't been able to adjust through the camera settings.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it's also worth mentioning the audio capabilities. The Foscam has a built in microphone and speaker! So provided your Foscam account has been given operator or admin level privileges, you can listen to what's going on and even open up the speakers and talk through the camera! Who needs Skype?!?! OK, so there's quite a delay to the sound and it's disconcerting talking into a security camera rather than a telephone, but it kind of works - the only problem being that if you're not using headphones on your PC, it's prone to audio feedback.

If you're looking for other features, the pan/tilt functionality is fantastic. If you're an admin or operator, you can remotely reposition the camera viewing angle (within the limits of it's movement). If you don't want to reposition it all the time also it includes a "patrol" mode, where it will sweep through the full range (about 320deg horizontal) or vertical (about 110deg) and continuously scan the wider scene. at 70deg, the standard field of view is quite narrow.

It doesn't have any built in storage, so it won't save motion-activated clips, but you can get it to send a snapshot image of the time at which the alarm was triggered.

Phew. It's quite a feature list for a device that costs barely fifty-quid. So remember the price and, if you're prepared to put up with some niggles on colour balance, it's well worth the money!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and nice, 2 May 2011
By 
For the price, hard to beat. But the positionning motors lack precision. Returning to a pre-set position doesn't always get you there... sometimes adjustments are required. Also, audio is sometimes average. Finally, setting up WiFi required manual configuration. Once it works... it works. Image is nice. Colors sometimes off balance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera for the money, 18 Dec. 2012
By 
R. P. Wormald "robert w" (surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Camera was dispatched same day and attempted delivery made next day despite being standard delivery. Unfortunately, it was sent by DHL (I've never had a reliable delivery from them, ever!), consequently it took a further 4-days to get to me, after DHL had deleted my name from the package and attempted 4 deliveries to the wrong address!

Whinge over. The camera is solidly built and was easy to set up. It may be a little daunting if you are not technically minded, but the instruction booklet was fairly easy to follow (some of the best Chinglish I've ever read!). On the accompanying software disc, there is a fairly professional video on how to set it up. Although I didn't watch it for more than a minute or so, there were real screen shots with explanations, so it was watching a live install.

Picture quality has been superb for the money and considering it's a fixed-focus device. The IR feature provides excellent pictures in near pitch black conditions. I tried this out last night and was very impressed!

If I have any further gripe, it's that it doesn't seem to support https:, which is a shame as I'd like a web camera to be more secure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic IP Camera, 25 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The camera is cheap but the quality is not bad. Not sure how long it will last but it works ok. You may need to find the way to setup this camera in the youtube to supplement the user guide. Need to upgrade the firmware too that can be downloaded in the manufacturer's website. Overall : 5 stars and recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well for the price, 26 Aug. 2011
I bought this camera so I could see how easy it was too use and set up IP camera. I had used webcams before but was unable to access these remotely without having a computer running so the price for this camera (including pan and tilt) it seemed like the ideal sample.

I decided to buy an original foscam, as after reading some of the forums I found that foscam seem to have the best supported firmware which gets updated.

Pros
Very good quality image (even over a 3G wireless connection)
Control software works very well and seems to reliable (so far anyway)
Sound and a loudspeaker are suported (I have used the microphone option but not the speaker). The version of firmware I have only works in IE but there is an update which I believe supports Firefox.
IR quality in complete darkness is quite good. As you would expect the colour under IR is no-existant but the image is good enough to pick out peoples faces.

Cons
Not alot really. I have had some problems with the wireless connection disconnecting. Not handy when you are connecting from 50 miles away however I purchased a 2nd wireless router and installed the tomato firmware onto it and since then the wireless connection has been rock solid so I am putting that down to router and not the camera.
There is sometimes a lag in the camera moving but when using over 3G this is to be expected.
In the wireless settings there is a Wireless Scan Button. When you press it it is supposed to scan for available wireless networks. On my camera you have to press it twice, the first scan it finds nothing, the second time it then sees all the wireless networks
Colours are not perfect but what do you expect for the price you are paying.
Do not try the night time (IR) through glass - It does not work

Not had any problems with the focusing as some other people have commented on, however setting up the camera to make it accessible remotely can be a bit of a black art. Setting up a dyndns account, port forwarding the router and such like took a bit of time but at the end of the day any camera not using a static IP address is going to have these problems. In my case it has been well worth it as I can view the video on my computer, my ipod or my mobile phone no matter where I am.

To sum up

For the money you pay this camera is great value for money. Even comes with a mounting bracket to fit it on the roof. If you are not confident with setting up your router it might be an idea to ask for help to view remotely but this is the hardest part.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews