Foscam FI8904W Outdoor Wireless IP Camera
- Product Review (submitted on July 3, 2011):
I've used different types of cameras for security in the past, but most of them have very narrow viewing angles, making it hard to watch a large area with one camera. This camera, however, has a wider viewing angle than most and makes it easy to watch a large area without having to move it too far back.
This camera can be setup with a wired wireless connection. Here was my experience with both:
(I'm using Windows 7)
This was very easy and quick. I simply took it out of the box, plugged it into the router with the supplied network cable and installed the software on my computer. The software recognized the camera right away, but you don't have to use the software if you just go directly to the camera within your network, i.e. [...]. Once you access the camera within your network, you can view it right away and setup a wireless connection, your mail, ftp upload, and adjust other settings. If you plan to use the wireless connection you will want to enter your wirelsss connection info while you're directly connected to it here.
This is fairly easy once you directly connect the camera to your router and open it's settings. I simply had to supply my wireless SSID (and login/password/encryption type if used) and save it. Then I tunred off the camera, unplugged it from the router, and turned it back on after waiting about 30 seconds. From that point it was connected through the wireless connection instead of the wired connection.
Accessing the camera from outside your home network:
When you access the camera from within your home network, it's simple and easy. But when you go on a trip and you want to view your camera from outside your home network, you have to set some extra things up. This was a little trickier to do, since you will need to be able to open your router settings and adjust them. Basically you need to tell your router to allow outside connections to your camera. In short, I had to allow connections to the camera by forwarding a certain port number from within my router to my camera. Once I did that I could simply type in my router's IP address from anywhere and I could access the camera. If you don't know how to do this, your ISP tech support can probably walk you through it on the phone. Here's how I did this:
(I have a linksys router)
1) I opened up my router settings by going to: [...]
2) I located the Port Range Forward menu (under Applications and Gaming)
3) I entered the following into the first line:
-Ip Address=192.168.1.102 (your camera might have a different last number here, you can see it in your address bar when you are accessing your camera)
-Checked the Enable box and hit the Save Settings button
Your mileage may vary but once I did this I could access my camera by entering my computer's IP address into a browser from any location.
Motion Detection / Alarm:
The motion alarm works well, but you will need to adjust it's sensitivity settings for your own needs. You can set it to email you a screen capture when it detects movement and/or upload the screen captures via ftp.
The camera performs well and this model has a wider viewing angle, allowing you to view more area without having to move the camera back. I was looking for a camera like this since most I had tried had very narrow viewing angles.
I gave this camera 4 stars because the instructions were not the greatest. If you don't have experience with IP devices or this kind of thing you might not understand what the instructions are telling you sometimes.
Overall it was an easy setup, no different than setting up any other wireless device.
I will be buying a couple more of these to cover the rest of the areas around my house.