Foscam HD Wireless IP Camera - Part 2
Earlier this month I unboxed the Foscam Wireless IP camera model FI9826P and have been using it at home for a few weeks now.
The camera can be purchased for around £120 and is available from a wide range of suppliers. My initial setup went very well and within half an hour had the camera connected to my network.
Read more about my initial thoughts here.
One thought which has been very much in my mind since getting the camera was security. I was very pleased to see that early on in the setup procedure I was prompted to change the default password. You can then later add more accounts to the camera. BBC News article discussing security of IP cameras.
Accessing the camera
There are three main methods of viewing and controlling the camera.
- Direct connection over a local network via the IPCamera Client.
This method of access gives you the full range of configuration options for the camera in addition to live view and accessing recorded videos. There is a comprehensive range of settings and options available ranging from the basic setup to automated motion detection email messages. I was particularly impressed with the ability to set a specific area for the motion detection.
The setup and menu options of the iPCamera client feel very intuitive and relatively easy to setup. There are very good resources online to support setup and configuration of the camera. I found setting up the push email facility relatively straightforward after I googled the SMTP settings for Gmail. If you are new to mail settings this could have been a little daunting.
There are different levels of access available to user accounts.
Visitor - You can simply only view the current live feed and have no control over the camera.
Operator - You can now control the camera
Administrator - Full control
- Access anywhere from the myfoscam.com cloud service.
At the moment this is still in beta development and whilst works extremely well on a Windows device it doesn’t yet support OSX. I would definitely recommend the cloud service if you are looking at sharing the camera feed with other family members.
- Secure access via the Android and iOS app.
The images below are for the iOS Foscam app. There is also a new Android app available which I will produce a more detailed review of later and can be downloaded from here.
The iOS and Android app gives you full control over the camera. I found it to be relatively well responsive even over a 3G connection, however you can easily use a lot of data watching your kitchen! At the moment the apps don’t yet provide push notifications but I do believe that this will be addressed in a future update.
Connecting to the app for the first time can be confusing as you use the default login and then have to change the settings for your user name and password. Apart from the push notifications which are in development this is a simple and useful app.
Images from the Android app.
Overall thoughts and experiences
- If you have little or no experience of networks and network settings you may find the initial setup daunting although there is good support available online.
- The picture quality from the camera is very good with the sharp 1.3 Megapixel camera.
- The IR image is very sharp and the LEDs provide a good coverage.
- The two way audio is good quality and I do like the extra connectivity of the audio in and out sockets.
- The motor control is smooth and responsive and gives a wide coverage.
- There is a comprehensive set of tools from the Camera Client.
If you are looking to get into home security or want a more advanced baby or elderly person monitor this is a very good place to start. With companion apps, DDNS services embedded and cloud based website you are getting a lot of connectivity for a good price. Image quality is excellent and night time support is very effective with the IR camera mode. The optical 3 x zoom lens produces an excellent image.