Initial Review: Foscam FI8910W Wireless Camera

So, my mom sent me an Amazon gift card for my birthday.  Love those things, and she knows it.  So, I’ve been wanting a wireless “webcam” for a while.  Partially to watch the bird feeders when I couldn’t be there, and partially to catch the neighbor’s dog(s) in the act (on my property) so I can hand more proof to Animal Control.  I’d poked around and settled on the Foscam FI8910W camera as an inexpensive model that would likely do what I wanted.

It arrived Wednesday, and I spent several hours setting it up.  It shouldn’t have taken that long.  The biggest issue is that although the packaging says it’ll connect via Wireless B/G/N and my router supports all of those AND (supposedly) features a “mixed” setting so as to support all of those at once, the camera refused to connect.  None of my other wireless devices had that problem, but the camera did.  I had to set it to one of the options in order to get the camera to connect.  But it took me a while to figure out why the router could see the camera but the camera said it wasn’t connecting.

It also kept rebooting itself, which was annoying as heck.  But updating the firmware seemed to fix that.  

I set it up at first without any recording, just to see how it would work to view from.  Quickly decided that with the bird feeders placed where they were it wasn’t going to work to watch the birds, but it would work fine to keep an eye out for the neighbor’s dog.  I debated moving the bird feeders.

Thursday it started rebooting itself constantly again.  A factory reset fixed that problem this time.  I was starting to get a bit peeved.

Sunday morning, it had worked fine Friday and Saturday after the reset, so I decided to go ahead and set up the motion detection and recording options.  Discovered that it only detected motion in the center of its viewing window.  Thats a bit annoying, but its hardly an expensive camera, so I guess I get what I pay for.  Adjusted the viewing angle to cover the driveway better so as to catch what we wanted to catch.  Debated moving the bird feeders.

Sunday afternoon it started rebooting itself constantly.

I unplugged it and sent an email off to Foscam’s tech support.  As of now (Tuesday morning) they’ve not responded, but I’m willing to give them a little time at least to catch up from the holiday weekend.  If I haven’t heard from them by tomorrow though I’ll just call them (since I’ll have time tomorrow during business hours).  

Current review: less than impressed.  At least some of the problem IS that I was looking for an in-expensive camera, if I was willing to drop more cash on the problem I’m sure some of the issues wouldn’t be issues.  On the other hand the whole thing has turned into an exercise in frustration.  We’ll see what tech support says……

(disclaimer, I bought the above mentioned camera with my own money/gift certificate, I was not asked to do a review and am receiving nothing for doing so.  The above link to Amazon IS via my Amazon Associates link, and if you buy something via that link I’ll earn a few cents.)


UPDATE 12/5/13 I called tech support yesterday, and after explaining the problem, and what I’d done to fix it, was informed it definetly has a mechanical issue and they will replace it.  I received the RMA info along with return instructions in my email today.  So hopefully we’re good to go!  I will however say that it is QUITE frustrating to give a company my email as part of a tech support request, and to then get a sales email for every single day since, and still not get a response to the tech support email.

Additional update HERE.

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