Starting Out With A Wireless Camera System? This Might Help.
When I set up my website, I realized one thing and this is that the CCTV or video surveillance industry has moved on a great deal since I was working in it. So, this review has been somewhat of a learning curve for me.
However, I also realized there are plenty of you out there who are “tech savvy” so that’s why I’ve chosen a camera that might well be the beginning of a wireless security system, or it could even be part of a wireless system you’ve already installed.
The model you’re about to read about is the Foscam FI8918W which has a number of features that might appeal to the average person as well. When I say “average” I mean those of you that don’t have much or any experience with networking a security system.
What This Camera Is Ideal For
You can use this camera for a variety of surveillance jobs and it will work both indoors and outdoors. In the home it’s a great way to keep an eye on what’s happening in a young child’s bedroom because you get pictures as well as audio. Think of it as a 21st Century baby monitor.
You can also use it to monitor from inside out. For example, if you’re having trouble with someone throwing trash on the lawn, or you keep finding dog mess when you don’t own a dog this camera can be placed on a window sill to monitor the area. However, it has to be said that if you put it in front of glass, it’s probably best not to use it during the day and not at night as the LED’s can reflect back therefore blinding the images.
It’s also great if you have animals that live outdoors and you keep them in a barn or pens overnight. As you may have noticed, I’ve mentioned “day” and “night” here because this IP camera is capable of sending images back at any time of day.
Setting the Camera Up
I’ll be honest, this is where things can get a little bit complicated. Basically if you’re not entirely sure what “IP” means and you definitely don’t know what FTP or DNS means, you’re going to run into trouble. This doesn’t mean however that you can’t use this camera. It just means you’re better off not setting it up on your own.
For the more tech savvy of you out there, the manual is detailed enough so you should have this camera up and running in no time especially if it’s the first one you intend to add to your network.
Is It Wireless or Not?
This is a question I felt needed answering because lots of people ask it. The simple answer is yes, this camera is wireless because it has Wi-Fi built in. However, it does also have a wired Ethernet option. You should also know that the camera itself will need to be plugged into a power source.
Given the size of this camera the field of view is pretty impressive at 67 degrees, and you can also tilt it 120 degrees or pan to 300 degrees which means it will cover a wide area. There is also a built in microphone for 2-way audio but I’ve heard mixed reviews on the quality with this. However, if you intend to use it as a baby monitor, it’s unlikely you’ll suffer sound interference from other sources.
You can monitor the camera using a remote browser or Smartphone but to make things easier the manufacturer has included motion detection. When motion is detected, it will capture an image and email it to you. What’s useful with this feature is you don’t have to worry about monitoring it all the time and you actually have a pretty broad scope with editing the images you receive.
All in all, if you’re a complete novice I think you would have to be brave to try this camera. If you want something a little more simple to use, take a look at my review on the D-Link Wireless Day/Night Network Surveillance Camera which is little more expensive but better for beginners.
If you are interested in finding out more about this one, take a peek at the offers Amazon currently have. Given the technology used, this camera won’t cost as much as you think.
- Foscam FI8918W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle)