Foscam Security Camera Reviews: Wireless IP, 1080P HD, Floodlight, Outdoor, Video Doorbell, & Privacy Concerns

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Illustrated house with security cameras (caption: Foscam Review: DIY Security)Foscam offers a huge variety of security cameras, and while consumers rave about their technical capabilities and affordability, there has been some concern as to the frequent discontinuation of models as well as privacy concerns surrounding hacks of IP cameras.

Additionally, despite the fact that Foscam branded cameras are widely available on Amazon, Foscam now sells their cameras under the Amcrest brand, as you can read about on their website.

So should you proceed with a Foscam purchase or look elsewhere? Our experts dive in and give their opinion.

Compare Top Foscam Models On Amazon

Article Overview

Foscam logo

Foscam

4.45 / 5
Foscam
Field of View 4.8
Audio 5.0
Remote Viewing/Streaming 5.0
Price 4.8
Recording 4.8
Tech Support 4.3
Privacy Concerns 2.5

Pros

  • “Plug & Play” function features the ability to connect via smartphone by simply scanning the QR code on the camera
  • Great video quality in the higher-end models
  • Inexpensive compared to competitors
  • Image can be flipped or mirrored
  • Excellent night vision
  • No monthly fees, unless you opt for cloud recording

Cons

  • Complaints of firmware in some models
  • All of the cameras must be plugged in to a power outlet
  • Complaints of instructions being poorly written
  • Privacy concerns with IP cameras and monitoring

Alternatives To Foscam

Are you looking for a security camera that doesn’t face the prospect of being discontinued and doesn’t have the privacy concerns of a Chinese-backed company? Our experts have reviewed over a dozen providers and put together a comprehensive comparison of the best security cameras.

Key Features

Depending on the model you get, these features are available.

  • 2K QHD and 1080p HD video quality with H.264 compression
  • 2.4G/5GHz WiFi support
  • Indoor, outdoor (IP65), floodlight
  • Realtime 2-way full-duplex audio
  • 110db siren alarm
  • IP65
  • 18x optical zoom
  • 165 foot night vision
  • Alexa and Google Home compatible
  • Pan and tilt (365° vertical, 90° pan)
  • AI detection (an artificial intelligence algorithm to differentiate objects, such as humans from cars)
  • Mic and privacy covers
  • Compatible with third-party video recording software like VLC, Blue Iris and more
  • Cloud subscriptions for video storage or local storage on microSD card (up to 128G), NVR or ftp

Pricing

Pricing varies by model, see the comparison table below for costs of the top models.

Cloud Pricing

Foscam cloud pricing, which lets you store and access your video footage online for the time periods specific below, is as follows.

4-Hours 7-Day 14-Day 30-Day
Price Per Month Free (1 camera) $6/camera $10/camera $15/camera
Live Streaming 2 hours per month Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

The Foscam App

The official Foscam app is called Foscam Viewer and is free via iOS and Google Play. There is also an app called Foscam IP Cam Viewer made by OWRL that gets better reviews and is also free (iOS and Google Play).

Foscam Security Cameras Comparison Table

View the top Foscam models (available on Amazon) here. The table below breaks down key differences between four of these models.

Floodlight WiFi Camera Spotlight WiFi Camera 4X PTZ WiFi Camera 18X PTZ WiFi Camera
Price $159.99 Check Amazon for availability $129.99 $169.99
Resolution 2K/4MP Resolution 2K/4MP Resolution 1080P/2MP 1080P/2MP
Light & Siren 2600lm Floodlight & 110db Siren 260lm Spotlight & 110db Siren 6pcs IR LED Xpcs IR LED
PIR Sensor 4 PIR Sensors 1 PIR Sensor
HDR/WDR HDR HDR WDR WDR
Night Vision Color Night Vision Color Night Vision 165ft Night Vision 165ft Night Vision
Zoom 6X Digital Zoom 6X Digital Zoom 4X Optical Zoom 18X Optical Zoom
2-Way Audio Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark Checkmark(Extra Speaker Needed)
Detection Human/Motion/Sound Detection Human/Motion/Sound Detection Human/Motion/Sound Detection Human/Motion/Sound Detection
POE Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported
Network Protocol IP, TCP, UDP, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, RTSP, ONVIF IP, TCP, UDP, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, RTSP, ONVIF IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, RTSP, ONVIF IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, RTSP, ONVIF

Foscam And Privacy

There are many concerns around Foscam cameras and privacy, much of which may or may not be in the control of the user. It did not alleviate our concerns that a link to “Foscam’s 5-steps to secure privacy” on their homepage resolved to a blank page. We did find this article with tips on securing your Foscam camera.

Back in 2018 researchers found three vulnerabilities in Foscam connected security cameras that could enable a bad actor to gain root access knowing only the camera’s IP address. A patch was released by Foscam to address these vulnerabilities.

Our experts have written an article on home security camera security, including a list of vulnerable manufacturers and steps to take to secure your camera. And the FTC has a guide on using IP cameras safely that we recommend you read before purchasing one.

What Do Foscam Customers Think?

We skimmed some of Foscam’s customer reviews and found a couple to share with you.

Positive Reviews

I purchased this camera for inside monitoring of a family member. This camera has good video quality and night vision. Compact and easy to setup. Can be streamed to other programs like VLC Player. Two way audio. – Richard E., Newegg 6/7/2019 (Foscam R2C)

Great image. Not too difficult to set up. Works with Blue Iris. – Richard V., Newegg 6/19/2019 (Foscam G4 Outdoor)

Complaints

In order to use audio you must purchase an outdoor microphone and outdoor speaker. The camera body is waterproof but the cables are not. You will need to purchase a waterproof junction box to house the power supply and ethernet connection. If adding sound, you will need a second 120v outlet for power to the microphone/speaker. None of this was clear in the description. Since I can’t enable sound without all the additional expense I will probably return it depending on the shipping cost. – Richard V., Newegg 6/19/2019 (Foscam G4 Outdoor)

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions we receive from our readers on Foscam cameras.

What Happened To The Foscam FI8910W, FI8918W, FI8921W, FI9821P, R2, R4, RS4, And G4 (Outdoor)?

These popular modules have either been discontinued or replaced by newer ones under the Amcrest brand. Some of them are still available on Amazon either directly or by third-party sellers.

Is It Safe To Use My Foscam As A Baby Monitor?

We do not recommend using an IP camera as a baby monitor for security/privacy reasons. Reading stories like this (spoiler: a hacker gains access to the camera) should hopefully be enough to deter you.

Instead of an IP camera, our experts recommend one of these dedicated baby monitors instead. As always, we encourage you to do your own research and do what you feel is best for your family.

About The Author:

Alex holds BS degrees in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego, and Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is honored to share his nearly two decades of experience in home security and automation, cybersecurity and identity theft protection with our readers.

He realized it was time for a home security system when his neighbor’s house got broken into. He has tried to stay ahead of the curve by proactively applying security technologies and software that protect not only his home and family but his personal identity, sensitive information and finances.

In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing tennis, going on hikes with his wife and dogs and surfing.

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