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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
- Rating, Pros & Cons
- Key Features
- Foscam App
- Comparison Table
- Should I Be Concerned About Privacy?
- Consumer Reviews
- “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
- 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.
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
- 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 varies by model, see the comparison table below for costs of the top models.
Foscam cloud pricing, which lets you store and access your video footage online for the time periods specific below, is as follows.
|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||$159.97||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|
|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||(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.
Great image. Not too difficult to set up. Works with Blue Iris. – Richard V., Newegg 6/19/2019 (Foscam G4 Outdoor)
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.Tagged With: Foscam, Review
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)