Setting up a surveillance system has always been a relatively costly project. However, things really became more budget-friendly when IP cameras became available in recent years. The way they simplified the technology also helped make more affordable cameras available.
The Foscam Security Camera is one good example of such affordable surveillance products. Not only does it attract through its price tag but its simple set up helped it establish itself as a solid option nowadays. In short, it’s a practical and convenient option that lots of households will find suitable for their needs.
Interested in what the Foscam FI9900P has to offer? Check out our detailed review below.
A Closer Look at the Foscam Outdoor Wifi Camera FI9900P
Design and Features
The Foscam Security Camera is categorized as a bullet camera based on its design. It has an elongated head that houses the 2MP camera and 30 IR LEDs and a locking swivel wall mount as its base. It’s housed in a brushed silver housing which gives it a clean and modern appeal. It also has a black antenna to boost its wi-fi signal.
With this design, it looks like a traditional security camera. So if you’re looking for something that doesn’t look like one, you might have to check out the other products instead.
An important detail to note about this item is that it’s not completely wireless. It’s not battery powered so you’ll need to find an electric outlet to plug it into. It also comes with several RCA jacks in case you wish to use an external mic and speaker with it.
Setup and Usage
One of the strongest suits of the FI9900P is its very simple installation. To get this camera up and running, you just need to plug it in, scan a QR code on your phone for the app, connect the app to your local internet network, and then follow the installation prompts. Setting up the camera is way faster than mounting it, so if you’re not technically-inclined, you don’t have to worry about setting up this camera.
Due to its design that requires it to be plugged in, you will need to pull off some wiring and cable management to mount it anywhere. If you intend to put it outside, you might also need to drill a hole through one of your house’s walls, so make sure to take that into careful consideration as well.
It’s important to note, however, that you should do your set up in a spot where your wi-fi connection is strong and stable. Some users even recommend connecting the camera to the ethernet first to ensure that the connection won’t drop in the middle of the process. We also think that it’s a better method, especially since you might want to update your unit’s firmware before mounting it outside.
Aside from the camera, you might also need to set up a static IP address for this camera. Doing so will make it easier for you to access the camera’s feed within your network.
This is where the Foscam FI9900P really shines as it offers a real 1080p video resolution. The images are clear and crisp, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to see what’s happening in the area it’s pointed to. With its 98-degree field of vision, it can also cover a good amount of ground.
The Night Vision feature of this security camera is also very reliable. Its IR Cut filter has a viewing distance of 65 feet and maintains a clear picture all throughout.
Track and Zoom
Like other low-priced IP cameras, however, the FI9900P doesn’t come with a tracking feature. However, it has 2 kinds of zoom: digital and magic. The 6x digital zoom is a great addition for the night vision function while the 2x magic zoom ensures that there is no distortion when you want to look at something more closely.
The FI9900P doesn’t come with a built-in speaker but you can connect one to it using the RCA jacks that the camera comes with. With this, you can choose to get a high-quality model and make the most out of the security system.
It also doesn’t have a built-in microphone, so you will also need to add an external one if you want to record sounds alongside your videos. Because of this, you also shouldn’t count on this camera to have sound detection.
Upon sensing motion, the Foscam FI9900P will start recording and will then send you a notification that the security camera has been tripped. You’ll get a pop-up notification from the app noting the alarm with the date and time of the incident. It will not include a snapshot or other details, however.
Again, similar to other affordable IP cameras, this item doesn’t record continuously. It relies on its motion sensor to trigger the recording process. However, you can have it record continuously by installing an SD card.
The interesting thing about the motion sensor feature of this camera is that it’s designed to be customized according to your needs. You can tweak its settings like its sensitivity and set trigger zones to minimize false triggers. However, its IR LEDs tend to make the motion sensors a lot more sensitive, so expect more false alarms in the evenings.
Cloud Storage Costs
The Foscam FI9900P comes with a free trial of the Foscam Cloud service but it’s not necessarily required for you to use the camera. Paying for it, however, will let you enjoy more services like a more detailed notification message among other things. As it’s relatively cheap at $7.99 per month that will already let you store 7 days’ worth of clips, the subscription deal isn’t that bad as well.
If you don’t want to pay for the cloud service, you can use its SD card slot or connect your camera with an ONVIF-embedded NVR and NAS. Both are just a bit trickier to work with, however. The SD card requires you to dismantle and take out the actual camera lens from its housing which voids its warranty. Using an NVR also requires some wiring so that might complicate things for some folks.
Mobile Apps and Web portals
To access the camera, you’ll need to use the Foscam mobile app or web portal. The app is rather easy to use so you won’t struggle in viewing and accessing the clips your camera has recorded. The web portal is also nicely designed and is easy to use.
There are some limitations, however, as you won’t be able to access the SD card through them. You will need to manually remove the SD card to get its content.
Are Foscam cameras secure?
With some research, you might learn that there were security issues with Foscam cameras in the past. However, they have all been addressed by the manufacturer, completely eliminating the vulnerability it once had. As a result, it can now guarantee a secure system.
Can you watch live feed through an internet browser?
Yes, you can log into your www.myfoscam.com to view the live feed of your Foscam camera.
Does this camera have a built-in two-way audio communication?
No, it doesn’t. However, you can still enjoy the said functionality by getting an external mic and speaker for it.
What is the length of the power cord?
It’s 4-6 ft long so you might need to find a good spot for this camera where it’s also near a power outlet.
All in all, you can count on the Foscam Security Camera FI9900P to be a reliable pick for a budget-friendly home security camera. It will help you cover all your bases and ensure to help you monitor your property effectively. As it’s also very easy to install and work with, there’s really no reason not to give it a shot. Combined with its friendly price tag, you should definitely check it out.
While it does have some shortcomings, its price tag can easily make up for it. The fact that it’s highly customizable might also make it very appealing for many property owners.