Foscam F18904W Outdoor Wireless IP Camera Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Features 8.0
Quality 8.0
Installation (PC) 6.0
Installation (FIXED) 9.0
Value 9.0
Distributor: Foscam
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

8.5


Foscam F18904W Outdoor Wireless IP Camera

As the PC becomes integrated into almost all facets of our lives, so is home security that can not only deter intruders but may prevent you being a victim. Impulse Gamer was given the chance to review the F18904W Outdoor Wireless IP Camera from Foscam which supports a wide variety of features to ensure you a little additional piece of mind.

FEATURES
  • Allows for remote viewing & recording over LAN or the internet through PC and mobile devices (including Iphone)
  • Simple to setup with a friendly graphical interface
  • High image & video quality (Display resolution: 640 x 480 Pixels (300k Pixels))
  • Hardened weatherproof outdoor water-proof enclosure
  • Night vision (up to 20 meters) via auto IR-LED illumination
  • Infrared Motion Detection (with email notification and image upload via FTP)
  • Multi-user access with password protection
  • Supports the IE browser, Firefox as well as most other standard browsers including the standard Safari browser on the Iphone
  • Wi-Fi compliant with wireless standards IEEE 802.11b/g. Wired connection is also included
  • Supports both WEP & WPA Encryption
  • Supports Dynamic IP Addresses such as through dyndns.org
  • Has multi-level user management system with password protection


A close-up of the 24 LED of the F18904W

The F18904W is basically a wireless outdoor security camera that supports both day and night-time surveillance of your property. The beauty of this camera is that your PC does not need to be turned on 24x7 as you can configure the camera to automatically e-mail you photos (or FTP) of anything that the camera picks up thanks to its infra-red motion detection.

Another highlight of the camera is that no matter where you are in the world, you can access the camera via a live field through a web browser or through your smart phone such as the Apple iPhone. Although you can purchase the Foscam app through iTunes which allows you to access the camera remotely, there is also a free application available called the CamViewer which we used with the F18904W. It does the job quite well.

Given this, we've been interested in security cameras for quite some time, however none of the mainstream companies like Logitech, SWANN or Uniden supported a true wireless IP camera. Thankfully Foscam did and it definitely delivered value for money.

It should also be noted that the F18904W is quite a sturdy and well-built camera. There is a little bit of weight behind it and it comes with all the accessories needed to mount this camera onto bricks or wood. With that said, the F18904W comes with the following accessories;

  • Foscam Wireless IP Camera
  • Wifi Antenna
  • User Manual
  • Installation CD
  • Mounting Bracket
  • Remote Control
  • Network Cable
  • DC Power Supply 5v

Installation

Although the F18904W comes with the installation software and manual, it's not the nicest nor easiest thing to setup. You definitely need some computer and software knowledge to successfully install this item. Once the camera was connected to our PC, we were able to configure the product to our network. You basically need to install the software and launch the IP Camera Tool which then proceeds to the following login window.

As you can see from the above screenshot, by logging directly onto the IP address of the camera, you can access all the features of the F18904W such as date & time settings (e.g. GMT +10:00 for Eastern Australian Time), Multi-Device Settings (for multiple cameras), Mail Service Settings (e-mails) or log (user access or motion detection). After the configuration process, you only need to use the DynDns address such as google.dyndns.org.

As I do have some computer knowledge, setting up the camera was reasonably straight forward. It probably took around 30 or so minutes to successfully set-up the camera which included creating a dyndns address that allowed me to access the camera remotely. The only tricky aspect of setting up the camera was entering the details for my e-mail access. Unfortunately there are not that many free e-mail servers that I could use so I ended up using my ISP details which worked like a charm. All in all, I would rate the software installation experience a 6 out of 10.

Fixing the Camera to the brickwork

Ironically and although it took a little longer (around 2 hours), I installed the camera with the help of my handyman father to our brickwork just outside our front door. Foscam have ensured that the camera comes with a mounting bracket, screws and plugs to attach your camera to the bricks or mortar. The only issue we had with the camera is that you cannot unscrew the cable at the back which would have made connecting this to power considerably easier.

We basically had to drill a hole around 60mm in diameter in order for us to put the cables (power, network and reset cable) through the ceiling. In order to cover up the hole, our local Hi-Fi store suggested we use a plastic stopper which allows you to close up the hole like the holes on a computer desk. The beauty of this is option is that if ever we need to reset the camera or connect it back to the PC, we have easier access to the plugs. As you can see below, the camera is mounted to the brickwork and it's actually a night shot.

Video Quality

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the camera, both in day and night. The only issue with the quality is that due to the night sensors, everything in the day light looks a strange in colour and green looks purple as opposed to green. This however is a flaw of most night vision cameras. The live streaming of the camera worked like a treat however. WiFi was flawless and we have heard some horror stories regarding WiFi security but not so with this Foscam camera. Our router is roughly about 6 metres away from the camera.

With that said, the viewing angle of the camera is a decent 42 degrees with a maximum resolution of 640x480. You can adjust the camera for outdoor or indoor use, including the brightness, contrast and the trigger for motion detection through logging directly onto the camera or through the iPhone app. After fiddling with the motion detection, we now average around 5 e-mails a day as opposed to 30.

Final Thoughts?

In conclusion, the Foscam F18904W Outdoor Wireless IP is a well-built piece of technology that offers some great functionality. We loved the fact that you still had access to the camera either through our iPhone or web when the PC was turned off. There is some third party software available which does record directly to your PC but unfortunately Foscam did not include this software with the product which is a shame. I would have also liked if Foscam gave users free access to their iPhone app as well. Even so, this camera is not for everyone as you do need some good knowledge of your PC or even just navigating software to successfully install it. The manuals work, even with some translation difficulties but all in all, the wireless functionality of this camera worked great!

Recommended for those on a budget!

Full Specifications

ITEMS

FI8904W

Image Sensor

Image Sensor

1/4" Color CMOS Sensor

Disaplay Resolution

640 x 480 Pixels(300k Pixels)

Lens

f: 6mm, F:2.4 (IR Lens)

Mini. Illumination

0.5Lux

Lens

Lens Type

Glass Lens

Viewing Angle

42 Degree

Audio

Input

N/A

Output

N/A

Audio Compression

ADPCM

Video

Image Compression

MJPEG

Image Frame Rate

15fps(VGA),30fps(QVGA)

Resolution

640 x 480(VGA), 320 x 240(QVGA)

Flip Mirror Images

Vertical / Horizontal

Light Frequency

50Hz, 60Hz or Outdoor

Video Parameters

Brightness, Contrast

Communication

Ethernet

One 10/100Mbps RJ-45

Supported Protocol

HTTP,FTP,TCP/IP,UDP,SMTP,DHCP,PPPoE,DDNS,UPnP,GPRS

Wireless Standard

IEEE 802.11b/g

Data Rate

802.11b: 11Mbps(Max.), 802.11g: 54Mbps(Max.)

Wireless Security

WEP&WPA Encryption

Physical

 

 

Infrared Light

24 IR LED,Night visibility up to 20 metres

Dimension

140(L) x750(W) x80mm(H)

Gross Weight

1.15kg (Color Box Size:228x128x108mm)

Net Weight

1.0kg ( accessories included)

Power

Power Supply

DC 5V/2.0A (EU,US,AU adapter or other types optional)

Power Consumption

5 Watts (Max.)

Environment

Operate Temper.

0 ~ 55C (14F ~ 122F)

Operating Humidity

20% ~ 85% non-condensing

Storage Temper.

-10C ~ 60 (14F ~ 140F)

Storage Humidity

0% ~ 90% non-condensing

PC Requirements

CPU

2.0GHZ or above (suggested 3.0GHz)

Memory Size

256MB or above (suggested 1.0GHz)

Display Card

64M or above

Supported OS

Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista

Browser

IE 6.0, IE7.0,Firefox or other standard browsers

Certification

CE,FCC







 
 



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