Foscam FI8910W compared to FI8918W

I already own several Foscam FI8918Ws, so I have some experience with Foscam, I had it up and running within a few minutes, assigned a static IP using a wired ethernet connection, then set-up the wireless.

I use all of my cameras with BlueIris, running on a XP VM running on VMware ESXi, this has worked well for around 3 years, with hardly an issue. This may have an impact, seeing as I use BlueIris, I let this control all of the motion detection, sending alerts and the such like, consequently I turn just about everything off in the camera firmwware, so this must present less load on the CPU.

Jan 2014 – latest firmware and webGUI firmware (I updated it)

FI8910W – the good

Much better image quality when compared to the FI8918W (comes at a price though, more on that later), you can actually discern colors with this!

IR cut filter really works, you can see much more at night with this camera, the filter does make an audible click though, if you are in a quiet area, this may alert somebody that you have a camera.

The power supply has a very long cord, which is nice.

Seems to be rock solid over wired ethernet.

The bad.

Through out the house, I have several wireless routers, using Tomato USB and DD-WRT, every single wireless device we own have no problems working with these, we are talking multiple smartphones, tablets, XBOX360, PCs here, no isssue…and you guessed it, except for the FI8910W.

I set it up where the FI8918W was located, I initially got it to connect, and then the video would drop out, the signal strength was around -62dbm. I ran a constant ping, it would ping for about 12 seconds or so, then time out for some amount of time, then connect again (watch dog probably kicking in), then drop out and stay dropped out, I tried all sorts of settings and nothing worked, dropped it down 320×240, tried a 12db antenna, all to no avail.

So, knowing that it might struggle to work on a slightly lower than normal signal I decided to relocate it, this time it was around 30ft away, line of sight, only thing between it and the WiFi router was a single glass door, I had high hopes this time, -55dbm signal (some devices in my house work well on >-70dbm), nope still didn’t work, BlueIris reports 2.5fps coming in at 250k/Bs, webGUI was slightly more responsive though, but that was about it, still no video.

Other users have gone into detail regarding the expected performance of this camera over WiFi, it seems it needs a steady 750k/Bs to work well, and from what I see, this seems to be true.

It is of my opinion that the FI8910W is border line usable over WiFi, and its radio performance is weak – if you have a wired connection then you should be good, but to work reliably over WiFi you will need a very strong signal.

I’m now using the camera over wired ethernet and it has been rock solid.

The camera did work over WiFi when it was around 15ft away from the router and in the same room, not really much use for me, and I suspect many others.

I have just received a D-Link DCS-930L, doesn’t have pan/tilt, but is good value, colors are okay, image is just ok, not very detailed but usable, and in the same location as I tried the Foscam, this is giving ~14fps and 450k/Bs.

Also, I’m suspicious of all the “Foscam support is so good” reviews I’m seeing all the time, every time a negative review pops up, you can bet you bottom dollar that a “Foscam support is so good..” review will soon follow.

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About hedscratchers

A UK ex-pat now living in the USA.
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