PROS / The Foscam FI8918W camera has a large field of view and can pan and tilt to take in even more.
CONS / The motion-detection email alerts would be more useful if they contained video rather than just photos.
VERDICT / Monitoring your own wireless cameras is not for everyone, but if you choose to do it, the Foscam FI8918W offers the best combination of features for the job.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Wireless Cameras here.
We do not generally recommend creating your own wireless camera system without the help of a professional monitoring company, but if you want to try it, the Foscam FI8918W Wireless IP Camera is a good place to start.
The Foscam FI8918W has high-tech features that are still useful to the average person. This camera offers a very impressive field of view right out of the box – 67 degrees – but you can also pan and tilt it far and wide to take in more of a given space. This unit pans 300 degrees and tilts 120 degrees, so you won't miss a thing. You also won't miss a sound with its built-in microphone and speaker. You can record audio and even speak through this camera. This functionality could make it useful as a baby monitor.
With the motion-detection feature, this camera will be triggered when there is an event in the coverage area. It will automatically take a photo and send you an email alert. You cannot get a video clip as part of the alert, but this is still a useful feature. It is really difficult to monitor your own camera, so the alerts can help you stay aware of what is happening.
You have a lot of control over the images you get from Foscam FI8918W. You can adjust the brightness, contrast and other effects. You can also zoom in on targeted areas. This unit is designed to work with other Foscam FI8918W cameras, so you can build your own network. We think that keeping an eye on one would be too much trouble without the aid of a professional monitoring company, generally speaking, but it is nice to have that option. You can monitor your cameras using a live feed with a smartphone or remote browser.
Customer support for this camera is good, though we did see cameras with longer warranties than the one year that Foscam offers.
Building and trying to monitor your own wireless security camera network may be more hassle than it is worth for most people, but the Foscam FI8918W is a great option if you decide to do it. This wireless camera makes using sophisticated technology easy.