Section 1: Overview
After two homes in our quiet, suburban neighborhood were broken into recently, I decided to install a few cameras around the house to scare burglars away (hopefully). I already have a home alarm system, which is apparently not enough: In my neighbors’ cases it took more than 30 minutes for the police to arrive. By that time the thieves were long gone. So I figured even if a camera is not enough of a deterrent either, at least it can capture some images and videos to assist a police investigation.
I did some research and eventually purchased Foscam wireless IP cameras: Fi8905W for outdoor surveillance and Fi8910W for indoors.
Both cameras offer advanced features such as night vision, motion detection, image/video capture, email and FTP upload on trigger, remote access from smartphone and the Internet, etc. The indoor camera also has two-way radio and pan/tilt capabilities, while the outdoor version is equipped with 60 IR LEDs for long range night vision and a 4mm lens for wide angle viewing. The downsides? They are still relatively complicated to set up, and image resolution (640 x 480 Pixels) can be better. In addition, both cameras use MJPEG video compression instead of H.264, if that is important to you.
|Foscam Fi8910W Indoor Camera||Foscam Fi8905W Outdoor Camera|
To configure the cameras properly and take advantage of their full capabilities, you may have to deal with not only the cameras themselves, but also your router, ISP (Internet Service Provider), DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System), NAS (Network Attached Storage), as well as your PC and smartphone operating systems. So I won’t even attempt to write a comprehensive guide, not to mention that some of the settings make me dizzy too. Instead, this is simply how I managed to set up my security cameras. It is more about the necessary steps, rather than technical details, that are required to build a working surveillance system. The good thing is that these Foscam cameras are very popular on the market. If you search hard enough, you will most likely find solutions to your specific problems on the internet. You do want to be extremely careful , however, because one mistake can indeed open up your home network to the entire world. So proceed with caution.