Setting up a Security Camera

Adding a Security Camera to my Security System

Foscam CameraI have posted previously about the wireless security system I set up a while back and then brought with me when I moved. The system has continued to grow nicely with my needs. There was an item lacking however, a camera.

I thought about a number of options. I considered just getting a full security system, but I really don’t want to install something in a place I will only be living for a year or so. Next I thought about going with Verizon’s monitoring system, but the reviews were really bad. Also, the various pieces of equipment are quite expensive, and I just wanted a camera or two. So I decided to look around a bit and see what I could find. After some research, I settled on the Foscam Model FI8910W

The Foscam

I decided on the Foscam based on a combination of factors. First, it had very good reviews on Amazon. Second, it had a reasonable price, around $65. Third, the reviews discussed how easy it was to set up. Fourth, it can work with several cameras. In addition, it has night vision, tilt and pan, can be controlled remotely, and has a number of other features I wanted.

Set Up

I actually got the camera this evening. It took me about 60 minutes to set it up. The bulk of that time involved getting it to email me pictures when the motion and sound alarms set it off. The process for the basic set up is quite easy. It was made easier by the fact that I didn’t need to set it up wirelessly, which I note some people had issues with. In my case, I plugged it right into my router, which happens to be near where I wanted it located. However, I ran through the wireless set up, and it was easy.

Basic Process

In the box you will find:

  • Camera
  • Stand
  • Plug
  • Cable
  • Antenna
  • CD

The stand is if you want to hang up the camera Otherwise, just plug everything in, it is pretty straight forward.

Copy the correct file for your operating system onto your computer, and run it. The directions, which are short, take you through the process. Once you have set the camera to work while wired to your router, you can set it up to work wirelessly.

Email Issues

I set my camera up to email me photos when it detects motion or sound. This was my biggest problem. Apparently neither gmail nor Office 365 wanted to send out the emails. Well, finally I have a use for my Verizon email account. Once I plugged in the Verizon settings, everything worked just fine. So if you run into a failure with your Foscam when you try to send email, it might be that you need to use your Internet Provider’s account instead of something else.

Control from Phone

You can control your camera from your phone when you are out of the house. To do so, you will either need a static IP address or will need to set up port forwarding. The manual gives good instructions on both processes.

FTP Pictures

You can set up your camera to upload pictures via FTP. Again, the process is relatively straight forward. You will, of course, need somewhere to upload the photos to.

I am already getting a lot of emails from my camera, so clearly I need to work out the sensitivity issue when I am home. I have a feeling I will be getting a lot of emails containing pictures of my dog and cats running around. That’s ok, it might be funny to see what they actually do all day.

At any rate, now on the off chance, anyone should decide it is a good idea to break into my house, in addition to showing the cops nice pictures of my pets, I will have a lovely, clear picture of the bad guy(s).


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