Like many other new entrants into the baby monitor category, Foscam got its start as a security camera company.
While Foscam offers cameras specifically designed as baby monitors (dubbed Fosbaby), their most popular offering is a network security camera that many parents are using to monitor a nursery.
The FI8910W is an affordable ($78) cam with an impressive list of features: remote pan/tilt, night vision (you can turn this remotely on or off), two-way audio monitoring and a sharp picture. Yes, it works off your home’s WiFi network. The one downside: there is no monitor to view the camera—you do that from your computer or smart phone (apps are available for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android).
We should point out that this Foscam is one of their older models—the latest version of this cam is the FI9821P. It has a higher resolution (720p) HD picture but otherwise looks the same as the model above. It runs $68.
Foscam also has traditional baby monitors called FosBaby ($80), that are basically a fixed security camera with pink or blue accents (no joke). Fosbaby monitors feature 720 HD vision and recording to a SD card.
Here’s our take on Foscam and other security cameras that can be used to monitor baby’s nursery: don’t buy them.
First, Fosca’s FosBaby monitors have been in the news lately, as parents discovered some Foscam cameras can be easily hacked. We have blogged on this subject, but the basic advice is: change the default password. Many hacked cameras were still using the default password.
Foscam and all the other security camera solutions filled a need a few years ago, before there were easy-to-set up streaming cams like Nestcam (as well as competitors Canary, Piper and Netatmo’s Welcome). Now, we don’t see the point. Yes, Foscam is less expensive than all of those options—but Foscam and its ilk requires a significant amount of tech skills to get them to work. By contrast, newer streaming cams like Nestcam can be set up in a matter of minutes, with the bare minimum of tech skill.
Another issue: quality. Many low-end security cameras (under $100) work great for a few months. Then the audio fizzes out. Or the camera refuses to connect to your network. Or just plain dies. Bottom line: there are better options out there if you want to monitor your baby’s nursery via a smartphone.