What Is An IP Camera?
A network camera, also known as an IP camera or an internet camera, is NOT a webcam first and foremost. It is a new generation of digital surveillance cameras, capable of passing its images and video feed over a computer network such as the internet. These cameras do not need to be attached to a PC in order to operate – they are small web servers themselves, and just plug into the internet via a standard internet router. Network cameras are gradually replacing traditional analogue CCTV cameras, because of the additional features that they offer, such as automatic recording and sending of images if motion is detected, and the ability to see live images at any time, on any PC, anywhere. Just by using a standard browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can view your camera from anywhere in the world. In addition to this, you can even log in to see live images on most modern smartphones.
Do I Need A Router To Use These Cameras?
Yes, you will need a router that is able to forward ports in order to use Foscam cameras, or any IP cameras in general, to their full potential.
Hooking up a Foscam camera to a Laptop or a PC for wireless capabilities (ad-hoc connection) is unfortunately not possible. The camera must be connected to a router in order to receive an IP Address to begin with. The camera is able to be accessed over the internet by connecting directly to a router and establishing an internet connection. Forwarding ports in your router will allow the camera to be seen over the internet from anywhere in the world. You can read our guides on how to do this over at the support section.
Does Foscam offer instillations?
Yes, but only if you reside in the Gauteng region.
Can I Use Any Of The Indoor Cameras, Outdoors?
Indoor cameras can be used outdoors, however most of these cameras are not built to be outdoors and thus are not built with weatherproof housing.
The best way to use these cameras outdoors is by mounting them upside down under an eve or a covering of some type, so that they are protected from weather effects such as rain. If you live in a very weather heavy environment where the weather gets quite cold, we would recommend against this as again, the cameras are not built to withstand extreme temperatures and you may risk the camera malfunctioning.
Do You Offer Any Power Over Ethernet (POE) Cameras?
POE cameras allow cameras to be powered by an Ethernet cable, without being plugged in with a power supply. These cameras need to be used in conjunction with a compatible POE Switch and are suitable when you’d like to place a camera in an area which has no power outlet available, but running Ethernet cable is an option.
We currently offer different POE cameras, please refer to the PoE dropdown menu. Both work over Power Over Ethernet using POE Standard IEEE 802.3af. The Input Voltage for both is DC 36V~DC 57V, and Output Voltage is DC 5V. Output Power for both is 15.4W (Max.).
What Apps Are The Best To Use On My IPhone / IPad?
We recommend that you use the authentic Foscam found on the app store for Apple, we have the “Foscam” app for both your cameras and NVR's. But should you wish to try a few others the best apps created by third party developers are “Foscam Pro” and “Live Cams Pro.” A free app on the Apple Store is “Baby Monitor Free” as well. All apps are currently available on the Apple Store for immediate download.
What Apps Are The Best To Use On My Android Smartphone?
We recommend that you use the authentic Foscam apps found on the Play store for Android, we have the “Foscam” app for both your cameras and NVR's. But should you wish to try a few others the best apps created by third party developers for Android devices are “TinyCam Monitor (Free),” and “IP Cam Viewer.” Both are currently available on the Android Google Store for immediate download.
How Do I Record With My Camera and where?
Foscam cameras allow recording to multiple locations.
To a SD card that you insert into the camera
To a FTP server
To your local PC connected to the network using our free VMS management software
To the cloud, a optional subscription based service.
To a NVR (Network video recorder)
There are many ways to record with the Foscam camera:
1. Recording manually
There is a recording icon under the camera’s Operator UI, click the record icon and the camera will begin to record manually. Click the icon again and camera will stop recording.
2. Recording using a schedule
You can setup a schedule when your camera will automatically record, for example Monday to Friday between 8am and 5PM.
3. Record automatically when motion is being triggered
You will first have to set alarm settings for the camera. When you set these settings, the camera will record automatically when motion is detected.
Note: When you are manually recording, you need to keep the browser window open. If you close the browser, the manual recording will stop.
If you want to change the recording path, you can do so by going to “User settings” to set the location. “Record Path” is used to store manual recordings, while “Alarm Record Path” is used to save automatic recordings created by motion detection.
Can I Use The Indoor Cameras To Look Out A Window?
Unfortunately if you choose to use the indoor cameras this way, you will get a very bright reflection from the mirror image of the IR lights when they turn on at night. This will effectively blind the camera, and you will not be able to use the camera’s night vision due to the reflection. If you still choose to use the cameras this way, try placing black electrical tape over the IR lights to resolve the reflection problem.
Can I Hang These Cameras Upside Down?
Yes, you can use the cameras upside down and change the settings within the camera so that it mirrors and flips the video feed image. This way, you can mount the camera any way you’d like and you can effectively change the rotation of the image so that it appears right side up when viewing it in your browser.
How Do I Find Out My External IP Address?
The easiest way to find your external IP address is to go to www.whatismyip.com, or www.whatismyipaddress.com. Both websites will automatically tell you what your external IP address is.
Your external IP address is used for viewing your cameras remotely over the internet.
What Is Port Forwarding And How Do I Set It Up?
In order to access your camera remotely over the internet and on your smartphone, you will have to setup “Port Forwarding”.
To begin, please read the general guide on port forwarding if you use Windows here.
If you are using a Mac with an Airport router, use the general guide here.
If you are unable to setup port forwarding using the general guides above, or would like more information, use the specific router port forwarding guides below:
Step 1) Write down the local IP address of your camera. To find this address open IP Camera Tools (apple mac users, use IP Scanner Tool) and it will display the IP address of the camera as “h**p://[YourCamerasLocalIPAddress])
Step 2) Log into your camera and goto the “Basic Network Settings” and change the HTTP Port to 8090. At default the port is at port 80, however this is a public port and used too often and in the majority of cases can cause problems. We here at Foscam recommend users to use port 8090 as it is a generally unused port and safe to use. (If you have more than one camera then they should ascend accordingly ex. 8091, 8092..)
Step 3) Next write down your router’s external internet IP address. The easiest way to find this would be to Google “What is my IP address” and go to the first link which pops up and that is usually whatismyipaddress.com. This address is your routers identity viewed from the rest of the world. If you want to be able to access your camera from anywhere other than the cameras home location, you will need this address handy.
Step 4) Log in to your wireless router. To do this you must enter the IP address of your router into your browser and then enter the username and password when prompted. If you are unsure of the ip address or username and password of your router, refer to your router’s manual or view a list of default router IP addresses, usernames and passwords by visiting our collection here.
Step 5) Go through the options on your router until you find an option that says “Virtual Server”, “Port Forwarding”, or “Port Mapping” (if you have your routers manual, it should explain this as well). Once you are able to access your Port Forwarding options you need to set the the Local/Private IP address to your camera’s local IP address, set the inbound port to 8090 and the outbound port to 8090 (you can change the port numbers later). Make sure the type is either “Both” or “TCP”. Save the configuration.
Step 6) To test it to see if you set it up correctly, open a browser and enter your external internet ip address into the address bar and press enter. You should arrive at your camera’s login screen.
How Do I Know If My Ports Are Open?
The best way to find out if your ports are open or forwarded correctly is by using www.canyouseeme.org. You can input any port in the field and check it within seconds. Make sure you are connected to the same router as your camera when checking your port.
There are many other services you can use that are available on the internet to check your ports, www.canyouseeme.org is just one example.
Once I’ve Set Up My Cameras, How Do I View Them Remotely?
If you are using the genuine Foscam app as long as you internet connectivity where the cameras are and you are you should not have to do any port forwarding, just open your app and view your cameras. If you don’t have your smart phone with you, use a pc and go to www.myfoscam.com and login with your profile email and password.
Should you wish to use port forwarding then once port forwarding has been done and you’ve confirmed that your ports are open and allowing traffic, you should be able to view your camera remotely.
To do this, go to any browser and type in the following in the URL bar:
Where “youripaddress” is your external IP address (such as 22.214.171.124) or your free foscam DDNS (such as 7865.myfoscam.org), and “yourport” is the port you have assigned to that specific camera (such as 8080). To test this, you can view our live demo using the same logic.
What Are The E-mail Settings For G-Mail?
If you are having trouble getting e-mail notifications, you can try the following:
In the camera settings page once you log in, go to Device Management. Click on Mail Service Settings. For G-Mail the information is as follows:
Receiver 1: Youremail@gmail.com (the same as Sender)
SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
SMTP Port: 587
Transport Layer Security: STARTTLS
Need Authentication: (Check this box)
SMTP User: Youremail (There is no @gmail.com, only the username)
SMTP Password: Youremailpassword
Report Internet IP by Mail: Unchecked
Push Submit. Please do not push Test, as there have been problems with the mail settings if Test is pushed before Submit.
If this does not work, you may need to change the SMTP port.
If you choose TLS security mode, please fill in 465 as SMTP port.
If you choose STARTTLS mode, please fill in port 25 or 587.
I’m Having Issues With My Camera, How Do I Hard Reset It?
If you’ve been having strange issues with the camera, what you can do is try a hard reset. This wipes the camera of all configurations and settings, which means you will need to enter all this information again to set up the camera. Resetting the camera does not revert it back to it’s original firmware.
In order to reset the camera, there is a button on the bottom of the indoor cameras, unless it sticks out (outdoor models). Push this button or use a small round pin to press the button for 35 seconds until the camera restarts. The indoor cameras will start to rotate automatically once the reset has occurred. Be sure to keep the adapter and Ethernet cable plugged in while the reset is attempted.
Sometimes My Camera Reboots And Ends Up Changing It’s Position, How Do I Make It Stop Doing This Automatically?
In order to make the camera stop automatically panning and tilting upon reboot, what you have to do is go into the camera, navigate to Device Management, then on the left side, click on PTZ Settings.
There is an option that states “Go to preset on boot,” and you can check this box so that the camera will go to the position you set as Preset 1. Once you set a preset to preset 1, when you restart the camera when these settings are applied, the camera will always go to that preset automatically.
How do I use the alarm scheduler?
If you’d like to arm the camera’s alarm at specific times, you can set up a scheduler and set the range of time for it to be active.
Enabling the Scheduler initially shows a graph of hours and days that can be set at 15 minute intervals.
For example, clicking the number “06” on the first row makes the entire column turn blue. This means that the camera will be armed for motion detection between 6:00 and 7:00 everyday. Click the number “06” on the second row which is marked “Clear”, you can cancel the corresponding column that you had set, turning grey again.
How Do I Set Up Multiple Cameras To View On One Screen?
You can view our guide on how to set up multiple cameras here.