Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Tom0
Foscam FI9821W Wi-Fi Enabled Camera Review
Summary: Easy setup. Good features. Competitively priced compared to Wi-Fi video baby monitors.
When our son was born in 2011, my wife and I did a lot of research on baby monitors. Some were very basic and some were so complicated I didn’t think my Computer Science degree would qualify me to operate it. Did we really need live video of our sleeping baby, who was no more than 20 feet away from us at all times? My parents didn’t have that, did they? After a long day of lawn darts, my parents would wrap me up in my asbestos pajamas and put me into my death trap of a crib…I survived just fine without all that modern technology.
And even though I’m a nerd at heart, not everything needs wifi right? Who remembers the web-enabled refrigerator? I mean, you have one…right?
We eventually decided on a simple audio-only Sony baby monitor, and that should be where the story ends. However, my very tech-savvy Mother-in-law saw the Foscam FI9821W Wi-Fi enabled camera on sale around Christmas, thought we might like to join the Obama administration and get in on the whole “invasion of privacy” thing and bought it for us.
Installation was dirt simple. Plug the camera into your router, install the software, configure a few settings and you have a fully-functional Wi-Fi camera. The specs are quite impressive:
- Night Vision
- 300° rotation
- Two-way audio
- iPhone, iPad & Android compatible
Click here for the complete spec sheet.
I was amazed at how much more peace of mind the camera was able to provide us. We actually find it more valuable now that my son is older than we would have when he was a tiny immobile newborn. Before the camera, we often would hear him at 5:00 AM, assume he was awake and end up waking him up when we went to check on him. With the camera, we can hear him and then look to see if he’s simply talking in his sleep or actually sitting up and ready to be up for the day. At other times in the past, we would put him down for the night and then rush in when he cried out suddenly. Now, through the power of modern technology, we can see that he had simply rolled over onto his Elmo, readjusted and gone right back to sleep.
How much would you pay for such a modern marvel? You can pick one of these up for around $139 on Amazon. Considering most Wi-Fi video baby monitors currently retail for around $200 and up, the Foscam FI9821W is a pretty good deal. To top it off, there are a ton of free compatible mobile apps that you can get for iOS and Android.
There are two major drawbacks I see in this product. Exposing the camera feed to the Internet in a secure manner can be very complicated for non-technical parents. Also, the software does not allow for saving profiles. Each time I bring it to the grandparents’ house, I need to reconfigure it.
That being said, I would still highly recommend this camera and – to pay homage to the ultimate TV father – I give it 4 out of 5 Cosbys.