Crime, and the terror it can cause, is unavoidable. It’s everywhere you go and it can never be truly stopped; suppressed and contained, yes, but never ended. All over the world we have seen the awful attacks that put us in fear and have us questioning our safety. When your own government is failing to protect you, you must take matters into your own hands.

Metropolitan cities in America are filled with crimes of all sorts of levels, ranging from drunk driving to murder. However, one of the most common crimes in America is burglary and breaking and entering; in other words, theft, or attempted theft from the home.

As strange as this may sound, many of us contribute to our own homes being burgled. Ever buy a brand new TV, only to place the empty product box at the end of the driveway? Harmless as the box is and as valueless as it is, it’s a giant billboard showing off that you have this new TV inside. All you need is a thief driving by and thinking that he can rob you and steal that TV.

The only security a home has is the physical locks on the doors and even then some can be easily broken. People sometimes opt for a home alarm system, which prevents doors from being opened while armed, but lacks protection if somebody breaks a window.

Upgraded door locks are a must for any home. It’s the first barrier between you and that burglar. Also, if anyone sees someone pulling a TV through a broken window, chances are they will call the police. Although if they take it out the front door then they might not look twice.

Alarm systems are costly and give the robber a heads up that the police are on their way. The police show up, but turns out the robber got your valuables and you have no record other than a broken window of who the robber is.

Videography is one of the best ways to secure your home and valuables. You not only get a live view of what is happening at your home or business, but you can get a picture of the theft for the police. This greatly improves your chances of getting your stolen goods back.

With external and interior cameras available, today we will be looking at two models designed for two different situations. Foscam is one of the larger security camera manufacturers and this benefits in two ways. Firstly, you get a functioning and well configured mobile application and secondly, you get high quality built cameras.

Welcome to my review of the Foscam Outdoor Wireless IP Camera HD and C1 Lite Wireless Indoor IP Camera. Throughout this review, I will be discussing the design of both cameras, followed by their functionality, the mobile application, and then my final thoughts. A special thank you to HisGadget for providing me with these two Foscam units.


As strange as this may sound, designing a camera system can be quite challenging. Do you opt for a circle celling mounted unit that looks down onto people? Or perhaps the wall mounted extended body is more preferable for the included LEDs and better range detection.

It’s extremely common to find this model in homes and businesses because the building security manager wants safety and security without appearing like they are the NSA. The low profile design and celling mounted design helps keep it out of the way.

The downside to those security cameras is their vision range is greatly diminished. Furthermore, they typically fail to function outside as constant direct sunlight can actually melt the camera lens. Therefore, models such as the one in this review are better for outdoors since they get improved range and outdoor features like IR LEDs.

Beginning with the outdoor FI9800P model, the body is constructed out of an aluminum housing and is even fitted with an aluminum mounting bracket.

Being a wireless camera, the outdoor unit comes with the optional wireless antenna that screws onto the coaxial cable. One design failure I see is that the antenna is a right angle connector only. It cannot be bent as you can with other types of wireless antennas.

That said, this camera doesn’t have to be a wireless unit. Attached to the mounting bracket is a single cable which then splits into an RJ45 Ethernet jack, 3.5mm video and audio jacks, DC power, and a reset switch.

The visual appearance of the outdoor camera is quite pleasant for what it is. The brushed aluminum housing and subtle red Foscam logo allow it to blend into most buildings.

Looking in towards the lens, you find an array of IR LEDs that invisibly illuminate when motion is detected. Since IR light is not visible to the human eye, the person walking would not know that they are being recorded. However, the camera lens can easily see IR light and it makes the area as bright as day.

Taking things inside, we move to the C1 Lite, the indoor camera. While the FI9800P works well for both home and business usage, the C1 is is aimed more at the home market.

Here we find a full plastic housing and mount, matched with a style that reminds me of Nest, Google’s Thermostat and Smoke Detector Company.

With a circular camera shape on a circular mount, the all-white finished camera offers a clean look. I find it best when the camera looks towards the doorway or kitchen.

The wireless antenna is internal, so you don’t have to worry about any ugly antennae sticking up in your home. This model also drops the cable loom of the outdoor camera in favor of just a power cable, that is provided with a micro USB cable to a 5V USB wall plug. Pretty clever.

Following on to the more consumer friendly features, the C1 supports a front facing microphone and speaker that allows the user to have two-way talk. Moreover, the camera also supports a microSD card slot for local storage.


These two cameras serve one purpose and that is to provide you with comfort and security. For that reason, they need to be up-to-date on their own counter measures when thieves approach. Chances are, if you are picking up these cameras you have valuable things to protect and you need them to be working at all times.

Looking at the outdoor model, provided you used security screws in the mounting bracket, the only harmful thing a theft could do is disconnect your wireless antenna. Put the camera up high enough in a corner and this becomes challenging. There are no buttons to press and it would be quite difficult for somebody to mess with this setup.

The indoor model on the other hand does have some weaknesses. The power for the camera is directly on the rear of the camera, meaning it can be unplugged easily. There is also a WPS Reset button that would drop any active wireless connections, voiding the vison of your camera. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, the camera can also be unmounted from its bracket by spinning the camera and pulling it off.

The astute reader will realize that if the camera is placed up high and has good vision, approaching the camera to do any of those harmful things would be impossible without being caught. However, that doesn’t mean Foscam should sacrifice the integrity of the camera’s security.

Something that I heavily dislike about both cameras is the fact that on the bottom of the outdoor camera and the rear of the indoor camera, there is a white label. This label contains the model number, brand, MAC ID, default username and password, DDNS, and serial number. You might as well give a hacker the clear instructions on how to hack into the camera.

Mounting either camera is fairly straightforward. I recommend using security or Allen screws over the included Philips screws. The outdoor camera cannot be disconnected until it is unscrewed. However, the catch is that you need quite a large hole in the wall to fit the cable loom.

As for the indoor model, you disconnect the mounting bracket and hang that on the wall. Then reattach the camera to it.

Moving into the main section of this review, the vision and image quality. Again beginning with the outdoor unit, the main quality this camera has is the daytime/nighttime surveillance. The ring of 30 IR LEDs, as mentioned earlier, offers great vision at night and it even lit up an entire room without issue.

You receive a 1.0MP camera lens which, as bad as that sounds, is actually quite good for what it is. You get a clear 720p picture. I didn’t have any gripes or dislikes about the image quality of the camera. Even at distance it did quite well. Foscam reports a maximum of 65 feet at night. While I’m sure you may see movement at 65 feet, figuring out the source of that movement won’t be easy unless it approaches closer.

One final comment about the outdoor camera is that it is water, heat, and corrosion proof with a rating of IP66.

With our last look at the indoor camera, image quality comments will follow suit to the outdoor model. Here you also receive a 1MP lens that records at 720p. From what I can tell, it is the same lens found in the outdoor camera.

You have a digital zoom on this camera that can zoom far enough without getting blurred. In daylight it looks flawless, but clearly suffers in darkness due to the lack of IR LEDs. As an Indoor camera, this isn’t as bad since the interior lights should light things up.

Mobile Application

Foscam offers a mobile application for these cameras. It works for setup and functions over the camera. It’s available for iOS or Android and it works fairly well.

You use the application to scan the QR code on the back of the camera and then it automatically connects to the camera and adds it to your home network. Setup process took five minutes at most!

Once configured, the application gives you a live view of your camera. You can make video adjustments if needed, but otherwise you get a time stamp on a live feed.

For those who need recording ability, you unfortunately have to pay Foscam for their storage plan. It’s about $4.99 per month, but your results will vary depending on sales and storage needs.

The app also provides access to the two-way talking feature found in the indoor model.

The best application feature is that you can get live notifications and push messages that motion has been detected by the camera.

Do note, to view the camera outside your network, some port forwarding may be needed.

Unfortunately, this alerts you for ANY movement, even if it happens to be wild life, or a falling leaf. In testing it was fair and it only alerts you if you have the application open and running. Even though you may get false alerts, it’s nice that it alerts you.

The live feed is fairly good in terms of quality and it doesn’t jump or stutter as bad as I thought. There is a noticeable lag in the feed though.

My Final Thoughts

In the end I am quite happy with these two Foscam cameras. They performed flawlessly with some excellent picture qualities. Priced at $99.99 for the outdoor model and $49.99 for the indoor unit, I think they are well worth the investment for protecting your home and property. While there are a few things to fix like higher megapixel cameras and a few security flaws, most home users will be happy with these models. Business users may want to opt for the upcoming 4MP outdoor model.

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© 2016 Justin Vendette