Setting up the Foscam C1 indoor IP camera was not difficult to do. I’ll run through the main screens and point out any useful information.
I got a Foscam C1 from Amazon.co.uk in October 2015, and it shipped with latest system and application firmware. These Foscams rely upon a plugin to access via the web, so if that’s a major problem for your home system setup, you may want to consider another camera.
I used OSX Yosemite running Safari version 7.1.7 for this setup. After unboxing, plug the camera int0 your router or whatever wired access point you have to hand. Plugin the micro USB power cable, turn on at the wall and then leave the camera for a few minutes to go through it’s initial setup.
You’ll see some lights blinking on and off. Once this is done the Foscam C1 is ready to setup.
Foscam C1 initial login
Check the device IP address either through your router administration screen or using the Foscam IP tool available from http://foscamuk.co.uk/downloads/
The tool will find the camera on your network and find the IP assigned to it via your router’s DHCP. This may vary depending on your home network. The Foscam C1 is accessed via port 88, and for some reason I didn’t have much luck trying to access the camera via the IP. However, once I used the IP tool, I was then able to use my browser with the IP bookmarked.
You’ll be prompted at initial login to change your password and create a new user. Do this, or leave your camera wide open to being hacked. Changing your ports might be an idea too, but I won’t cover this here.
Foscam C1 – check your firmware number
At the initial screen, you’re presented with tabs to select either your lifestream, settings or playback of recorded clips. With a new Foscam C1, check your firmware numbers, via ‘Settings > Status > Device Information’.
Mine shipped with firmware 188.8.131.52 and was up to date. I checked at http://foscamuk.co.uk/downloads/ for any updates, rather than the Foscam main site which requires an annoying registration process.
You can also check you’re the only user logged in to the camera on the Status menu, and view a historical log of users. Again, useful for checking if anyone has snooped in on your camera from outside. This shouldn’t be a problem with a strong password.
Foscam C1 multi-camera
Under ‘Settings > Basic Settings > Multi-Camera’ you can find options for managing multiple Foscam cameras on the same network. It’s not flashy, but it’s all included in the price of the Foscam C1 so there are no extra fees or supplementary software installations.
If you want to access your camera from a browser and the same IP address each time, I suggest going to ‘Network > IP configuration’ and disabling DHCP.
You won’t need to change any other settings, just choose an IP address on your home network range that doesn’t conflict with another device. This saves you relying on the Foscam IP camera tool or gaffing about with IP addresses.
I’m not going to show the DDNS settings here. However, the Foscam quick setup app on a compatible mobile phone will scan the quick code on the camera and rig the device for remote access.
I just prefer to manage cameras without streaming through a third party as far as possible, so I setup mail alerts directly using my ISP SMTP server. The Foscam C1 recorded short clips on motion detection, and then emailed me a screenshot. This works fine for my purposes as I don’t need to review the lifestream when I’m out of the house.
Foscam C1 email alerts
SMTP setup is simple enough. Check with your ISP or preferred email provider for the correct open port for mail.
If you have web hosting space somewhere, the Foscam C1 can upload clips directly over FTP to a server. Again, this avoids using a third-party remote access through Foscam’ servers, if this kind of thing bothers you.
Just enter your FTP folder details, and make sure the folder permissions are set to allow the Foscam C1 to write to your preferred directory.
Under ‘Video > Video settings’ there are oodles of settings to tweak, depending on the image quality you prefer. Even with only a small 2GB micro SD card onboard the Foscam C1 I was able to record 20-30 clips a day for more than a week.
The sub stream is your live remote access stream, so if you need super-high quality out of the house / office, adjust as appropriate. Bear in mind, you can hose your internet allowance for the month if you’re not careful, so think about how high you need this stream quality to be.
I found ‘Snap shot settings’ to be quite useful as you can create a time lapse of a specific area over a specific time. This can be handy for high traffic areas if you don’t want to rely on motion detection.
Foscam C1 motion detection
The section ‘Settings > Detector > Action detection’ is where you may spend some time after getting your Foscam C1. Here you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection features.
It can be annoying when you get streams of unnecessary emails / alerts because the camera motion detection sensitivity is all wrong. It all depends on your lighting conditions and what you’re trying to monitor. Light and shade changes can trigger recording, so think about what is in your camera’ field of view.
The weekly calendar works well, and you can choose half-hour intervals to turn off the motion detection. For example, if you’re in the house in the evening, you might want to the Foscam C1 camera turned off.
Under ‘Record > Storage location’ you can find your SD card. The Foscam C1 uses a standard micro SD card and supports up to 32GB – this is loads for most domestic purposes.
Remember to re-format your card beforehand – I just went with FAT to be safe. Via the Playback tab you can then review your clips, and simple pull the card to back up your data.
Of course, someone could nick your pretty indoor surveillance camera, so plan accordingly.
Finally, you have various ‘System’ settings, where you can back up a configuration or flash new firmware, should you need to.
The interface is simple, functional, and not pretty to look at, but it does the job for the Foscam C1 IP camera and I encountered few problems setting up my camera.