Foscam FI9803P Review

8 Total Score
Foscam FI9803P Is A Rock Solid Outdoor 720P IP Cam

Tried and tested, the FI9803P hits the sweet spot between features and price most home users are looking for

User Rating: 2.08 (50 votes)

The Foscam FI9803P looks surprised. I mean it – the sensor and LED array are the eyes, and the mic makes a startled ‘ooooh’.

But will a Foscam FI9803P review leave you similarly surprised? I’ll put you out of your suspense early – the answer is ‘Probably, Not’.

The Foscam FI9803P is a boxy, 720P wireless outdoor camera at an attractive mid-range price point – Foscam FI9803P Manual. It delivers a good quality image, supported by nice Foscam software, and good compatibility with third-party recorders.

Like a lot of Foscam IP cameras, it is a great choice for home users building a DIY surveillance system. The Foscam FI9803P is a tad boring, and you may be tempted by nicer options from Hikvision and TRENDnet.

Foscam FI9803P Is A Ford Mondeo – Reliable And Not Flashy

The usual gubbins for a mid-range camera are on offer on the Foscam FI9803P. Resolution is 1MP and this IP cam will chug along producing a 1280 x 720 pixels stream at 30fps.

You can see a user video below. Check it on YouTube and crank the resolution to 720p and – it’s just OK. The buildings, cars and trees are good and crisp, but at this range you can’t read a number plate.

The Foscam FI9803P is wireless with a wired option. For outdoor IP cams, you may appreciate the convenience of Wifi. Run in a single power cable, log into the camera over  Wifi and finish your setup. You have the option of using wired ethernet for this system too. At 720p and provided your not running twenty cams simultaneously, your wireless network will handle the video stream.

Foscam FI9803P IP cam mounted on wallThere’s no Power-Over-Ethernet for the Foscam FI9803P – see the FI9803EP for this. And there’s on onboard audio – this can apparently be added with an external mic. You can’t record to an onboard SD card either, so if the network flakes out, you’re stuck.

Remember that the Foscam FI9803P comes with three cables dangling out the back. The power cable uses a specific jack, and the cable is short. This means for an external installation, you will need a waterproof box to house the connections.

If installation aesthetics matter to you, perhaps consider a dome camera instead.

Foscam FI9803P software and support

Foscam software is serviceable. There’s not much in the way of a flashy user interface. The so-called Foscam Super Client does the job for up to four IP camera streams. You can find the Foscam Software here. Don’t bother with the Foscam UK site as they seem to have made it deliberately difficult to get the .exe.

You may need to upgrade your Foscam FI9803P firmware too, available from here. This gives more reliable performance, and tweaks the Web UI for your camera (see picture). Foscam IP camera Web UI screenshot

These Foscam FI9803P IP cams are tried and tested. You should be able to setup saving the stream over FTP. DDNS is included to access remotely. There’s a Foscam Viewer app for iPhone and Android too so you can watch your stream live on mobile devices.

You may already have a NAS like a Synology connected to your network. A Foscam FI9803P plays along nicely with Surveillance Station. Advantage here is that you won’t need a separate NVR or recorder. Point your Synology to the surveillance camera and you have a home video recording option.

The Foscam FI9803P is a mediocre camera. It will perform competent IP cam duties once setup, and really LOOKS like a big, white bullet CCTV surveillance unit. For £69.99 RRP it’s not bad but there are sexier cameras for not much more.

Technical specifications for Foscam FI9803P

  • Foscam FI9803P Manual
  • Resolution: 1MP, 1280 x 720 pixels; focal length 4mm; aperture f1.2
  • Night Surveillance Up To 20 Meters
  • Connectivity: 10/100Mbps RJ45 port; Wireless Standard IEEE802.11b/g/n
  • Network: WEP, WPA, WPA2; Remote Access P2P DDNS; Network Protocols: IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, FTP, DHCP, DDNS, UPnP, RTSP, ONVIF
  • Motion detection, iOS (iPhone/iPad) & Android apps
  • Power consumption 4.2W