Foscam cloud configuration

I recently purchased a Foscam IP camera (FI9816P Plug & Play Indoor 720P Megapixel Pan/Tilt Wireless P2P IP Camera (Black)) for my home. The setup using the Foscam phone apps (Android and IOS) worked flawlessly. The only caveat I have is that Foscam does not appear to support multiple accounts. Everyone in the household uses the same username/password to login.

I am less impressed with Foscam’s process for configuring their cloud video capture service. Unlike the seamless phone app setup, the cloud service connectivity requires configuration from three places: the camera itself (via browser), your router, and from the Foscam cloud website. You need to enable port forwarding on your router. You need to access the camera to find out what ports it is configured for. And you need the website to configure the ports it is going to talk to. If the port numbers on the cloud website do not match those enabled on the camera, you will see a useless “Network connection” error message that lacks actionable information. I just had to keep trying different combinations until it worked.

The Support section of their website has a large collection of help documents. Many are old. Some of the information is contradictory. The main issues I ran into are:

  • I had to configure my wireless router to enable port forwarding.
    • Port forwarding requires that I know the IP address of the camera. The IP address of the camera is not available from the web app. I had to check the status of my router and guess which of the devices it had given IP addresses to was the camera. (Hint: Most routers hand out IP addresses in ascending order…)
    • To point my browser at the camera, I needed to know the port number for http. 80 didn’t work. 8090 suggested by some of the Foscam support docs didn’t work. I finally found a document that stated that the default http port for most cameras is 88! 88 worked! After logging in, I saw that HTTPS is configured for standard port 443, so I could have used https://camera_ip.
    • My camera’s ports were configured as follows:
      • HTTP: 88
      • HTTPS: 443
      • ONVIF: 888
      • RTSP: 554
    • I enabled port forwarding on a range from 88-888.
    • I configured the Foscam cloud website to use ports 554 and 88

Now everything is working. Whew.