Having a baby is awesome. What’s also awesome is getting to play with new gadgets. One thing you are going to want is a baby monitor. Did you know there are nearly 10,000 baby crib injuries a year? This is why I had to get a baby monitor.
There are tons of baby monitors on the market. From sound monitors, video monitors, iphone and android app monitors, wifi IP Cam monitors… and there’s the old just leave the door open and hear your baby cry monitor.
In this post, I’ll review what I think is the best baby wifi monitor in the $100 range. I actually ended up purchasing both the D Link 5020L and the Foscam FI 8910W (which at the time of this blog post you can actually buy in the $70 range).
My Criteria for a Baby Monitor
I love gadgets. And when my wife put me in charge of finding a baby monitor, I was really happy. Like I typically do, I research the heck out of things and found a lot of choices out there. There were a couple of criteria I wanted for a baby monitor:
1) I wanted affordable. For me that was under $125.
2) I wanted a video monitor.
3) I wanted a monitor I could watch my baby from work and on my iPhone.
4) I wanted night vision.
5) I wanted a monitor that I could eventually use as a surveillance camera once my baby was old enough to not need it.
MY DECISION ON GETTING A WIFI IP CAMERA
So before actually buying a real baby monitor, I actually had a make-shift baby monitor I created using my smartphone. I will explain it in a future post. Based on all my criteria above, the biggest bang for your buck is getting a wifi IP Camera.
This is basically a surveillance type of camera that uses your existing wireless home connection (wifi connection) to connect your camera. They aren’t plug-and-play as the baby camera monitors specifically made for monitoring your baby, but they usually offer more features for a lot less money. The price decrease is because you do have to put in a little more work in learning how to use them.
They have some great cameras on the market that are not the IP Wifi Cameras, but you are looking at spending over $300 on those. And then they have baby video cameras in the $100 range, but you are limited to just the camera and the receiver. Again, I wanted a camera that I could watch from work and have on my iphone, ipad or wherever I wanted with good quality.
FOSCAM FI 8910W REVIEW
I did tons of research. And if you do as well, you will see that Foscam is a really popular brand for these types of cameras. They have a lot of different models in the market. And from what I researched, there are cameras that look pretty much identical to the Foscam, and the rumor is that Foscam also makes those other cameras, but slaps on a different name.
So I bought it. I ended up buying the FI 89210W. At the time I bought it was around $89.
Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (White)
This camera had all the bells and whistles of what I was looking for in a baby video monitor. But what a big disappointment it turned out to be.
Before the camera arrived, I spent a lot of time researching the set up to this camera. The best tutorial I found was this guy on YouTube who goes by Awkward Hamster. His tutorials are very good and walk to step by step. Below is the video I watched, so that I would be ready to go once my camera arrived:
So my Foscam arrived. And even thought I had done the prep work by watching videos on the internet, it was completely frustrating.
I’m pretty good with technology and setting things up, and I had a very hard time with this one.
If you plan on using a Chrome Browser, you need to download a VLC plugin. But note that chrome doesn’t have the same features Internet Explorer has. For example, on IE you can talk two ways, record video, and you can’t do this with chrome.
So once you have figured out your browser, have fun setting up and assigning the static IP and all the other fun stuff like ports and subnets. Again, the video above will make it a lot easier to do.
TESTING THE FOSCAM
My house gets pretty good wireless signal. I know because I get strong bars on my phone and also on my Ipad. I set up the Foscam in the baby room, but after 30 minutes the video would freeze!
So in real time, my baby was crying out of control, but when looking at the monitor, since the image was frozen, you would think the baby was sound asleep!
In order to try and fix this, you have to reconnect the camera. However, whenever you reconnect, the IP changes, which means you have to actually go to the camera and reboot it. This means you are walking into your baby’s room every single time!
I then decided to move the camera and test in the same room as the router. The camera didn’t drop but the video was very slow, meaning it wasn’t displaying in real time.
Overall, this camera sucked as a baby camera.
DLINK DCS-5020L REVIEW WIFI BABY MONITOR
I love this camera. For the price, it has everything I wanted.
The best thing is that it’s very easy to set up. And once it’s all set up, you can actually access the camera from the DLink website at https://www.mydlink.com/. When you go here, you set up a username and password and can access the camera from any computer, ipad, smartphone, iphone etc etc.
The only downside is you can’t do two way talking. So you can’t talk to your baby.
Also, the sounds gets a lot of static. So if your baby starts crying, you hear a lot of annoying static.
There are more features to this camera which allows you to get emails whenever there is movement or even sound. I haven’t really needed to play with the those features yet as I’m just using this for a baby camera. Once I decide to use it for surveillance, then I’m sure that will come in handy.
What do you think is the best baby video monitor?