New firmware for FI8918W

Jun 20, 2011

Foscam released a firmware update for the FI8918W but at the same time decided to rebuild their website, making the download page unavailable for the time being. Frustrating, especially given the improvements introduced with this update:

New features of firmware
1) Add msn function
MSN friends can login to the ip camera remotely

2) Audio support in push server mode (Firefox,Chrome)
Nice and long awaited addition, this is done through VLC so you will need to install the correponding Mozilla plug-in. 

3) Add daylight saving time
Daylight saving is no longer used in China so it's nice of them to implement it at last.

4) Support special characters on wireless SSID,wireless key and alias
Many people had troubles because of too long/complex SSID name or key.

5) Support hidden SSID in router
Not advertising ssid is a good practice and makes your AP slightly more secure.

6) Support gmail for sender on mail service settings
TLS support for emails at last ! 
->If like me you get this error, it means that your camera is too old (mine's from September 2010). Foscam has confirmed this.

7) Improved UPnP function
Improved port forwarding through UPnP.

-> Sunday and scrambled emails alarm bugs should also be resolved.

Where to get it:
The usual recommended way is to email Foscam with the device ID and current fw version to obtain it.

I have setup the following mirrors while Foscam website is down:
Download location #1
Download location #2

The firmwares can also be found on the Foscam Malaysia web site.

Please follow the "Upgrade guidance" document, do not flash over Wi-Fi, make sure you have the FI8918W and not the FI8908W.

About the FI8908W: there is no similar update for the older cameras (Device UI are still current), and Foscam suggests that features #1 and #6 will not be possible with the FI8908W hardware. I hope they will introduce at least the hidden SSID support in a future firmware, otherwise this feature will be useless if you have a mix a old and new Foscam's on the network.


  1. Hi all!
    First of all: big thanks to Bubbah for this excellent and very well managed blog and to all users for sharing their detailed knowledge.

    I'm Helmut, 64 years old from Berlin/Germany.
    I bought my first IP-cam (original Foscam FI8918W) some days ago and got it working and firmware update to / was successful. The tutorials and comments on this site helped me a lot.
    But of course I have some questions:
    1.) I would like to use the camera outdoor (at least if temperature is not below 0).
    Has anyone experience with that? I'm thinking of a transparent clylindric container to store the camera in.
    2.) I'm looking for a way to bypass the initial screens of the native GUI to directly drop into to the "live video screen" including the camera controls.
    I found a good starting point at Its an Interface based on javascript using the cgi calls for the Foscam. Its free (GNU) to download and the scripts are easy to understand (and probaly to customise). It needs php enabled on your server to use all of the features.
    But I hope, there is an easier way. Just bypass the unwanted screens and used the original GUI.

    Thanks in advance for any response - and don't worry about my low level English

    Cheers Helmut

  2. Hi Helmut,
    I would not advise you to place the FI8918W outside, I think that even in a special casing, it would soon die with the humidity. An outdoor ipcam like FI8904/05 would be more appropriate.

    You have several options to bypass the native gui:
    - capture streaming directly to VLC
    see "FAQ for IP Cameras", topic #8, in this blog
    - use a 3rd party software (PC or smart phone)
    see the post "Third-Party software for Foscam IP Cameras"
    - compose an url with videostream.cgi, videostream.asf, snapshot.cgi or live.html directly in the address bar of the browser. All this is documented in the SDK document

    All the best!

  3. Hi Bubbah,
    thank you for your quick reply.
    I'm using the cam just for fun. So the whole thing should not be too expensive. I did not find an outdoor WLAN camera with tilt and pan function at a price below 100 Euro. So I think I take the risk of "sudden death" because of humidity. I will report, when this happens. :)

    I want to share it over an DynDns-account on the Internet. So there should be no need for visitors, to install additional software (VLC or the firefox plugin). videostream.cgi works fine, but there are no controls. The native GUI does the job. Its just a matter of convenience, to bypass the login page and the status page.


  4. This new firmware is only for FI8918W from Foscam. Flashing on the wrong model will brick your camera.
    sir i do the update and i have problem PLEASE help

  5. Can you please explain me better how does that MSN function works? I thought we'd get a message through MSN if the alarm mode was triggered, even some images in real time... guess I was terribly wrong...

  6. I have had an FI8918W mounted inside my chicken run for the last 9 months so although under cover it is still open to humidity and temperature changes. Camera still operating so I would say it was worth taking the risk. Thanks Bubbah for uploading the firmware upgrade.

  7. Thanks, sewitall for submitting your experience.
    I mounted my Cam in the garden under a glas vase. The vase stands upside down on a plastic plate.
    If somebody likes to peep at my garden: :) Its a joke, more or less because I'm a real gadget victim. :)
    (If its night, turn the IR off and brightness up to avoid reflections)
    Cheers Helmut

  8. Hi,
    I just bought a FI8918W and I'm using it with Zoneminder, together with other 3 Foscam cameras for outdoor monitoring (FI8904W).
    While I have no problems at all with the outdoor units, Zoneminder is complaining about a JPEG data corruption on the new FI8918W camera.
    This is the error message:
    zmc_m4[3426]: WAR [Corrupt JPEG data: 1 extraneous bytes before marker 0xd9]

    I'm using the firmware (webUI Does anyone of you use a similar camera with ZoneMinder?
    Please notice that I can see correctly the images and video from the camera, only Zoneminder is complaining and it seems this could create problems with motion detection.


  9. @Fabio,
    I don't use Zoneminder but the fw version is pretty old and there was a bug with corrupted pictures being sent with email alert so I guess it is related. Current (webui can be found on the Foscam web site along with the upgrade instructions.

  10. I installed the New firmware for FI8918W on a FI8908W and...surprise! It works like a charm - no msm functionality although :(
    What do you suggest? reflash the right firmware or mantain the wrong one?

  11. @Fabrizio
    I thought the hardware would be too different for this to work. Now that you've done it, it's probably better to not force your luck and leave it as it is...

  12. I'm considering to purchase a FI8909W. My expectation is, that it is similar to a FI8918W, but without pan/tilt. Are you aware of any other differences?

  13. @pem
    The previous model FI8909-NA had no audio I think (hence the -NA suffix), but now with dual audio, it's just like the other. The 5 LED bring the night visibility to 7 meters instead of 8, no big deal...

  14. @Bubbah
    Thanks for your help Bubbah...I upgraded the firmware to, but the problem persists.
    I'll try to contact Foscam to see if something can be done about this. Thanks.

  15. Hi Fabio,
    please check also the ZoneMinder wiki, as it seems that you need a specific script for FI8918W.
    I expect Foscam to reply something like "it's not our bug"...

  16. I set up my Free DYNDNS.Com account, can I use a totalbof 3 cameras with it? or do I need to set up different accounts? If someone can explain how to broadcast the 3 cameras, I would appreciate it.

  17. @Fabio
    looking around it seems to be a foscam issue.
    I've also the same issue with 2 fi8918w and zoneminder.
    Someone recompiled the libjpg library taking out the check which then make the camera working fine, but it's not a clean solution.

  18. @Luca
    Thanks for your comment Luca,
    I still have the problem.
    I contacted Foscam to ask for a new firmware, but they told me there's no newer firmware available.
    I have the problem only with the FI8918W cameras, not with FI8905W nor FI8904W.
    Foscam claims that the jpg "engine" is the same, so that can't be their problem (of course this can't be true), and that they don't know ZoneMinder so they can't do much about this.
    Actually I configured syslog to not log anything, but I'd like to see a more clever fix :)
    Thanks anyway...

  19. ciao Fabio,
    do you have any issue in Zoneminder with those cameras ?
    mine keeps processes restarting...

    "zmc -m 1' exited abnormally, exit status 255"

    I have just 2 fi8918w connected so I don't know if the issue is caused by them or it's zoneminder itself.


  20. Hi Luca,
    no issues with the cameras, except the mentioned problem with JPG corruption, which I fixed with syslog discarding all messages coming from ZoneMinder.


  21. Hi guys,
    it seems that a new firmware for FI8918W is out on the Foscam website:
    Here are the new features:
    1. New features of this firmware
    1) Support setting schedule more conveniently.
    2) Support changing the upload image name for FTP.
    3) Support setting the automatic patrol circles.
    4) Add the option to turn off the alarm beep sound when alarm activated.
    5) Add preset in Firefox, Google chrome and Safari.
    6) Support saving fps.
    2. Resolved bugs
    1) Fix display issues on some language pages.
    2) Fix the issue about saving recording path.

    I haven't tried it yet, the only thing I needed was the fix for the jpeg corruption reported by ZoneMinder, but it seems they've not fixed it yet (at least from their features list).


  22. hey, many thanks for the heads-up Fabio.
    I'll have a look at that!