Firmware 2.38 for FI8918W - Gadget Victims

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Firmware 2.38 for FI8918W

Foscam brought last month some long awaited improvements through this latest update for FI8918W.

I was busy with other gadgets lately and didn't pay attention to this latest update from Foscam.
However the improvements brought by fw (webUI are worth noticing,

1.Support setting schedule more conveniently.
Now you can do some group selection thanks to some additional controls in the UI:

2.Support changing the upload image name for FTP.
Many of us have asked Foscam for a way to set a name for saved files.
In my view it should have allowed to cycle within a range of files, with the newer ones overwritting the older. Well, the Foscam implementation is not exactly what we expected:

By default the uploaded filename looks like:

Now if you set the filename e.g. "test", it will look like:

...but this is only for the uploads that are not triggered by the motion alarm!

3.Support setting the automatic patrol circles.

4.Add the option to turn off the alarm beep sound when alarm activated.Yes, that irritating "honk" when the motion alarm is activated in IE can be now turned off!!!

5.Add preset in firefox,google chrome and safari.
One reason less to keep using IE!

6.Support saving fps.
makes sense!

Resolved bugs:
1)Fix display issues on some language pages.
2)Fix the issue about saving recording path.

As usual, a gentle reminder: this is not for FI8908W!

Where to get it:


  1. I am having trouble with Mail Service Settings using this firmware/Web UI (actually, I just purchased to cameras with that firmware/Web UI preinstalled). I get the dreaded "Error: illegal params." no matter what I do... I get that immediately after I click "Submit". I tried two different SMTP servers/credentials - Comcast and GMail. Neither one works... In fact I get the error so quickly that I suspect it's really a CGI error rather than mail server error coming back. It seems that mail.htm file probably contains invalid parameter names. Would someone please check that and see if that reproes for them?

    I guess I could try working around the issue by crafting an URL via set_mail.cgi?... thingy...

  2. OK, after killing two hours on this, I figured out the issue. The camera doesn't support "strong" passwords, as in - special characters in the password. I had a "@" and a "#" in the camera password. It actually allowed me to save that password, and it allowed me to log in using it. However, after that, I couldn't save other changes to the camera settings. E.g. trying to setup email was failing as I described above with "Error: illegal params."

    The funny thing is that after I guessed that special characters in the password might've been the problem, I tried changing my admin password back to alphanumeric only, and that wouldn't work either! I got the same "Error: illegal params."

    So I had to use the "Reset" hole on the bottom of the camera to clear out the password (which, unfortunately, removed the rest of the camera settings...")

    So... The geniuses at Foscum don't support secure password for IP Cam... That's awesome.

    I figured the issue out because I read on foscum forums someone specifically stating they used alphanumeric chars only in the email password. Though my issue wasn't the email password, it was the admin password on the camera.

    Also I remembered that several people complained about not being able to change camera settings after setting up port forwarding on the router. That doesn't seem to make sense, right? Wrong. Most people probably didn't bother changing admin password for the camera from the blank to something else until they actually setup port fowarding (i.e. opened up the camera to the good old Internet). At that point they probably setup a good secure password using special non-alphanumeric characters. The camera didn't give them any errors and took the password. Except it wouldn't save anything else after that...

    The mystery solved. Dear webmaster of, it would be great if you would blog about this lovely bug. It might save many people hours of their lives. Literally. :) Thanks for running this site BTW, lots of good info.

  3. I'm sorry you didn't come accross the "FAQ for IP Cameras" before going through all that.

    It is explained in pt. 1 & 12.

    In addition, a too long Alias name will prevent the camera from emailing the pictures.

    This applies to most chinese IP cameras in this price range.

  4. @ANG IP Cam
    I upgraded mine yesterday but didn't look at the email settings. I'll do that soon.

    Few things to check:
    try without SSL/TLS and use
    SMTP server:
    Port 25.
    The sender does not need to be a valid email.
    Anything will do e.g.:,
    it will just show "From:PTZ" in your inbox.
    The receiver of course must be a valid one.

    Important: Make sure you didn't set the IP cam alias name too long!

    Next: try re-flashing the camera with the same firmware (through a wired connection!)
    But before doing that you might want to email with your deviceID and ask if they know the problem. They do reply.

  5. @Bubbah,

    The second comment is also by ANG IP Cam, i.e. my issue was the special characters in the password.(for some reason my name showed up as Unknown the second time around instead of ANG IP Cam). Thank for you being helpful. Foscam wasn't helpful at all, they just sent me a link the user guide. Thanks!

  6. THis firmware is indeed not intendede for the 8909 version. But I flashed this firmware on my 8909 by accident and everything is working fine up till now.

    I have to add that I did not test all features yet. But then again, if I hadn't come along this blog, I would have never noticed my error and would have never know known that I have mistaken my 8909 for the 8919 model.

  7. Hi @Bubbah,
    I develop a little app (windows) like a gadget to watch multiple cams always on top on Windows.

    I tested with Foscam/generic (DX) cam, but other models/manufacture are welcome. Let me know...

    Ah, its free app.

  8. Who wants contribute testing and sending issues and ideas, I'll appreciate. Thanks.

  9. "The camera doesn't support "strong" passwords, as in - special characters in the password"

    Thank you, I've been pulling my hair out with the same problem, I could not set Mail Service Settings or Motion Detect Settings until I reset CAM and used an Admin password without special characters!

  10. Bubbah - I have been working with FOSCAM on my bricked FI8918W (which they've asked me to send back for repairs), but in the process they provided updated firmware and instructions. If you'd like to update your archives I can mail them to you. Thanks for your help, and props to the FOSCAM folks for being so awesome!
    b s b r u m at g m a i l dot com

  11. Thanks Brian, I've got some recovery files for 8908 and 8918 from them and available in the post "how to bring your paperweight back to life". The set includes: (766Kb)
    romfs_cmos_11_14_2_17.img (577Kb)
    and instructions on how to connect to the pcb. I send you an email anyway in case you have different set of files. Cheers.

  12. I sure appreciate this information. I was able to get my email notifications to start working on my Foscam by changing my strong password to a simple one. Next I will try to add some user accounts to see if I can keep my strong admin password. It seems strange that an IP cam doesn't support strong passwords when motion alarm is on.

  13. Hi
    I'm looking at booster antennas for Foscam (9dBi)
    Do you think this works?

    I have 4 Foscams at home, they keep dropping.
    The furthest one is about 15m from the router with 4 timber-plaster walls in between and it's virtually dead, no signal most of the times. Router is Netgear DG834N

    Cost for 4 antennas is about A$50

    Should I buy them or should I rather invest in a new modem-router with stronger signal? Any recommendation on the best one?

  14. I was about to suggest changing the router antenna instead but see that DG834N has no detachable antenna. The main selling argument of the "RangeMax" series is the wireless range, so if it's true, changing the router gives no guarantee.
    So changing the ipcam antenna looks like a good idea and that seller seems safe, however you should maybe first try to play with the Wifi Channel on your router, this can affect the range as well, try values like 1,6,11...

  15. I used a cheap parabolic antenna with my router to improve the range. something similar to this, but I think I found it cheaper on ebay.

  16. Thanks for advice. Initially about 2 years ago I guess all seemed to work well (except the furthest one) but the recently last 6 months they keep dropping (LED blinking slowly) and require reset (unplug and plug in again) to work again.
    I'm not sure if it's due to the aging router or due to the aging wireless module inside the Foscams.

    Anyway if I change the channel in Foscam setting, do I have to change anything in the router setting too? And will that affect other laptop/pad using wifi?

  17. I remember that in an old firmware version, there was a field to select the wifi channel in the Foscam settings, but this is a mistake from the developpers: the channel is always defined by the access point and the clients like the ip cam must automatically switch to that channel during the handshake sequence. So this must be changed in your router, then you should check if the connection gets better of worse.
    Check also if you changed something in the encryption type, in the WPA key maybe that could have made the connection unstable for the cameras. They all have in common an aversion for long and complex ap names and keys.

  18. Make sure your mail service is on before testing. Its like forgetting to plug in your TV.

  19. hi, does anyone have any knowledge of easyN cams, thought they were clone of foscam. But was checking their site out
    and all the links re-direct to foscam. I dont want to turn my camera int oa brick, has anyone tried this?

    1. Someone reported on this blog that he could flash his EasyN with a Foscam firmware, but to be on the safe side, you should contact Foscam directly with your model and product ID and get their confirmation. Try either from here or on their forum


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