Monday, November 3, 2014

Foscam Firmware Update Bricks Camera, And They Don't Care

Foscam once again doesn't seem to respect consumers, nor understand the concept of quality control.

Typically when a company releases a a product to the public, it's been through some testing to ensure that the product is actually serviceable to the consumer. Sadly, in the case of the Foscam FI9821W, they have failed miserably.

Recently, Foscam released a firmware update, version Numerous FI9821W camera owners, myself included, have reported that the camera has been "bricked" following the upgrade. The upgrade begins, then an "Upgrade Failed" message appears, and thereafter nothing happens other than a steady, red LED beside the camera's ethernet port, and the camera is completely unusable.

A user on the Foscam forums, TheUberOverlord, has been shepherding a thread where he provides a solution which involves buying a specialized tool, cracking open the camera, then interfacing with the camera and overwriting its firmware. 


Firmware updates are frequently released for various electronic devices (including wireless IP cameras) in order to fix defects not initially addressed by the manufacturer. Usually, updating is a good thing, because it fixes something the manufacturer neglected to fix in the initial release, whether due to time or budget or other constraints.

Even if a camera is past its warranty coverage, there might be subsequent firmware updates to fix various issues. This was the case with the firmware update for the Foscam FI9821W. Of two FI9821W cameras I own, one of them successfully updated to the firmware, but the other experienced the aforementioned upgrade failure.

I contacted Foscam via email. This was their response.
Thank you for contacting the Foscam RA department. Unfortunately, we are not authorized to replace your FI9821W model as it is out of warranty. The FI9821W models have a one year warranty. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Out of warranty, eh? Despite the fact that Foscam released firmware for this out-of-warranty camera model, which turns out to be defective for many of these cameras, they refuse to take responsibility??


I strongly suggest avoiding Foscam until they get their priorities and quality control straightened out. They simply don't seem to care about their customers nor the quality of their products. 

#Foscam #ipcamera #homesecurity

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I wrote up an instructible to fix this.