Having a nanny who will look after your child is indeed helpful to ease up the hardship of child rearing. However, parents cannot help but still worry. Are they properly taken care of? Did the nanny feed the children on time? What if she is not properly doing her job?
Questions like this often arise when you leave your child in someone else's care. This is the main reason why many are buying nanny cams. This device installed at a specific area of your home will help you monitor what is happening while you are away.
While many question the legality of this device, with various ethical issues, there is no doubt that it is a great help for parents. In fact, it has been used as evidence in many cases, catching and convicting criminals.
For that reason, the sales of nanny cameras have boomed in the market. Now you have more than a hundred options to choose from. But just what are these devices? And what makes a nanny cam good? Find out the answers as you read the frequently asked questions regarding nanny cameras.
What is a nanny cam?
A nanny cam is a kind of surveillance camera that is designed to be installed in your home. They help you keep tabs on your infants or children while you are in the other room or in the office.
For example, you can be cooking in your kitchen while monitoring your baby in the playroom. Install the camera in the playroom and the monitor in the kitchen so that you can see what your child is doing while you are busy with other tasks.
This also works when you are away from your home. The nanny cam can save recorded video or allows you to watch the video live on a smartphone or computer. Just make sure that you are connected to your nanny cam.
What are the different types of nanny cams?
Nanny cameras are usually classified into three categories. Knowing the difference of each type will help you determine which is the best product will work in your household setup.
Wired nanny camera
Wired nanny cameras are small cameras that are hidden or attached to any household object like a clock, radio, or lamp. They are called wired because they should be connected to another device in order to transmit the video. That other device can be a DVR unit or TV. Sometimes, they are also exposed and mounted in a place where people can see it since the wires will already suggest that there is a device attached to an object.
This type of nanny camera is becoming less popular because of the prevalence of wireless technology that is much easier to use. That is why their market price is usually cheaper than the other types.
Wireless nanny camera
This nanny camera does not need a wire to be connected to a TV or a monitor. They are more popular than the wired models because they are more flexible. For one, you will be able to access the cameras from remote locations, so long that you have an internet connection.
That is all thanks to downloadable applications and software that work with your smartphone or computer. However, since they are battery powered, they have a limited recording life. Thus, you have to recharge them every now and then. Usually, nanny cameras can work from 1 to 10 hours.
Self-recording nanny camera
The third type of nanny camera is self-recording; in other words, it does not need to be connected to any device via a wire or wirelessly. It is like having a normal camera at home to check later on. All videos will be recorded to the hard drive or memory card. This is way is easier than having to install a wired or wireless camera. Viewing the videos is easier; simply connect the cam to your TV via RCA cables or remove the memory card and insert it into a computer.
Features of a nanny camera
The best cams should do more than just recording and streaming live videos. They should also have other features that will make monitoring more convenient, more effective, and faster. Some manufacturers added three common features—motion detection, auto recording, and auto notification.
Here's how the three features work together. When you leave your house, the nanny camera will not record a video right away. The only time it will start recording is when it detects motion within its field of view.
So once there is a person moving nearby, the camera automatically records a video for a preset length of time or until the motion stops. Meanwhile, a message will be sent to your phone or email, notifying you of the video. At the same time, the video recording is also saved to the hard drive or SD memory card.
Once you receive the message, you can either view the video live or later. If you choose to view it right away, simply open the application that is recommended by the manufacturer. The application or software allows you to view which of the nanny cam feeds you want to view, one or two at a time.
Aside from this, other manufacturers also add features like infrared mode so you can still watch activity in the dark. Others also provide options like remote pan, tilt, and zoom controls to enhance your ability to check other areas, moving the cameras via a remote control.
Are they legal?
With all those advanced features of a nanny camera, one might question its legality. But don't worry, they are legal. At least, in the 50 states in the US. You even have the choice to not inform your caretaker about the nanny cams hidden in your home.
However, there are certain laws that every parent should know before installing them. You should also take note that nanny cameras are only legal for recording videos in common areas such as kitchens and play rooms.
What makes them illegal?
So, what makes installing nanny cameras illegal? There are two laws that will protect the rights and privacy of nannies or caregivers; these are video surveillance and speech laws. These laws state that it is illegal to record videos of nannies in the bathroom and bedroom as well as to share any video recording with a third party.
Unless the video recording is to be used for legal purposes, it is illegal. Aside from this, it is also illegal to record the audio. If your camera records both video and audio at the same time, you have to inform the nanny beforehand. Failure to do so is punishable by law.
What is the best nanny cam today?
Since there are so many options on the market, it’s getting harder to decide which of them is the best option. The terms they use in the product description are sometimes confusing, and you might settle for a product without understanding its features or abilities. However, you should not decide this way because it is your home and your children’s security at the stake.
So to help you choose the best from the rest, this article will talk about 5 of the best-recommended brands you can buy on Amazon. All of them have a high reviewer rating, making them some of the favorite nanny cams parents choose. Read the following reviews and see if they suit your requirement and budget.
UOKOO 720P HD Home Wi-Fi Wireless Security Surveillance Camera
This nanny camera is one of the best-selling brands on Amazon. It has made it to the top of the famous online shopping site for having a wide array of features that embody advanced technology. With the Sonic Recognition Technology and One Key Wi-Fi Configuration, setup is seamless. Simply plug in the power cable and download the right application; then complete the set up via your smartphone.
There is also motion detector that automatically sends an email or push alert notification once it has detected abnormal motion or the alarm is triggered; it will send images to notify you. Meanwhile, the night-vision feature serves as your eyes so you can see even in complete darkness.
There is a two-way audio that makes communicating with your family, friends, or pets via a mobile device possible. What people really like about this camera is its full HD 720P video at 30 fps that with a 120°-355° viewing angle; it gives you the option to pan and tilt the camera.
- Overall installation quick and easy
- Features a motion detector that is adjustable according to the user's preference
- Features night vision technology that has up to 16’ of visibility
- Allows communication through a two-way audio system
- Records videos at full HD 720P Video at 30 fps with a 120-355° viewing angle
- Allows loop recording, which covers the oldest video files when memory is full
- The camera won't record unless the application is running
- Not ideal for panning the camera to its limit because it can stop working
Conbrov T16 720P Portable Small Nanny Cam
One of the cheapest mini cameras on the market today that is also one of the best brands at its price point—the Conbrovs's T16 720P Portable Small Nanny Cam.
This camera is a 1.0” x 0.6 oz. cube, which makes it one of the world's smallest portable pocket body cameras. It is a good nanny camera because it is so tiny; you can record videos and capture pictures without drawing attention. You can attach it to any objects while it stays hidden.
For camera specifications, you can expect that viewing will be exceptional. Thanks to the 1280 x 720p HD at 30 fps camera, you can take superior-quality videos and photos. It does not only record during daylight but at night during low-light conditions; it is able to record even in total darkness so long that it is within 10’ to 15’.
Recording while it is charging is also possible, so a low battery won't be a problem. This product supports any class 10 microSD cards with 8GB to 32GB capacity. It comes complete in a package with Micro USB cable, magnetic bracket, camera clip, card reader, pin, and user manual with a 12-month warranty.
- Super small and portable camera, great for home and office use
- Records and captures HD videos and photos; with exceptional 1280 x 720p HD at 30 fps
- Allows recording and charging at the same time
- Includes complete with a Micro USB cable, magnetic bracket, camera clip, card reader, and pin
- SD card for the camera is not included
- Only records one 5 minutes clip at a time
- 60 dB requirement sound activated mode is too high or too loud
Eovas Hidden Cameras Charger Adapter
If you want to secretly spy on your nanny, the most effective hidden camera to use is the one made by Eovas. This tiny nanny camera takes the form of a regular USB charger, which is a perfect way to disguise a hidden camera.
It actually looks and works the same as the adapter you use for charging your smartphone and other devices, and no one would suspect there is a built-in camera there, unless you tell them.
In order for it to function, you have to plug the charger/camera into the socket. Since it has a USB port, you can charge your phone while the camera records. There is in 32GB memory so that you don't have to look for a compatible micro SD.
When you get home, you can unplug it from the socket then use the included connector to plug it into your PC. Its video resolution is 1920 x 1080P and full HD, so that viewing will be clear. Aside from this, the camera supports loop recording so that you will not miss anything.
- The unique design makes it a perfect hidden camera
- Does not have a built-in battery but is easy to operate by just plugging into any socket
- Includes a built-in 32GB memory to support loop recording
- Includes a mini microphone for sound recording
- Users won't get immediate notifications when an incident happens
- Limited recording time of only 6 hours
- Limited field of view that is only 75°
FREDI Hidden Camera Charger Adapter
Fourth on the list is another USB charger adapter hidden camera, this time, from FREDI. Why would you choose this over another is perhaps because it has more features to better monitor your home real time. Like the previously reviewed adapter charger camera, this looks like any other USB wall charger that you use every day.
From appearance and function, no one would suspect it has video recording capabilities. It records videos that are as clear as 1080P HD with 1920 x 1080P video resolution. That is why during a video playback the videos are easier to watch.
The camera has a 75° field of view, which is wide enough for most purposes. It also supports loop recording, which means that it automatically overwrites old video clips once the memory fills up. Supporting a memory card with up to a 128GB capacity, you will never miss a thing.
The motion detection function allows immediate viewing of video on your phone once image notifications or alerts are sent straight to your email via FTP. Lastly, it also includes a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Supports a memory card up to 128GB
- Features a motion detection function, recording to approximately 16-24 hours
- Includes image notification sent to the user's email via FTP
- Supports Wi-Fi
- Allows charging of devices while recording
- Instructions for setting up the motion detection function are confusing
- Memory card is not included in the purchase
- Only records 3 minutes at a time
Alon HD 1080p Wi-Fi IP Hidden Camera Wall Plug Mini USB Charger Spy Cam
This hidden camera will also be mistaken to be a wall plug or a mini USB charger. It's a bit bigger than the first two USB chargers on the list, but still, it does not draw any attention while it is recording videos inside your home. Plug it into any socket and start recording. You can also charge a phone or other 5V devices while it records, too.
The device supports a 64 GB Micro SD card and has an application that allows remote live viewing when connected to a Wi-Fi connection. Should you have no internet access, you can opt to watch the videos at a later time by taking out the SD card and inserting it into your computer. Like the other brands, it also has a motion detection function, sending snapshots and push notifications to your phone when unusual activity or movement is detected.
- Has a unique design that looks like a regular USB plug or wall charger
- Sends snapshots and push alert notifications to user's smartphone when motion detection function is activated
- Allows remote viewing through Wi-Fi connection and application
- Poor audio qualities
- Video resolution and quality is not as advertised
The best nanny cam is the one that works conveniently for you. It does not always have to allow remote viewing or live viewing, but these features are sure to be more helpful to ease your worries as you can check on your child whenever you want to. Most of the above products can record audio and video at the same time. Be sure you are aware of your state’s laws concerning video surveillance and audio recording before you use your nanny cam.