Complete Guide To Finding The Best Nanny Cam
Nanny cams are kind of home surveillance cameras to record videos and capture images which can be hidden or visible. For working moms, it is always important for them to hire a nanny to look after their children in their absence. But, even after looking through all reliable sources and putting in all efforts by parents, Nannies are caught mistreating the children across the globe so it is always wise to add these security features to your home. Nanny cams are not only limited to kids alone but they can also be installed in the premises to have an idea of what is happening at your home in your absence.
Before reading our guide on selecting the best nanny cam, please watch the video below:
Uses of Nanny Cams
- Home security
- Office or business security
- Monitor your nanny or babysitter
- Employee Performance
Types of Nanny Cams
With a different intent and legal obligations, there are two types of nanny cam but both serve the same purpose.
- Hidden Nanny Cams: This type of camera is hidden which is meant for monitoring of nanny without his/her knowledge.
- Exposed Cameras: These cameras are installed in a plain site and are visible to everybody.
Everyone’s purpose or goal is different when investing in a nanny cam but the ultimate motive of each consumer is almost same. Thus while researching for the best nanny cam, there are few guidelines to be considered before buying a nanny surveillance system for your home.
Features To Consider
Field of View
If you’re planning to use the set-up as a wireless security camera, you may be able to use a more narrow focus on the front door. However, if you’ll need the camera to capture the image of an entire room, you will need a wide field of vision of at least 100 degrees or greater. A 130 degree view is ideal.
Some cameras can be adjusted to zoom on an area of focus. Very high-end wireless spy cameras might allow you to control the zoom from a computer or mobile device from anywhere in the world. Most cameras, though, allow a simple set of the zoom level that is maintained until you adjust the camera itself.
Remote Pan Or Tilt
This feature permits you to move the camera lens in a real-time recording. You can keep track of what is happening in a room. Without this feature, you are fixed with one set view which may not be acceptable by all. If you want to keep an eye on the other people interactions with your child, this will be a best-suited option for it.
Recording (Cloud or Wired)
Most nanny camera systems allow recording so you can play back the video footage at a later date. For example, if you have hidden cameras for home protection and you come home to a missing television, you can then replay the recording to gather evidence.
There are three ways these recordings can be stored. One way is to have the camera hooked up directly to a computer or an external hard drive. The second way is to store the information on board the camera either through an internal memory card or a removable Micro SD memory stick. The third way is to use Wi-Fi to allow the camera to store the video footage on the “cloud.”
Some consumers are concerned about the reliability and security of the Wi-Fi transmission, but the stream is almost always encrypted. The other issue, then, is the reliability of the Wi-Fi connection. If your internet goes down, most nanny cams will store the information on the internal memory drive, but the live-viewing feature will be down.
A good video quality will begin at around 640480. Many cameras will give you the option to adjust the quality. Lower quality footage will allow more storage space, while a higher quality will fill up your memory card faster.
Battery or Corded
Next, you want to consider the power source of your camera. This will depend somewhat on the placement you expect to have. If the camera will be left on the nightstand to simulate an alarm clock, a cord or battery will both work well. If you plan to mount the camera in the upper corner of a room, then you’ll obviously want to avoid batteries that die every few hours.
Of course, with a battery-only set-up, you do run the risk of the batteries dying at the worst possible time. A typical nanny cam will last 5 hours before it needs to be plugged back in to charge. If you really want security, a cord with a battery back-up is the way to go.
How do you want your camera to appear? There are really two routes you can go. One is to have the camera appear like a wireless security camera to hopefully thwart any unseemly behavior.
Your second option is to have a wireless spy camera that looks nothing like a camera. In this case, the camera looks more like a wall-mounted thermostat or a small alarm clock on the nightstand. The goal is usually to prevent the people being recorded from knowing they’re being watched.
These add-ons typically help mask the function of hidden cameras for home protection. Features such as a functional LED clock face, radio and mp3 player add some functionality and believability to a hidden camera system.
Automatic vs. Manual
A good nanny cam should include an automatic function for recording. This allows you to set a predetermined time for the camera to come on and go off each day. The camera can also be programmed to run 24/7 with a loop function that deletes the oldest footage as it needs room for more memory.
A manual camera requires you to physically turn on the camera when you want it to start recording and to return to the camera to stop the recording. Very few models are strictly manual, although many do include this option in addition to an automatic function.
In some cases, a nanny cam might include a two-way communication feature that works with a computer or mobile device. This allows you to speak through the speaker on the camera.
Infrared (IR) technology allows the camera to have limited visibility at night. IR is constantly improving as new models come out, but a standard IR visibility range is between 7 and 9 feet from the camera.
Some cameras do not include a screen, while others have it built in to look like the face of an alarm clock or thermostat. If a screen is included, you’ll be able to watch the recorded footage on the camera device without having to transfer the footage to a computer. You’ll also want to note the size of the screen, which may range from 2” to 5”. The size of the screen will tell you something about the conspicuousness of the camera.
The more upgraded wireless spy cameras work with a motion detection sensor. This helps conserve battery and memory space by only turning on and recording when motion is detected in the camera’s field of view. It may also send you an alert to your e-mail when motion is detected.
While some nanny cams can play audio files from a memory card or through an AM/FM radio, the audio functionality is often limited to the radio alarm clock “disguise.” Most cameras do not record audio, so if you expect you’ll need audio, make sure to get a model with this specific function.
Where To Place A Nanny Cam?
It can be anywhere from a wall, ceiling, desk, clock etc. but for getting your job done efficiently, few factors are to be taken care of like low light performance, view angle, or video quality as the performance of the camera can be enhanced by selecting appropriate above said factors.
Best Place To Mount A Nanny Cam
It is always advised to read the safety manual and installing instructions carefully beforehand to avoid any kind of mishandling of the device. The best place to place a camera would be a high shelf or high on the wall, where it cannot be touched or moved easily. There must be no obstructions in the view of the camera and the view must be cross-checked from various angles and positions before mounting in order to have a perfect high coverage view. Image clarity, connectivity, battery must be checked beforehand while leaving home.
Few countries do not allow audio recording but most of the countries have made it legal to use nanny cams. There are certain restrictions that must be taken care of while recording person’s conversation without his/her knowledge. A written consent is essential, but know that any video recording surveillance cannot be placed in bedrooms, bathrooms or changing rooms.
Cost Of Nanny Cams
It is important to establish your budget before buying a nanny cam. There are two types of cameras available in the market. One is generic and the other is the brand. The generic devices come from China and are lower in cost and are equipped with some great features. The main drawback with these cameras is that they lack warranty or technical support. The price range starts from $50 going up to $110.
Well-known brand cameras have better build quality and come with manufacturer’s warranty as well as additional support. The range starts from $70 and then consequently varying as the features differ.
How To Install A Nanny Camera?
The installation process of a nanny camera is extremely simple and only requires the right tools for it. A wireless camera may be preferred as they can be installed anywhere in the house by a nice receiver range attached to a computer or a video recorder. These cameras are available with a wide range of 500 feet but a standard 300 feet range will allow for normal type use and are comparatively more in demand.
The cameras can then be added to the wireless network by simply following easy steps given in the installation guides. After getting the camera on the network, a live view can be accessed by any iPhone or Android. Apart from this, for computer viewing, software are also available in the market to help setting up a recording schedule.
How To Hide Your Nanny Cam?
It is a good idea to keep your cam hidden so that nobody can disable it. Also, few guests feel discomforted by the watchful eye of a camera. There are few ways to ensure that the nanny cam stays out of sight.
- An Artificial Plant: Attractive zero-maintenance foliage is the best way that can be created along with a device to keep an eye on the unwanted things to take place behind your back.
- A stuffed toy: A plush toy can easily be used to disguise your nanny camera, but it has to be placed somewhere on a shelf where it cannot be thrown away by our little champ.
- Kitchen: The hidden camera can be placed in the kitchen to keep any eye on the nanny during food preparation or it can be hidden in a mirror lamp where food is generally prepared.
- Light switch plate: A double switch plate is a nice place to hide your camera which is more appealing and discrete option than hiding it out in the open.
- A bookcase: Hiding camera among the same colored books is a lovely way to conceal it.
There are many spy cameras for babysitters or nannies available in the market to pick up from all the choices available, the details and other information is also required.
Ibaby is one of the best brands, which would make it a right choice to communicate with your bundle of joy. It has a two-way audio feature with noise cancellation availability. Available in high definition (HD), the live video can be streamed directly onto phone or tablet. This product helps in making a parent’s life quite easier. It offers advanced features such as night vision, 360-degree views and also small alerts. The unit is easy to install with a video feed feature. The people close to you can also have a look at your baby’s activity.
Fredi Mini Portable Camera is also one of the highly recommended products due to its 24-hour recording support and a long battery backup with a 32GB SD card. This is the smallest portable wireless nanny cam which is also IP enabled.
Apart from this; there are many other options available in the market to choose from such as:
- D-Link Pan and tilt camera
- Netgear wireless security camera
- UOKOO Wireless Surveillance camera and much more
Nanny cams help in serving a specific purpose but the applications of the nanny cams have grown recently. The amount of security they offer is quite surprising. The presence of these cameras helps parents who are not home, to serve their eyes and ears to keep a check on how the kids are looked after and treated. The best thing about a nanny camera is that it is easily available at an affordable price. Only the required features and preferences in terms of cost, application, and size must be taken into consideration. With the help of knowledge acquired, it will be easy to choose a right nanny cam as per your personal needs. This is a perfect way to get peace of mind that the kids are safe in your absence.