nanny taking care of the baby

Image by flickr

 

The nanny cam has come a long way as smaller cameras and recording devices benefit from nanotechnology and innovations in silicon chip design and manufacturing. As technology does more in smaller packages, spy cameras can reach the public at affordable prices. Consumers can use these cameras to keep watch over babies and toddlers, elderly family members, and even beloved pets. Don’t let perceived high cost and setup challenges dissuade you from taking advantage of this affordable technology. The uses for the best nanny cam models are many, and the best nanny cams are usually under $100.

 

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Product FAQ

1. What Do the Best Nanny Cams Do?

Created for parents to spy on nannies and housekeepers, these cameras are now used much more broadly to spy on anything happening in the house. This can range from dogs chewing on furniture to keeping watch on Aunt Hazel in her mother-in-law house. A nanny cam can be placed near the front door to dissuade thieves, can talk to your pets, can upload video via the Cloud, and can be hidden for spying. Think of a nanny cam as a dashcam for your house, since the best nanny cam models detect sound, motion and vibration, store clips and even pan and tilt!

2. Nanny Cam Technology Intimidates Me. Is It Hard to Use?

Developers of the best nanny cams want to make sales, and design is one of the most important considerations. A user manual comes with every product, and if you can operate an iPhone, use Instagram, or have used tape recorders, you’ll master the nanny cam as quickly. Extra features will take more time to figure out, including getting used to apps, but this technology is designed with all consumers in mind and not limited to computer geeks and film school grads.

3. Aren’t Nanny Cams Illegal Sometimes?

woman doing playtime with the baby

Image by flickr

In some states, there may be limitations on how these cameras can be used. Similar to audio recording, nanny cams can’t be used to record when those being filmed haven’t given consent in some states. Check the laws where you live, but in general, as long as you get audio, video, or written permission from whoever might show up on film, there are no legal repercussions.

4. How Will I Know If It’s Not Working Correctly?

nanny looking out for the baby

Image by flickr

The best nanny cams come with built-in lights to let you know if the camera is not filming. This safety feature is something to look for on less expensive models because it’s easy to assume the camera is rolling even when it’s not. Make sure the company servers work so you will have access to motion-activated clips in case your home security is breached. The best nanny cam devices have customer support to help you maintain security.

5. What Are the Dangers of Nanny Cams?

Even the best nanny cam can be hacked. If you don’t want someone to get possession of images inside your house, of your children, or just any images—be sure to register your device, use a strong password, encrypt your WiFi, and set up Google Alerts (or another alert) to monitor your online content. These precautions will dissuade hacking and keep your video content safe.

How We Reviewed

This review focuses on features and price. The pros and cons of each product are listed for quick reference. Features to look for are weight and size, ability to hide the device, ease of mounting, ease of use, audio (including two-way), motion-activated features, lights, and iCloud/Windows compatibility.

Price Range of the Best Nanny Cam Models on the Market

 

one hundred us dollar bills in a suitcase

Image by pixabay

Nanny cams can be found for as little as $$ but the higher end cameras with multiple features and backup power supply will cost up to $$$. These items can sometimes be found on eBay for less, but be sure to review all specs before buying used. The general range is $$ to $$ for the basic features and these models will usually include multi-platform interactivity, video uploads, and spy options. You may need to pay a little more for high-quality audio, two-way audio, live feed, and pan and tilt features.

 

What We Reviewed

 

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  • Brickhouse Security CAM-MICRO Camscura Micro 720P HD Hidden Camera
  • HawkCam Pro Home Security Camera Wireless, Nanny Cam
  • Black Motion Detection Spy Clothes Hook Hidden Camera
  • IP Camera, UOKOO 720P WiFi Security Camera Internet Surveillance Camera
  • Nest Security Camera, Keep an Eye on What Matters to You, from Anywhere
  • Arlo – Add-on Camera with Motion Detection
  • Amcrest
    ProHD 1080P WiFi Camera 2MP (1920TVL) Indoor Pan
  • Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection
  • D-Link DCS-5222L HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera

[amazon link=”B00FKZM116″ title=”Brickhouse Security CAM-MICRO Camscura Micro 720P HD Hidden Camera” /]

 

[amazon box=”B00FKZM116″]

 

A small camera with a nice range of features in an affordable package. Hides well, and includes motion, sound and vibration detection.

Features

The Brickhouse is an affordable camera with a good range of basic features: it records 10 hours continuously and you can get a couple of more hours by adjusting the settings; it has high quality 1280-pixel video that it stores on an SD card, and it activates by motion, noise, or vibration.

Pros

  • High-quality video
  • Easy to hide
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Recording time somewhat limited
  • The small size makes adjustments more difficult
  • No live feed

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00FKZM116″ value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B00OQOB9BA” title=”HawkCam Pro Home Security Camera Wireless, Nanny Cam” /]

[amazon box=”B00OQOB9BA”]

 

Marketed as easy to use, with five-minute setup simplicity even a chimp could master, the HawkCam is an aggressive eye in the sky that will convey live recording, a feature many many dog owners and security enthusiasts treasure.

Features

The Hawk has a wide-angle lens that is quick and easy to mount and set up in the home. Multiple cameras can be used and easily set up with a live feed to your phone, tablet, or computer. This camera will give live-action feedback. Wireless, motion-advanced and affordable—this security beacon will please most buyers.

Pros

  • Can set up multiple cameras
  • Live feed
  • Great for pets, elderly, security
  • Quick and easy setup
  • No monthly subscription

Cons

  • More camera than most people need
  • Advertisers SMS but doesn’t deliver
  • Set-up time optimistic

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00OQOB9BA” value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B01BMUKUWO” title=”Black Motion Detection Spy Clothes Hook Hidden Camera” /]

 

[amazon box=”B01BMUKUWO”]

 

Super simple, easy to mount, and will get you into the nanny cam groove with a minor investment.

Features

The name says it all: it attaches with a clothing pin to almost any area. This means mounting is simple and it can be placed almost anywhere. This affordable little recorder handles video. The mountain device looks just like a clothes hanger, so tell family NOT to hand anything as that will obscure the camera’s eye.

Pros

  • Simple mounting
  • Hidden camera
  • Easy to use
  • Very Affordable

Cons

  • Hard to control lights
  • Films a small area
  • No live feed
  • No Cloud or other compatibility
  • No WiFi
  • No Audio
  • Third-party sellers only

Price

This product can be found only on Amazon for around $$ but can only be purchased through third-party sellers.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B01BMUKUWO” value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B01CW4AR9K” title=”IP Camera, UOKOO 720P WiFi Security Camera Internet Surveillance Camera” /]

[amazon box=”B01CW4AR9K”]

This little Nanny cam sits on the table or counter and works great for pet monitoring and home security. For an affordable camera without spy specs, the IP does the job with decent quality video and two-way audio for a surprisingly affordable price.

Features

With 355-degree horizontal views and a 120-degree vertical view, this camera gets a good range of view in your home. It has its own base and can be set up on any flat surface. the IP UOKOO comes with a 64GB TF card and has HD quality filming at 720p. Compatible with Android or iOS. Remote access, motion activation, and two-way talk allow for a lot of interactivity.

Pros

  • Pan tilt
  • Night vision
  • Two-way talk
  • High-quality video
  • Multi-platform compatible
  • Live feed
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Made for sitting on a surface
  • Can’t hide it

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

[amazon link=”B00WBJGUA2″ title=”Nest Security Camera, Keep an Eye on What Matters to You, from Anywhere” /]

[amazon box=”B00WBJGUA2″]

 

Sleek looking eye in the sky and interactive, the Nest covers a lot of bases for a moderate investment.

Features

A versatile camera that looks like modernized security came, the Nest can be set up to stand on its base or can be mounted on a wall. Small enough to keep it unobtrusive, it has 2-way speakers, live feed and multi-platform capability.

Pros

  • High-quality video
  • Stands or mounts to the wall
  • Saves film on Cloud
  • Plugs in easily
  • Cool looking art addition to home
  • Night vision
  • Motion-activated

Cons

  • Not small enough to hide
  • Expensive

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00WBJGUA2″ value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B00QH0Q8IA” title=”Arlo – Add-on Camera with Motion Detection” /]

 

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This mini camera is weather-resistant, wireless, uses batteries, and is easily wall-mounted or set on a dresser, desk, or patio table.

Features

The wide-angle lens is motion-activated, and the Arlo can be used indoors or out. Doesn’t hide completely but can be made to blend in, and the WiFi is easily set up. This camera can be hacked, and leaving it outdoors is risky.

Pros

  • Cute
  • Great lens view
  • Indoor/outdoor capability
  • SD card easy to use
  • Magnetic mounts

Cons

  • The basic model lacks audio
  • Thief magnet
  • Doesn’t record 24/7

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B00QH0Q8IA” value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B0145OQTPG” title=”Amcrest
ProHD 1080P WiFi Camera 2MP (1920TVL) Indoor Pan” /]

 

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The Amcrest won’t miss anything with its wide-angle lens and high-quality filming. Pricey but for best nanny cam video quality we recommend Amcrest.

Features

As in its name, the 1080p beats out most of the best nanny cam products available. This little camera is also completely spy-proof and can be hidden anywhere. It has 24/7 recording and video can be uploaded to numerous storage platforms.

Pros

  • 24/7 video
  • Secure storage options
  • Pans and tilts
  • High-quality video
  • Easy to hide
  • Highly interactive uploads
  • Small
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Indoors only
  • Expensive
  • No audio
  • Best for sitting rather than mounting

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

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[amazon link=”B0172DDZ5E” title=”Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System with Motion Detection” /]

 

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With strong battery life and WiFi capability, the Blink does the basics at an affordable price. Motion detection will upload to the Cloud and even save a brief video clip when necessary.

Features

This motion-activated camera is great for pet monitoring or security. For indoor use only, the Blink is durable and the batteries will last for an amazing two-years, so maintenance is a great feature. Multiple cameras can be set up easily and will interact with Alexa, Android or iOS platforms.

Pros

  • Free Cloud storage
  • Motion-activated
  • Decent video quality
  • Notification alerts
  • Small

Cons

  • No longer integrates with Samsung Smart Things
  • Choppy antennae signal
  • The instant-on feature is faulty
  • Indoor use only
  • Blink servers, not 100% activated

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B0172DDZ5E” value=”button” ]

[amazon link=”B008915L2O” title=”D-Link DCS-5222L HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera” /]

 

[amazon box=”B008915L2O”]

 

A camera that moves around to capture video and sits easily on any surface, with USB and audio capability with built-in mic. An interactive cam, the D-Link has 32GB capacity for storage and 720p video quality.

Features

This small white camera looks like a mini-robot and pans and tilts to get a 340 degree horizontal and 120-degree vertical view. The Link does as it says and hooks up with Windows, Android, iPhone and uses a mdLink app for more features. A two-way mic makes communicating with pets possible, and the Link has triggers and alerts to view clips live.

Pros

  • Two-way audio
  • Easy to set up
  • HD quality video
  • Pans and tilts, good perspective
  • App available
  • Compatible with most platforms

Cons

  • The clunky design doesn’t blend
  • Poor customer service experiences
  • Somewhat expensive

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Where to Buy

[amazon fields=”B008915L2O” value=”button” ]

The Verdict

 

Before you buy a nanny cam or dashcam, do the research. These mighty little cameras have the potential for wide-pan views, compatibility with Cloud for storage and apps for expanded features, and two-way audio. What features do you need, and what level of video quality are you looking for? Some customers want an easy-to-use device that hides, while others want indoor and outdoor security cameras in multiple rooms. Decide before you buy. An all-around starter cam we recommend is The Nest. It’s a little pricier and not a spycam, but its live stream, versatile placement, and cool look captured our attention.

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