Back to top

SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click on links on our site. Learn more.

Best Nanny Cams - SafeWise Buyers Guide

Top 10 Nanny Cams of 2018

Nanny cams may have gotten their name from parents who want to spy on caretakers. However, indoor cameras serve a much broader purpose. Indoor security cameras can help you keep tabs on pets, kids, and the overall security of your home. They can also serve as an extra set of eyes when your kids are in other rooms. If you like to know what’s happening when you’re away or out of sight, you can shop for a number of "nanny-cams" with remote access, video recording, and more.

nanny-cam-buyers-guide
Top nanny-cam-buyers-guide

Types of Nanny Cams

There are two main types of "nanny cams:" hidden and exposed. Both serve the same function, but have different intent and legal implications.

Hidden Nanny Cams

This type of camera is hidden in a device like an alarm clock or stuffed animal. It’s meant to surreptitiously monitor your nanny or babysitter without his/her knowledge. You won’t have to worry about legal ramifications of this type of device if it only records video; It’s legal in all 50 states to secretly videotape the contents of your home and all visitors without their consent. Although, you cannot install cameras in bathrooms or private spaces like your nanny’s bedroom. That is very much illegal.

An important caveat to note here is that hidden cameras are only acceptable if they record video. A number of states don’t allow you to record audio of your nanny, au pair, or babysitter without their knowledge. If you have an audio/video hidden camera, you’ll need to notify your nanny. Failing to do so could result in prosecution and loss of evidence. In other words, you can be sued and any recordings you collect won’t be admissible in court.

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

Exposed Indoor Cameras

Interior home security cameras or recording baby monitors fall under the category of "exposed nanny cams." These cameras are mounted in plain site and can easily be seen by people in your household.

The laws of hidden cameras also apply for those that are exposed. If your household cameras record audio, you’ll need to tell your nanny in a verbal and written statement, so you can’t be prosecuted—and so that you can use recordings as evidence if you ever need to go to court. We recommend doing this in front of a camera and getting a signature, so there’s no doubt about your disclosure.

Dangers Of Nanny Cams

Nanny cams allow you to keep an eye on your child and sitter, but it’s a gateway for creeps too. One couple discovered a breach in their nursery camera when they heard music coming from their child’s bedroom. Another was horrified to find a hacker saying lewd things to their child after taking control of a webcam.

While you install nanny cams and indoor cameras to protect your children, they can inflict harm if they’re hacked. Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening

1. Register Your Device.

When you buy any indoor camera or nanny cam, you should register it with the manufacturer. If the company finds a security flaw, they will alert registered users of the potential problem. You should also join the mailing list in case they issue any updates or recalls, so you’ll know right away if something could endanger your child’s privacy and safety.

2. Make Strong Passwords.

This rings true for every account you have online, but especially for your Wifi. When coming up with a password and username, don’t use obvious things like birthdays, names of pets, or other things a hacker could find online. You can use generators that mash up random numbers, letters, and characters to make virtually unbreakable passwords. You can also do it yourself by choosing a password with at least 15 characters, upper and lower case type, symbols, numbers, and punctuation. When you create one, write it down on a piece of paper for safe-keeping.

3. Encrypt Your WiFi.

Hackers have been breaking into online banking, phones, and more ever since WiFi became more readily available. If you have cameras that operate wirelessly, make sure your system is equipped with firmware. This software is programmed into your device when it’s manufactured. It is tamper-proof and protects your wireless technology better than other software.

4. Set Up Alerts.

Google Alerts allows you to monitor pretty much anything online. You can set up an alert for your interior camera or nanny cam. Whenever it’s mentioned online, you’ll get an email about it. It’s the easiest way to stay on top of news, updates, and issues with your device.

This interior and nanny camera information can help you keep your kids safer. However, if you’re shopping for a nanny cam because you suspect a caretaker of abuse or neglect, you should go with your gut and find a replacement. Cameras can help keep an eye on your kids and show you what’s going on, but you’re the only one who will be able to intervene if necessary.

Looking for other ways to keep your children safe at home’ Get help deciding with our 'how-to-choose' tutorial.

product lineup

Top Nanny Cams/Indoor Cameras

Model

Pros

Cons

Price

Pros

Covert Design

Rechargeable Battery

High Definition

Large Storage

Cons

No WiFi

Price

Pros

Two-Way Audio

Motion Activated

Wide Angle

Night Vision

WiFi

Cons

Not Hidden

Records Over Footage

Hackable

Pros

Night Vision

WiFi

Motion Activated

Two-Way Audio

Wide Angle Lens

Cons

Price

Not Hidden

Pros

Tilts and Pans

Two-Way Audio

Night Vision

WiFi

Cons

Hackable

Not Hidden

Pros

Covert

Cheap

All-Inclusive

Cons

No Audio

No WiFi

Low Resolution

Low Storage

Pros

WiFi

Pans and Tilts

Greatest Range

Two-Way Audio

Night Vision

Cons

Price

Hackable

Not Hidden

Pros

Compatibility

Night Vision

Motion Alerts

Live Streaming

Audio

Cons

Price

Not Hidden

Pros

WiFi

Motion Activated

Wide Angle

Indoor/Outdoor

Magnetic Mounts

Cons

Price

Not Hidden

Hackable

Pros

Adult Design

Pans and Tilts

HD

WiFi

Recording Options

Cons

Not Hidden

Price

Pros

Hidden

Long Battery Life

Infrared

Super Wide Angle

Cons

Expensive

No Audio

Pros

Covert Design

Built-in DVR

Remote Operation

Motion Activated

Cons

Deletes Recordings For Space

Limited Video Programming

No WiFi

Price

Camscura Micro Hidden Camera Black Box

This is the type of camera you can put into the eye of a teddy bear to take hidden video of your nanny. While it may be small, its 1280 x 720 HD resolution captures high quality video. The storage space is also fantastic. You can plug in a memory card up to 64GB, so it will record for hours before you’ll have to replace it.

This nondescript black box is small enough to be hidden almost anywhere in your home.

Compact. Hide this small black camera in even the smallest spaces.

No Audio. You won’t get in trouble with the law because this hidden camera doesn’t record audio.

Large Storage. Use a memory card up to 64GB in this device.

Rechargeable. You won’t need batteries or cords with Camscura Micro Hidden Camera.

High Definition. Capture quality footage so you know exactly what’s happening in your home.

Price. This goes for about $150.

No WiFi. You’ll have to plug the memory card into your computer to watch the footage. However, it won’t be able to be hacked through WiFi.

Conbrov® Wf90 HD Mini Wifi Indoor Motion Activated Security Camera Monitor

This wide angle video camera is more impressive than most. Touting itself as, "the world’s first 155 degree super wide angle IP camera," you’ll be able to see more of the rooms you wish to record. Its small size also makes it convenient to place on a bookshelf, coffee table, bureau, or anywhere else. It comes with an SD card that records on loop. When the card is full, the camera will record over the oldest data, so you’ll have to check it often so you don’t lose any footage.

The 155 degree wide angle lens is the largest available.

Two-Way Audio. Talk with people in your home through the camera and hear what’s happening.

Night Vision. See what’s happening clearly even when it’s dark’up to 30 feet away.

WiFi. Check in on live streaming video from your smart device.

Wide Angle. Capture more of each room so you won’t miss anything.

Motion Activated. Get alerts to your phone and email when this camera detects motion up to 24 feet away.

Plugs. You can plug this into an outlet and mount it, so you won’t need to worry about batteries.

Not Covert. This is only a bad thing if you’re looking for a hidden camera.

Loop Recording. The 32GB memory card will automatically record over old footage, so you’ll need to replace it often.

Hacking Dangers. Since this has WiFi, it could be hacked if your home’s firewall isn’t protected sufficiently.

Falcon Watch® HawkCam Pro

Enjoy a quick set-up with this awesome security camera with a handy QR code. Once it’s up and running, you can do a ton. Use its two-way audio to communicate with caretakers in your home, log into the app to watch live streaming video, and record clear video even when it’s dark. This home security camera/nanny cam has a small profile, so it won’t be noticed—even while it’s busy noticing a lot.

You can scan the device’s QR code for quicker set-up.

Two-Way Audio. See and hear what’s happening at home and talk through the device.

WiFi. Watch live footage from this camera wherever you are.

Motion Activated. The camera will start filming when motion is detected and use a pre-record feature to include five seconds of footage before the motion started.

Wide Angle. Capture more complete footage with HawkCam’s 1080P HD wide angle lens.

Night Vision. The camera has a lighting sensor so it can switch to night vision when it gets dim.

No Rear-Facing Ability. You’ll need a separate car seat for that.

SANCCTM Wireless Nanny/Nursery Cam

Technically, SANCC wireless camera is meant for a nursery. Although, it will serve you quite well as a visible nanny cam too. With a tilt and pan function, you can remotely control this camera to see everything that’s happening in a room. The two-way audio also makes it possible for you to have conversations with whoever is taking care of your child’or listen in discretely. Place this camera wherever your child and caretaker hang out the most for optimal benefits.

This nanny cam is half the price of similar models.

Tilts and Pans. Scan the room 355 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically.

Two-Way Audio. Speak through the camera, listen to responses from the other end, and listen in covertly.

Cheap. SANCCTM Wireless Nanny/Nursery Cam is only $60 on Amazon.

WiFi. Monitor live streaming video while you’re away.

Motion Alerts. Get message alerts/snapshots when motion is detected. This will help you stay involved when your child’s caretaker is putting your child down for a nap, entering the playroom, or interacting with your kid.

Night Vision. See what’s going on with your child—day or night.

Not Hidden. You aren’t legally allowed to hide this device.

Hacking Dangers. Since this has WiFi, it could be hacked.

Hidden Camera Clothes Hook

This James Bond-esque spy camera is ideal for monitoring your nanny without his/her knowledge. If you suspect something’s amiss, you could buy this cheap device to keep an eye on your staff. It doesn’t have much storage capacity or battery life, but it will take decent video and supply you with proof of great or poor care. Also, don’t worry if someone actually uses this hook. The camera is at the top, so coats and purses shouldn’t obstruct its view.

This hidden camera is designed to look and function as a clothing hook, but it contains an HD camera and memory card too.

Cheap. These hidden camera clothes hooks only cost $15 a piece on Amazon.

Hidden. Monitor your child’s caretaker without their knowledge.

All-Inclusive. You won’t need to plug this device in. It uses a memory card and rechargeable battery to function. However, the battery only lasts two hours.

No WiFi. You can’t watch live video.

No Audio. You won’t be able to hear what’s happening or communicate with people at home.

Low Resolution. This camera’s 480p resolution is half as good as other devices.

Low Storage. You can only use a 16GB memory card with this device—half as much as other cameras.

UOKOO Wireless Surveillance Camera

This camera literally has eyes in back of its "head." That’s because it is built to pan 360 degrees around a room and tilt 120 degrees vertically. Since it’s wireless, you can control it remotely and view live footage via an app. If you see something wrong or want to check in, use the two-way audio function to speak with people in your home and listen to answers. This nanny cam/in-house security camera can store up to 64GB worth of video, so you’ll be able to monitor a lot of what goes on in your home before having to put in a new memory card.

You can see every angle of every room this camera is placed in because it has 360 degree panning capabilities.

WiFi. Control this camera from your smart device and watch video.

Pans and Tilts. See 360 degrees around the room (horizontally) and 120 degrees vertically—more than any other camera!

Zoom. Magnify the room 4x to get a close-up on what’s happening at home.

Two-Way Audio. Hear what’s happening, talk to people at home, and let them talk to you through this camera.

Night Vision. See what’s happening in a dark room with clear video—up to 25 feet.

Price. You’ll pay $100 a pop for these cameras at retail price.

Hacking Dangers. Since this has WiFi, it could be hacked.

Nest Security Camera

Nest’s Security Camera is sleek—like most of its products. Designed to be mounted or rested on a flat surface, you can use it wherever you need the most babysitter monitoring. Nest’s camera comes with bells and whistles like motion alerts, night vision, live streaming, and 8x zoom. While it’s pretty pricey—about $200—Nest is a company that produces high quality and long lasting products that are worth the splurge.

You can store nearly unlimited data with Nest Security Camera because it syncs with the cloud.

Combines With Other Products. Nest manufactures smart thermostats and other fantastic home automation products. If you buy this camera and have other Nest products, they’ll work together flawlessly.

Night Vision. See a pitch dark room with absolute clarity.

Motion Alerts. Get sound and motion alerts on your phone.

Live Streaming. This WiFi enabled device allows you to control the camera from anywhere and watch live video of your home and children.

Zoom. The 8x zoom function is double what other cameras offer.

Cloud Recording. Instead of using a memory card, you can upload all video to the cloud.

Audio. Listen to what’s going on.

High Definition. Record and watch video in HD—1080p.

Expensive. Budget $199 a piece for this sophisticated camera.

Not Hidden. This records audio, so you can’t use it as a covert nanny cam.

Hacking Dangers. Since this has WiFi, it could be hacked.

NETGEAR Arlo Wireless Security Camera

This one is unique to others in that it can withstand indoor or outdoor climates—from 14 degrees to 122 degrees fahrenheit. If your kids play a lot in the backyard or you have a pool you want to monitor, you can use NETGEAR’s Arlo Wireless Security Camera to keep a watchful eye on your children. Plus, this camera is equipped with night vision, so you’ll be able to see what’s happening even when it’s dark.

NETGEAR’s camera can function indoors or outdoors—from 14 to 122 degrees fahrenheit.

WiFi. Control this camera and watch live streaming video through the app.

Motion Activated. This camera will start recording when it detects motion, so it doesn’t waste storage space on empty rooms or yards. Plus, it’ll send you motion alerts.

Wide Angle. Record with a 130 degrees lens to capture more of what’s happening.

Indoor/Outdoor. NETGEAR made this surveillance camera to withstand the elements. Put it indoors or outdoors. It records in temperatures as low as 14 degrees up to 122 degrees fahrenheit.

Magnetic Mounts. This is also unique to this device. It’ll make installation and camera removal easier since they snap into place via magnets.

Cloud Storage. Opt to use the cloud to store your videos rather than a memory card—for greater capacity.

Price. This camera retails for $179.

Hacking Dangers. Since this has WiFi, it could be hacked.

Not Hidden. NETGEAR’s camera is meant to be in plain site.

D-Link Pan and Tilt Camera

Some other pan and tilt cameras feature nursery designs—making them hard to use in other parts of your home. The D-Link Pan and Tilt Camera has a modern and simple design that will better match adult décor. It comes with sharp HD resolution, night vision, and a PIR sensor that makes it better at detecting motion. D-Link’s camera will connect with your home’s wireless, so you can check in on your kids from your phone and get alerts if the device detects motion.

The camera comes with WPS (WiFi protected set-up), so you will automatically be safer from camera hackers.

Pans and Tilts. Move the camera around to see different areas of the room—vertically and horizontally.

Adult Design. The sleek design makes this camera more suitable for common spaces.

Two-Way Audio. Use this camera to communicate and eavesdrop.

WiFi. D-Link’s setup encrypts the device to help protect from attacks. It also allows you to watch live video streaming and control the camera from afar.

Recording Options. Choose from different resolutions depending on your needs.

Not Hidden. Caretakers will need to be informed about the presence of this device.

Expensive. D-Link’s cameras are $149.99 retail.

Amcrest Qcam Infrared Hidden Camera

This hidden camera can do a lot. With a 160-degree super-wide angle lens, infrared body heat detection, and a four-month-long battery life (on standby), it’s ready to record the happenings in your home. You can rely on the motion, heat, vibration, or sound detector to tell the camera to start recording, or set schedules when your nanny is at home. The Amcrest Qcam is a fantastic device that can help you monitor your caretakers and kids better.

The super-wide angle lens can see 160 degrees—so you can see more of what’s happening.

Hidden. You can keep this camera out of view to secretly film sitters.

Long Battery Life. Amcrest’s camera can record for up to 24 hours and work on standby for up to four months before needing a charge.

Infrared. This camera can sense body heat to trigger record option.

Super Wide Angle. This insanely wide angle lens can capture 160 degrees of every room.

Scheduled Recordings. Most cameras like this don’t allow you to schedule recording times, but Amcrest’s does.

Voice/Motion/Vibration Activated. This camera will start recording when it hears voices, sees motion, or feels movement.

Expensive. You’ll pay over $100 for this camera.

No Audio. Since this is a hidden camera, it doesn’t have audio, just video.

iShot 2.0 Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera

If you want to observe your child’s caretaker like a fly on the wall, you can buy a hidden nanny cam like the iShot 2.0. It looks and functions like an alarm clock, but also contains a 2048 x 1536 pixel camera. This camera uses up to a 32GB memory card to record video, so nothing needs to be plugged in—keeping its presence a secret. While the iShot 2.0 doesn’t offer video scheduling or audio capability, it does have motion activation, so it will only turn on when people are in the room—preserving battery life.

This device looks like an alarm clock and functions as one while serving as a hidden video camera.

Covert Design. This hidden camera looks like an alarm clock and functions as one too. It includes a hidden camera and internal DVR so it doesn’t need to connect to a recording device.

Built-in DVR. You won’t need to plug this device into anything to record. It’s self-contained.

No Audio. You won’t get in trouble with the law because this hidden camera doesn’t record audio.

Remote Operation. Turn this device on or off from across the room with a remote.

Still or Video. The 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution can record video or take still images.

Good Sized Memory. You can put a 32GB memory card in the iShot hidden camera.

Motion-Activated. This camera will turn on when it senses motion.

Deletes Data For Space. This device will clear the oldest recordings when it’s running out of room.

No Scheduling. You can’t set this device to turn on or off at certain times.

Short Battery. This device needs to be charged every 10 hours.

No Wifi. You’ll have to plug the memory card into your computer to watch the footage. However, it won’t be able to be hacked through WiFi.

Price. Expect to pay $129 in stores for this device.

Find Your Perfect Home Security System