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. And you won’t get in trouble with the law because this hidden nanny camera doesn’t record audio. But the price is fairly high, and there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity. You’ll have to plug the memory card into your computer to watch the footage.
Enjoy a quick setup with this awesome security camera thanks to 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. But this isn’t a hidden camera, so if you want to capture covert footage, this camera might not meet your needs.
Our favorite thing about the Wyze Cam Pan (other than the price tag) is its motion tracking feature. If your baby crawls across the floor or Fido runs through the room, the camera will lock onto the action and follow it until it stops. This gives you a complete picture of what’s happening at home when you’re not there. And this little camera can do a 360° scan of an entire room with its Pan Scan feature. You’ll be impressed with all the features Wyze packed into this camera that will only set you back about $40. The biggest downside we found was the wired power cord. Although it’s longer than most, it still limits where you can place the camera.
Blink cameras are totally wire-free, which gives you the freedom to place them anywhere. And you can add multiple cameras to keep an eye on different rooms at the same time. If your brood is sprawled throughout the house, this system can give you the peace of mind you need from knowing everyone’s okay. You can watch live video or review recorded footage that is stored for free on the cloud—you never have to pay a subscription or sign a contract. But it does get expensive if you want multiple cameras, so make sure you evaluate what you need before piling up a bunch of cameras in your cart.
Nest’s indoor 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 Cam Indoor 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. Plus, you can store nearly unlimited video because the Nest Cam syncs with the cloud. But full access to features and storage may require a monthly Nest Aware subscription, so be sure to read the fine print before you click the “buy” button.
Works with other Nest products
Delivers lots of smart capabilities
Features 8x zoom
Offers cloud storage
Costs more than other cameras
Requires Nest Aware subscription for some features
This camera stands out from the rest because it can withstand indoor or outdoor climates—from 14℉ to 122℉. If your kids play in the backyard a lot 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. But it is priced fairly high, and you need to purchase a base station to connect the camera to your home Wi-Fi and use the app.
Customers rave about how easy the D-Link Pan and Tilt Camera is to set up and use. You don’t need a computer programming degree to get things running the way you want. The camera comes with sharp HD resolution, night vision, and a PIR (passive infrared) sensor that makes it better at detecting motion. D-Link’s camera will connect with your home’s wireless network, so you can check in on your kids from your phone and get alerts if the device detects motion. But it only stores video on a MicroSD card, so you can’t access recordings remotely.
The YI Dome Camera delivers reliable monitoring without breaking the bank. Plus, we think it’s pretty cute for a nanny cam. What makes the YI camera stand out is its anti-noise filter. This filter mutes ambient noise to give you crystal-clear audio. So if you want to tell the kiddos goodnight or get an update from the sitter, you won’t have to deal with scratchy, muffled sound. This camera also offers unlimited cloud storage—for free. A couple of downsides include setup struggles and a small night vision range of ten feet. But if you’re only trying to check in on a sleeping baby, ten feet should do it.
Unlimited cloud recording
YI product integration
Minimal night vision
App security concerns
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 monitor your nanny or babysitter without their knowledge. You won’t have to worry about legal ramifications if the device you use only records video. It’s legal in all 50 states to secretly videotape the contents of your home and all visitors without their consent. But you can’t install cameras in bathrooms or private spaces like your live-in nanny’s bedroom.¹ That is illegal.
Remember that hidden cameras can only use video—audio isn’t okay. Several states don’t allow you to record audio of your nanny, au pair, or babysitter without their knowledge.² 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.³ In other words, you can be sued, and any recordings you collect won’t be admissible in court. These states have either outlawed covert audio recording or have conflicting laws (or court rulings) on the subject:
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 sight and can easily be seen by people in your household.
Video and audio recording laws still apply whether the camera is hidden or out in the open. If your household cameras record audio, you’ll need to tell your nanny in a verbal and written statement. This can help protect you from prosecution—and can make the recordings permissible 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.
Nanny Cam Dangers
Nanny cams allow you to keep an eye on your child and sitter, but they can be 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 family was horrified to find a hacker saying lewd things to their child after taking control of a webcam.
You install nanny cams or indoor cameras to protect your children, but these same devices 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, it will alert registered users of the potential problem. You should also join the mailing list in case they issue any updates or recalls. That means 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 home Wi-Fi network. 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 password 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. We highly recommend using a password manager to keep track of passwords and protect them from hackers.
Hackers have been breaking into online banking, phones, and more ever since Wi-Fi 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’s 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.
The SafeWise Team spent hours testing, researching, and playing around with nanny cams and other indoor security cameras. We picked the ones that showed the best overall performance, features, and customer ratings. To learn more about our ranking process, visit our methodology page.
Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more