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In recent years, with reports of nannies abusing children or behaving improperly with their charges, parents have turned increasingly to the idea of secretly watching their children's caregivers. Nanny cameras for home offer you the advantage of secretly observing your nanny's behavior so that you can intervene if you see anything that bothers you. Even if a nanny s behavior does not cause concern, you ll gain insight into how the caregiver interacts with your children when you re not there.

Cameras hidden in household items are among the most popular nanny cameras for home. These cameras are built into such things as tissue boxes, wall or alarm clocks, lamps, smoke detectors, air purifiers, digital phone systems and teddy bears. You can pay more than $500 for a larger object with a built-in camera, but smaller objects such as clocks will often suffice, and these can cost up to $300. The point is to choose a room that you want to place under surveillance and then pick a camera embedded in an object that typically would be found in that room.

When shopping for nanny cameras for home, you ll want to consider several things. First, there are some key features that are standard on most nanny cams, including a time and date stamp, built-in digital video recording, motion-detection sensitivity and timed recording shutoff. Some nanny cams also add features such as a remote control, motion masking that allows you to block motion detection below a certain level and an overwrite selector that deletes the oldest clip on the camera s memory card.

There are other features; you should shop for them specifically if you want them. These include continuous recording, still-picture capability, webcam functionality, time-scheduled recording and settings that let you choose between high- and low-quality recording.

Since you ll want to record as much as possible within a frame, another consideration for nanny cameras at home is the field of view, which is measured in degrees. Nanny cams built into objects generally offer fields of view ranging from 65 degrees to as wide as 92 degrees. Depending on where you position the camera, you might not need the widest field of view possible. An overhead smoke detector nanny cam might provide enough coverage with a 75-degree field of view.

While you are legally allowed to take silent video of people without their knowledge while they re in your home, most states prohibit secret audio recording. Thus, most nanny cameras for home provide only video recording. However, some units also allow you to record audio with video or audio alone. If you choose such a unit, check your state laws to be sure that you can legally record audio without your nanny s knowledge.

Finally, while nanny cameras for home are designed to secretly record caregiver behavior, consider telling your nannies in interviews that you have hidden cameras in your home. A new nanny may be on his or her best behavior at first, knowing that there are cameras on duty, but in time, even people who know about hidden cameras can forget they re there and behave as they normally would. Or they may believe you re not paying attention to the hidden camera video. In either case, a nanny who knows there s a camera watching who behaves improperly with your children is a nanny you want out of your home immediately.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To. 

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