Best Nanny Cams Showdown 2019: Clocks vs. Frames vs. Outlets
It can be hard to trust a stranger to care for your children while you're away at work or running errands, but one way to help protect them is to use a nanny cam. Unlike traditional security cameras, which are easy to spot, hidden cameras discreetly monitor your home and child when you're away. The best nanny cams blend into their surroundings while recording high quality video.
All nanny cams have the same basic functionality, more or less – they record video from a hidden spot. But they differ in their disguise and effectiveness. Nanny cams are disguised as a wide range of normal objects, including stuffed animals, alarm clocks and smoke detectors. Nanny cams also vary in how well they record video and how easy they are to use. Consider the video quality, possible recording options and design before you make your final decision on the perfect camera.
The most effective nanny cams only record and save footage when they detect motion. If you choose a camera without this function, you will need to frequently upload footage to your computer to clear storage space. You may also end up reviewing hundreds of clips before finding anything useful. While other recording options are nice to have, they’re unnecessary.
Apart from Wi-Fi models, nanny cams are affordable, with the majority of product made by generic brands costing under $100. Click through to see examples of functional and effective nanny cams.
The Sengled Snap smart lightbulb isn't really a nanny cam, but we liked it better than most nanny cams designed to look like light bulbs. The camera is housed inside a floodlamp, which makes it ideal for placement in outdoor fixtures, it's weatherproof, as well as track- and recessed-lighting within your home. As with outlet-type nanny cams, placing this camera might be difficult in other lighting fixtures if you want a good view.
Unlike most of the other hidden cameras we looked at, Sengled Snap connects to your Wi-Fi network to allow mobile app controls of recording, light and video streaming. It records crisp 1080p HD video and saves it in the cloud for up to 24 hours, though you need to subscribe to a longer storage plan if you want advanced features like alerts, motion zones and human detection.
The Conbrov T10 nanny cam is disguised as a photo frame, which makes it great for mounting on walls and desks. You can leave the picture that comes with the frame or replace it with one of your own 5x7 prints. The controls are cleverly hidden behind the photo, so it won't be easily discovered. This nanny cam comes with a large battery that allows it to run in standby mode with motion detection recording for up to two years. Aside from daytime recordings, the hidden camera can record in the dark using night vision LED lights. The Conbrov T10's 720p gets saved to a microSD card, not included, that you insert by the control panel. Although the T10 can record audio, you can turn this function off if it's not allowed in your area.
BrickHouse Camscura Micro
The BrickHouse Camscura Micro is a type of nanny camera known as a black box camera. This means that the unit doesn't come with a clever disguise but is small enough to be concealed near or within other objects such between books on a bookshelf. BrickHouse Security even sells a few premade disguises such as a smoke detector. The camera has continuous, scheduled, motion and vibration recording modes and can capture video up to 720p, which is quite nice for nanny cams. Although sound can trigger recording, be aware that this camera does not actually record audio in accordance with federal and state wiretapping laws. The Camscura Micro uses a microSD card to store video, though it doesn't come with one in the box.
BrickHouse 1080p Electrical Outlet Hidden Camera
The 1080p Electrical Outlet Hidden Camera has a simple disguise that should blend into most rooms. It's also capable of recording video up to 1080p, which means you can get a lot of detail. The camera's battery lasts up to five hours on a charge. Video gets saved to a microSD card, which is unfortunately not included.
If you buy a nanny cam like the 1080p Electrical Outlet Hidden Camera, be aware that it isn't actually a working power outlet. As such, if anyone tries to power in a power cord, they have a chance of discovering the camera or accidentally damaging it. Against burglars, who aren't likely to use your power outlets, it might be a formidable foe.