Your home is meant to be your personal sanctuary from the outside world. However, a growing number of consumers want to make sure that slice of peace is never violated and if it is, they want to know about it. The use of nanny cams has become commonplace for parents who rely on nannies and caregivers, but these hidden nanny cameras are also used to monitor the home as a low-cost security alternative.
A nanny spy camera refers to a video camera disguised as a common household object. While someone may immediately think of a camera secreted inside a stuffed bear when thinking of a babysitter cam, they can covertly take the form of any object. In the nanny cameras we rated, we ranked the top three cameras as the Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Camera, Covert Alarm Clock DVR and SVAT PI1000 Recording System. To learn more, take a look at our articles on nanny cams.
From wired to wireless, built-in DVR to Wi-Fi enabled, the vast number of different types of hidden spy camera systems available can be confusing and overwhelming. We focused on products with built-in DVR (or the ability to record internally) since they offer portability, ease of use and convenience. To identify the best stand-alone models, we used the following criteria as paramount factors to consider when searching for the right camera for your monitoring needs.
Top-notch nanny cams are those that not only have a built-in DVR but also offer robust features that enhance convenience and make covert surveillance simple and uncomplicated. With that in mind, we sought after highly useful features including time-stamped recordings, motion detection and memory overwrite. Given that most are cleverly disguised as another object, we also assessed whether or not each in our lineup offered dual functionality.
The whole purpose of a nanny camera is to keep a watchful eye on nannies or other service providers when the homeowner is not around. Subsequently, it is important to have one that offers versatile recording options that fit your particular needs. For instance, we looked for time-scheduled recording, continuous recording and adjustable recording qualities.
Nanny cams come in all sizes and shapes, depending on how they are disguised. So while the appearance of each may differ, we assessed whether or not each boasted a convincing and clever camouflage. We also evaluated important design features, including camera specifications, minimum illumination requirements and how they connect to viewing devices (e.g. RCA video input or USB port). Additionally, we assessed memory capability and capacity – the higher the memory capacity, the more footage can be stored internally.
Finally, these reviews would not be complete without a word on the quality of the video output. Considering their covert nature and tiny integrated cameras, wired and wireless spy video cameras have expectedly mediocre video output. However, the footage rendered should be sharp and fluid enough to clearly discern behaviors, movements and individuals. This is especially important since these recordings are admissible as courtroom evidence in some states.
The best overall nanny spy cameras are generally those that offer built-in DVR and rank very well in each of these specified categories.