A nanny cam refers to a hidden video camera that has been secretly installed in a common household object for the purpose of covert surveillance. Nanny cams can take the form of virtually any object, so long as it does not appear oddly out of place or arouse suspicion of the individual(s) being monitored. While nanny cams have become ubiquitous in homes with nannies and caregivers, they can also be used to discreetly monitor any in-home service providers or employees at small businesses.
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 for the average homeowner. 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. To learn more, look through our articles on nanny cams.
Top-notch nanny cams are those that not only have 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 actually around. Subsequently, it is important to have one that offers versatile recording options that fit a user's particular needs. For instance, we looked for time-scheduled recording, continuous recording and adjustable recording qualities.
Nanny cams literally 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 cameras are generally those that offer built-in DVR and rank very well in each of these specified categories. The top-rated nanny cams in our lineup are the Mini Alarm Clock Hidden Cam, the Covert Alarm Clock DVR Hidden Camera and the SVAT PI1000 Recording System.
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