There are seemingly cameras for everything now. There are cameras to help you watch your pet, cameras that will help you keep an eye on your front door and even cameras in your smart fridge. However, one of the first uses for in-home cameras is keeping an eye on the babysitter.
Nanny cams have been a popular in-home security option—whether you have a nanny or not—for years. So if you’re considering adding one to your home, here’s everything you need to know.
The Best Nanny Cameras
Wyze Cam Pan v2 1080p Pan
Google Nest Indoor Camera
Arlo Essential Indoor Camera
YI 1080p Home Camera Wireless IP Security Surveillance System
Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids
Blink Indoor Camera
Ring Stick Up Indoor/Outdoor Camera
Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24
Fusion Picture Frame Spy Camera
EZViz C6CN Indoor Camera
Who Needs a Nanny Camera?
Before you click ‘add to cart,’ do you even need a nanny camera? Here are a couple things to consider.
Nanny cams are the same thing as security cameras.
Nanny cams are just one way to refer to Wifi-powered, indoor security cameras. They don’t offer any special features you wouldn’t find with any other similar camera. So, if you want an indoor security camera, you might want to invest in one of our favorite nanny cameras below.
Nanny cams keep an eye on a lot more than just the nanny.
Along these lines, nanny cameras will keep an eye on various things, so you don’t necessarily need to have a babysitter or even children to use one. For example, you might use a nanny cam to keep an eye on your pets during the workday or just as an added precaution in case of a break-in. Nanny cams are also sometimes used instead of a baby monitor, so you can hear and see your child when you’re not in the same room.
3 Things to Look for in a Nanny Camera
So you think that you need a nanny camera? As you shop, consider these factors.
Cord vs. no cord
Many nanny cameras are wired, so you must place them close to an outlet. This can be annoying, especially if you’re short on outlets in your home. However, a select few cord-free options are on the market, which are battery-powered. These can be a better option if you need a particularly mobile security solution.
No one buys a nanny camera because it’s a cute new decor piece. If you care about your home’s overall aesthetic and you don’t really want a white, plastic camera messing things up, you’ll want to carefully consider both the size and design of a camera before making your purchase. Additionally, you may opt for a smaller size if you particularly wish to a more discreet camera.
Many nanny cameras have a few basic features, such as recording, zooming, night vision, etc. However, that doesn’t mean that every camera includes every desirable feature. For example, some allow for two-way audio while others do not. Some feature a screen so someone can see you at the same time you’re seeing them. Some do not allow for 24/7 live streaming or motion detection.
Whatever your most-preferred features, keep them in mind as you shop.
The 10 Best Nanny Cams on the Market
Armed with the above information, are you ready to start shopping? Here are the top 10 nanny cameras on the market today.
This nanny camera option from Wyze ticks a lot of boxes. At under $50, it’s affordable. It offers 1080p HD video streaming. You can see your home through the camera’s lens anytime, via your mobile device. The night vision setting will show your space in full color, even after dark. You can control the camera remotely, zooming, panning, tilting and more. You can even speak through the camera via two-way, app-powered audio.
The camera records motion and sound as detected and then sends an alert to your phone. The camera is also compatible with smart home assistants like Alexa and Hey Google.
Speaking of Google, the Nest Cam from Google is likely one of the more popular nanny camera options on the market. The camera offers live, 24/7 streaming, 1080p HD video and two-way audio. You can mount the camera to a wall or use a stand to move it around the room as needed. A separate subscription option adds extra features to your purchase, but, as is, you’ll be able to review photos of up to three hours of your recorded activity.
The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera offers all the basics: live streaming, 1080p HD video, two-way audio and night vision. However, it also provides a few key features that make it stand out from the pack.
For example, it features a built-in siren if you want to scare off an intruder. It also features a privacy shield that slides up and down in front of the camera lens. While this may not be important to you, the privacy shield instantly tells guests in your home if they’re being recorded or not so that no one accuses you of violating their privacy. If the shield is up, they know they’re being recorded; if it’s down, they know they’re not.
This indoor wireless camera with two-way audio and video streaming, plus a 4x zoom function, is about as budget-friendly as you can get. Available for under $25 on Amazon, the camera does come with an extra security upgrade if you want it, but most casual users will not.
As is, without the subscription, you’ll get access to your recorded footage for up to a week, and the camera even features a baby-crying alert, so you can check in on your little one as needed, whether you’re out and about or just working in the backyard during nap time.
For a nanny camera alternative that’s a kid-focused entertainment system first and a camera second, look to this Amazon Echo Show for kids. A good fit for families with children who are a bit older and want a tablet of their own, it will provide endless entertainment when it’s not being used as a camera. However, when you’re away from home and want to check in on your child (or babysitter), the device will allow you to call them quickly from your phone, and you’ll both be able to hear and see one another. Likewise, they can contact you from the device, too.
If you’re not necessarily worried about recording but want to be able to see what’s going on and stay in contact with your child, even if the babysitter isn’t picking up their cell phone, this might be a better pick than your traditional nanny camera.
Available from Amazon, the battery-powered Blink camera system is Alexa-compatible and features two-way audio and motion detectors. Many camera systems are corded, meaning you’re limited to where they can go, but not this one. Lightweight and cord-free, you can set the camera just about anywhere. The two-year battery life is also impressive.
You likely already know Ring, the brand that makes the doorbell cameras you see advertised on television, but if you thought the brand just had the outdoor security market covered, you’re missing out.
This particular stick-on camera can be used either indoors or outdoors. You can mount it or sit it on a stand. The app allows you to control multiple cameras and see multiple spaces, day or night. This option works with Alexa and features two-way audio and live video zooming functionality.
If you anticipate not needing a nanny cam for too much longer, like if the kids are about to graduate to staying at home alone in the next year or so, then you might want to go with this option, so you can use it outdoors after it’s no longer needed inside.
This 2k video camera offers night vision, smartphone live feed compatibility, 360-degree scanning and two-way audio. In addition, it’s compatible with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa Devices. The built-in AI feature tracks movement in the room, and a motion alert system only starts recording when something is going on, so you don’t end up with hours of footage stored to the internal 32 GB memory card that shows you nothing but an empty room.
If you really want something discreet that will blend in with most decor, you must check out this camera disguised as a typical, black, decorative photo frame. The wireless camera is controlled remotely and streams in real-time, allowing you to see everything from your smartphone and even allows you to download videos and photos remotely. In addition, night vision functionality lets you see up to 26 feet away in the dark.
Just place the photo frame in a natural-looking spot, no plug-in required, and you can keep an eye on things without anyone ever being the wiser.
This EZViz Indoor Camera option’s stand-out feature is its massive amount of storage. It can support micro SD cards that can hold up to 256 GB of footage.
Otherwise, the camera offers 1080p video, 360-degree panning, auto motion tracking, two-way audio and night vision up to 30 feet. If you need even more storage (not likely), the maker also offers a subscription-based cloud storage option.
Would Another Surveillance Camera Option Be Better?
There are other options for securing your home beyond nanny cams. For example, if you want a camera solely for security reasons, you might want to invest in a more robust system designed with security concerns, such as break-ins and home invasions, in mind.
If you’re looking for a more discreet option, you might shy away from the bulkier, larger nanny cameras and go with something more hidden. For example, you can find hidden spy cameras disguised as alarm clocks, phone chargers, smoke detectors and more—like the picutre frame we mentioned above—for mini lenses hidden in plain sight.
A Word of Caution Regarding Nanny Cams
Lastly, it should be noted that if you’re purchasing a nanny camera for the sole purpose of monitoring caretakers in your home, it is entirely legal, under most circumstances. Law firms confirm that, in all 50 states, you can make video recordings in your home without the consent of others. However, legal issues surround making recordings for commercial purposes or spreading information publicly; likewise, some states have made it illegal to position cameras in bathrooms or bedrooms.
Other states have laws that require you to receive consent if you’re going to use your camera’s audio recording features. So if you want to use your nanny camera on the sly, you’ll want to turn that audio feature off if you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Washington.
The best thing when making a recording of any guest in your home is to simply be upfront and honest. Let your caretakers or guests know that the camera is there and filming. Don’t place the camera in any room where you might accidentally catch footage that would be considered intrusive or inappropriate.
Beyond the above, hacking is another worry many parents have regarding nanny cams, likely due to the reports of this happening on social media in recent years. While it is possible to hack a nanny camera, it’s not a likely or even a probable occurrence. The best way to prevent hacking, though, if you are concerned about it, is by purchasing a hidden nanny cam from a trusted manufacturer and security service provider and turning the camera off when not in use.
Stay Safe — But Also Smart
If you’re worried about keeping an eye on your home while you’re away, a nanny cam can give you peace of mind and help you keep an eye on your kids, their caretakers, the pets and more. Just be sure to be smart about your nanny cam usage and avoid any legal issues arising from incorrect usage.
You might also be interested in: Professional vs DIY Home Security Systems [Advice From Pros]
10 Best Nanny Cameras:
- Wyze Cam Pan v2
- Google Nest Cam Indoor
- Arlo Essential Indoor Cam
- YI 1080p Home Camera Wireless IP Security Surveillance System
- Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids
- Blink Indoor Home Security Camera System
- Ring Stick Up Indoor/Outdoor Wired 1080p Security Camera
- Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24
- Fusion Picture Frame Spy Camera
- EZViz C6CN Indoor Camera