First, I feel that I should provide a nanny camera definition: a video-only device with a camera and a recorder built into a functioning (or non-functioning) decoy items, such as a clock, AC adapter, or the one that everyone knows, a teddy bear. People generally use nanny cams to catch maintenance workers coming into the apartment unannounced, monitor how the nanny takes care of their children, document employee theft, or have a camera for security purposes when a complete hard-wired CCTV system is not possible.
I've been in the spy and security industry for over 16 years, and I've seen many advancements in the field of covert surveillance. Back in the day, people needing to covertly capture video of suspected child abuse, drug abuse, infidelity, or theft had several options for different models of nanny cams. But there was a limitation in all of them: you had to run a cable from your hidden camera to a VCR to record video footage. The size of the VHS tapes limited you to 4, 8, 24 & 48 hours. You would have stacks of VHS tapes, or you would reuse tapes and re-record over them, and VHS was not the best format to keep writing over as it would cause degradation of the video playback as you continuously recorded over old footage. In those days, this just compounded the issues because cameras only output 420TV lines of resolution.
One of the biggest requests we would get was the ability to remote view a property and keep an eye on things while at work or on vacation. There was no viable solution for this back then, as internet speeds were too slow (dial-up), so the best you could do for live viewing was plug a TV into the VCR with your hard-wired camera, sit in front of it, and watch the screen all day. Some great features that have come out over the years for hidden cameras are that they can be set up to record upon motion or continuously. Video files are date and time-stamped so you know when an incident occurred. SD card storage has surpassed the older models that could only use 2,4 or 8 gigs, and now they support up to 256GB cards; oh, and let's not forget video resolution. Nanny cameras now record 720P or 1080P high-resolution and live view in 1080P on most models. Now you log into your hidden nanny cam via an app on your smartphone to live view your camera from anywhere, playback video, and even save it to your phone!
So much has changed since those days. Many new battery-powered nanny cams can record to a micro SD card that goes into the camera itself; no more running wires back to anything! High-resolution recordings in 720P and 1080P HD are now possible. With the invention of larger memory cards, like 256GB, you can record for weeks, especially when using motion-activated recording. Keep in mind if there is a lot of motion in an area, you will record more footage because the device is triggering as the camera registers pixilation changes. Therefore you use up more storage capacity quicker, be sure to use a larger SD card for these situations. Many DVRs now allow for loop recording, meaning they will first erase and overwrite the oldest videos to store new footage. Other modern home security cameras will enable you to stop recording once the local storage is full. This may be useful when you must continuously record and monitor a particular situation for specific hours every day but won't need anything after that point.
My favorite upgrade is that modern-day nanny cameras can be remotely seen using the WIFI of your home or office. Any mobile device like a smartphone or tablet can log in to see what's happening in real-time, even if you're halfway around the world. This feature is excellent, as not only can you log in and see live what is happening, but as long as you have an SD card in the nanny camera, you will also be able to playback footage from days prior. Most modern cameras even allow you to download incidents remotely to your phone's memory which you can offload to a computer with a USB data cable. Having this backup is essential for those always at work or on the road, as you sometimes can never know when a home security incident will occur. Below I have included some of the best nanny cams and home security cameras!
SEE OUR BEST HIDDEN NANNY CAMERAS BELOW
The Zetta Max IR hidden record spy cam packs an unbelievable number of features while still super user-friendly. This easy-to-use camera turns on with a simple touch of the power button and can be put into sleep mode the same way. Another simple button allows you to change between recording modes as needed. This camera’s sleep mode feature is a fantastic asset. It enables the standard 12 hours of continuous battery life to be stretched for up to 180 days of battery life, which, frankly, is unheard of with other similar camera models! In other words, the camera remains in a low-power sleep mode and will only start recording when motion is detected in its field of view.
Given the battery and sleep mode feature, this nanny cam is ideal for low-traffic, long-term usage. Whether you need to record a stock room or safe, or you need to keep an eye on the little one, the fantastic 720P HD quality and 30 frames per second recording capability of this camera will give you peace of mind at all times. Moreover, the camera has enhanced infrared recording in low-lighting situations. Insert an SD card to store all footage, which you can later remove so you can easily review your footage by plugging it into a computer or smart device. This is an excellent addition to home security systems as it allows you to place a nanny cam closer to the action.
Sometimes, it's best to use a home security camera that will work within its disguise. In this way, the illusion is cemented that the device is something harmless other than a camera. Taking this concept to the next level, the WIFI USB Wall Charger Camera with IR is also a functioning USB block charger! Such a commonplace item, used in homes and offices worldwide, would not arouse any suspicion about its true nature! Think of where you could place this indoor camera, like a long hallway, the kitchen, or the living room. Since all it requires is a power outlet, the possibilities are limitless.
WIFI connectivity is a game-changer, allowing you to watch live video remotely on your smartphone. You download the app, insert a memory card, and sync the camera with the WIFI of the area. It's perfect when you want to check in on an elderly caretaker service or a nanny watching your children. 720P HD video quality is truly stunning. Night vision from the built-in IR LEDs can reach up to 10 feet from the camera. HD video can be played back on Windows or Mac. It even supports using a 256GB SD card. Watch your videos live from your smartphone or tablet and easily download them directly to your smart device. Ideal for the home or office, let this USB charger power up your smart devices while secretly observing all that's going on in front of it
The Zetta Max hidden security camera-swivel truly offers one of the best fields of vision on the market regarding security cameras. The 180-degree vertical range of motion for the camera on the mount, coupled with the 160-degree field of view, makes the video unbeatable. The wide filming width is supplemented with an outstanding camera quality of 720P HD with 30 frames per second. Press and hold the button to turn the camera on and select the mode you’d like to use to begin recording the high-quality footage you want and need. The camera has a long ten-hour battery life and can be used in unlimited amounts when plugged into the wall. The various modes demand differing battery usage, but when vibration-activated recording is used, the camera battery can last up to 90 days! When you’re ready to watch your footage, plug the cable into your Mac or Windows device. Then, straightforward software allows you to view your videos easily. All these fantastic features are packed into one of the smallest and most discreet cameras on the market, allowing you to capture footage when and where you need it!
The USB Wall Adapter Hidden Video Recorder is an ideal hidden nanny cam that is one of the most discrete we sell. A ton of features are packed into this tiny device, with its 720P resolution and recording ability of 30 frames per second. The model can support up to a 256GB Micro SD card, which can then be used to watch back, analyze, and even timestamp your recordings using a Windows or Mac computer. Let's not forget the best part about this device: it functions as a powered USB port, so if someone was to plug into this clever little hidden camera to charge their phone or tablet, it will! Watch videos back on your computer by simply plugging the device directly into it using the included USB cable or pop the SD card out and review videos that way. This is an excellent and inexpensive home security camera choice for recording video for anyone who wants continuous or motion-activated recordings.
This WIFI 1080P Mini Clock camera is another of the most cleverly concealed models on the market. This camera itself is disguised as a fully functional alarm clock. Key features of this tiny hidden camera are that it also displays the date, temperature, and humidity in the room below the display. It's perfect for homes and businesses alike. Moreover, the WIFI device allows you to live stream video using your phone or tablet. The recorder also can support a micro SD card up to 256GB and works with your Windows or Mac computer to watch the recordings. The footage is shot in 720P high-definition at 30 frames per second—the device dates and time stamps recordings to make for easier reviewing and organization of your footage.
Additionally, it offers a loop recording feature that automatically deletes only the oldest data to allow the camera to capture non-stop footage. This hidden camera can also record based on motion alerts or continuously if needed. It is a great nanny cam for when a sudden concern arises, and you need to insert a camera quickly, without arousing suspicion.
When it comes to covert, the WIFI Router Hidden Camera stands alone. This hidden video recorder has a hidden camera built into the antenna allowing for the perfect coverage for home or work. The free TinyCam Pro app makes setting up your iPhone or Android device a breeze. Securely watch live streaming 1080P video and store up to 200 hours of 720P high-definition video on a 256GB Micro SD card. Playback video with your Windows or Mac computer or save video right to your phone and watch it there! Videos can be time and date stamped to help piece together an issue at home or the office, and best of all, this camera also boasts a 120° field of view camera and night vision that allows the device to see up to 15 feet at night.
Do you like to do things yourself? Well, this may be the best nanny cam for you. Introducing the DIY 1080P WIFI Nanny Camera Kit. This device comes with everything you need to craft your hidden camera. View your hidden camera live from your Android or iPhone using the free HDSmartIPC application. Videos are time and date stamped while storing up to 156 hours of high-definition 1080P video on a 256GB SD card. It even comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 5 hours on a full charge. You can even purchase an extra 6-hour rechargeable battery to hot-swap them, allowing for minimal downtime, or leave the camera plugged into power and never miss a moment. Quickly and securely watch videos on your Windows or Mac computer or phone.
Let's face it: chores happen, and they'll take you all over the house before you're done. Some people prefer playing music through a speaker set rather than headphones. This Bluetooth Speaker will play your music for up to 8-10 hours of housework or 8-10 hours of high-definition 1080P video recording when fully charged! That's right! This functional Bluetooth Speaker is a WIFI security camera! Such a disguise lets this security camera blend into any office or home environment. Using the free HDSmartIPC application for an Android or Apple smartphone or tablet, you can watch the live stream or access the 1080P recordings stored on an SD card up to 256GB in size. Built-in next to the 90° camera lens are no glow night vision LEDs that allow you to see 10 feet in total darkness. You never need to worry about placement with this camera's ability to rotate 330°! Swipe right or left from the live stream to turn the camera around and get your perfect angle of view!
The Mini WIFI Security Camera with Rotatable Lens can be your indoor security camera when away from the home or office. A 120° wide-angle camera lens can be swiveled around in a 180° arc to get the best possible picture. It'll only have about five hours of battery on a full charge, but it could also be left plugged into a wall outlet for continuous recording. This camera delivers high-def 720P picture quality so that you can see the details left out by other cameras.
This camera is unique because it offers sound detection and can record audio. When connected to the WIFI of the area, this small WIFI camera allows users to listen to the surroundings of the device or view motion detection alerts using an application on their smartphone or tablet. Average conversational volumes can be picked up about ten feet from the security cam. You can see in total darkness with the four IR night vision LEDs, which reach nearly 20 feet.
The small WIFI cam weighs less than two ounces, so it is a perfect candidate for use with the Scosche MagicMount Surface 2. The metallic plates would fit on the broad side of the unit, while the rubberized magnets can hold the tiny WIFI security camera in virtually any flat position.