For most homeowners, we recommend the YI Dome Camera 1080p HD Wireless. It offers a lot of value for your dollar and it’s definitely our favorite of those we took a closer look at. On the other hand, these devices can require quite a bit of personalization so we’ve dug up five of the best and then we have some helpful tips on how to use your camera for the best effect.
Contrary to regular security cameras, hidden nanny cameras are mainly used for surveillance inside the home. These handy little devices are useful for making sure that those who gain entrance to your home while you’re not there aren’t up to anything. Far from being just paranoid devices, these cameras have caught numerous people in some pretty nasty acts over the years. While we all want to trust those we hire to help around the home, it’s sometimes better to proceed cautiously.
If you’re planning on getting a nanny cam and you don’t necessarily need it to be hidden, then this is one of the best around. Period.
Top 5 Hidden Nanny Cams
|YI Dome Camera 1080p HD||1080p||Yes||Check Price|
|Faleemi 720P Wireless||720p||Yes||Check Price|
|Wansview 720P WiFi||720p||No||Check Price|
|Hidden Spy Camera||1080p||No||Check Price|
|Mini WIFI Camera||1080p||No||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Nanny Cam
YI Dome Camera 1080p HD
The YI Dome Camera is a 1080p smart cam with the ability to remotely control the camera. The only real flaw is that this camera is going to be a bit harder to hide than many of our smaller options.
It makes up for it though, especially if you’re using your camera to facilitate an open relationship with your nanny or other homeworker. It’s able to be tilted, panned, and zoomed remotely from your phone.
It doubles as a great little security device as well since it has night vision capabilities and a motion detector. You’ll quickly find it’s a pretty invaluable camera to have around no matter what your purposes for using it.
It really is our favorite of the bunch, and while it’s more expensive than many on the list we feel that the smart capabilities, high resolution, and security features make it worth your while quickly.
Pros and Cons
- 1080p resolution for crystal clear video
- Smart capabilities allow for remotely moving the camera
- Easy to install and use
- Doubles as a great security camera
- A bit expensive
- Not suitable for hiding in most homes
2. Runner Up for Best Nanny Cam
Faleemi 720P Pan/Tilt Wireless WiFi IP Camera
If you think that the YI dome is overkill but still want smart capbilites and remote controls then this option from Faleemi might be just for you. It comes with a great smart phone app, and 720p resolution for a great overall picture of your home.
This one can also be controlled remotely, although it lacks some of the zoom capabilities of other cameras. This removes a lot of the function as a remote security camera, but it’s not exactly a deal-breaker if you’re just using it as a nanny cam.
The wireless is also a little bit dated with this camera, not being updated to AC wireless capabilities just yet.
If you’re looking for a great smart nanny cam, but aren’t dipping into the budget realm yet then we recommend picking up the Faleemi 720p. It’s not the top of the line but it’s pretty great overall.
Pros and Cons
- 720p resolution is fairly clear
- Wireless camera with remote tilting
- Syncs easily with your router and phone
- Wide viewing angle with IR capabilities
- Wireless capabilities are a bit outdated
- Fairly grainy for 720p due to wide lens
3. Best Budget Nanny Cam
Wansview Home Camera, 720P WiFi
This 720p mountable nanny cam is super cheap and easy to install. It’s lacking in some of the more advanced features available, of course, but overall it’s our favorite of the cheap ones on the market.
It takes a micro-SD card and stores footage, so you’ll be able to review it later. You can also view things live through a PC, but unfortunately you won’t be able to review them through your phone due to a lack of smart capabilities. It’s also a bit hard to hide, but we honestly don’t advocate keeping your nanny cam hidden most of the time anyways. You can get away with it though.
On the other hand, it still provides a super clear picture and has a good 120° angle of view. This is our favorite of the myriad of budget nanny cams on the market. It boasts a clear picture and it’s easy to use, but it’s a bit lacking compared to our favorites in the smart department.
Pros and Cons
- 720p picture that’s clear
- Interfaces easily with a laptop
- 120° angle of view for full room coverage
- Easy setup with 2.4gHz wifi connection
- Low build-quality
- Hard to hide
4. Best Hidden Device Nanny Cam
Hidden Spy Camera Phone Charger
If you really need a spy camera, take a look at this 1080p camera. It has 32GB of storage onboard and looks just like a phone charger when plugged into the wall. It’d take a very sharp eye to even notice it’s a camera.
While it’s somewhat lacking in smart capabilities, it makes up for it by continuously recording and being able to be hidden in plain sight.
It’ll also only record when something is moving in the room which puts it head and shoulders above most of the novelty spy cam options. There’s no indicator lights or other signifiers which will show it’s in operation either, making it perfect for stealth recording.
Even better… it also works as a phone charger, making the illusion complete.
If you want a spy cam which can be placed right out in the open, we’d be hard pressed to recommend anything better than this phone charger/camera. The illusion is perfect, it has high video quality, and quite a bit of storage.
Pros and Cons
- Only records when motion is detected to save space
- 32GB onboard memory in a micro-SD card
- Perfectly hidden, even functions as a charger
- No indicator light
- A little bit expensive
- No live feed
5. Best Micro Nanny Cam
Mini WIFI Camera
This is one of the best button cameras on the market, coming in at 1080p and giving you a live feed it’s one of the best on the market and the price is right. If you’re willing to do a little bit more work than normal it can be hidden pretty much anywhere.
Despite its diminutive size it has motion detection and wifi capabilities built right in. You can even zoom with the lens while watching live video. Frankly, as small as it is, you’ll pretty much be able to hide it anywhere without anyone being the wiser.
There are no audio capabilities built in here, but that can actually be a plus if you’re in one of the states where audio recordings of unknown parties is completely illegal.
The main flaw is that you’ll have to do a lot more work to hide this camera and set it up than you would with most of the options on our list. If you’re looking for a micro-camera and you’re willing to put in the work to configure it, then this one will suit you perfectly. If you just want a ready-to-go hidden camera, we recommend the one above.
Pros and Cons
- Super small camera
- Wifi capabilities with live feed
- Easily customizable and configurable
- Comes with 2000mAh, rechargeable battery
- Needs to be configured and built into something for the best usage
- Only interfaces with 2.4gHz wifi, which is a little bit dated
Things to Consider About Nanny Cams
Due to the convoluted nature of modern laws, many people worry about the legal ramifications of sticking a nanny cam in their home.
It is completely legal, in all 50 states, to install a hidden camera and not inform your nanny about it provided it’s in the common areas of the home. That means you can keep one in the living room, but you can’t, for instance, put one in the bathroom or in a live-in nanny’s bedroom without her permission.
However, things get a bit complicated from there. In many states, you also have to make sure that your camera isn’t recording audio if you haven’t received consent for it from the individual in your home.
Those states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. You can end up not only being charged, but if the worst was to happen the evidence can also be thrown out of court in the event of you needing the video to prove a misdeed.
You also have to consider how discovery of such a device can affect the relationship with your nanny if it’s discovered. Many people will strongly object to being recorded, and it can cause quite a bit of resentment to know that they’re being secretly recorded.
Of course, if you’re using them as part of a security system or to monitor older children while you’re away then there’s not nearly as much to worry about.
Ultimately, it boils down to how you’re using these cameras.
Picking the Best Nanny Cam
There are a ton of different hidden nanny cams on the market, and which is the best for your needs is going to vary quite a bit.
For the most part, you want to look for the following when you’re browsing the options available to you.
As with any kind of camera used for security, the resolution is going to vary quite a bit. For the most part, HD options are precisely what you’re looking for since they tend to stay in focus better across the length of a room.
We don’t really think that 1080p options are worth the extra money unless they have other features which you consider to be essential, as a general rule you should know who is in your home when viewing a nanny cam and even if you’re using them as a backup interior security device your external cameras should have caught the perpetrator’s face by this point.
You may also want to look for something with a wider field of focus. There are cameras which are available with a 180 ° view that can capture a whole room with the proper placement and that can save you a lot of time when it comes down to it.
There are definitely some specialty hidden cameras out there that come with their own layers of camouflage. These are pretty awesome for those who don’t want to have to find a special hiding spot for their camera.
On the other hand, if you’re creative then you can keep the camera hidden pretty much anywhere and it may not be worth the money for the novelty.
Novelty camouflage also has the disadvantage of being instantly recognizable to anyone who’s familiar with the products. Since we’re focusing on hidden cameras in this article, we really think that you should find your own hiding spot in order to minimize the chances of the camera being found out.
Of course, the size also plays a role in all of this. Smaller cameras are much easier to hide after all.
Due to the laws we mentioned above, whether or not you want to have audio recording with your camera is a bigger deal than it seems at first. Especially since if something does happen you can lose the evidence in court if you illegally recorded someone and catch a charge yourself.
If you do tell your nanny or babysitter about the camera and they still choose to work with you then you’ll also need to tell them it records audio.
Some of these cameras even have two-way audio so you can communicate with your children when you’re gone. You’ll definitely need the next option if you want to do this however.
We usually recommend smart devices for home security, as long as the appropriate precautions are taken to safeguard them.
This is simply due to convenience. If the nanny cam that you’ve chosen has smart capabilities then you’ll be able to access it quickly and easily from your phone, tablet, or even computer while you’re not there.
This is especially useful if you have two-way audio in the mix, but we recommend springing for it either way.
Your budget is going to affect the camera in a couple of different ways, but the main one is whether or not you want to place multiple cameras around the common areas of your home.
Like any camera security solution, you’re going to want to decide where to place the camera and how many of them you’re going to place. This means that a slightly more expensive camera can add up quite a bit if you have a ton of area that you want to cover.
Nanny cams have a lot in common with video baby monitors, and they can actually allow you to get a pretty surprising amount of different coverage over your home. In addition to video and audio recording, we’ve seen nanny cams with features that measure temperature, have alerts for loud noises, and even motion detectors.
If you choose to opt for a really advanced nanny cam you might just find that there are a lot of different things that can make a big difference in your peace of mind.
To Tell the Nanny or Not
Since we’re focusing on hidden nanny cams, chances are that you’re already thinking about keeping things hidden. You may want to reconsider, or at least let your nanny know about the cameras.
The Benefits of Telling
Many people use nanny cams to vet their caretaker within their home. Letting your nanny know offers two primary advantages: you can audio record without fear of legal consequences and the two of you can come to an agreement on using it.
Frankly, you should be properly vetting anyone taking care of your children anyways and it might be a bit suspect if someone absolutely refuses to work while knowing that there is a camera present.
On the other hand, you can also work together with your nanny on certain things around the house if they know that the camera is present. For instance, if you feel they’re doing something wrong then you can gently ask them to correct the behavior.
For many people, it may also boil down to being an ethical decision as things can get a bit murky when it comes to the idea of video recording someone without their knowledge.
We recommend this route, for both legal and ethical reasons but the choice is ultimately yours and there are definitely some advantages to doing things the other way.
The Benefits of Keeping It Hidden
On the other hand, keeping your camera hidden may be a good idea in some instances. This can be especially important for personnel other than nannies who might be in your home like handymen.
Since you’ll be able to know what someone was up to without them knowing that you know, you can make sure that the person in your home is honest.
Hidden cameras can also be used in conjunction with a complete home security system, allowing you to find out what an intruder is doing in your home. Indeed, this may be one of the biggest benefits of having hidden cameras even if you do let your babysitter or nanny know that they’re in place.
The unfortunate truth is that knowing cameras are present is the only thing that will keep some people honest, and you can catch them in the act if they’re unaware of the camera’s presence.
sOn the other hand, we think that a nanny cam for viewing home personnel should primarily be used in order to establish what is going on during the day rather than attempting to “catch out” people in bad behavior.
Ultimately the choice is yours, but you can see there are some advantages to keeping your camera hidden from view.
Placement of Your Hidden Nanny Cam
For most people, a couple of cameras which are spread through the common areas of the home should be sufficient for both protection and surveillance.
Where you place the cameras depends largely on the focus angle of the camera in question. Wide angle lenses are best placed along side walls near the center in order to give you a vantage point of the whole room, while cameras with angles of 90° or so are best placed in corners.
In any case, you also want to examine the height at which you’ve placed the camera.
Even before you hide the camera you should test the stream. A view which lets you see what’s going on in the room is the most important thing about the installation.
Afterwards, you can make sure that the camera is hidden.
On a side note: if you’re using a nanny cam to observe someone working and haven’t told them make sure that it’s well hidden. We noticed that many nannies online who were willing to work with a camera in the home also said that they’d immediately break contact with a client who was recording them with a hidden camera and hadn’t told them.
With a bit of thought you’re unlikely to have any issues in this area however.
When it comes down to it, nanny cams can be extremely useful for a lot of different reasons within the home. This means that you want to ensure that you’ve got the perfect one for your needs instead of just our recommendation even if we stand by it.