How does a nanny cam work? Are they as useful as they seem in the movies? Are they worth having set up around the house? We’ll cover these questions and more in our nanny cam guide.
We’ll break down their most important features and how they work. By the end of our guide, you’ll be able to set up your nanny cam and find the best places to hide them.
You’ll also learn about the different types of nanny cams and which type would suit you the best. Our goal here is to get you well-informed and ready to make a smart buying decision. We want you to get the footage you’re looking for – keeping your family and house safe while you’re not around.
Let’s get into the guide!
How Does a Nanny Cam Work?
In this first section, you’ll learn what a nanny cam is, how it works, what’s important for you to know as a user, and how to set up and hide your nanny cam.
Let’s take a look.
What is a Nanny Cam?
A nanny cam is a subtle camera that you leave in an office, home, or apartment to record or capture what’s happening while you’re not there. Think of it as a secret security camera.
Nanny cams are often intelligently designed to go undetected. You’ll often find them installed in toys, teddy bears, pot plants, behind pictures, in pens, and more. Their uses are pretty extensive and can range from monitoring a worker in your home, to seeing what your pets are getting up to.
There are different kinds of nanny cams to suit different needs and budgets. Some nanny cams can connect wirelessly and transmit the feed to your device. You’ll be able to log in a watch what’s happening at home – as it is happening.
You can get battery-powered nanny cams or ones that run off an AC outlet. Bear in mind that the ones you need to plug in are more challenging to effectively hide from sight. On the other hand, battery-powered nanny cams will eventually run out and have limited recording potential.
How Does a Nanny Cam Work?
We’ve already partially touched on this. Nanny cams work by recording footage or taking photos through a small camera lens that’s installed inside a subtle casing.
They are either battery-powered or they run on AC power. The nanny needs to be activated or set to record. Some will start recording when their proximity sensors are triggered.
Depending on the nanny cam you have, it’ll either live stream to a device of your choice or save to an internal (or external) storage device. You might be asking “How does a wireless nanny cam work and how do I set them up?”
The live streaming nanny cams are typically more difficult to set up and are more expensive. You’ll need to set it up near your Wi-Fi router. Remember that the connectivity can be affected by your Wi-Fi speed and availability. This makes them a little less reliable – but more versatile as you can tune in to see what’s happening at that moment.
Nanny cams that record to a memory card needs to be checked regularly to make sure the memory card still has space. You’ll then have to copy the content across to another device to free up space.
How to Set Up a Nanny Cam
Setting up your nanny cam could be a quick and simple 5-minute job, or it could be a big mission – depending on the model you have.
Here are the steps to follow when setting up a nanny cam:
Step 1: Decide on the Location
Keep in mind what kind of footage you’re looking to get when deciding on where to put the camera. If you’re keeping an eye on your kids, place the camera where they spend most of their time. If you’re using an AC powered nanny cam, make sure it’s near an outlet that doesn’t stand out.
Step 2A: Connect the Camera to Your Wi-Fi
This only applies to nanny cams that have wireless capabilities. Make sure your nanny cam is near to the router and that there aren’t any walls between them (this depends on the quality of your router).
Once you’ve connected to the Wi-Fi, test the connection out by connecting from your phone or PC. Make sure the camera has a clear view and that the resolution is acceptable. Make any necessary adjustments.
If your nanny cam records to a memory card, move on to Step 2B.
Step 2B: Set Up the Memory Card or Storage Device
If you’re planning on recording whole days on your nanny cam, go for as much storage space as possible. It fills up fast and you’ll find yourself having to constantly free up space.
Connect the cam to a hard drive if possible, otherwise at least a 32GB – 64GB memory card.
Step 3: Test It All Out
Take a full day to test out your set up. Connect wirelessly from your phone and your PC (and any other device that will be connected) and test the quality of the live stream throughout the day.
Test it out during peak internet hours if you don’t have dedicated broadband. Speeds at these hours can drop significantly and worsen the quality of the footage.
Step 4: Legal Information
Depending on where you live, there might be a couple of laws that require you to tell the people in your house or office that they are on camera.
It’s better to do the research now, rather than face a lawsuit or any backlash later on. You should also tell your nanny or workers in your house either way. You might not need to give them the exact location of the camera, but just that they are on camera.
How to Hide a Nanny Cam
This is where your creativity and knowledge of your home comes into play. You want to hide your nanny cam in a place that gets a good angle of vision in a high-traffic area but isn’t easily visible.
You should scan the room for shelves, ornaments, plants, or corners that you can put the camera in.
Remember that the simplest hiding place is often the best. If you have kids, make sure the camera is out of their reach – especially if it’s hidden in a toy.
Here are a couple of places you can hide a nanny cam:
- Behind two pot plants
- Mini-gadgets nanny cam
- In a soft toy
- On a mantelpiece
- On the TV stand
- Between the cushions of a seldom-used sofa
- Nanny cam picture frames and paintings
- Nanny cam teddy bears (nanny camera stuffed animals too)
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. If you’re still looking for more ideas and some common places to hide a nanny cam in plain sight, here’s an excellent article to read through.
Nanny Cam Pros and Cons
There are several pros and cons to consider before deciding if a nanny cam is the right choice for your home.
Let’s start with some of the pros of using a nanny cam:
- You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can easily check on your kids or home with just a couple of clicks
- You have a right to monitor your children to make sure they are safe and being treated right by their caregiver
- Nanny cams can give you the proof you need when your kids are too afraid to speak up. There might be cases of abuse that are going unreported.
- You’ll feel closer and more connected to your kids, pets, or family when you’re busy at work
Here are some of the cons of using a nanny cam:
- Your nanny might feel terrible thinking that you don’t trust them. This negativity can filter down and affect their interactions with your kids or your home.
- Nanny cams are very easy to abuse and use for all the wrong reasons. You might have started with the right motives, but that can quickly change.
- There could be legal implications and nanny cam laws that you aren’t aware of. This can come back to bite you in the future if you aren’t careful.
- Nanny cams that record to a memory card can be destroyed if they’re found by the person caught doing something wrong in a recording.
Well done for taking the time to thoroughly research how nanny cams work. We hope you’ve learned some new things and are ready to make better decisions.
Nanny cams can do a lot to ease your mind when you’re away from home – especially if you’re a new parent. You’ll be able to stay focused and not stress yourself out.
Now that you can answer our “How does a nanny cam work?” question with confidence, you’re ready to get out there and find the perfect nanny cam for your home and your family!