Ooma Home Security Knowledge Hub

Top 8 things to look for in a nanny cam.

By Husain Sumra|Saturday July 13, 2019

Hiring a nanny for your child is a big step. Every parent wants to make sure their child is protected under their nanny’s watch. A popular way of doing that is using a nanny cam.

Nanny cams are cameras that monitor your nanny while you’re away, giving you some much needed peace of mind. But what exactly makes for a good nanny cam, and how do you know whether a nanny cam measures up to your specific needs? We’ve put together this guide to help you figure it out.

Things to know about nanny cams.

There are a couple things you need to understand about nanny cams before you go off and purchase one. First, there are laws that limit what you can and can’t do with security cameras, and nanny cams are no different.

While it’s perfectly legal to use a security camera to record someone in your home, there are a couple of exceptions. You cannot put a nanny cam in a bathroom or private bedroom. If there’s a chance the nanny could expect a certain amount of privacy in a room in your house, you can’t record there.

Also read: Wired vs Wireless Security Camera Systems

This includes bathrooms, obviously, but it also includes any rooms where the nanny could change clothes. You’re going to want to put your nanny cam in more public spaces, like your living room, den, kitchen, or other places where people gather.

The other legal question is audio recording. Different states have different rules for recording audio. Some states don’t require you to inform the person you’re recording them, while others do. It’s a good idea to look up your local audio recording laws before you get a nanny cam.

Hidden or exposed?

The other thing you’re going to want to consider is whether you want a hidden or exposed nanny cam. Hidden nanny cams are popular as they’re used to record nannies when they’re unaware. The idea is that you’ll get to see what your nanny is actually like with their guard down.

Hidden nanny cams can often be put into books, teddy bears, toys, photo frames and more. They’re the closest thing to spy tech that you can get in your home. However, exposed cameras also have their advantages.

Exposed cameras are easier to set up, as you won’t have to insert them into devices and keep them hidden. Exposed cameras, being out in the open, also clearly let anyone in the area know that they’re being recorded. While this will prevent you from getting candid footage, it’s also a warning shot that lets your nanny know that you’re always watching.

8 things to look for in a nanny cam.

There are a number of features you should look out for when shopping for a nanny cam. From high definition to Two-Way Talk, these features are perfectly suited for helping you make sure your child is safe while you’re away.

HD Video

The most important part of any camera is video quality, and that’s no different for a nanny cam. You’re going to want to look for a camera with at least 1080p HD quality. Crystal-clear video quality will let you better see what’s going on.

Also keep an eye out for HDR, which provides richer colors and better detail. You also want to double check the field of view. Most cameras nowadays have 130-degrees, which is wide enough to see most of a large living room.

Two-Way Talk

Two-Way Talk is an important feature that allows you to speak to your nanny or child on demand. You can hear what’s going on and, via a companion mobile app, speak through the camera. This way, you can calm down a crying child or speak to your nanny without being there.

Of course, you’re going to want to check your local laws first. You also might want to inform your nanny that you have the ability to speak to them via your nanny cam, just so you don’t terrify them the first time it happens.

Wireless

There are two types of smart security camera: Wireless and wired. For a nanny cam, you’re going to want a wireless camera. Wireless cameras have the benefit of portability, so you won’t have to plug them in to keep them going.

This will allow you to put the camera in more places, like above your fireplace mantle or in the upper corner of the living room. You can keep it out of the way, and it can get the best vantage points without worrying about being near a power outlet.

Mobile App Support

There are a lot of nanny cams out there, and a good portion of them don’t have a mobile app. This means you won’t be able to check in on your nanny and child via your smartphone while you’re away.

Mobile app support also has a number of other benefits, like Two-Way Talk, notifications and other smart features like cloud storage.

Motion Activation

Motion activation is important for using notifications to keep track of your child without having to spend too much time watching the live stream from the camera. There are a number of ways you can set up your nanny cam to notify you when someone passes by it.

Nanny cams in the kitchen let you know whether your nanny and child are getting enough food to eat, for example. They can also be used to make sure your nanny isn’t going places they aren’t supposed to, like a private office or your master bedroom.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition can be an important security tool. You can set it up to identify your nanny, and your camera will let you know when your nanny crosses in front of it. You can also set it up to recognize your child so that you’ll get a notification when they’re home.

Even better, you can use it to tell you when someone that you don’t recognize is over. So if your nanny tries to sneak in their boyfriend or girlfriend, you’ll know something is up and will be able to use other features, like Two-Way Talk, to take action. Similarly, you can use it to check if your nanny goes to private areas, like your office or bedroom.

Built-in Storage

Video storage is an important tool in home security. Cloud storage can be a valuable way to keep a history of footage, but it’s also good to have a hard backup in case your internet goes down.

This is where built-in storage comes in. Your camera will automatically store footage without worrying about an internet connection. This makes it easier to take a look and share any necessary footage with the police.

Power Source

The final piece of the nanny cam puzzle is power. There are a number of nanny cams that either rely on a built-in battery or need to be plugged into an outlet. While both of these are handy, they each come with downsides.

You’re going to want a nanny cam with both a rechargeable battery and the ability to plug into a power outlet. This is going to give you maximum flexibility, from placing the camera wherever you want to keeping it powered on for a long time.

Choosing a nanny cam.

All of these features are essential to have in any great nanny cam. They can enable you to keep a better eye on your nanny while also granting you the ability to communicate with your nanny or child should you need to.

Ooma Smart Cam not only offers crystal-clear HD video to help you monitor what’s going on, but also has 16GB of built-in storage, facial recognition, mobile app support and even Two-Way Talk so you can speak to your kid when you’re at work. It’s also built for either wireless or wired use and can rely on its rechargeable battery or be plugged in to last even longer.

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