Best Nanny Cams of 2019

Nanny cams have forever changed the parenting game. Gone are the days when you could only wonder what went on when you left your kids with a babysitter. Now, with a little (or a lot) of technology, you can see just what happens when you’re not there to see it for yourself.

There are more choices than ever when it comes to nanny cams these days. These video surveillance cameras offer options and features aplenty to help parents check in on their loved ones and see, hear and record what happens in their absence. When used properly, they can provide a sense of security and connection for parents who are frequently away from home.

Our Top 5 Favorite Nanny Cams

Wyze CamNest Security CameraYI Dome CameraAmcrest ProHDLynx Indoor 2
Resolution1080p HD1080p1080p HD1080p1080p
Field of View110 degrees130 degrees112 degrees90 degrees125 degrees
NightvisionUp to 30 feetUp to 20 feetup to 98 feetUp to 32 feetUp to 20 feet
CompatabilityAlexaAlexaNoneNoneNone
Storage14-day cloudCloud storageCloud and onboardCloud and onboardCloud storage

1. The Wyze Cam 1080p HD

For an affordable, easy-to-use nanny cam, this one from Wyze is hard to beat. It livestreams video straight to your phone, day or night and it stores up to 14 days’ worth of footage. Users get an alert on their phone when motion or sound is detected in the camera’s area, and it starts recording. Footage can be viewed in real-time or via playback, and it features two-way audio capability. Thousands of happy customers say it’s a dependable camera and an excellent value for the price.

Nerd Pros

Affordable price tag
No subscription plan needed
Motion tracking
Good picture quality
Full 360 view

Nerd Cons

Some glitches with alerts
Wired power cord
Network security concerns

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Person Detection, Works with Alexa & the Google Assistant
  • Live Stream from Anywhere in 1080p -1080p Full HD live streaming lets you see inside your home from anywhere in real time using your mobile...
  • Motion/Sound Recording with Free Cloud Storage - Wyze Cam can automatically record a 12-second video clip when motion or sound is detected...
  • See in the dark - Night vision lets you see up to 30’ in absolute darkness using 4 infrared (IR) LEDs. Note: IR does not work through...
  • Voice Controlled? You got it! - Works with Alexa and Google Assistant (US only) so you can use your voice to see who’s at your front door,...
  • Share with those who care - One Wyze Cam can be shared with multiple family members so everyone can have access to its live stream and video...

2. The Nest Security Camera

This camera from Nest gets top marks for its dependability, ease of use and reliability. While it’s the most expensive camera on our list, customers say it’s worth it for all the functionality it provides, including 24/7 recording, night vision and two-way audio capability. It will store up to 30 days of footage if you have a subscription (starting at $5/month for five days’ worth of storage), but, of course, that subscription also adds to the price.

Nerd Pros

8x zoom capability
Dependable
Up to 30-day cloud storage
Night vision

Nerd Cons

Expensive
Subscription plan required for full access to features and storage

Sale
Google, NC1104US, Nest Cam Indoor, Security Camera, Black, 1
  • Quick and easy setup: Plug in the Google Nest Cam and download the Nest app to get started. No hub needed.
  • Alerts on your phone: get activity alers so you know if anything happens while you're away.
  • Talk and listen: see who's there and talk back to get someone's attention.
  • 24/7 live video: 130 Degree view shows your home in 1080P HD, day and night.
  • Clear as day, even at night: night vision evenly illuminates the whole room.

3. The YI Dome Camera

This camera from YI Dome offers lots of functionality for a moderate price. A 112-degree wide angle lens plus pan, tilt and zoom features provide clear footage of entire areas. Unlimited cloud storage of your footage is available, but only with a subscription plan. In addition to two-way audio capability it also features motion tracking that will follow a moving object around an area while recording.

Nerd Pros

Affordable
4x zoom capability
Pan, tilt, and zoom

Nerd Cons

Subscription required for cloud storage
Doesn’t connect with other smart home devices

YI Dome Camera, 1080p HD Indoor Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Surveillance System with Night Vision, Motion Tracking - Cloud Service Available (White)
  • 1080p High-definition, wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360°...
  • Responsive and advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter for a clear 2-way Audio experience. Intercom Mode: one party to talk...
  • Receive real-time Activity Alerts while you're out. 10-sec motion tracking records and centers the moving object. Bookmark your favorite...
  • YI Dome integrates with your YI Home family in one simple interface. User-friendly and intuitive app to customize your settings: activity...
  • Supports YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from a SD card, ensure all your videos are safe and protected. We provide the most...

4. The Amcrest ProHD

Thousands of online customers sing the praises of this nanny cam for its affordability, dependability and features. Some say the setup can be cumbersome and report issues with the app. Most, however, say the images are sharp, day and night, and it’s an excellent, dependable camera for the price.

Nerd Pros

Moderate price
Pan and tilt capability
Good image quality

Nerd Cons

Reported issues with the app
Doesn’t connect with other smart home devices
Subscription required for cloud storage

Amcrest ProHD 1080P WiFi Camera 2MP (1920TVL) Indoor Pan/Tilt Security Wireless IP Camera IP2M-841B (Black)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE, REAL-TIME, TRUE HD – Experience magnificent full-HD 1080P video at 30fps with enhanced low light capability utilizing...
  • SMARTER SECURITY – Receive motion alert notifications, review footage and engage in two-way communication via your smartphone with the...
  • DAY OR NIGHT, QUALITY ASSURED – Featuring a Sony Exmor 1/2.9” 2.07MP image sensor and built-in IR LEDs this WiFi camera achieves...
  • SECURE CLOUD VIDEO BACKUP – The optional Amcrest Cloud remote video storage subscription service allows you automatically store your...
  • SIMPLE. RELIABLE. SECURE. - This Amcrest 2.4ghz wireless camera features a secure SSL/HTTPS connection, wireless AES/WPA2 encryption, FCC...

5. The Tend Insights Lynx Indoor 2

This nanny cam from Tend is another solid, moderately priced option. It features facial recognition technology that can allow you to check on certain members of your household or receive alerts when an unfamiliar face is detected. It comes with free seven-day cloud storage, and it also features two-way audio capabilities. Most customers report that it’s reliable and provides high-quality images.

Nerd Pros

Affordable
Free cloud storage
Facial recognition
Two way audio

Nerd Cons

Doesn’t connect with other smart home devices
Reported issues with connectivity

Sale
Tend Insights Lynx Indoor 2 - Indoor WiFi Security Camera with Easy Bluetooth Setup, Two Way Audio, Night Vision, and Included Cloud Storage, Black Amazon Exclusive (TS0024)
  • Easy setup - quick and easy Bluetooth setup within minutes to begin secure monitoring
  • Stronger network Connectivity - faster network Connectivity to ensure Ease of use for all family members
  • Facial recognition - intelligent facial recognition software lets you choose who your camera recognizes, get a check-in notification with...
  • Tend’s facial recognition technology is not available in all states. Prior to purchase, please review the complete list of states where...
  • HD video quality - crystal clear HD real-time live video streaming and recording from your mobile device using the Tend secure app from any...

What to consider before you buy a nanny cam

Hidden vs. in-view nanny cams

Another factor to consider when selecting a nanny cam is where you want to place it. Some are made so they can be easily hidden, while others are made to be placed in plain view. While it may be tempting to hide one so you can catch someone in the act, there are some risks in doing so.

For starters, if someone knows they’re being watched, the chances of them doing anything inappropriate are minimized, and the most important thing is your child’s safety. Also, if your caregiver finds out you’re monitoring them without their knowledge, it can also break a sense of trust and you could end up losing a well-loved and trusted caregiver. In most cases, being up front about the fact that you have a camera is the best way to go.

Legal issues with nanny cams

There are also some legal issues you need to consider when it comes to using hidden nanny cams.  While you can videotape people in your home in most areas without telling them, laws regarding the use of audio recording vary by state. Also, it’s generally illegal to videotape someone in a room in which they should expect privacy, such as in a bathroom or bedroom, without their knowledge.

How to keep your nanny cam protected

As safe as a nanny cam may make you feel, it comes with potential dangers too. You’ve probably seen creepy news stories of hackers spying on and even talking to children through nanny cams. To keep them from invading yours, you should take the following steps:

  • Register your camera with the company from whom you purchased it. 
    • That way if there are any issues with vulnerabilities in the device's technology, you’ll be notified.
  • Make sure you have a strong password. 
    • Don’t just use the preset password that comes with the camera or choose an easy-peasy one anyone could guess. Use one with mix of numbers and symbols that would be difficult to hack. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends choosing one that’s 12 characters long for home users.
  • Encrypt your Wi-Fi
    • Encrypting your home’s Wi-Fi scrambles your information into a code so hackers can’t access it. The FTC offers these tips on how to secure your wireless network.

The bottom line on nanny cams

Most child care providers are loving and nurturing, but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. No matter how many references you check or how lovely someone seems, you never know how they'll act when you’re not there… unless, of course, you have a nanny cam that gives you that insight. If you have decided that you want to purchase one for your home, any of our top 5 nanny cams would be a great choice. Figure out which features matter the most to you and narrow down the choices to find the right cam for your home.

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About the Author

Julie Ryan EvansJulie Ryan Evans
Julie Ryan Evans is a writer and editor who has worked with a host of diverse companies including Microsoft, USA Today, Realtor.com, Brit + Co, CafeMom and SheKnows, among others. She has a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from The Johns Hopkins University and regularly covers topics including health and wellness, parenting, technology, finance, real estate and pop culture. While she currently calls the Orlando area home, she has lived everywhere from Hawaii to Austin, Boston and beyond.