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The 4 best nanny cams: Peace of mind for parents

What is the best nanny cam? The Blink Indoor Camera takes ZDNet's top spot. We analyzed field of view, audio options, night vision capability, and features below.

Not every indoor security camera makes a good nanny cam. The best nanny cams of 2022 improve communication between parents, children, and the caregiver and prioritize security and ease of use. Features such as two-way audio, night vision, wide camera angles, HD recording capabilities, cloud storage, motion detection, home automation integration, and two-factor authentication accomplish these goals. 

But the number one feature to look for in a nanny cam is the ability to view the camera's live stream and important recordings from a mobile device, giving parents peace of mind any time they need it.

Must read:

Features: 110-degree viewing | Two-way audio | Night vision

The Blink Indoor camera looks small and unassuming, making it an excellent choice for parents who don't want to install an obvious nanny cam. Place the Blink Indoor camera among decor to keep its presence discreet. Some of its stand-out features include instant app alerts when it detects motion and recording a video clip to send with the alert, access to live video feeds from the app and 1080p HD video recordings with a 110-degree viewing angle. 

Pros:

  • Customized privacy zones
  • Two-way audio and night vision 
  • Motion detection and alerts 

Cons: 

  • No third-party storage options

Features: Night vision | 130-degree view | Two-way authentication

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor can be a nanny cam because it has powerful microphones and speakers -- plus echo and noise suppression -- for crystal clear, two-way conversations. A two-year limited warranty is included with its purchase, and Nest customer service is available seven days a week for support.

This camera includes facial recognition technology (only with a separate Nest Aware subscription) to decrease the number of alerts you don't need. It also records snapshots when it detects any kind of motion and has Google Assistant built-in for voice control in numerous languages. 

Pros: 

  • Built-in voice assistant 
  • Two-way authentication for extra security 
  • Noise and echo suppression

Cons: 

  • Night vision could be clearer

Features: Two-way audio | Night vision | 155-degree viewing 

The Vivint Ping Camera has numerous features ideal for a nanny cam, including one-touch calls that allow your kids or their caretaker to reach you in an emergency and mobile alerts when motion is detected so you can view the live feed. Vivint's Smart Home products integrate with Amazon Echo and Google Home for additional control and ease of use. 

Pros: 

  • One-touch calls to reach you when you're away
  • Compatible with Amazon and Google smart home devices 

Cons: 

  • Requires professional installation 

Features: Rotate 355-degrees horizontally and 50-degrees vertically | Night vision | Two-way audio 

The Reolink Indoor Security Camera is a great nanny cam because it can capture all angles of a room. It pans and tilts at 355-degrees horizontally and 50-degrees vertically. It also features 5MP Super HD & 3X optical zoom, so you can zoom in on details to see exactly what is happening from farther away. The camera's night vision is also impressive: it uses 10pcs IR LEDs to cover up to 40 feet at nighttime or in low-light conditions. 

Pros: 

  • Night vision up to 40 ft. away
  • 3X optical zoom feature 
  • Various rotation angles to always see what's happening

Cons: 

  • Relies solely on Wi-Fi connection

What is the best nanny cam?

The best nanny cam is the Blink Indoor camera, due to its field of view, night vision capability, two-way audio, and other features.

Nanny Cam

Price

Field of View

Motion Detection?

Blink Indoor Camera

$79.99

110-degrees

Yes

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

$189.99

130-degrees

Yes

Vivint Ping Camera

$199.99

155-degrees

Yes

Reolink Indoor Camera

$79.99

355-degrees horizontally and 50-degrees vertically

Yes

Which nanny cam is right for you?

Any of the nanny cams on this list would be great products for added security in your home -- it just depends on what features matter most to you. When it comes down to it, all of these nanny cams have essential features like motion detection and night vision, so your final decision could be based on price, brand, and additional features you may find valuable. 

Choose this nanny cam...

If you want...

Blink Indoor Camera

The best overall option

Nest Cam IQ Indoor

A camera with extra data security 

Vivint Ping Camera

To be able to receive/make one-touch calls in case of emergency

Reolink Indoor Camera

A security camera with optical zoom capabilities

How did we choose the best nanny cam?

We looked for indoor cameras with two-way audio capabilities, motion-triggered alerts, and mobile monitoring. We also felt that night vision represented a crucial feature for nanny cams used in children's bedrooms.

Viewing angles, price, ease of installation, smart home compatibility, storage capabilities, and the other nuances of each nanny cam helped set them apart. The more features and flexibility provided by a camera, the higher we rated it.

Where should I hide a nanny cam?

Some discreet places to hide a nanny cam would be places like inside plant foliage, up high on top of your kitchen cabinets, or somewhere in your child's room. 

Are nanny cams legal?

You may not be allowed to hide a nanny cam -- or to record audio -- depending on your state laws. Assuming it's legal, hiding a nanny cam makes it impossible to use features like two-way audio, which can decrease your children's safety in an emergency.

Do nanny cams need Wi-Fi?

If you want to view the live feed on your smartphone or store video clips in the cloud, yes, the nanny cam needs to be connected to Wi-Fi to transmit that information. You can find nanny cams that store videos on a hard drive wired directly to the camera if desired.

Do nanny cams have audio?

Nanny cams do have audio, but whether or not you can legally record it depends on where you live. In that case, use the nanny cam's mute button to silence the audio.

Are there alternative nanny cams to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into: 

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