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How to Choose a Spy Camera for Home or Business Use



How to Choose a Spy Camera for Home or Business

Most people looking for a spy camera or nanny cam for home or business use are venturing into unfamiliar territory. After all, chances are you haven’t seen a spy camera for sale at your local electronics store or mall, because these types of products aren’t traditionally sold in stores - and for good reason - if everyone knew what they looked like, they wouldn’t be very effective!

Spy Camera Popular Styles

• Smoke Detector - One of the most popular styles of spy cameras is a camera designed to look like a smoke detector. Smoke detectors are so common that people don’t even give them a second glance.

Smoke Detector Hidden Camera

Smoke Detector Hidden Camera on Ceiling

• Clock - Clock hidden cameras are popular because not only are clocks incredibly common in almost any room in a home, but they are often AC powered, which makes them great for 24/7 surveillance and no battery concerns. Many record in 1080P HD and some even record in 4K.

WiFi clock cameras like the HC215w are very popular:

Top Pick

4.6 Average Rating
13 Reviews
1080P HD WiFi Streaming Mini Clock Hidden Camera with Night Vision
  • WiFi Streaming 1080P HD Video
  • Dual Power - Battery or AC Power
  • Night Vision Sees in the Dark
  • Instant Motion Detection Alerts
  • Records Video to Micro SD Card
View Product >

• Pinhole Camera - Sometimes you want a hidden camera to be completely hidden, which is where pinhole spy cameras come in handy. These devices are very tiny, and can be hidden almost anywhere you need them.

Pinhole Spy Camera in Hand

Pinhole Spy Camera in Hand

Spy Camera Features to Look For

Video Resolution - One of the first things that you should look for is video quality for the camera. Today most cameras are available in 1080P, however there are a few 4K models out. 

Not all camera resolutions are created equal however, as the number of megapixels of the camera is also important. Most hidden cameras have a 1MP lens, while some like the  pinhole spy camera have a 2MP lens, which actually give it better quality than most 4K cameras.

Battery Power - When deciding on a spy camera, another important decision to make is whether to get a battery powered device, or one that needs to be plugged into AC power.

The main benefit of a battery powered device is that it is portable, so it can be placed almost anywhere quickly and easily. The downside being that depending on the camera, the battery may only last a few hours to a few months. Whereas with an AC powered spy camera, it has 24/7 power with no battery concerns.

Battery Powered Spy Camera

Mini Clock Camera Can Be Battery or AC Powered

Night Vision - Depending how you are using your camera, night vision may also be something to consider when looking for a nanny camera. Night vision spy cameras allow the camera to “see in the dark” using special IR sensors.

Unlike regular security cameras that have red night vision visible light, hidden cameras with night vision use a special type of night vision sensor that doesn’t have that red glow, making them ideal for covert video surveillance.

Expert Tip: If you see a spy camera that you like that doesn't have night vision, but you want night vision, try adding on an optional standalone IR Illuminator.

WiFi Spy Cameras

Whether or not a camera is WiFi enabled is one of the first things most people look at when looking for a spy camera.

WiFi connectivity is what allows you to watch your camera feed remotely on your smartphone, so this is a pretty important feature for most people. It also allows you to get motion detection alerts when your camera detects movement or activity, which makes this feature important for home security.

WiFi Spy Cameras

Remotely Monitor Your WiFi Spy Camera

Spy Camera FAQs

Can Spy Cameras Record Audio?

One question many people are curious about is whether or not hidden cameras and nanny cameras can record audio with video, and the answer is yes - many spy cameras do include audio recording.

The caveat to this however is that while many spy cams are capable of audio recording, laws governing audio recording can vary by country and by state, so before using a spy camera with audio, be sure to research and comply with any and all state and local laws.

Plant Hidden Spy Camera with Audio

WiFi Plant Spy Camera is Audio Enabled

Can Spy Cameras Be Hacked?

In general, spy cameras are very secure. But like any electronics device, the possibility does exist that a device could be hacked. Usually however, devices aren’t usually “hacked”, what happens more often is that reusing a password can make your device vulnerable.

So we always recommend never reusing a password, so when you set up your device, use a unique password that you haven’t used anywhere else.

One nice thing about security with WiFi spy cameras is that in addition to needing a password, you also need to use the correct app to access the video feed. So a hacker would have to know your camera ID, camera password, as well as the correct app to use to access the camera. All this makes spy cameras pretty difficult to hack, so you can rest assured that your device is secure.

How Much Do Spy Cameras Cost?

With a wide range of features and camera styles available, the cost of these devices can vary greatly. For a basic, entry-level spy camera with standard resolution video recording like the AC adapter hidden camera, you can expect to spend $75-$100.

For a more feature-packed hidden camera, with WiFi connectivity and HD video recording, you can expect to spend around $100-$200.

And for higher-end, 4K hidden cameras as well as custom-built cameras like the Pro Series WiFi Basket Spy Camera, can cost $250 or more.

Cheap Spy Cameras

Entry-Level Spy Cameras Start At Around $100

Do Spy Cameras Have Monthly Fees?

Unlike many traditional security cameras, spy cameras do not have additional monthly costs or fees to view, stream, or record video from your camera.

For WiFi enabled hidden cameras, all you need is your existing WiFi connection, which allows you to live stream your video. If you want to record your video, you can simply use a micro SD memory card (from 8GB up to 128GB, depending on the camera model) to record video.

WiFi Wall Outlet Spy Camera

WiFi Spy Cameras Like the Outlet Cam Have No Monthly Fees

Which Hidden Spy Camera Is Best?

People often ask which spy camera is best, but the truth is there is no one “best” camera. Every home and every person’s situation is different, so one camera that might be “best” for one person or particular situation might not be the best for another.

The camera that is best is the one that provides all the features and functionality to address your specific needs.

We recommend starting your spy camera search by listing out your “must have” camera features - like WiFi remote viewing, night vision, motion alerts, etc. Then you can help narrow down your search by camera style, like smoke detectors, clock radios, etc.


When choosing a spy camera for your home or for your office, there may seem like a lot of choices - but you can quickly narrow down the options by focusing on your “must have” features. Most people prefer a WiFi spy camera, and opt for a battery powered device for maximum portability.

While features like night vision are helpful, not everyone needs that feature. Look for a device that will blend into the environment like a smoke detector, or use something almost completely invisible like a pinhole spy camera.

No matter what you choose, spy cameras help provide home and office security, and are easy to use and packed with helpful features to provide you with the video surveillance that you need.



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