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Article updated on March 8, 2024 at 8:00 AM PST

Best Nanny Cams for 2024

Watch over kids, pets and elderly relatives with the best nanny cam models from Arlo, TP-Link, Ring and more.

Our Experts

Written by 
Tyler Lacoma
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Tyler Lacoma Editor / Home Security
For more than 10 years Tyler has used his experience in smart home tech to craft how-to guides, explainers, and recommendations for technology of all kinds. From using his home in beautiful Bend, OR as a testing zone for the latest security products to digging into the nuts and bolts of the best data privacy guidelines, Tyler has experience in all aspects of protecting your home and belongings. With a BA in Writing from George Fox and certification in Technical Writing from Oregon State University, he's ready to get you the details you need to make the best decisions for your home. On off hours, you can find Tyler exploring the Cascade trails, finding the latest brew in town with some friends, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen!
Expertise Smart home, smart security, home tech, energy savings, A/V
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What to consider

Field of view

Motion detection

Price

Audio capabilities

Video storage

Our Picks

$60 at Amazon
A woman touches the Arlo Essential cam set on a wooden mantle while looking at her phone.
Best overall nanny cam
Arlo Essential Indoor Cam (2nd-gen)
View details
View details
$24 at Amazon
The Tapo C210 indoor camera and smartphone with app against an orange background.
Best budget nanny cam
TP-Link Tapo Pan/Tilt Cam C210
View details
View details
$50 at B&H Photo-Video
A Lorex pan/tilt indoor camera sits on a gray desk next to a closed laptop, coffee mug, and lamp.
Best nanny cam for local storage
Lorex 2K Indoor Pan/Tilt Camera
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$180 at Dell
A Ring Stick Up Cam Pro on a wooden table with its charging table.
Best portable nanny cam
Ring Stick Up Cam Pro Battery
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View details
$95 at B&H Photo-Video
An Echo Show 5 kids model sits on a wood desk beside a jar of pens, showing the moon on its screen.
Best smart display nanny cam
Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids Edition (3rd-gen)
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The best nanny cam for 2024

If you’re searching for the best camera to watch your loved ones and their caretakers at the same time, one of our past favorite picks has a new model out, the Arlo Essential Indoor Cam (2nd-gen), and it’s better than ever at keeping an eye on the kids. After well over 100 hours of testing indoor security cameras of all kinds, we found this option was just what parents (and those with elderly family members) were looking for. Not only is the 2nd-gen Arlo Essential cam very affordable, but it includes a healthy 2K resolution, the two-way audio that so many buyers look for in nanny cams, and night vision to watch even when it’s dark.

Since the Arlo cam may not be for everyone (especially if you don’t want to pay for an Arlo Secure plan), we’ve also included several other close-to-the-best nanny cameras to choose from. That includes an extra-affordable option from TP-Link, a local storage model from Lorex, a highly portable version from Ring, and more. Take a look at the whole list, and stop by our guide on the best indoor cameras and the best cheap security cameras for even more fully-researched, ready-to-buy picks.

Best nanny cams of 2024

$60 at Amazon

Best overall nanny cam

Arlo Essential Indoor Cam (2nd-gen)

Arlo’s top-end Pro 5S cam has hit the top of other home camera lists, but for this focus, we’re choosing the Essential Indoor Cam’s latest model. It’s much more affordable and is focused on indoor monitoring with several key benefits for nanny cam purposes. The 2K resolution and zooming functions are excellent for capturing details, especially if you’re watching over a large space like a living room/dining room area.

We found the night vision on this camera to be high quality and had no problems communicating over the two-way audio. Plus, we like Arlo’s direct smart home support, which includes Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings. Arlo typically benefits a lot from a subscription plan (starting at $8 per month) to store video in the cloud, detect alarm sounds and a few other extras. We’re not rating video storage as a must-have for these picks because nanny cams benefit more from live viewing and communication, so you can consider this cam a subscription-free option if you want to save.

$24 at Amazon

Best budget nanny cam

TP-Link Tapo Pan/Tilt Cam C210

We love the C210 for its incredible affordability combined with nearly every feature an indoor security camera needs, including night vision, two-way audio and built-in audio detection (useful for hearing babies cry, dogs bark, etc.) along with motion detection, at no extra charge. Also, pan/tilt features are excellent for following movement around a large room and making sure you don’t miss any happenings.

This cam also provides a choice between signing up for a subscription plan to get video storage or buying a microSD card for local storage. Again, storage isn’t quite as important on nanny cams where live views are a focus, but it’s excellent to see the choice.

Note that if you don’t want or need a pan/tilt cam,, which costs a bit more but exchanges pan/tilt features for a much better 2K resolution and better objection detection, a worthwhile trade for some homes.

$50 at B&H Photo-Video

Best nanny cam for local storage

Lorex 2K Indoor Pan/Tilt Camera

Lorex brings several quality features to the table with an ideal nanny cam option for those who want a bit more than our pan/tilt Tapo option. The 2K resolution remains an excellent choice for better detail, while the night vision reaches far enough for the average living or bedroom. Plus, the pan/tilt features combine well with the person detection so you always have a good idea of what’s going on. Two-way audio and Alexa/Google Assistant support also round off this cam nicely.

One of our favorite things about Lorex cams is that they’re strictly subscription-free and don’t rely on cloud storage (which can raise privacy concerns for some parents). A 16GB microSD card is included with the purchase, but you can upgrade that as you see fit. There’s also a privacy feature that covers the cam lens entirely, which some nanny cam users may prefer to guarantee privacy.

$180 at Dell

Best portable nanny cam

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro Battery

Your kids don’t stay in the same place (or sometimes even the same dimension), but you have the option to spend more and get a high-end battery camera that you can position anywhere. The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is one of our favorite picks for this job, with a reliable battery and shelf-mounting design that lets you take it from a child’s bedroom to the living or gaming room to the patio -- and anywhere else they may go. It’s weather resistant enough to spend a night in the rain too, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it outside, and if you ever find a permanent spot then you can also mount the cam.

That versatility is backed up by great color night vision, two-way audio and an especially broad 155-degree field of view for capturing every detail. The “bird’s eye” option allows you to see visual tracking for movement over time, while the two-way audio is some of the best around with its noise cancellation.

We do wish that the resolution was higher than HD, and you are limited to Alexa (part of being an Amazon brand), but this is an excellent higher-end option for keeping an eye on loved ones no matter where they’re spending their time. Just keep an eye on battery life notifications so you know when to recharge.

$95 at B&H Photo-Video

Best smart display nanny cam

Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids Edition (3rd-gen)

Two-way audio is a practical feature for any nanny cam, but if you prefer more interaction with kids (or pets, or grandmas), then you should consider a smart display alternative instead. This Echo Show 5 allows you to video chat at a moment’s notice and drop in quickly to say goodnight, wave goodbye, or check on a temper tantrum. You can use the Alexa app from your phone or another Echo device to make contact at any time, and if you have a compatible security camera you can look at live views from the Echo Show whenever you want.

The downside is that the video chat cam is very limited compared to a home security camera. In return, you have a full screen that you can use to watch shows or clips, speakers that can connect to your favorite music services and a touchscreen that enables anything from games to finding a perfect recipe video. Alexa is there to ask for help on homework or other details (with some built-in mutes and privacy shutters, too). The kid’s version comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+ with its library of kid-friendly content and parental controls, usually $5 a month.

Best nanny cams compared

Best Nanny Cams: Arlo Essential Indoor Cam (2nd-gen)TP-Link Tapo Pan/Tilt C210Lorex 2K Indoor Pan/Tilt CameraRing Stick Up Cam Pro BatteryEcho Show 5 (3rd-gen) Kids Edition
Price $60$25$55$180$100
Field of view 130-degree360-degree with pan/tilt360-degree with pan/tilt130-degree110-degree
Power source WiredWiredWiredBatteryWired
Motion detection Yes object detection with subscriptionYes, with audio detectionYes with person detectionYes with bird's eye viewLimited
Night Vision YesInfrared night vision32-foot night visionColor night visionYes
Audio Two-way audio with noise cancellingTwo-way audioTwo-way audioTwo-way audioTwo-way audio
Storage options Cloud storage via subscription onlyCloud storage with subscription, local storage with microSDLocal storage via included microSD cardCloud storage via subscriptionN/A
Voice assistant Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThingsAmazon Alexa, Google Home/AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Home/AssistantAmazon AlexaAmazon Alexa
Review score N/AN/A8.6N/A8

Other nanny cams we've tested

Eufy Dual Camera S350: Eufy’s dual-cam option is a powerful indoor security câmera and we particularly liked the powerful zoom features. That being said, it’s slightly expensive for many family budgets, considering there are other pan, tilt and zoom options available for less.

Wyze Indoor Cam v3: Wyze’s indoor cam is affordable and good at what it does, but Wyze has had some recent struggles with security flaws and we are hesitant to recommend their cameras for the time being.

Blink Mini: The Blink Mini is cheap and includes plenty of affordable features, plus you can put it anywhere -- in fact, it’s a little too small to be an ideal nanny cam, which we prefer to be more noticeable for the sake of others’ privacy. Buying an additional pan/tilt mount does solve this problem, but bumps up the cost.

Google Nest Indoor/Outdoor Cam: Google’s Nest cam does many things well, but it’s a little pricey for what you get and the mounting option isn’t nearly as useful as a shelf-positioned camera watching the kiddos.

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Factors to consider when buying a nanny cam

An Echo Show 5 on a wood table by a child's bed showing an interactive space story.

An Echo Show 5 can fill many spots when parents are away from home...if you manage the privacy features accordingly.

Amazon

Field of view

A good nanny cam needs to view an entire room easily. Look for a wider field of view, something approaching 130 degrees or more if possible. Or you can choose a pan/tilt camera, which can rotate on command to view a much larger space.

Motion detection and recognition

Motion detection sends you alerts when the sensors recognize significant motion in the field of view. That’s important if you want to spot restless kids or toddlers who really shouldn’t be up and about at certain times. Object recognition helps recognize humans and avoid triggering for pets and other potential triggers.

Price

We leaned toward more affordable cameras for these picks. While security cams over $100 can be packed with features and a high resolution, families are often looking for something simpler and more affordable for a nanny cam. For those with higher budgets, we also have some higher-end picks that offer more versatile or extra capabilities.

Audio capabilities

Whether you want to talk to a babysitter, check up on grandma or remind a child to stay in bend, two-way audio is a very important feature for nanny cams. All of our picks have it.

Video storage

Without video storage, you’re stuck with only a live view. That’s a viable choice for nanny cams, especially if you want to avoid subscription fees, but many parents want the ability to store videos for later viewing, sharing or downloading. If you like that feature, look for a camera that offers a subscription within your budget for cloud storage, or a local storage option where you can keep video on a hard drive.

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How we test nanny cams

Hands-on testing is core to our evaluations of any home security products. In short, when it comes to security cameras, we pay special attention to resolution, night vision and latency, extra features, general performance and overall value. We evaluate all of these elements in a real home environment over a week. If you want to read more about our review process, check out our in-depth article on how we test home security cameras and video doorbells.

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FAQs

Is it OK to use a nanny cam?

Nanny cams do raise important questions about privacy in the home, parental reach and an array of other issues. Laws differ based on where you live, but it's almost always illegal to conceal cameras in places where privacy is presumed -- such as bathrooms. Otherwise, as long as the nanny or babysitter is watching the children in the more "public" areas of your home, you are generally within your legal rights to use a camera. It's still a good idea to let them know. This issue can get complicated and parents have different perspectives: For more info, review our article on the legality of recording video or audio in your home.

Can someone hack my nanny cam?

There's a small chance that video feeds could be intercepted on their way to your app, etc. That rarely happens except in very specific cases. It's much more likely that nanny cams are "hacked" by a divorced parent who still has access or even by workers who manage video cloud storage for a company.

You can protect your device in a few ways. First, be sure to use a camera from a major developer with a solid track record when it comes to device security. Second, use additional security measures for your device, like multifactor authentication, local storage and video encryption, when possible. Third, use a camera with a clear privacy screen or a physical cover (our Arlo pick has one built-in), so you can reliably disable it when you're not using it. 

Should I hide my nanny cam?

Is there a difference between a security camera and a nanny cam?

"Nanny cam" is a term used to talk about how a camera is used -- as opposed to how it's designed. You can easily use a smart security camera, a video baby monitor or any other camera as a nanny cam. Generally speaking, we recommend nanny cams based on their monitoring and communication features -- without factoring in devices made to be concealed.