There are plenty of legit reasons why you might have decided it’s time to invest in a hidden camera either for inside or outside of your home. Perhaps security in your neighborhood has recently become a bit of an issue, or maybe you’d like to be able to keep a more watchful eye on that new nanny or child babysitter that you’ve recently recruited. Perhaps you have pets, and you want to be able just to check in and make sure they’re OK and not wrecking your home while you’re away!! The best hidden cameras these days really do come in all shapes and sizes as well as disguises so much so that any would-be intruder really will get caught totally unawares. We’ve picked out six of the best that will help you to secure your home and maybe fulfill that fantasy you have to one day be a secret agent! Let’s review our top surveillance recommendations and don’t forget to read on to discover our suggestions in the FAQ section of the key considerations and features to look out for before you make that investment in some top-notch spy gear!
The Best Hidden Camera
Our first secret camera is the Kuna Smart home security outdoor light which is a stylish outdoor light fitted with a smart home security camera system, perfect for allowing you to also interact with people outside your property. Featuring 720P HD video as well as a two-way intercom system and smart motion detection, there are plenty of impressive features that you’ll appreciate. Installation is simple and should take no longer than 15 minutes plus there are no batteries to replace, and the unit itself is fully waterproof.
Besides streaming live HD video, you can also record and replay your video footage, and there’s a wide angle lens, so you get an excellent field of vision. It’s WiFi and Bluetooth enabled and can be used with both iOS and Android devices and is energy efficient. You’re able to receive real-time notifications when a visitor (or would be intruder) is at your front door, and if it is an intruder, rather than initiate a two-way conversation with them, you can simply sound a burglar alarm to deter them from your property. As it’s also an outdoor light, it comes fitted with a 16 watt LED blurb and features photodiode for dusk-to-dawn operation.
Features 720P HD camera with 116-degree wide angle lens
High fidelity speaker emits burglar alarm and delivers clear two-way communication
Receive real-time notifications of visitors and communicate live via intercom
Tastefully and stylishly designed as a fully functioning outdoor lamp
Compatible with iOS and Android smartphone devices
- Weight3.1 pounds
Easy to install
Monthly subscription plan needed to review and download video footage
No night vision
This ordinary looking and innocuous fully functioning USB wall charger is actually a piece of spy gear, containing a concealed fully HD 1080P camera that can be used to easily and discreetly monitor any room where you position it. With this mini hidden camera, there’s no need to carry out covert operations! It will perfectly and seamlessly blend into the background and no-one will ever suspect that hidden inside is a camera.
This handy little device can be set to both continuous recording or motion detection recording and used in either 1080P, 720 or 480P if you are looking to conserve space on your SD card. Easy to operate, simply plug into an AC outlet and make sure to insert a micro SD card before you start recording. There’s no complicated setup involved or convoluted configuration needed. You can use it virtually anywhere, and no-one will ever suspect a thing. When the memory is full, the oldest video is automatically over ridden, so you can always view the latest footage. Make sure you also check our guide to the best conference room cameras.
Use in continuous or motion detection recording settings
Discreet and stylish USB charger design will be virtually undetectable
Easy to operate with no complicated setup or configuration required
Automatic overwrite feature for continuous loop recording
Multiple recording settings including full 1080P HD
- BrandEnter The Arena
- Weight7 ounces
Easy to operate
Supports up to 32GB SD card
Micro SD card is not included
Not a live view camera so needs connecting to a computer
We’re talking a look next at the WNAT Hidden Spy Camera Speaker which really is very discreet and perfectly sized for all kinds of rooms, warehouses, shops and for general surveillance purposes. Featuring a PTZ lens which rotates 180-degrees left and right, you get access to an excellent field of vision and can remotely view video footage captured in real time. Designed like a Bluetooth speaker, it’s very stylish and undetectable as a spy camera. With this spy cam in your home or office, you won’t miss a thing.
Fitted with a 1080P HD camera and a wide angle lens, it records and captures clear and brightly displayed visuals. It can easily be connected to your WiFi system and features a Micro SD card which can record and store up to 128G of footage. The speaker features motion detection and comes with a rechargeable battery as well as a USB cable and charging adapter. If the unit does detect motion in your home, a notification is sent to your phone via an app, and you can then automatically start recording footage. Video can be set up in a couple of different modes including all-day recording, set-time recording, or motion detection recording. Maximum recording time is set at 20 minutes.
Ability to remotely view video in real time
Fully functioning high-quality Bluetooth speaker
Features motion detection alarm and three recording settings
1080P HD resolution camera with 90-degree wide angle lens
Supports an SD memory card up to 128 GB
- Weight1.3 pounds
Easy to operate
Various recording settings
Wide angle lens
SD card not included
Maximum recording time per session of 20 minutes
Cost effective and user-friendly, this Mini Spy Camera from Jayol with motion detection as well as upgraded night vision is a real find. It’s neat, discreet and compact and with easy WiFi connection, can be used to remotely monitor real-time footage in 1080P HD literally from anywhere in the world. If you don’t have WiFi, it can be run via a rechargeable battery, and with a 24-hour loop recording function, you can monitor 24/7. The stylish and discreet design has no indicator lights or sound alerts, so it really is the perfect hidden camera.
Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, it comes supplied with a bike bracket so that you can mount your spy camera in a convenient location inside or outside your property where you need it most. There’s also a strong magnetic suction for attaching to any smooth iron surface. Super easy to use and fully updated with a new user-friendly app, no technical knowledge is required to get the best out of this mini hidden camera. It supports iOS and Android operating systems and is all able to be used by multiple people at the same time. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best 360 cameras.
Records 1080P HD footage with 140-degree wide angle lens
Features upgraded 720P IR night time vision and motion detection
24-hour loop recording for continual monitoring from any location
Suitable for use both indoor and out and supplied with bike bracket
Super discreet and compact design is visually undetectable
- Weight1.28 ounces
Wide Angle lens
24 hr loop recording
Does not support 5GHZ WiFi for remote use
Limited battery life
We love the design of this next spy cam which is disguised as an alarm clock. Inside the discreet digital clock is a high definition 1080P camera that can record high-quality images from inside your home. The front of the clock features a special tarant glass panel which totally conceals the camera inside. Not only that, but this Husoko 1080P nanny cam comes with advanced built-in night vision so that you can also record and clearly view faces even in the dark.
Capable of streaming video via WiFi, the Hosuko mini hidden camera is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can deliver push notifications when motion is detecting, activating an audible alarm as well as prompting the device to take a snapshot of the movement and save it to the app. The unit supports time, and alarm recording and the resolution itself can be adjusted from 1080P to 720P or even 640P if you want to reduce file sizes. There’s also a 4 x digital zoom as well as a wide angle lens which can capture a 150-degree view. You may also like to check out our waterproof cameras review for more great products like this.
Records 1080P HD footage with 150-degree wide angle lens
Advanced night vision along with motion detection
Remote control via WiFi or 4G using your smartphone
Check in on your home no matter where you are with the app
Super discreet and compact alarm clock design is visually undetectable
- Weight12.6 ounces
Easy to operate
Various recording settings
Wide angle lens
SD card is not included with your purchase
Our final best hidden camera review today is the genius and innovative light bulb style Oltec 1080P hidden security camera. This thing really is the business when it comes to discreet spy gear. It could not be easier to install, and it provides an impressive 360-degree view with no blind spots. That’s because this light bulb style camera is fitted with a 360-degree fisheye lens so you can keep a careful eye on everything that’s happening in your home. For 24 hour a day, 7 days a week surveillance, the Oltec bulb is certainly savvy.
Additionally fitted with motion detection, it’s designed to discreetly look like a traditional light bulb but can actually be used to send push notifications to your smartphone enabling you to monitor your surroundings in real time. Even the tiniest of details can be captured thanks to that 1080P resolution camera, and your recordings can conveniently be saved to an internal micro SD card with a capacity of up to 64GB. WiFi connection is quick and easy, and there’s zero assembly involved and no need for power adapters or batteries.
1080P HD spy camera designed as a night bulb
Delivers a full 360-degree field of vision
Can detect motion and send push notifications to a smartphone
Bulb camera features a geographical interface to perform actions remotely
Recordings can be saved to an internal micro SD card
- Weight8 ounces
No assembly required
SD card not included
Hidden Camera Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Hidden Cameras
Quality - we always ensure that the products we recommend get plenty of positive feedback when it comes to their quality and reliability. It's reasonable to expect your investment to last for a good length of time and if you are intending installing it outside, that it's waterproof and weather-hardy. Quality is especially important when you are buying technology products and the camera itself installed in your surveillance device needs to perform reliably and preferable silently too so that it remains undetected.
Reviews - besides doing all our own research, we extensively review what other consumers have to say about their experiences using the products we select. Reviews are a fantastic way of really getting the real low down on how you can expect a product to perform including all the positives as well as any negatives.
Price - assuming that you're not a secret agent on a government mission with a budget to match, then you'll need your tech to be cost-effective and not just reliable. As always, we aim to hadn't pick a section of products at price points that are attractive and not totally prohibitive to the man on the street as opposed to 007 licensed to kill!
Features To Look For In Hidden Cameras
Depending upon the main purpose as to why you are investing in a hidden spy camera, there will be a few different considerations you'll need to take into account. Whether your priority is home security or rather monitoring purposes, the range of features you'll require will be slightly different. There's so much choice these days when it comes to sophisticated and undetectable surveillance kit from pen cameras to spy cams and hidden security cameras. The perfect hidden camera for you is going to depend upon your personal situation. Below we've covered off what we think are the most noteworthy features worth assessing.
Video quality - The better the video quality, the better the clarity of the footage that you can record. Depending upon your intended use of the video you capture, that may be more or less important. To ensure the best possible viewing experience, then 1080p HD is going to deliver better results than standard definition.
Viewing angle - As with any style of camera, you will have options when it comes to the field of vision. If you know that you are positioning your spy gear in an area where you'd like to capture a wider angle of vision, then carefully consider its parameters, otherwise, you might be disappointed that all the important action is happening just out of shot!
Size and Design - The size, design, and style of your hidden camera is an obvious consideration, especially if you need it to blend in with a particular background or environment. The last thing you want is to actually draw attention to yourself or a room by suddenly placing something really out of character in the space which will just stick out like a sore thumb! You could go for something discreet like a smoke detector camera, a camera poisoned inside a clock or a security light for example. There are plenty of designs and styles you can go for. Choose a size and design that's appropriate to it's setting.
Battery life - If you are going for a battery operated as opposed to a wired device, consider the battery life and how frequently you might need to recharge your battery, especially if you want to use your hidden camera regularly. It is possible to purchase cameras with year-long battery life while others you may end up recharging daily.
Recording time & Memory capacity - Regardless of whether you opt for a wired or wireless hidden camera, the first thing you'll want to know is just how much recording capacity and memory it can give you. Monitoring your pets while you're away from the house on vacation will require more capacity than checking in on how that new nanny is getting on. The memory capacity should be large enough so that it's useful for a host of situations that way, you don't have to go to the trouble of recording, reviewing and wiping your drive every single day. Consider the amount of storage space you also require. SD cards can range from 2GB up to 64GB.
Night-vision mode - If you do want to keep amp eye on happenings overnight then you will require a camera with a night-vision mode otherwise you'll never get a view of who's prowling around late at night!
Lens quality - As with all cameras, the better quality lens it's fitted with, the clearer the footage you capture and record will be.
Ease of use - We don't all have a technical whizz back at HQ to set up our gadgetry for us so make sure you purchase something that you can reasonably expect to be able to install and operate yourself. Some of the more sophisticated and complex surveillance style systems, as opposed to basic secret cameras, might require professional installation so unless you have a degree in electrical engineering, opt for a unit that's user-friendly like one of the six on your list today.
Motion detector - Some hidden cameras have more advanced features like motion detection which might come in handy if you want to be alerted to the proximity of intruders.
Connectivity - See our next FAQ regarding wired versus wireless and battery over AC-power which are the main options you have when it comes to connectivity. In a nutshell, wireless means you can remotely video real-time footage, battery operated is a portable solution which can easily be moved to a different location and AC-power is a stable and reliable option.
Sound monitoring - Remember that the laws are very different regarding audio as opposed to video monitoring. You can read more on that in our FAQ section.
Compatibility - While most hidden cameras these days have been designed to work with Mac and PC, it's always worth checking. The same applies to IOS via Android if you wanted to view recorded footage on a mobile device as opposed to a computer.
Features - Other additional features that you might want to consider include the ability to adjust and toggle through various available resolutions which can help save your memory as well as operating via remote control.
Types Of Hidden Cameras
As if there wasn't already enough choice in the category in terms of all the various shapes, sizes and disguises that hidden cameras are available in, you also need to decide whether to go for wireless, wired or even a battery operated spy device.
Wireless - The beauty of a WiFi streaming hidden camera is that you can choose to watch the footage being recorded in real time, either over the internet or on a mobile device. These types of cameras can be more challenging to set up and operate and more expensive too plus of course, they do require a reliable and stable consistent internet connection to be useful. They are a fantastic option though if you are away from your home for prolonged periods and have pets, you want to monitor or just generally keep on top of your domestic security when you're away from home.
Wired - A wired unit is a reliable and cost-effective choice, but it does, of course, require a constant source of power to work and will need to be stationed close by a power outlet so that it can be plugged in easily without causing a hazard. Wired and battery operated devices are both going to be self-contained and self-recording. The footage you record will be housed on a removable internal drive or memory card which you will have to physically remove and review to watch the action.
Battery-operated - The major benefit of a battery operated self-contained recording device is that it's portable. This means that you can discreetly set them up anywhere around your home or garden but just remember, that they will only be effective for as long as you have a charged battery. For some models that might only be for a few hours whereas for others, it might even be as long as a year.
Hidden Camera FAQ
Q: Why buy a hidden camera?
A: Whether you want to monitor your pets while you are away from home, put in place a security system which can detect intruders and send you motion alerts or simply enjoy peace of mind that your children are safely tucked up asleep in bed, there are plenty of great reasons for purchasing a hidden camera. You don't need to be involved in covert spy operations! Although that sounds like a lot of fun! It's more likely that you are just keen to protect your home and your loved ones and ensure a safe, secure environment.
Q: Are hidden cameras legal?
A: If you're going to invest in a new hidden camera, it pays to understand the legalities of actually using one. Of course, the law differs from country to country and even state to state, but the general rule of thumb in the United States is that it's perfectly fine to have a hidden camera in your home and to record footage without the permission of the people visiting. The key thing to remember is the word "home" and the second is that it applies to visions but not audio. That said, it's illegal to record video in places where people should reasonably expect to have their privacy respected for example in a bathroom or a guest bedroom.
When it comes to installing and using surveillance-style cameras in public places, again the same rules regarding decency and privacy prevail so that would extend to changing rooms, public restrooms as well as inside hotel rooms.
As we said, video is entirely a different matter to audio. It still remains illegal to covertly record audio without the speaker's permission, even if that device is located in your home. In any case, if you do find yourself ever in a situation where you might need to use recordings from your nanny cam or another hidden camera, the best option is to seek legal advice first.
Q: How to clean a hidden camera?
A: Hidden cameras should be relatively easy to maintain and clean as long as they're positioned in a place that you have easy access to. As long as you keep the lens clean, then you shouldn't have to worry about the blurriness, and as the camera is likely to be hidden safely out of sight, there's not much more maintenance that you'll need to worry about. Just take something like a microfibre cloth and periodically give the lens a clean just to make sure it's not dusty.