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A handy guide for parents in setting up spy cams

Let's face it: when it comes to our children's safety, we don't compromise. While it is true that we wish to spend a lot of time with our kids, we are seldom able to do so. Technology advancements via spy cameras have allowed parents to ensure the safety of their little ones. But have you ever wondered what goes into setting up a spy camera perfectly?

If it is your first time, setting up a spy camera means an overwhelming number of decisions to get the right image or video needed. Once you have bought the product that meets your requirement, you arrive at the most important part - the set up.

Now, your camera spy may have the best of technical specifications but if it gives away too easily or gets obstructed by something totally avoidable, it will ruin your whole plan.

Let’s head into how you can meet your goals in installing a spy camera.

Understanding the need for spying

Knowing the objectives of spying in your home is the key to taking further steps in setup. Parents, due to their work commitments may be required to be at the office for longer duration. This means having to assign the care of your child to a nanny. Here, spying on your nanny becomes the objective.

Nanny cams are something that even nannies these days are aware of. So, knowing the objective helps you become conscious and decide better on your next steps.

You could be a parent whose child is old enough to do things on their own while you are away. Here you need to understand the places in the house that your child could end up doing some mischief.

Also, determining the rooms/spaces for an intended or unintended activity is necessary to know your objective. Say the camera was securely placed in the master bedroom, but an unintended activity took place in the study.

Some parents would like to understand if their house valuables and items are in place when they are away from home. For this, their objective would be to monitor from a place that shows if the valuables and other objects are missing.

So aligning your objectives and the possible hot spots are equally crucial. It is fine to take longer in this process as it lays the foundation on which all other steps are built upon.

Scope of coverage

Once you understand what you want, it gives more clarity on how you would capture your intended picture of the video. Depending on how wide the camera is able to "see", it helps narrow down on the possible locations to maximize the scope of the capture. If you are limiting a spy cam to one per room, it becomes even more important to get the placement right.

Points to note with respect to gaining the maximum reach for your camera:

  • Review the picture/video taken
  • Spy camera scope location should not be frequently blocked
  • Away from possible damage
  • Must not interfere with the working of other devices

Stealth is the key

This part in your secret mission of 'hide my spycam' needs treading with caution. At this stage, it is paramount to place the spycam at a near impossible-to-spot location.

Nanny cams should ideally not only be covering the crib but also places of the baby-play area as well.

The camera must blend well with the objects in the surroundings. Remember adding a new object fitted with a spy cam must feel natural to the setup.

Hiding in plain sight must be your mantra. You must consider a space that provides a wide vantage point but also that anyone can notice easily.

Wired or wireless

Spycams can be wired or wireless. Choosing a power supply for wired spy cams means limiting the options of places keeping it from being detected. Try to strike a balance between coverage and stealth and meet the objectives ultimately.

Wireless spy cameras too need a power source, but it could do with a battery concealed in the apparatus. You can choose a wider number of locations for wireless spy cams compared to the wired ones. The downside of running on a power supply is that a possible outage could risk losing the footage on a potential incident.

Angle of focus

It may take a while but spy cams do take a few trial runs to understand what angle would be best suited for a clear video. A rule of thumb would be higher the position from the ground, the more acute the angle of focus to cover the space.

Accidental blocking

A factor that usually comes up to cause a hindrance is an unexpected blockage of the spy camera. Say for example, a desk clock with a hidden spy cam has the possibility of being blocked by a desk calendar or a bright table lamp coming on.

Lighting condition to consider

Lighting is a rather minuscule point but one that could endanger the view of a perfectly-placed spy cam. You may have tested for all the angles, coverage and stealth features for the spy camera but lighting must also be factored in.

A sufficient amount of light can deliver excellent quality footage. Consider placing the spy camera in places where natural light can illuminate the surroundings during the day time. Indoor artificial lighting will take care of the clarity of the picture. Ensure that the spy cams are placed away from actual light fittings to avoid the glare blinding the spy cams.

Factoring camera’s storage capacity

Every spy cam comes with a varying storage limit to record the videos and images. This storage space is used depending on the camera. A motion-detection camera records only when a movement is detected, saving power and storage space when inactive. Keeping in mind the objective of installing the spycam, the location, lighting and the amount of movements expected must match the storage space to fetch the desired results.

Continuous-mode spy cams activate when the subject crosses in front of the camera for a few seconds and then remains in the area. Irrespective of the storage, only a trial run evaluation (which we will discuss later in the article) can give you the best understanding of the storage.

Think from your child’s perspective

You have planned everything right and finalized where to place all your spy cams. To add another viewpoint for the spy cam would be the final block in the perfect set-up. This viewpoint must be either of your child or the nanny who you would like to monitor.

Imagine that your child is at play and drifts to another room while being busy with the toys. You may want to guess the places the child is most likely to go in between his or her play. This gives you a chance to barricade or block access in case you feel they should not be around that area.

Another point to note is to avoid a spy camera that could end up being considered a toy by your child. That would spill the beans over a fantastic plan.

Nanny angle

On similar lines, your child’s nanny could be napping when least expected. If a couch is a little less comfortable, the nanny may choose another place to lie down. That could be your next spot to have a nanny cam there as well.

Nannies spend a lot of time free once your child is engaged at play, study or asleep. It is a good idea to ensure the other rooms are also ‘spied upon’ to have that straight conversation in case they have been up to some off-duty activities while on duty.

Stitching it all together

The destination has arrived and you are set to put your master plan into action. It is the apt time to review each of the above pointers and tweak any changes if required.

One of the basic misses by many first-time spy cam users is not going through the products' user manuals. Some products come with handy tips that help ease common worries.

It helps to visualize a typical day at home for your child and the nanny. This would give you more suggestions if you were to place a new spy cam or move the location that you had already decided.

Sometimes, even with a lot of effort, you may be unsure if the plan is meeting all your objectives satisfactorily. Even if this were not the case, you must have an evaluation after a day or two of recording. Going over the footage to comb through to spot persons and objects for clarity and angles will give you the ultimate go-ahead. Remember, a foolproof plan requires one to go over the details in more than one iteration.

If there is a need for you to upgrade or purchase additional cameras, it should not deter you.