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Nanny Cam Review: Belkin NetCam HD+

Kristin Relyea
Jan. 11, 2018

Real Care.com employees test various home monitoring systems and give their honest feedback. Learn how one family fared with the Belkin NetCam HD+.

Image via Stocksy.com/Bonninstudio

My husband and I were interested in trying a wireless camera for a few reasons. We could keep an eye on our toddler while she independently plays in another room, it could work as a second baby monitor as we are expecting our 2nd child, and it might be fun to check in on both kids while they're home with our nanny and we are at work. 

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About the Camera

Image via Kristen Relyea

Overall the camera is pretty simple and well-designed. It has a sleek exterior aesthetic and looks much more modern than our clunky Motorola video baby monitor. It easily blends with the surroundings and it was no problem to find a spot that gave us a good view of the whole room. The wide angle of the lens was a big plus to getting a good field of view. It should also be noted that the audio quality surpassed my expectations the day we tested this with our nanny, we could basically hear what was going on pretty much anywhere on our first floor (and sometimes other levels of the house) even when they weren't in view. 

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Ease of Install

We set this camera up in our living room since my daughter spends most of her time on the first floor during the day, and we figured that even if she wasn't in view at all times, we could benefit from the audio. The hardware (actual camera) was pretty easy to set up out of the box pretty much just plug in and go. However, we did have trouble with the iOS app that we use to monitor the video. The UI to get set up is clunky, and my husband in particular had trouble with the app crashing multiple times and had to reinstall it to finally work. Hopefully they will push some upgrades through on the software side that will improve this part of the experience. 

It's also worth noting that you can connect to the camera through a web-app, but just be warned that audio does not work through the web at this time and we saw reviews stating that there are known browser-compatibility issues.  


Features

  • Video clarity and view: We tested this in color and in night vision' (black and white) and were very impressed with the quality of the images. There is a bit of lag and choppiness to the video, but it exceeded my expectations particularly for the night vision', which surpassed our current baby monitor. 
Image via Kristen Relyea
  • Live Viewing: This camera has a very discreet live-viewing feature. No one knew I was watching when I tuned in, which actually gave me an uneasy voyeuristic feeling.
  • Remote Pan and Tilt: This did not feature a remote pan / tilt, but since the wide lens was sufficient to get a good viewing angle in our room it wasn't necessary. 
  • Recording Options: This camera allows users to access cloud storage with a subscription for a fee, but since this was not a need for us we haven't tried that feature. If you are just interested in capturing quick video clips or images, this is very easy to do through the app while you are viewing live. 
  • Battery, Plug-In or Both? This camera needs to be plugged in. We had no problem with connecting it to a power source; it had sufficient cord length for our needs. I personally don't see a need for this to have a battery, since the viewing aspect (your phone) is portable and battery-operated. 
  • Sound and Other Features: This camera allows you to talk through a speaker while using the app, something that both confuses and delights my daughter. I think this may come in handy if the voice of God needs her to get back in bed in the middle of the night. Another cool feature is the ability to get notified of motion in the room through push notifications, again making this an interesting prospect for a monitor-replacement for an older child. It may not be something I'd entirely trust with a newborn (I'd still want the constant audio stream that I get with a traditional baby monitor), but for a 2-year-old at night this is ideal to find out if she's up causing trouble. 


Cost

This goes for $141 on Amazon. The cloud service to save video files would be an additional $9.99 a month.


Overall

Grading Rubric for Belkin NetCam HD+
Graphic via Kristen Relyea

On the whole, this is a really great camera with excellent audio / video quality for its purpose and fairly easy to use. This feels like a step into the future, particularly considering how pricy and clunky our current baby monitor is with far less functional features. It only lost some points from us for the initial clunkiness of the iOS app, which I expect will be improved with future releases. We will likely end up using this as a way to monitor our older child at night (it gives us a great view of her entire room!), to check-in remotely if we try a new sitter, and will consider using it as a home security tool while we are away considering the motion-detection alerts feature.

 

*Care.com does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. The views and opinions of authors expressed on Care.com do not necessarily state or reflect those of Care.com, and they may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

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