Best Hidden Security Cameras of 2021
Apart from adding suspense and drama to your favorite thriller movies and TV, hidden cameras can be a surprisingly useful tool for home security. Because the cameras have tiny sizes and disguises, they're easy to hide from clever burglars that know about your other security cameras.
We explore two types of hidden cameras: stand-alone units and disguises for standard security cameras to discover which type is best for you.
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Hidden cameras aren't our first choice for security cameras due to their sometimes shady connotations, but they can be a good alternative for certain situations where a normal security camera is too big or located where burglars might break it. Here are five hidden cameras worth considering.
Hidden cameras often unreliable
Most hidden cameras come from generic brands and don't usually match the quality of mainstream security cameras. We recommend reading through customer reviews (especially the critical ones) before you buy a hidden cam.
When choosing hidden cameras for this review, we set up some basic rules: they must cost less than $75 and record video in 1080p resolution or higher. While some of the cameras have night vision and Wi-Fi to enable mobile device controls, these features weren't a requirement.
The overwhelming majority of hidden cameras are generic products from small-scale manufacturers. This means high turnover, with even popular models regularly selling out. We'll do our best to replace products as they disappear, but you deserve fair warning of this unpredictable product category.
When there's such a high turnover of hidden spy camera brands and products, we don't test the products in person. Instead, we rely on user reviews, videos, and specifications to inform our reviews.
Puoneto: Best small hidden camera
With Puoneto, 4K video is finally an affordable reality for hidden cameras. The high-quality video outperforms typical 1080p cameras but makes this unit a little more expensive on average.
We also like that this camera has a built-in Wi-Fi connection so you can check footage from your phone after it detects motion. This tiny battery-powered unit records for up to six hours on a charge, which isn't very long. But considering it uses motion detection to record video, you don't need to recharge it every day.
Unfortunately, some user reviews complain of poor app performance and disappointing product quality. This is unsurprising since generic hidden cameras are typically lacking in quality—even the best hidden camera puts its covert mission over high quality.
Ehomful: Affordable hidden camera
If you want a bargain-bin hidden camera that also comes with a microSD card, we think that Ehomful is a good option. This hidden spy camera is similar to our pick from Puoneto but with a lower 1080p HD video quality and no mobile app. In exchange for fewer features, this unit costs half as much—around $33.
Because it comes with a 32GB memory card, you don't need to worry about finding one to go with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't support cards over 32GB, so it can't record as long as the other cameras on our list.
Overall, we like the simplicity of this mini camera, and it's a good choice for folks looking to save some cash.
Alpha Tech: Best disguise
A forgettable camera disguise is an effective one, so we think it's good that the Alpha Tech USB charger is as plain as they come.
This nondescript USB charger looks just like any number of devices floating around your house, and it even charges phones to complete the illusion. While you can connect it to a battery for more portability, it's prone to people who inadvertently move the spy cam in a way that neutralizes it.
Still, it's a little awkward to point the camera at a room when you plug it into an outlet. But if you have outlets higher on the wall, like above a kitchen counter, you should have a decent view of the room.
Waymoon: Best clock
Clocks are some of the most popular disguises for a hidden cam, so we had to include one on our list. We like the Waymoon clock camera's 4K video resolution, mobile app, and wide-angle lens, making it one of the more full-featured hidden cams we found during our research.
It also sports a rechargeable battery, making it perfect for your next hotel stay. Sadly, it's a little more expensive than other hidden cameras, and it doesn't come with an SD card to store your videos.
When you're not traveling, this Wi-Fi hidden camera has a surprisingly sleek design that looks great on a bookshelf or desk in your home office.
Yijiaoyun: Best body camera
A hidden camera doesn't have to sit on a shelf to be useful, so we think the Yijiaoyun body camera is an excellent option to take with you outdoors. This camera clips onto your clothes and has 32GB of built-in storage, so you don't need to buy a separate memory card.
There's a microphone on this camera, so we don't recommend recording in private areas, but it should be acceptable in a public setting. The rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours and can record while charging if necessary.
This body cam's discreet, small design is perfect for clipping on your shirt on a jog, to capture a lecture in class, or as you ride your bike to work.
Hidden cameras are a good option for hiding security cameras away from burglars, but they're not as reliable as their mainstream counterparts. While we did our best to find quality products for folks committed to a hidden camera concept, we ultimately recommend buying a traditional security camera from a more experienced brand.