These baby monitors typically connect to your phone, tablet or laptop, giving you the ability to check in with your little one while you’re out and about. This type of baby monitor is life changing for parents who work or travel frequently, and want to stay connected to their baby.
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The Basics of Wi-Fi Baby Monitors
Like most other types of baby monitor, those that can connect to your home wireless network consist of two basic parts – the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is the part that remains in the baby’s room, sending audio, video, or both. The receiver unit (also called the parent unit) can travel around with the caregiver, playing the video and audio feeds.
Often with Wi-fi enabled baby monitors, the “parent unit” is actually an app that can be used on your phone, tablet or desktop computer. This eliminates the need to carry around a second device, and enables you to see high quality images from anywhere. This also allows several family members to have access at one time, with no additional cost or equipment purchases.
One of the benefits of using a baby monitor that connects to your home wireless network, is the significant reduction in feedback. Many baby monitors run on the same frequency as cordless phones, microwaves, radios and other household appliances. This can cause a spotty signal, as well as crackling, buzzing and other unpleasant noises to transmit to the receiver. Your wireless network will not interfere with other devices, allowing you to always have clear video and audio feeds, so long as your wireless network is running.
Features of Wi-Fi Baby Monitors
In addition to the basics, many baby monitors currently on the market offer a wide variety of features to simplify your day, and add a little whimsy to watching your little one!
You surely want to be able to view your child in his or her crib at night, and the night vision feature allows for just that. Most night vision cameras have a light sensor to turn on automatically, which is convenient, and one less thing to keep track of. Be sure to check for the quality of the night vision images before purchasing a device, if this is important to you.
Two Way Talk
Sometimes, all it takes to soothe your baby is the sound of your voice. Two way talk features enable you to comfort your child from wherever you are. Some baby monitors that use apps on your phone or tablet also allow you to record special messages to send to your little one, that can be played on demand.
Many baby monitors feature a library of lullabies that can be played for your little one through the transmitter, and controlled on the separate app. Some models also allow you to choose from music on your phone, or to download additional songs.
Because wireless enabled baby monitors often use your phone or computer for a display, they are able to transmit high definition video, while still remaining at a reasonable price. Many cameras also feature zoom and pan abilities, which can be controlled via the app, and will allow you to adjust the quality for when you’re using your phone’s data.
For baby monitors that connect to the internet, security is of high importance. Manufacturers of baby monitors have been upgrading the encryption on their sites, to protect the video streams of your little one.
Your child does some pretty adorable things, and you’ll want to capture as many of those moments as possible. Many Wi-Fi enabled baby monitors allow you to take still images and videos while looking at the feed from your phone or device.
Some cameras will automatically start taking video or still images when movement is detected, so you won’t miss a moment of your baby’s cute antics!
For grandparents, relatives or even friends who want to check in with your little one at times, many wireless enabled baby monitors offer guest access to the website where you can view the stream. This separate username and password will be give access to see and hear your baby, and can be limited to what the parents want to share.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
While these baby monitors will connect to your wireless network, not all of them actually connect to the internet. A monitor that connects to the internet will enable the parents to view the monitor feed remotely, either while at work, or even out running errands.
Because of the potential privacy issues these camera feeds pose, most internet enabled baby monitors provide advanced security features and encryption, so your videos are safe.
Multiple Device Support
For the most part, Wi-Fi enabled baby monitors use an app installed on a phone, tablet or desktop computer in place of a separate receiver unit. Be sure to look for a model that is optimized for iOS, Android and possibly even desktop internet viewing. If your current phone breaks, you won’t want to be without a baby monitor for too long, and you certainly won’t want to have to buy a new baby monitor, if the old one isn’t compatible with your new phone.
Multiple Device Capabilities
While you’ll want to be able to use your baby monitor if you get a new phone, you’ll also likely want to have more than one phone or device connected to the camera. Be sure you find a model that can support more than one phone being connected at a time, so you and your spouse can watch whenever you’d like.
Plug and Play System
When you get a new baby monitor, you won’t want to spend loads of time trying to figure out how it works. Look for a “plug and play” model, so you can be using it within moments of taking it out of the box.
Odds are, you don’t want to have the baby monitor open on your phone, tablet or laptop at all times. Be sure that the model you choose runs in the background, and sends you alerts whenever there is movement or sound in your child’s room.
What to Avoid in a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
Bright Indicator Lights
While you may not notice a bright indicator light on the camera during the daytime, when it begins to get darker, you certainly will. Even more importantly, your baby will. Bright indicator lights can interfere with a baby’s natural sleep pattern, so be sure that if there’s a light on the camera unit, it’s dim and preferably red. You can also check to see if the model you are purchasing has the ability to turn off any indicator lights.
Similarly, blinking lights can be quite distracting and may prevent your little one from developing healthy sleeping habits.
There are baby monitors on the market that beep as a form of alert – when they turn on, when they turn off and when they become disconnected. This frequent noise is likely to bother you, but more importantly, will potentially bother your child. Be sure to seek out a quiet model, so as not to disturb you or your baby.
Many baby monitors come with a free app to download on your device, but there are some that actually charge a monthly fee on top of the price of the monitor. While you may not mind paying a few extra dollars every month, it’s certainly something to be aware of.
Finding the Best Wi-Fi Enabled Baby Monitor For You
There are so many different models on the market, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons against your lifestyle. Be aware that a baby monitor app will use a lot of data if not connected to wireless, so find a unit that allows you to choose the quality of the stream. HD videos might be great while you’re at home, but if you’re running errands, the feed may be too large.
If you want to be sure that you have a constant view of the feed, choose a model that allows for viewing from a desktop computer or laptop. You’ll be able to have the stream available at all times, without needing to tie up your phone.
Best Wi-Fi Enabled Baby Monitors
Gynoii Wifi HD Monitor
This wireless monitor boasts an easy setup, impressive security, and a host of features designed to bring some fun to the practicality. The HD camera pans and zooms, and also has a night vision setting. You can also use the camera to take pictures and video of your little one, including time lapse video!
While the camera aims to be simple, features like lullabies, two way talk and sound and motion alerts come standard. This camera also connects to the internet, and allows for guest viewing, so your in-laws can view your little one from the comfort of their own home.
Reviewers love the simplicity of setting this system up, as well as the many features available. Most negative feedback involved an older version of the Android app, which has since been updated and fixed.
I am very impressed with the video and sound quality of the baby monitor. I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. You can hear clearly and see well even in the dark. I had fun playing with all the lullabies that are already downloaded on the app. You can also add your own music. – Melissa
Snug Baby Monitor
The Snug baby monitor aims to simplify the process of keeping an eye on your little one. The plug and play camera can be fully operational just minutes after taking it out of the box. Snug offers a free app for their monitor, which is impressive given the reasonable price of this device. There is also a troubleshooting website available, so any issues can be resolved without having to contact customer support.
The camera features motion detectors, as well as alerts to your phone, so you aren’t forced to stare at a screen all day. The app enables you to program the sensitivity of the detector as well, so background noise won’t trigger an alert. The app also allows you to adjust the camera, which is convenient if your child moves slightly out of frame. Night vision, two way talk, and lullaby features are also available on this model. Added features include the ability to take pictures and video through the app, and even record the sounds your baby is making.
Complaints from customers indicated that the company is difficult to contact individually for troubleshooting, likely owing to the support website that has been set up. Reviewers also note that while there is a program available for your PC, Android phone or iPhone, there is no application for a Mac computer. Overall, parents are incredibly happy with the quality and features that this baby monitor offers.
This is worth every penny… This is super simple to set up and you hook it up to your wifi at home you can see and hear audio… I was blown away with this camera for at night time how clear the picture was. – Amy