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Protecting Your Home With a Hidden Surveillance Camera

May 29, 2023|

Few things can give you more peace of mind than knowing your home is protected. Installing security cameras is one of the best ways to make sure your home is looked after, even when you’re not there. But if would-be intruders can see your cameras, there’s a chance they can get around them.

That’s why you may want to hide your security cameras. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of having spy cameras in and around your home, the legalities of hidden cameras, plus some pointers to help you hide yours effectively.

Is it legal to hide a surveillance camera?

In most states, it’s legal to use hidden surveillance cameras to capture video in most areas that can be seen by the public, like your front door and yard. But it’s always illegal to hide cameras in areas where people can reasonably expect privacy, like bathrooms and changing rooms.

The government has tougher laws regarding audio recordings. Visible cameras, like video doorbells, can legally record audio without explicit consent, but that’s not always the case with covert cameras. Before you install hidden cameras, check your local laws to ensure you’re in compliance.

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Benefits of hidden security cameras

Security cameras can help you catch criminal activity, see what’s going on outside your home, and warn you when there’s an intruder. They can even protect you from liability. For example, if your backyard cameras capture neighborhood teens sneaking into your yard to use your pool, you might want to set up a gate to protect you from liability if someone gets injured as a result.

When a criminal knows they’re being recorded, they’re much less likely to try and break into and vandalize your home. But some may be bolder than others. If they can see exactly where your security cameras are, they may try to operate around or deactivate them.

That’s how a hidden camera adds an extra layer to your home security. If a sign on your property lets intruders know they’re being recorded, hiding all your cameras can make it impossible for criminals to avoid them.

Outdoor camera veiled behind a tree.

How to hide a home security camera

Countless spots around your property can make great hiding places for a security camera. Trees, birdhouses, and plant pots are a few options for outdoor cameras. Some great indoor hiding spots include picture frames, toys, or the ceiling (either on top of an exposed beam or in a high corner). Just make sure that wherever you hide them, each camera has a clear view of certain key areas in and around your home.

An indoor video camera system should be able to record video of your central living room area, your main hall, and any other places criminals are likely to pass through after breaking in. Outdoor cameras should cover your home’s entrances, including your front, back, and garage doors, as well as the entrances to your back and front yards. Test each camera to make sure no posts, trees, or other objects obstruct their view.

A mini hidden camera can easily blend into its surroundings, so a tiny camera might be the best option if you’re looking to camouflage it. However, consider the camera’s color as well; for example, a bright white camera will stick out like a sore thumb if you place it in a tree. You can paint your camera to match its surroundings, but be aware that doing so will likely void your warranty. Instead, it’s best to choose the right camera for the location where you plan to install it.

A wireless, battery-powered spy cam can be a lot easier to hide than a wired one because it doesn’t need to be near a power supply. But remember that if your camera relies on WiFi, it will still have to be within range of your router. After installing a Wi-Fi hidden camera, test the internet connection to make sure everything works, and remember to check the battery life periodically.

What to look for when choosing hidden home security cameras

Security cameras can have a lot of different features, but which ones are really important? That depends on your specific needs. Here are some of the top features you should consider when you’re in the market for the right security camera.

HD video

What good is security camera footage if the image quality is blurry and hard to see? An effective camera needs great image quality. One with 1080p HD video resolution (Full HD) will capture clear, usable footage every time. Some cameras, like the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro (Gen 2), can even shoot in pristine 4K Ultra HD resolution.

IP camera

Want to know what’s happening in and around your home when you’re not there? An internet protocol (IP) camera is the tool for the job. IP cameras use your home WiFi connection to store videos on the cloud. This gives you a remote view of your home at a given time via real-time live stream, so you can watch on a smartphone app while you’re away.

Plus, these wireless WiFi cameras are easier to hide than those with cords. And of course, this camera records the video so you can view the footage later if you need to.

Night vision

It’s true that many property crimes happen in broad daylight when homeowners are at work, but that doesn’t mean crimes don’t happen at night too. In fact, nearly 70 percent of vehicle-related crime happens after dark. That’s why night vision is so important. A night vision camera uses infrared technology to make sure your home is always protected, even in low light.

Person-triggered recording and notifications

If there’s strange activity around your home, you want to know right away. A smart camera with person detection, like the Vivint Indoor Camera, will automatically records as soon as it detects a person and send a notification to your iPhone or Android phone right away, where you can view the footage and respond if necessary.

Two-way audio

A camera with two-way audio, like Vivint’s Doorbell Camera Pro (Gen 2), lets you use a smartphone app to talk to whoever is on your doorstep. This is useful for many scenarios, such as telling your Amazon delivery driver to slide your package under your garage door so it doesn’t get stolen, or your cat to stop eating your houseplants while you’re at work.

It’s also useful for nanny cams since you can not only keep an eye on the babysitter but speak to them if you need to. Perhaps best of all, you can also personally tell potential intruders that they’re being recorded and the police are on the way.

Outdoor camera video footage viewed in the Vivint app.

Visible vs. hidden security cameras: Which is better?

The point of hidden cams isn’t to hide the fact that you have a security system. In fact, visible HD cameras on your property may effectively stop many criminals from trying to invade your home. And cameras with LED lights, which they can see at night, can make your home even more intimidating to criminals.

But not every would-be offender will be deterred when they spot a home security system. Some experienced intruders might try to find ways to disable your camera lens or to stay out of its view. Discreet security cameras make it much more difficult for these savvy criminals to cause trouble.

Since there are reasons for having both hidden and visible security cameras, if you opt for hidden spy cameras alone, it may be wise to put up a sign to let everyone know they’re there. But to strike more fear into the hearts of criminals, a robust system will also have visible wireless cameras. But if you’d solely prefer a stealthy system that can catch wrongdoers in the act, then hidden cameras are the way to go.

Discover the best security camera options from Vivint

Whether or not you choose to use covert surveillance security cameras is up to you. What matters most is that your security system performs when and how you need it to. That’s why you’ll want the best hidden cameras from a reliable security company like Vivint.

Our friendly security professionals can help you find and install the best smart cameras and security tools for your specific needs. If you’re interested in more smart home automation, they’ll also introduce you to our other quality appliances and gadgets (like smart smoke detectors), helping you build a smarter, safer home.

Give us a call today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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