With today’s technology, hidden cameras are smaller than they have ever been. In the past hidden cameras could only be placed in fairly large items and also required pretty large lenses. This made them hard to install in places where they would not be detected. That is a problem since the whole idea of hidden cameras is that they will be able to operate without being detected.
When thinking about your options on where to hide hidden cameras it is a good idea to take the time to really consider the best place to conceal the camera. The two most common ways to hide hidden cameras are either inside objects of a large enough size to house the camera or to rely on their small size and place them somewhere that would otherwise be in plain sight.
This might seem obvious, but if your hidden camera is installed into object as a disguise, that object should be one that does not stand out as out of place in the area being monitored. For example, if you are monitoring a baby’s room you probably wouldn’t use an alarm clock with a hidden camera inside it in this situation. If you did use an object like this it could easily be identified as suspicious and cause concern for those who you are interested in monitoring.
Another consideration is how long you need the camera to operate. If you need the camera to operate for a long time then you will likely need to access the camera to swap and/or recharge the battery.
Some hidden cameras have motion detection features that help save battery power by only recording when motion is detected. They rest of the time they operate in a low power mode that only sips battery power while using a special sensor that detects movement.
Once movement is detected special electronics inside the camera module will quickly turn the camera on and automatically start recording video, taking photos, or even recording audio in some cases. When motion is no longer detected the camera will go back into a low power state that dramatically reduces the rate at which the battery is depleted.
You will need to consider how and how often you will need to recharge and/or replace the hidden camera’s battery when selection a location to hide the hidden camera.
Some hidden cameras don’t use batteries at all and are connected directly to power from either wiring or power outlets. Hidden cameras that connect directly to wiring for power will take much more time to install and require greater access to the area being monitored by the camera.
You might think that a hidden camera that plugs into a power outlet might not be so hidden, but there are actually many devices that normally plug into power outlets that can easily hide a hidden camera inside. A few of these devices that normally plug into wall outlets are: USB chargers, electronic air freshers, air purifiers, power strips, plug multipliers, clocks, and many more.
The length of time you need to record, which will determine how often and if you need to switch and/or recharge the hidden camera battery if you are using one with an internal battery, will play a large role in the decision of where to hide the hidden camera.
If you are using a hidden camera that plugs into an outlet or is hardwired into electrical wiring that will also play a role in where you will be able to hide the hidden camera.
One disadvantage of using a hidden camera that plugs into a wall outlet is that many wall outlets are located low on walls, behind furniture, or near object that might obstruct the camera’s ability to get a full view of the area being monitored.
You will also need to consider how you plan to retrieve the video, images, and/or audio that the hidden camera has recorded. Most hidden cameras record to either internal memory that cannot be removed or to memory cards that can be remove and swapped out.
For models that have only internal, non-removable memory, you will usually have to connect a USB cable to the camera and use a computer to access and download the content from the hidden camera.
For models that have removable memory cards you can just remove the memory card from the camera and then insert it into a memory card reader to retrieve the media from the memory card.
Many recent laptop computers have built-in memory card readers that can be used for this purpose. Some desktop computers also have memory card readers built-in, but these are not as common as in laptop computers.
If your laptop or desktop does not have a built-in memory card reader they can be purchased pretty inexpensively as a separate device that can be plugged into your laptop or desktop computer using a USB cable. Once the memory card reader is connected to your computer you would then insert the memory card into the device, and the computer would then be able to access the media recorded by the hidden camera.
Some tablets and phones also have memory card slots that could be used to access the media from hidden cameras.
There are other types hidden cameras that do not store the video and images they record to either internal memory or removable memory cards. These cameras usually have two methods they use to transfer what they record to an external storage device.
Some hidden cameras can also be connected to a network or even the internet, so the remote storage device can be at any location around the world.
One big advantage of connecting a hidden camera to an external, remote storage device is that it will allow much more storage space than either the internal memory of a hidden camera or a memory card that is inserted into a camera. Most hidden cameras that have internal memory have a capacity anywhere between 8GB and 64GB, and it is commonplace for desktop and laptop computers to have hard drives with 1,000GB of storage capacity.
One type uses a physical cable to transfer the data. In this case the camera would be connected via a physical cable to a computer or other type of storage device that would then store the images and/or video data.
There are some advantages to a hidden camera that uses a physical cable to connect to an external storage device.
One of these advantages is a physical cable is reliable and immune to interference in most cases.
Another obvious advantage of using a physical cable to connect a hidden camera to an external storage device is it can made retrieving the images and video easier because the data is transferred to a remote location such as another room or even another building that may provide easier access than the location where the actual hidden camera is actually located.
But it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns when using the physical cable to connect a hidden camera to an external storage device. One of the disadvantages of using a physical cable is it can be hard to hide the cable in a place where it won’t be seen. In addition, installing the physical cable will take quite a bit of time and require more access to the location where the hidden camera will be placed than storing the data on the camera itself.
If you can’t or don’t want to use a physical a cable to connect the hidden camera to an external storage device there are other options.
You can purchase hidden cameras that have built-in wireless capabilities. This allows the camera’s data to be transmitted over a wireless network to a storage device just about anywhere your heart desires. With the wireless data transfer you get the advantages of storing the camera’s data in a remote location just like the physical cable without the disadvantages of the cable.
Using a hidden camera with wireless functionality isn’t without its disadvantages though. One of the disadvantages of wireless data transmission is that is it generally not as reliable as a physical cable connecting the hidden cameras to the external storage device. In addition, the range will be more limited with wireless.
Some newer hidden cameras can even use Bluetooth wireless technology to transmit data wirelessly to a smart phone or tablet. These cameras can normally be viewed in real time and also record directly to your device.
Bluetooth is very easy to set up, but it does have the disadvantage of having a relatively short range compared to the other remote data transmission methods. The most common version of Bluetooth (class 2) has a maximum range of 10m (33ft). There is a less common version of Bluetooth (class 1) that has a range of 100m (330ft) though. When purchasing a hidden camera to use with Bluetooth make sure you take into account the version of Bluetooth it uses and the range you will need.
One other thing to keep in mind when using a hidden camera with wireless data transmission is that physical objects such as walls will weaken the signal and shorten the range if they are between the hidden camera and the device the camera is connecting to for data transfer. This can shorten the real world range you will be able to get between the hidden camera and your storage device.
Wireless transmission also has the disadvantage that it can be pretty easily blocked. There are devices that can be purchased that will emit radio waves that can block wireless data transmission.
The use of wireless can also give away the presence of the hidden camera and its location. There are devices that can detect the radio waves emitted by the hidden camera and some can even guide the user to the camera’s general location.
Another consideration you should take into account when deciding where to hide hidden cameras is the level of light in the area to be recorded. Most hidden cameras will need good lighting to produce decent videos and photos, so be sure the area you want to monitor has plenty of light.
If the area you want to monitor does not have enough light at the time you want to record then you can get hidden cameras with night vision technology. Hidden cameras with night vision will cost more, but if you want to record in low light or even completely dark environments they are the best option. These types of hidden cameras have infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce light people can’t see but the camera can. Any people in the area being monitored won’t even know the lights are on.
As you can see there are lots of things to consider when deciding on where to hide hidden cameras. Each situation is unique, and there is no perfect location that works in every case. It is best to spend time taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of different ways to hide hidden cameras and consider what your specific situation’s needs are when making a decision.
Just like most things in life, one size does not fit all. But the time you spend on deciding where to hide your hidden camera will definitely pay off in the long run. Just like the name “hidden camera” implies, one of the most important aspects of the camera is to stay hidden to perform its intended stealthy function.