WiFi Baby Monitor Guide
Aww... isn't this cute! I'm sure any mommies out there wouldn't want to miss this utterly cute yawn.. what if this super cute antic happens when you are back in the office?
Types of WiFi Baby Monitor
There are 2 types of WiFi baby monitors and the major difference is whether it comes with a parent unit. Most first generation WiFi baby monitors are simply classic video baby monitors with add-on internet connectivity which allows you to sync your phone/computers to your baby monitor.
Newer generations of WiFi baby monitors do away with the parent unit entirely, taking advantage of the fact that most people would have a smartphone or computer handy to sync up with the baby camera.
1. Strength of Your Internet Connection
I would definitely rank this as the #1 item to consider before purchasing a WiFi baby monitor. The strength of the internet signal in your house is one of the most important feature that can make or break even the best WiFi baby monitor.
Experts recommend a download speed of 15 - 50 Mbps (megabits per second) for a good quality real-time video feed from the baby unit to your smart devices. Of course, any speed higher than this is even better and any speed lower than this would likely result in a lag time in video feed transmission resulting in poor video quality.
Read article here: How much internet speed is right for you?
As I'm researching for this article, I've found an interesting geographical map of the internet speed in the U.S. dated in 2013.
Here's a quick summary of locations with the fastest & slowest internet connectivity:
Fastest internet speed: Ephrata, Wash., a small town of 7,000 that happens to be home to its own fiber optics provider.
2nd Fastest: Kansas City, Kan. (Google's grand experiment)
Worst speed: Northeastern Arizona, where Chinle and Fort Defiance
For a complete list of cities and towns by speed click here, or read the entire article here: A map of who's got the best (and worst) internet connections in America
2. How tech-savvy are you?
Let's face it, just because we own an iPhone or the latest Samsung phone doesn't mean that we are tech-savvy. Sure, I can download an app, I can sync the data from my phone to my cloud storage but I'm not as tech-savvy as I wish!
To successfully navigate & operate a WiFi baby monitor demands a certain flair for technology. True, it is not rocket science but ironically for the simplicity that it stands for, it isn't the easiest gadget to use. These monitors typically utilizes an application or internet website where parents must login and create an account for setup. For those of you who prefer plug & play option, this may pose as a hurdle for you.
For the tech-savvy mommies out there, you go girl! This is probably very easy to you in terms of getting it set up & using it.
For the less tech-savvy mommies, if you really want a remote WiFi enabled baby monitor that allows you to check in on your baby on the go, then my recommendation is to find a tech-savvy friend to help you along with it to reduce your frustrations & possible errors along the way.
3. Audio & Motion Alert
We use our phone for many reasons and the addition of a WiFi baby monitor shouldn't prevent us from using our phone the usual way.
A good WiFi baby monitor should be able to send alerts to your phone or tablet whenever the camera detects movement or sound. This means that the app doesn't have to be on your screen for the alerts to come through. When you have turned off the app and is replying to your messages, if the camera detects your baby's movement, it should be able to send you a notification so that it will prompt you to check the app. And of course, you will be able to set the sensitivity of the notification to determine how and when you would like to be notified.
This means you don't have to watch the screen all the time to know your baby is OKAY.
Another important aspect of remote detection is to identify monitors with advanced technology so that it doesn't end up sending you false alerts due to slight changes in lighting or minor movements like curtains moving due to wind from the fan etc.
4. System Compatibility of Phone
With so many different models of smart phone & different operating systems in the market, it is absolutely crucial to ensure that your phone's operating is compatible with that of the WiFi monitor.
Most WiFi baby monitors require a minimum of:
- iOS Version 7 or Android 4.2
- Windows 7, Mac OS 10.7, Chrome 24, IE 9, Safari 6, Firefox 18
- Adobe Flash 15, Java 7
However, it is still better to check each WiFi baby monitor's individual requirements before committing to purchase one.
WiFi baby monitors, especially those that comes with only a baby unit, are relatively new technology advancements in the world of baby monitors. Therefore, you'd expect to find many great products made by lesser known brand names such as Snug Baby, LeFun, Drop Nest etc as compared to popular/traditional baby monitor brands such as Infant Optics, Summer Infant etc.
Just because these brands are lesser known doesn't mean that their product isn't good. Most of these brands are from small startup companies with great technologies that hope to disrupt the baby monitor market.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of these major brands that sell on Amazon.com.
WiFi Baby Monitors with BOTH baby & parent unit
WiFi Baby Monitors with ONLY baby unit
1. Snug Baby
5. Drop Nest
Motorola has a great range of video baby monitors and they manufacture 2 models of baby monitor with WiFi feature:
1. Motorola MBP853 model
2. Motorola MBP854 model
At first glance, these 2 monitors may seem like different models, however, on closer inspection, we found that in terms of features, they offer the same features.
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