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How Do Video Baby Monitors Work?

November 28, 2018

For new parents, a baby monitor is an essential piece of hardware for the nursery. Not only does a good baby monitor help track and monitor your baby, but it also provides a great deal of peace of mind to you, the parent or caregiver. But how do baby monitors work exactly? And what are the different types of baby monitors? Keep reading to learn more about the world of baby monitors.

3 Different Types of Baby Monitors

There are mainly three different types of baby monitors: analog, digital, and wifi-based.

Analog Baby Monitors

An analog baby monitor is the oldest form of a baby monitor. This type of monitor is as simple as the radios they used for WWII. One side is the receiver and the other side is the transmitter. The transmitter picks up sounds with a microphone and transmits it to the receiver via radio signals.

Digital Baby Monitors

A digital baby monitor is similar to an analog baby monitor in that it has one receiver and one transmitter. The difference here is how the signal is transmitted. Each piece of the system transmits over multiple frequencies in a semi-random pattern, known only to the monitor set. This transmitting method, known as Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), is the monitor’s way of securing the signal and reducing interference. It also makes video transmissions possible.

Wifi Baby Monitors

Wifi baby monitors are the newest type of baby monitor on the market when compared with analog and digital baby monitors. How do WiFi baby monitors work? These monitors do not transmit directly to a receiver. Instead, these monitors transmit to a local wifi router. In this way, the monitor functions like anything else on the network, making it possible to see your baby from anywhere in the house, or world, with the correct login.

How Private Is My Signal?

The answer to this question depends on which kind of baby monitor you’re using. Analog audio-only monitors broadcast over an open channel. As a result, any receiver on the same channel can pick up the signal if they are close enough. On the other hand, because digital and video monitors use FHSS, their signals are basically encrypted, as only the transmitter and receiver know the channel switching pattern.

As for Wifi-based baby monitors, your privacy depends solely on the security of your router in your home. If, for example, you set up your router and never change the default password, anyone who guesses your password can access your baby monitor’s video feed. It’s much harder for a hacker to brute force into your router if your password is longer and more complex.

How to Use a Baby Monitor

Most baby monitors come with simple instructions on how to use them. The most common way to use a baby monitor is to have the transmitter (parent unit) in one room and the receiver (baby unit) in another. Make sure both units are turned on and plugged in. The transmitter will emit a signal and the receiver will pick it up. The receiver will also emit a sound when it picks up the signal, so you'll know it's working.

Some baby monitors—such as Wifi baby monitors—have an unlimited range, meaning you can be anywhere in the world and keep an eye on your little one. Other baby monitors—like analog and digital monitors—may have a limited range, such as 300 feet or even 1,000 feet. If you live in a small apartment or home, the 300-foot range should be plenty. If you live in a larger home or one with multiple levels, you may want to invest in a baby monitor with a longer range.

You can also find baby monitors that come with two receivers, which is ideal if you have twins or multiple young children. Some models even come with additional cameras that you can place around the house, so you can keep an eye on your little ones no matter where you are.

Once your baby monitor is set up and working, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your baby during their nap time or bed time. Just remember, a baby monitor is never meant to replace a parent or caregiver. Instead, a baby monitor should be viewed as a helpful tool to help keep an eye on your baby.

The Advantages of a Wifi Baby Monitor

Wifi-based monitors almost always include a camera, allowing for a video feed. Frequently, these cameras come with infrared, night vision, or some other low light option. They also make remote viewing possible via a companion app, meaning that with a baby monitor and iPhone, for example, you can watch your baby while you’re away. Additionally, many are equipped with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), allowing you to talk to your baby through the app.

Other benefits of a wifi-based baby monitor sometimes include:

  • Pulse monitors
  • Motion monitors
  • Preset lullabies
  • Night lights
  • Pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera functionality
  • And more

Lastly, wifi-enabled baby monitors allow you to record and keep what’s transmitted, so you can track sleep patterns, or prove that your little one is climbing out of his or her crib, or even just turn their adorable sleeping into a digital keepsake.

With everything wifi-based video monitors can do, it’s easy to see why they’ve become so popular so quickly. They give you the freedom to check in on baby from anywhere through your iPhone or other smart device, and can ease many of your worries. Just make sure you’re using a good password, and soon enough everyone in the house will be sleeping better at night.

Looking for a Wifi Baby Monitor?

If you’re looking for the best baby camera on the market, look no further than the Owlet Cam.. The Owlet Cam streams 1080p HD video of your baby directly to your smartphone and keeps you informed of your baby’s needs with proactive notifications. It gives you the ability to hear, talk to and see your baby from anywhere. Pair it with the Dream Sock for detailed insights into your baby’s sleep! Learn more about our new Owlet Cam here.

Author Bio

Channing Merrell

Hi! I'm Channing and I'm a proud member of the Owlet team!