How Do Wi-Fi Baby Monitors Work? (Explained)

Nothing is more important than your child’s well-being, but these days there are so many products out there that claim to help ease the burden of parenting that it can be a little overwhelming.

Wi-Fi baby monitors are one such product and a relatively recent advancement on the more old-fashioned radio baby monitor design.

Here’s How Baby Monitors Work With Wi-Fi:

Most modern baby monitors use Wi-Fi technology to transmit data from one device to another. Wi-Fi monitors connect to your home’s wireless internet connection, so you can use your smart device to check on your baby from anywhere. Wi-Fi monitors have a range of about 100 feet.

Baby monitor being used

Baby Wi-Fi Monitors Explained for Beginners

Baby monitors have been around for a while as a parenting aid to help provide peace of mind by letting parents know whether their infant was sleeping peacefully while attending to other tasks.

Today, this technology is not only alive and well, but has experienced several iterations, upgrades, and additional features. One such iteration is the baby monitor which uses your internet connection to keep tabs on your baby instead of the old radio-based technology.

Wi-Fi monitors, then, boast the impressive ability to check on your child from work, while you’re out shopping, and so on—as long as there’s Wi-Fi. Traditional radio-based monitors, by contrast, only work within a set range; usually just within your home.

How Do You Connect Baby Monitors?

The exact set-up procedure will vary depending on the specific model and product you go with, but the basic procedure is going to be more or less the same with any Wi-Fi baby monitor.

First, you’ll set up the monitor to listen to your baby and—if the model includes a camera—to watch them as well. Make sure that the speaker is close enough to hear your baby clearly, and if the monitor has a camera, make sure it’s securely mounted with a good viewing angle on your child.

With a traditional radio baby monitor, the next step would be to set up a receiver. However, with Wi-Fi monitors, your computer, smartphone, or other mobile device is your monitor! Just download the baby monitor app to your phone and follow the steps on the screen.

Now, as long as you have your smartphone on you, you can make sure your child is alright from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal!

Furthermore, because the app can be installed on multiple devices, this can enable all parents, grandparents, and other family members who want to be able to see the baby regularly to tune in to the monitor feed from their own device, and even talk to them if it’s a two-way monitor!

By the same token, though, it’s worth mentioning that Wi-Fi baby monitors have one distinct disadvantage over non-internet models: they can be hacked.

It’s difficult to imagine who would do such a heinous thing as to hack a baby monitor, but the fact is that anything on the internet is vulnerable to privacy breaches and malicious actions, and sadly, Wi-Fi baby monitors are not an exception.

To counter this, the best thing you can do is to look for a model which encrypts its data, and which allows you to set your own password.

Often, these monitors do not encrypt their data, and they come with a password in the user manual which you’re not allowed to change. If you can get ahold of a model that does let you change the password, make sure to do so every so often to keep any would-be hackers guessing.

See this page for more information about Wi-Fi baby monitor security, as well as some product recommendations to help ensure you pick the monitor best for your needs.

How Hard Is it to Use Wi-Fi Baby Monitors?

If you have any experience setting up and using smartphone apps (and these days, who doesn’t?), then using your Wi-Fi baby monitor shouldn’t be too difficult at all.

Follow any instruction sheets in the box, and any instructions that appear on-screen when you set up the app, and you’re good to go.

In fact, in some cases, the baby monitors are a little too easy to use, such as the problem with static passwords we already mentioned in the last section.

In any case, the most difficult part of setting up a Wi-Fi baby monitor will probably be actually connecting it to the internet.

In this vein, though, it won’t be any harder than setting up any new internet-connected smart device, but we all know how finicky that sort of thing can be sometimes.

Read this blog here about do baby monitors need wi-fi to work?

What Happens When the Wi-Fi Signals Falls Out?

In theory, most Wi-Fi baby monitors will keep working when the internet goes out, but they’ll be limited to your Local Area Network (LAN) connection.

In practical terms, this means that as long as you’re between your Wi-Fi modem, you should still be able to check on your child through the monitor. This effectively means that when the internet’s out, it will still work, but only when you’re home.

This means that Wi-Fi monitors can not only reach as far as you need them to when the internet’s working, but even when it’s not, they’ll basically just function like the old-fashioned kind that only works within the home, but still let you check on your baby from anywhere in the house.

If you’re at work and the internet to your home goes out, you won’t be able to check remotely because you’re well outside the range of your LAN. Of course, you can still call the babysitter when this happens and have them check for you.

Please note we say “in theory” here because we haven’t tested every Wi-Fi baby monitor and their connectivity could vary from one model to another.

That being said, while we can’t give you a 100% guarantee, we are fairly certain that your Wi-Fi baby monitor will still work when the internet’s out, you just have to be between your LAN.

How Far Do Wi-Fi Baby Monitors Reach?

If your internet is out, then your baby monitor signal will reach as far as your LAN connection; basically, as long as you’re in range of your Wi-Fi modem.

As long as you have internet in your home and a source of Wi-Fi on the go, though, your range is basically unlimited! You can check your monitor from work, while out shopping, etc.

In fact, even if you have relatives on the other side of the planet, as long as everyone’s internet connection is working and you trust them with the password, those relatives could even check on their baby grandchild/sibling/cousin/etc from anywhere in the world!

Needless to say, if you’re going out with your baby left at home, you should still have someone you trust be there while you’re away, just in case. But the extra peace of mind of being able to see and/or hear your baby, wherever you are, certainly doesn’t hurt!

Final Thoughts

Being a parent is hard enough as it is, without the added stress of sifting through thousands of different products that all insist they’ll make your life easier.

Wi-Fi baby monitors certainly aren’t essential to raising a child (after all, parents used to make do with audio-only radio monitors, and before that, no monitors at all!), so it’s natural to wonder if you need one in your life or not.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the various reasons you might or might not want one. Wi-Fi baby monitors boast some impressive features, like being able to tune in no matter how far away you are, as long as you have Wi-Fi.

But they’re vulnerable to hacking and network issues, and that handy ability to check from anywhere goes away if your home experiences internet problems.

On the whole, Wi-Fi baby monitors aren’t the best fit for every new parent, but for some—especially when maternity/paternity leave is over and you have to go back to work—they can be a lifesaver.

Check out our blog about 8 problems with BT baby monitors.


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