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Frequently Asked Questions

For support or questions related to Harbor, please contact us:

  • The Product

What is the difference between legacy baby monitors and mobile app-based baby cameras?

Standard baby monitors normally have a 3-5” screen and a camera, and they are almost always communicating on a low-frequency (lower than WiFi) radio signal direct from the camera to the monitor. They usually have poor image quality, are limited in range, and lack other features like record/rewind. You cannot access these outside their limited range.

In the past decade, mobile app-based cameras have become popular. These cameras don’t come with a dedicated monitoring device, and you have to use an app on your phone or tablet to access the stream. You may hear these cameras called ‘IP cameras’ (internet protocol) because they transmit the video & audio from the camera through that company’s (or a 3rd party’s) cloud, then back down to the app on your phone.

Why is the Harbor system more reliable?

Legacy systems have poor range. If you step out onto the back porch, you can often lose connectivity. In many houses they may not work from one side of the house to the other, especially older homes with thicker walls. Also, they are often poorly designed as most come with some sort of external antenna on either the camera or the monitor, that often breaks. Overall, the quality is very poor on most of these devices.

For mobile app-based cameras there are a few factors that impact reliability: phones have an operating system that will reprioritize its computing resources continually. Put more bluntly: phones aren’t designed to let an app (like a baby monitor app) run on it 24/7 with priority over all other parts of the phone. 

Mobile apps can often crash due to code issues and cloud (remote servers) connections can often break and not be reestablished without an intentional reset. Considering the phone is the only monitoring device, these systems aren’t reliable because phones are often used for other things… like phone calls! If your phone dies or you forget to plug it in, there is no way to alert you of a loss of connection.

For all of these reasons and more, mobile app-based cameras increase anxiety of parents, instead of making things easier.

We designed Harbor to resolve these issues. If a Harbor camera disconnects, it alerts the dedicated Monitor and also our Mobile Apps. With many of these WiFi app based camera systems, someone can literally unplug the camera and you would never know it was disconnected until you go to pull up the camera video/audio on your app.

Why does the Harbor system have better image quality?

It’s simple: we’ve invested more time and effort into the selection of our image sensor, lens, and communication channels from the very beginning understanding the requirements parents have.

We use an omnivision image 2k sensor that is geared specifically for low-light conditions. The sensor’s resolution is actually higher than mobile phone displays can support, but we plan for the future.

Our lens has a focal ratio of 1.6. “A what?” Our lens is wide (take a look at it!) and has better light-gathering ability than any other baby-monitor camera. This allows you to see better at night, while shining less infrared light on your little ones (more below on that).

While you are home, all camera video/audio stays local in the home. Other mobile-app based systems send that sensitive data through their (or a partner’s) cloud - which essentially means “someone else’s computer.” It is because this communication takes place across multiple states or countries that causes other companies to intentionally degrade the image quality so they can get it back to the phone in a decent round-trip time. Think about it like sending an email - if you have a large file attachment, it’s going to take a while for that email to send. Harbor doesn’t have that problem because all of our communication happens locally on your home network. If you are outside the home accessing your feed via our App, of course the communication will leave the house, securely, though we are able to maintain a high resolution that is stored directly on your camera.

But Harbor also supports a Mobile App?

Yes! Monitoring your children on a mobile app isn’t a bad idea, it’s a great idea! But not when it’s the only monitor you have and not when it’s reliant on cloud connections. We also have a Desktop app, making Harbor unique in the baby monitoring world. You can use our picture-in-picture while getting things done at your computer! 

To be clear, a repurposed iPad or other tablet doesn’t count as a dedicated monitoring device - they have the same issues as phones (used for other things, prioritizes resources, still reliant on cloud connectivity, etc.)

What about security and privacy?

We will have industry leading security and privacy, incorporated from the very beginning. With security and privacy, there are three main areas of concern:

  • Where are the products made and what types of components are in them
  • Data storage 
  • Communication security

You should know where your baby monitor and camera are made. Our production Monitors will be made in Vietnam and our Cameras are made in India. Critically, our processors (the devices’ “brains”) are made by Qualcomm and Ambarella, US, publicly traded companies that lead their industries. Virtually every other baby monitor company manufacturers their devices in China with Chinese processors with questionable firmware engaging with Chinese servers. Versions manufactured by some top baby monitor companies used processors now banned by the US government.

Mobile app-based cameras all store video/audio in the cloud. Who owns those servers? Where are they located? What are their security protocols? These are reasonable questions parents should have answers to, though you are very unlikely to get them. Harbor video/audio is only stored on the camera itself, with end-to-end encryption.

The cloud-communication of other systems also creates vulnerabilities for live-streaming video/audio. All Harbor communication happens on your home network (unless you are outside of your home), secure through mutually-authenticated TLS (mTLS) and end-to-end encryption. Those are a lot of words that mean there are multiple, industry-leading moats we have created around a castle that we have built for you. As you and your family deserve!

Smart audio makes me nervous, can you explain?

With other baby monitors, you either hear everything (on all the time) or you hear nothing until you explicitly pull up the camera feed. With Harbor you can get some sleep! When your child is at the right age and healthy, you don’t need to hear every cough, every mild cry, and every babble in their sleep. Hearing everything leads to a lack of sleep for you, which makes you a worse parent the next day.

If you choose to enable Smart Audio on the Monitor, Harbor will turn on the video & audio for the Camera when there is either a noise or motion that meets your comfort threshold. These thresholds can be configured and tweaked based upon your own comfort levels. You must enable this and choose your threshold. It is not a default. We want you to be in control!

Parents will often keep baby monitors for years to monitor their toddlers. Trust us, as parents ourselves, we can tell you that you do not want to hear literally every sound in that room when the child is 3 years old. You just want to know when they actually need you!

What about Infrared (IR) light? Is this safe for my baby?

There is minimal research on if IR light is an issue for baby cameras and the health of children, though minimizing light exposure to the eyes at night is always better. At the end of the day (pun intended), we at Harbor think that shining less light on children is better than shining a lot of light on them. You might not be able to see IR light, but it’s still light that affects our eyes, though you can see those red lights in a camera at night. Many children sleep with their eyes partially open, and we simply don’t know enough to say that it’s safe to have numerous IR LEDs shining on our little ones while they sleep. Harbor has only two 940nm (wavelength) IR LEDs. 940nm is even harder to see by the retina than commonly used 850nm IR LEDs, and therefore better overall. Most competitors have more IR LEDs and a variety of 850nm and 940nm wavelengths.

Can I use more than one camera?

Yes, up to four on one system! We may increase this amount even further in the future for larger homes & families.

Can I use more than one monitor?

Yes, up to two on one system. We may increase this amount in the future for larger homes & families.

Can I watch both of my children at the same time?

Yes! Our Monitor connects with up to four cameras and four split screens. Importantly, unlike any other system that exists today, you can control the volume and zoom of each stream independently!

How do I give someone else access to the Monitor/App?

Unlike WiFi-app based cameras, you can simply hand our Monitor to a caregiver.

If you’d like to grant access to the App, you have several options and never have to turn over your username and password! Unlike most other systems, you don’t need to subscribe to additional tiers to grant caregiver access. Furthermore, you can grant temporary or scheduled access (not an option with competitors). With Harbor, you can grant a day-pass that expires like a street parking pass. You can also set up repeating or weekly time-bound schedules (ex. 9-5 Monday through Friday) with easy setup for caregivers on their own devices. Additionally, you can grant 24/7 access with a set end-date so you don’t have to remember to remove anyone.

How & Why is Harbor different from Nanit or Owlet?

Read more from our CEO here.

Are there any health monitoring devices? (like Nanit’s band and Owlet’s Sock)

We don’t and for good reason. Read more about these troubling devices here.

The AAP advises against these devices, and we’ve seen these types of health monitoring features only lead to more anxiety for the parent. Simply put, we do not believe in fear-based marketing tactics.Nearly all experts and pediatricians agree that these baby wearables and biometrics trackers do not help and in fact can be detrimental for families. Children who need medical oversight for health issues should work with medical providers to get the appropriate care.

I’m worried about EMF / waves

The Harbor products will be FCC certified, which tests for EMF and radiation. We’re within the normal thresholds for a product of our type. We are continually attempting to reduce EMF / radiation by doing simple things (turning off unused antennas/resources) that other products simply don’t think or care to do.

How can I mount the Camera?

Having been frustrated with the mounting solutions of other products ourselves, we designed this product to be a breeze. If you want to put the Camera on a dresser or shelf, we designed it to have enough weight that it shouldn’t easily tip over.

The Harbor Camera comes with a twist off foot that mounts to your wall (mounting hardware included) and also neatly hides your cord. Importantly, this means that if you need to move the Camera to another room for a nap or take it with you for traveling, you can simply screw the camera off its foot and take it with you. When you want, you can easily put it back on the wall.

PLEASE NOTE: the Camera cord MUST be AT LEAST three feet away from the crib at all times. If mounting the Camera above the crib, you MUST use appropriate cord management.

Can I travel with it?

Absolutely! Because Harbor does not require any cloud connectivity, you can use your monitor and camera anywhere you need it. 

No other WiFi app based cameras are plug and play while traveling, and in most hotels, you won’t be able to use the camera at all.

  • Pricing & Deposits

Can I gift a place on the waitlist?

Absolutely! Just place your deposit then let us know you would like to gift it to someone else. You can buy multiple waitlist deposits too. When it’s time to complete your purchase, you can elect to complete it yourself as a gift or have your gift recipient do so themselves.

How will my deposit be redeemed at purchase?

The deposit amount will be taken off the total price.

When will I be able to complete my purchase?

Your deposit will be applied to your remaining balance once we launch the official presale this Spring.

We will send you a notification that your remaining balance will be charged well ahead of time.

What if I decide I don’t want it anymore? Can I get a refund on my deposit?

Absolutely, just email us:

How will Harbor decide who receives the first 100 units?

The first 100 customers will be chosen based on their place in line on the waitlist and those they’ve invited.

When will the system ship?

We have very limited quantities available. Depending on when you place your deposit, you will be placed in line to receive Harbor. 

The first 100 customers should receive their Harbor Camera and Monitor this Spring.

From there, we will fulfill your order in batches according to your place in line starting this Summer.

Why do I have to have a 2 year subscription?

Your purchase covers a 2 year subscription for all the features and benefits of the Harbor system, enabled by our game changing hardware. At the end of the 2 years, you can continue the subscription or send the hardware back for us to donate to deserving families or safely recycle it if necessary.

Most parents will choose to monitor their child well through the toddler years. The Harbor membership allows you to focus on your child and not wonder which tier you are on.

What happens to my monitor/camera after 2 years?

You own the Camera and Monitor! You can continue to use all our features with an optional subscription extension on a month to month or annual basis.

Do I have to pay a separate subscription if using more than one camera/using the device for more than one child?

No! Your monitor connects up to four different cameras, no extra subscriptions needed for multiple children.

*Additional cameras and monitors are sold separately.

How do I buy this as a gift?

Simply purchase at Once your Harbor system is received by the recipient, they will reach out to us in the setup process to start the 2-year subscription.

  • Remote Night Nanny

Who are the RNNs?

Harbor’s Remote Night Nannies are educated professionals with robust training and experience that have been employed by other families, night nanny agencies, or in the medical field.

How are your RNNs different from a Traditional Night Nanny (that takes care of overnight feeds/changes/etc)?

n-home night nannies can be incredibly expensive, and difficult to find. In most major cities, it can cost $400-700 per night for weeks on end. While hands on help is incredible, it’s also unaffordable for almost everyone and can be incredibly difficult to find vetted, trusted providers.

Harbor Night Nannies monitor your child remotely until wake up time, alerting you through the monitor only when necessary for feeding or soothing with failsafe alerts in the event you don’t wake up or there is a loss of connection. We have every family go through a robust onboarding process to answer all questions.

What happens if I sleep through it?

It happens! Harbor Remote Night Nannies alert your monitor first and have eyes on your child at all times. If you do not respond to the initial alert, we send escalating alerts that cannot be missed. We’ll also walk you through backup phone call protocol setup. That said, you should always have your monitor in your room with you, plugged in, and be capable of responding.

How many children does each RNN watch?

Our RNNs are only allotted up to five children at a time to ensure maximum attention and focus for each family. 

What about quality control? How do you ensure your RNNs are watching the babies?

Harbor Remote Night Nannies not only have vast experience, but have been thoroughly vetted by our team and undergone rigorous training to ensure only the best of the best are watching your child. 

Where are the RNNs located?

Harbor Remote Night Nannies are currently based in the US.

How do they help with Sleep Training?

Harbor Night Nannies help your family develop healthy sleep habits but also ensure your child's safety, allowing you to rest peacefully.

Prior to your chosen night, our Remote Night Nanny will connect with you to discuss your child, sleep schedule and goals while they guide you through the process. 

Depending on your child’s age, we will suggest personalized sleep training schedules to help you and your child rest easy.