Thanks to technology, surveillance cameras are now more covert, cheaper and readily available. While this means that you can easily have an invisible eye on your valuables when you’re away, it also gives peeping Toms’ and eavesdroppers an upper hand.
The only way to keep their prying eyes and ears out of your private business is putting counter surveillance measures.
While you may do a physical scan to check for hidden microphones and cameras, you’re likely to miss covert or disguised devices. It's best to use a professional bug detector that will pick even the tiniest and well-hidden pinhole models.
Pro tip: Before you do a sweep, switch off any devices such as cell phones, TVs and radios to avoid getting paranoid over false positives.
Here’s our list of bug and hidden camera detectors:
- LawMate™ RD-10 Bug & Hidden Camera Detector
- LawMate™ RD-30 Bug & Hidden Camera Detector
- Hidden Camera Detector
- Camera Finder LED Infrared Light Hidden Cam Detector
LawMate™ RD-10 Bug & Hidden Camera Detector
If you’re in the market for a versatile bug detector that can uncover hidden cameras, pick up eavesdropping microphones, and locate GPS trackers, the Lawmate RD-10 is your “one-stop-shop”.
It has three detection modes:
- A wireless Radio Frequency (RF) detector
With a wide frequency range of 20MHz and 6GHz, it can pick all wireless transmitters including camcorders, eavesdropping recorders, and GPS trackers, as they fall within this range.
- A hidden camera lens finder with six super bright LED lights
This comes in handy where they wire or switch off the spy cams and it thus can’t transmit RF signals. Since all lenses reflect light, you’ll be able to pick up hidden cameras through the viewfinder.
- A magnetic detector for inactive GPS trackers
If a GPS transmitter communicates its location after a long period, say every 10 minutes, you’ll need a lot of patience for the RF detector to work. However, you can track the GPS device with the magnetic detector which locates the waves from the magnet used to mount the device to the car.
- Lightweight and portable — small compact size and weighs only 40g
- Discreet alert modes through vibration and lighting
- Easy to operate — a four-level signal detection that increases the vibration intensity as you approach the spy device
- Wide range of detection — high and low sensitivity settings that allow you to search a wider or smaller area
- Retractable antenna — increases its durability when travelling and also enhances accuracy when searching for RF transmissions
- Possibility of false positives — the RF locator can pick harmless wireless signals from a cell phone or radio in the vicinity
- Powered by two AAA single-use batteries — you’ll need to carry an extra pack, in case they run out of charge
LawMate™ RD-30 Bug & Hidden Camera Detector
If the plethora of features from the Lawmate RD-10 impress you, you’ll love this upgraded version that spices things further.
It still has the three detection modes seen in the previous model, that is:
- Wireless RF detector to receive transmissions from wireless cameras, recording devices and GPS trackers
- Hidden camera lens detector to reflect light from covert spy cams through the viewfinder
- Magnetic detector to pick magnetic waves from non-transmitting GPS devices
On top of that, it has a built-in hard wired cam finder to locate wired models that don’t transmit signals but record videos to a memory card for later viewing.
It has a 10-level signal strength meter — compared to the RD-10’s four-level — that doubles your chances of finding the hidden bugs.
Even though this device uses single-use batteries like the RD-10, the charge lasts longer because it uses three AAA’s. The package comes with six pieces, so you get back up.
All in all, it looks like Lawmate has thrown just about everything possible in the RD-30, resulting in a device that’s every spy finder’s dream. And given its high price point, it should be.
- Has a small compact size with a retractable antenna that’s easy to carry around
- High accuracy of detecting signals with a 10-level meter strength and antenna
- Vibration alerts that make it discreet
- High price point
If you’re looking for a device that will help you locate surveillance spy cams in the dark, this Hidden Camera Detector is it.
Most surveillance devices that work at night rely on infrared (IR) LED lights to illuminate and capture videos. Although this light is invisible to the naked eye, you’ll easily spot it using the IR scanner in this model.
Plus, the device comes with a large 2.2 LCD screen that displays the IR scan results and helps you narrow down to the exact location of the spy cameras.
To increase your chances of nailing down the bad guys, you can switch to the RF locator mode to pick up wireless transmission from bugs in the area.
- Can detect spy cams with night vision
- Lightweight and portable — with dimensions of 103mm by 62mm
- Rechargeable inbuilt battery — you don’t need to worry about packing extra batteries
- Easy to operate — switch between IR scanning and RF detection with a one-touch button
- IR Scanning only works if the hidden cameras emit infrared lights
Camera Finder LED Infrared Light Hidden Cam Detector
This Camera Finder is a basic model and travel companion for value shoppers looking for spy locators below $100.
It has a simple interface and uses bright infrared LED lights to locate any hidden spy cams in a room. You’ll only need to look through the viewfinder and spot that weird light that could be a reflection from a hidden cam.
You can also increase the LED intensity to a brighter level to ensure you don’t miss covert pinhole cams.
Even though this model doesn’t support common detection modes such as RF and magnetic, it’s a worthy investment for the price.
- Portable — weighs only 86 grams so you can stuff it in your pockets
- Wide detection range — can pick covert cameras up to 45 feet away
- Powered with single-use AAA batteries — the charge doesn’t last as long as rechargeable models, so you’ll need to carry an extra pack
What do Hidden Cameras Look Like?
Today, spy cameras have evolved in looks and design and are not only small enough to hide in plain sight but also disguised to pass off as everyday common items. Understanding what you’re up against is an excellent step in thwarting spying efforts.
On the other hand, if you’re a responsible citizen looking for a hidden camera to film burglars in the act or to keep an eye on your loved ones when you’re away from home, you’ll be spoilt for choice at The Spy Store.