It is amazing to think how much surveillance and monitoring equipment has changed. Now it is possible to have wireless cameras with microphones that can fit in a pinhole. This presents massive security risks as such equipment can be used for spying on you in your home, in hotels or even in your car. In this buying guide, we will give an analysis of ten of the best bug detectors in the market that are lightweight, can detect several types of bugs, come with an easy to read LED/LCD display and have a wide wireless transmission frequency detection range. Which one do we regard to have an edge above the rest? We will give a thorough analysis of the features present in the bug detectors to help you make a judgment as to which bug detector is the best for you. In addition, we will show you which bug detector is best for those buying on a tight budget.
Alternatively, just skip to the best bug detector on Amazon.
Table of Contents
Best Bug Detector Comparison Table
List of the 10 Best Bug Detectors
1. Spy-MAX Law-Grade ProMax GPS Tracker Buster & Detector
This is a basic multi-bug detecting device. It comes in retro style finish and will be rather unassuming as it looks like an old piece of technology. It weighs only 10 ounces. This means that you can easily fit it into your travelling bag without adding too much weight to it. It can detect a wide variety of tracking devices. It detects all 2G, 3G and 4G SIM trackers. This means that you do not need to worry about anyone tracking your mobile device. It can also detect GPS trackers. All GPS trackers use a cellular signal in order for them to transmit the coordinates of the GPS tracker. As the signal strength of the cellular signal weakens, the cell site will initiate registration on its own by sending a signal to the tracker, causing the tracker to transmit and identify itself. This device can then check for such wireless signals and immediately alert you if such a signal is present.
It has an LED display panel. This LED display panel is made up of many individual LEDs. When you get close to the bug, more LEDs light up. When all of them light up, this shows that you are at the point where the bug is. In addition to LEDs, the device also vibrates and gives out a beep sound. This feature is very handy in cases where you have very bright light levels which may make it difficult to see the LEDs. It has a retractable antennas. You can easily pull back the antennae when the device is not in use. This prevents damage to the antennas. It is powered by 4 AAA batteries that come included in the packaging. These batteries are very easy to find and replace. This device has the main drawback that it is a bit pricey. Due to all these factors, we have chosen this as the best bug detector.
2. Sherry Anti Spy Detector & Camera Finder
This is an affordable, and portable bug detector device. This device comes with a stylish design that will make you feel like you are a spy. This professional bug detector sweeper comes with an inbuilt li-ion battery. These are high capacity batteries, and this means that you do not need to worry about the batteries dying a premature death. In addition, the batteries present are rechargeable and get fully charged in just 3 hours and when charged, the device can operate for up to 10 hours. It comes with a host of features. It is able to detect wireless RF signals when put in the RF wireless detection mode. It can detect wireless surveillance cameras, tracking devices and electrical sources. This feature helps you to check whether or not the room that you are in has bugs or not. This is a very handy feature to those who travel quite frequently and find themselves in hotels that they do not trust very much. It can also track SIM card (2G, 3G, 4G) bugs and GSM eavesdropping devices. This helps you to identify whether or not there are people who are listening in to your phone calls.
It also has the magnetic field detection mode. In this mode, the detector is able to detect magnetic suction positioners, standby magnetic locators, and GPS trackers. It has a special laser lens which can also help to find invisible wired or wireless spying devices. It has a 10 part LED bar graph. More LEDs light up when you get closer and closer to the bug. It operates over a very wide frequency range. It can be used for signals from 1MHz to 8GHz. It also comes with a sensitivity adjustment knob. The product comes with the complete tools needed for you to detect bugs. The manufacturer includes the following in the packaging: an antennae, a user manual, a USB charging cable, and a magnetic probe. The manufacturer shows great pride in his product and offers a lifetime warranty. This product has a few drawbacks. A few customers found it a bit too complicated to operate. In addition, a few customers also complained that it would beep when there was nothing present. Due to all these factors, we have chosen this as the best budget bug detector.
3. Acousticom 2 200MHz – 8GHz RF Detector
This is a simple to use RF detector from the manufacturer, EMFields Solutions. This product is very light and comes at a weight of just 4.2 ounces. This means that you can easily fit it into your handbag, backpack or your back pocket. This device is made from fairly durable plastic and will definitely last for a long time if you take good care of it. It has an LED screen that gives you information that you may need about the bugs that the device would have detected. It comes with a very decent sensitivity level. It picks up RF waves present in the environment that you will be in. Once it finds a signal, a couple of LEDs will light up and the number of LEDs that light up increases as you get closer to the bug. The device comes with a very large operating range. It is capable of detecting bugs that use frequencies in the 200MHz to 8GHz band. This means that it will be able to detect devices such as hidden cameras, hidden voice recording devices as well as hidden GPS trackers.
It has a sound signal analysis feature. This feature aids in source identification and mitigation. You are able to download common sources found in most homes from the manufacturer’s website to get an idea of the sound and the corresponding interpretation. It uses a 9V DC battery. This battery is very easy to replace as these batteries are quite popular and can be purchased from virtually any hardware store. The device comes with a soft carry case that you can use to keep it safe. The manufacturer shows great pride in his product and offers a 5 year warranty. This product comes with one main drawback. The device may not be able to withstand any drops from a large height.
4. Anti-Spy RF Wireless Bug Detector
This is a wireless bug detector from the manufacturer, JMDHKK. This bug detector looks very stylish and will make you like a pro. It is made from premium quality materials and will definitely last for a long time. It is a bit heavy and comes at a weight of 14.2 ounces. This means that you may need to make a bit of space for it when travelling. It comes with a wide host of features. It is able to detect SIM card bugs. These include 2G, 3G or 4G SIM card bugs. This will help protect you against people who try to intercept the signals transmitted to and emitted from your mobile device. It can also detect GPS trackers. This means that you can perform a clean sweep of your car as well as other vehicles you own and check if there is anyone tracking your movement. It operates in the 1MHz to 8GHz range. This means that it can easily detect wireless camera equipment, audio transmitters as well as other types of bugs.
You can detect covert equipment that is currently on standby mode. This bug detector is sensitive enough to detect such equipment. It has various methods of alerting you that there is a hidden device present. It gives off a sound signal together with a light signal on the LED display. The more LEDs light up, the closer you are to the signal source (the bug). It also vibrates to indicate that there is a bug present. It comes with an inbuilt 3.7V lithium polymer battery that can be recharged. This battery can make the device operate for up to 5 hours on a single charge. The manufacturer includes the following in the packaging: RF antenna, charger, user manual, magnetic field probe and the host/core processor. This product comes with one main drawback. A few customers complained that it is a bit hard to figure out.
5. DD12051 RF Wireless Signal Detector Wand
This is a very stylish looking bug detector device. It is very lightweight and only weighs 8.7 ounces. It is made in a wand design. This makes it very easy to fit into very tight spaces. As the result, the device is very portable and you can easily carry it wherever you go. It comes with a host of features. It is able to detect signals in the 50 MHz to 6 GHz range. This means that it can easily detect devices such as wireless cameras, wireless audio recording devices as well as 3G, 4G hardware devices. It can also detect GPS devices. This means that you can quickly check your car and other vehicles for any GPS bugs. It has a 16 segment LED display. This display is used to indicate the signal strength of the bug detected. The more LEDs that light up, the closer you are to the bug. It also produces a sound signal and vibrates when a bug has been detected. This feature is very useful in areas where the light is so strong that you will not be able to see the LEDs properly. It is highly sensitive to real signals without being affected by weak radio waves. This means that you will have much fewer false positives using this device that you would if you use other bug detectors.
It can detect both analogue and digital transmissions. This is a handy feature as you will be guaranteed that the bug detector will be able to detect the bug no matter which technology the bug uses. In addition, it uses two AA batteries. These are very easy to replace and this means that you will not face any challenges when the batteries run out as you can get them from your local convenience store. This product has one main drawback. It can detect signals in a very short range.
6. Micro Alert 2
This is a very simple bug detector from the manufacturer, Micro Alert. This device is very light and weighs only 4.3 ounces. It can easily fit into your back pocket. This makes it very easy to carry it around. It is very discreet and looks like an electrical box or some complicated piece of electronics. This is perfect as it will not draw much attention in the event that somebody discovers that you have this device with you. This device uses high capacity batteries. The batteries present are of a very high capacity, and they only need to be replaced after a period of about 3 years. It has an ON/OFF switch at the top. This switch allows you to turn the device on and start to search for bugs, or to turn the device off. The placement of this switch prevents you from accidentally turning the device on. This in turn saves you from wasting battery power.
This bug detector has a sensitivity switch. This sensitivity switch can be used to determine the sensitivity of the device. You can lower the sensitivity when you are in areas where there are many RF sources such as Microwaves and Routers. When you are in areas with very little, or no RF sources, you can easily turn up the sensitivity setting and this will allow you to quickly detect any bugs present. It has a buzzer. The buzzer emits a clear loud beep which indicates that there is a bug present. The beep becomes more and more frequent as you get close to the bug. When you are very close to the bug, the beep tone becomes a solid tone. This device has a few drawbacks. A few customers found it a bit challenging to use. In addition it lacks other basic features such as LEDs, etc.
7. Anti-Spy RF Detector Wireless Bug Detector
This is a stylish looking bug detector from the manufacturer, Nephon. This bug detector weighs a mere 4.2 ounces. It is lightweight and due to this characteristic, it is very easy to carry around. You can easily fit it into your travelling bag, or even your handbag. This anti spy device looks like a walkie talkie. This makes it rather discreet as other individuals who see you with this device will assume that it is for communication. It has a host of features. It operates in the frequency range 1MHz – 8GHz. This means that it can detect a wide range of bugs. These include wireless audio transmitters, wireless video transmitters, and more. It can even detect wireless eavesdropping devices.
It can detect mobile bugs. These include 2G, 3G, and 4G SIM card bugs. This means that you can stay protected when you use this device. It can also detect GPS locator devices. This means that you can use the device to check whether your car has any bugs under it. It allows for you to adjust the sensitivity. This is a very handy feature when you are in environments that have a lot of RF signals. In such an environment, you simply choose the lowest sensitivity setting, and this will allow you to only detect the devices that are bugs. When you are in an environment that does not have a lot of RF signals, you can easily adjust the sensitivity upwards to allow for you to detect the bugs from a distance. It has a 9 level LED display together with a buzzer and these give a visual and auditory indication that a bug is present. It uses a built-in rechargeable 3.7 lithium polymer battery. This device has a few drawbacks. Some customers found it a bit challenging to use. In addition, a few customers complained about the manufacturer’s quality inspection process.
8. Sleauthgear Law-Grade Counter Surveillance Handheld Bug PRO
This is a professional looking bug detector device from the manufacturer, Sleuthgear. This device comes in a stylish design comes in the color brown. This device is very portable. It comes at a weight of just 7.2 ounces which makes it very easy to carry in your back pocket, handbag or backpack. It is made from durable materials and this means that you do not need to worry about replacing this device soon after purchasing due to build quality issues. It comes with a host of features. The bug detector is able to detect a wide variety of devices. It operates in the 10MHz to 10GHz spectrum. This means that this device is able to detect any of the following: audio transmitter bugs, video transmitters, GPS vehicle tracking devices, computer and FAX eavesdropping transmitters and audio transmitter bugs. This makes it ideal for scanning frequently used non-private spaces such as changing rooms, hotel rooms, lodges, and public toilets.
The bug detector comes with a camera lens finder. This is an innovative feature that allows you to find the precise location of the bug. This allows for you to identify exactly where the bug is and to remove it if the bug is on private property. In addition, this lens finder is detachable which makes the bug detector even more portable. The device is very easy to use. All you need to do is to follow the very simple to understand instructions present in the instruction manual. It comes with a 9V DC battery. As you know, these batteries are widely used and it is very easy to find them. Most convenience stores have them. This means that when the battery eventually dies out, it will be very easy to replace it. This device has a few drawbacks. A few customers found it to be a bit too sensitive. In addition, it may need a bit of patience for you to learn to use it effectively and efficiently.
9. LawMate RD-10 Portable RF and Hidden Camera Detector
This is a high performance bug detector from the manufacturer, Lawmate. This device comes in a simple black square design and this minimalistic design makes it very discreet. It weighs a mere 4.8 ounces. This makes it very easy to carry around. The manufacturer claims that he supplies products to the CIA and the FBI. He says the products include camouflage camcorders and these received a certification indicating that they are reliable products. The bug detector can detect a wide variety of frequencies. These frequencies include all signals in the 20MHz to 6GHz range. This means that the device is able to detect devices such as wireless video recorders, wireless audio recorders, and wireless microphones. It has a set of LEDs. These LEDs present are used to indicate the intensity of the signal detected. The more LEDs that light up, the closer you are to the bug. It has a built in vibrator. This vibrator gives you an alert when you are getting close to the bug. This is a very handy feature especially if you are in an environment where there is a lot of light. It has the laser LED detection feature. These six LEDs will be able to detect the hidden bugs and give you an indication through the LEDs. It allows for you to change the sensitivity settings. You can either select the low sensitivity setting if you are in an environment with a lot of RF signals, or you can choose the high sensitivity setting if you are in an environment with very few RF signals. The device uses 2 AAA batteries that come included in the packaging. This product has a few drawbacks. It is unable to track other types of transmitters such as GPS trackers. In addition, a few customers found it a bit challenging to use.
10. Spy-Hawk Security Products Spy Hawk Pro-10G
This is an expensive bug detector that comes with an inbuilt antennae. This device comes in a black finish and looks like a regular pocket radio. It comes with a couple of buttons that allow for you to control it with great ease. It is made out of toughened plastic so you do not need to worry about it falling apart weeks after purchasing it. It comes with a host of features. On the right side is a pass-through telephone port. This allows for you to connect this device to your landline and check whether or not there is a bug. It has a speaker output to allow you to get a sound notification when a bug has been detected. This feature is very handy when you do not have headphones to plug into the device. It has a power switch at the top which is separate from all the other buttons. This means that you will not turn the device on/off by mistake. It has a large bar graph at the top. This graph shows you the signal strength. When it is in the green, the detected signal is low, when it is in the red portion, the signal is high. The detector automatically adjusts the sensitivity. This means that you do not need to mess with the sensitivity on your own.
You can plug in a pair of headphones and listen to the sound output through them. Through the volume buttons present, you can reduce or increase the sound intensity. It detects anything on the RF frequency, even the newest surveillance equipment all the way to 10GHz. This makes it a very powerful device. It has the antennae concealed inside the detector. This makes it less bulky than other bug detectors. The device has a few drawbacks. It is very pricey. In addition, the documentation seems to be very poor.
Best Bug Detector Brands
The best bug detector brands are the following: Spy-Max, Acousticom and sherry. The Spy-Max device that we reviewed is lightweight, can detect all 2G, 3G and 4G SIM trackers. It comes with all the features you would need in a bug detector. Acousticom is a brand that is well known for producing high quality bug detectors. Their product that we reviewed is an example of a high quality bug detector. sherryis a brand that makes affordable bug detectors. Their product that we reviewed is a decent quality product that comes at a very attractive price.
Best Bug Detector
Spy-MAX Law-Grade ProMax GPS Tracker Buster & Detector
This is the best bug detector. It is a multi-bug detecting device. It is very lightweight and weighs only 10 ounces. It has a multi LED display panel. It is powered by 4 easy to replace AAA batteries.
Here are the key features we liked about the bug detector:
- Multi-bug detecting device
- LED display
- Sound and Vibration alert
- Uses AAA batteries
Best Budget Bug Detector
sherry Anti Spy Detector & Camera Finder
This is the best budget bug detector. This device comes with a stylish design that will make you feel like you are a spy. It comes with a rechargeable battery, has a wide operating range and can track many types of bugs.
Here are the key features we liked about the bug detector:
- High capacity batteries
- 1 MHz to 8 GHz range
- 6 LED laser lights
- Lifetime warranty
- Adjustable sensitivity
How Much Does a Bug Detector Cost?
Bug detectors are not very cheap devices. These devices can easily get you off budget if you buy them without budgeting for them. They can be found in the 50 – 350 USD range. The high end devices are near the 350 dollar mark. These devices come with advanced features such as the ability to detect 2G, 3G and 4G SIM trackers. They also usually have the ability to give you a sound and vibration alert. An example is the Spy-MAX Law-Grade ProMax GPS Tracker Buster & Detector.
The midrange bug detectors are in the 100-200 USD range. These devices have similar features as the high end devices but may come with a few drawbacks. An example is the lack of a rechargeable battery. An example is the Acousticom 2 200MHz – 8GHz RF Detector.
The low end devices are in the sub 100 USD range. These devices are made by lesser known manufacturers. They are usually more geared towards technical people than the general public. An example is the sherry Anti Spy Detector & Camera Finder.
Types of Bug Detectors
Laser Lens Detection Bug Detectors
Some surveillance devices may not transmit signals at all. These make it impossible to find the device using an ordinary RF bug detector. An example is a hidden camera that records videos to a micro SD card. In this case, you will need to use a hidden camera lens detector. These types of bug detectors are able to detect the lens of the hidden cameras.
Non-Laser Lens Detection Bug Detectors
These are the traditional bug detectors. They are not able to detect hidden cameras. If a hidden camera is present which records the videos to a micro SD card, then you will not be able to detect it.
Why Do You Need a Bug Detector?
You never know who is watching you. It is possible for people to take videos of you undressed, and then use them for black mail. Such issues are very common in public changing rooms as unscrupulous individuals take advantage of unsuspecting women and use their naked pictures and videos for blackmail. Using a bug detector prevents against such situations.
There are times when you do not want anyone to know where you are. It is impossible to have such privacy without you knowing if there are any bugs in your vehicle. In such cases, a bug detector will do wonders.
Unscrupulous individuals can use the video footage for crime. For example, if a thief puts a secret camera in your home then he or she will be able to know when you are at home and when you are not at home. He or she can then break into your home when he or she knows that there is no one at home.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Bug Detector
A bug detector works by identifying the radio signals emitted by the bug that is present. You will need a device that covers the most frequencies in order for it to detect the most amount of bugs. A device that operates in the 1 MHz to 10GHz range must operate pretty well for any typical application.
Have a look at the reviews to see if the bug detector actually work. Check the product that has the most favorable reviews and select that one.
Radio Frequency signals are everywhere. Your mobile phone receives RF signals from cell towers. Your radio receives RF signals from radio stations. You need a device that is able to filter out any ambient signals to prevent it from giving you false positives.
Bug detectors are expensive devices. You certainly do not want to buy a bug detector and have it fall apart after a week of use. The warranty gives a good indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in his or her product. As a general rule of the thumb, the bug detectors with longer warranties are made from better materials and last much longer than similar products that have shorter warranties.
What is a Bug Detector?
A bug detector is an electronic device that is capable of detecting hidden hardware spying devices through the use of RF signal detection and lasers.
How Do Bug Detectors Work?
Hidden hardware spying devices usually give off RF signals. These devices could be any of the following: hidden cameras, hidden audio devices, GPS devices and SIM card tracking tools. These devices usually give off radio frequency signals. These signals are then received by the receiving equipment that the person who is spying on you uses to get the information. Bug detectors are able to detect the presence of these radio frequency signals. The radio frequency signals get stronger as you get closer to the source. The bug detectors use this property to allow you to know the exact location where the bug is. If you have a hidden camera that does not give off radio signals e.g. a hidden camera that saves files to an SD card, then you can use the laser LEDs to identify the hidden lens.
Bug Detector FAQs
Can This Device Scramble Signals?
No. Scrambling signals is illegal anyways.
Does This Device Block GPS Signals?
No. All the bug detectors can do is tell you that there is a bug present.
Can This Detect Bluetooth Connected Cameras and Microphones?
Oh yes. Bug detectors can most certainly detect these devices.
Can I Travel With This On An Airplane?
Yes. When the airport security asks what it is, tell them exactly what it is and that you would like to travel with it. Make sure to turn it off as it may make the ride rather noisy.
Are Bug Detectors Heavy?
Most of them are not. They are usually designed to be portable.
In this article, we have explored the top 10 best bug detectors. We have given a thorough analysis of each bug detector. We also included a comprehensive guide aimed at equipping you with the skills of identifying the best bug detector to suit your unique needs. In addition, we included a list of comprehensive FAQs for your convenience.
Check out the best bug detector on Amazon.