Spy gadgets are fun to use and can help you secure your home and protect your privacy. However, in the same way that you can use a variety of modern tech to keep yourself safe, other people can also take advantage of these advancements. Spy gadgets can be used illegally to record people without them knowing. Whether you are staying at a new luxury hotel or feel as though someone has tampered with your own home, a bug detector is a handy tool to help you spot a range of devices – from spy cameras, recording bugs, Wi-Fi bugs, and other small devices that can easily be hidden from your view. A bug detector is built to spot these gadgets by detecting the signals these transmit.There are currently many types of bug detectors available; some being more technical while others providing better ease of use for first-time users. We’ve put together a simple list of the top bug detectors easily available to you. A thorough guide is also included to help you understand what you really need in a bug detector. After going through countless products, we can confidently recommend the STS Wireless Signal Detector for overall best bug detector.
Quick Summary: Top 7 – Best Bug Detector
Our professional editors pick and rate these products specifically for each category and recommend the best product we can. We may receive a commission from affiliated links.Best Overall STS Wireless Signal DetectorWide frequency range, affordable cost, durable build, and easy to use design.Best Portable Device: STS Anti-Spy Bug DetectorThis compact bug detector is also very easy to operate.Best Value: STS Full RF Bug DetectorProviding a full set of functionalities at a surprisingly good cost.Best for Long Term Use: JMDHKK Anti-Spy RF Signal DetectorWhen fully charged, this device can last almost 2 days.Best for Budget: HLENSIX Wireless DetectorDespite it’s price the functionality and build quality are not compromised.Best for Technical Use: 3-in-1 EMF Spectrum AnalyzerSet with a full LED screen, this EMF spectrum analyzer does more than detect signals.Best Ease of Use: DITINEK Anti-Spy Signal DetectorIt covers a wide frequency range, detecting up to 8000 MHz signal transmissions. Top 3 Quick Comparison
|1. STS Wireless Signal Detector
|10 -15 hours||100ft1MHz-8000MHz||Durable Build|
|2. STS Anti-Spy Bug Detector
|5 hours||1MHz-6.5GHz||Vibration Mode|
|3. STS Full RF Bug Detector
|15 hours||1 MHz – 8000 MHz||Affordable Cost|
Best OverallThis Wireless Signal Detector works is able to easily track wireless cameras, GPS trackers and even hidden earpieces.Quick Specs
- Battery: 800 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
- Frequency Range: 1MHz-8000MHz
- Working Time: 10-15 hours
It’s a great device that allows people to feel safer whether at home, in the office, or in any area where they feel could be bugged with spy gadgets. It has a wide frequency range that is capable of detecting between 1MHz-8000MHz signals. When transmissions are detected, it alerts the user with the beeping alarm system. The sound amplifies when the device is closer to the gadget transmitting the signal. In this way, it also enables users to locate the hidden spy gadget. This bug detector has a Qualitative Adjuster that can be used to expand the detection range even further. The device is also easy to bring around since it only weighs around 160g. The entire piece is made from an aluminum alloy base, with the external case set in a matte plastic that feels durable. The device is quite simple, with the adjuster knob set at the top of the device, along with the antenna which functions to detect the signals. The charging port is also set at the top of the device. Even those with no experience using bug detectors can easily make use of this device. You simply need to turn it on and make sure that the sensitivity adjuster is set to a mid frequency. The signal indicator should light up and you should also hear a sound when the device is able to pick up a frequency range. Overall, this is a great bug detector because of its ease of use, affordable cost, and wide frequency range. Additionally, it can last up to 15 hours if fully charged.
- Wide Range Detection Frequency
- Simple Functionality
- Durable Build
- Good Battery Life
- Unable to detect non-wireless devices
Product Review:“This is a professional wireless RF detector. it works as described.”
Best Portable DeviceThe Anti-Spy Bug Detector is very convenient to use because of it’s small and lightweight build.Quick Specs
- Battery: 3.7 VDC 400mA
- Frequency Range: 1MHz-6.5GHz
- Working Time: 5 hours
The buttons are all set at the front of the black plastic material – with each button labelled clearly at the top. Indicator lights are also labelled accordingly. The simple design makes it extremely easy to use. The device also comes with a vibration mode that alerts the user discreetly. It’s frequency range covers between 1MHz to 6.5 GHz. The entire unit is built from a durable black plastic, set with a simple matted finish. All the buttons are set in 2 rows at the front of the device. There are a few switches and ports at one edge of the unit.However, all buttons are labeled clearly with an off-white print. The antenna is a simple retractable steel rod. One of the unique features of this unit is that it also provides an audio output port where users can plug in their earphones. This makes it easy to spot bug detectors without letting other people know. This is one of the smallest bug detectors on the list, weighing at only 86g and measuring approximately 16.5 x 10 x 3.5 cm in size. The package comes with this portable bug detector device, the charger, and a set of earphones. The unit has a 400 mA battery which can last a bit over 5 hours of usage.
- Vibration Mode
- Discrete Detection
- Portable and Compact Device
- Limited Frequency Range
- Short Battery Life
Best ValueThe Full RF Bug Detector is one of the best anti-spy detector devices fitted with high end specifications and features.Quick Specs
- Battery: 3.7V 800mAH Lithium Polymer
- Frequency Range: 1 MHz – 8000 MHz
- Working Time: 15 Hours
It is available at an affordable price but it offers many features that can be used for simple bug detection or for more advanced usage as well. The specs are definitely quite impressive, with the wide frequency range covering up to 8000 MHz. It has a strong anti jamming frequency that can detect devices quickly. Coverage includes a whole room because of its extended detection capability. With a battery that can easily last 15 hours, this is a convenient piece of tech with a wide range of uses. There are different functions that come with the Full RF Detector device. These include the Laser Scanning feature which scans wireless cameras easily, the Magnetic field signal detection which enables users to detect a magnetic suction positioner like GPS bug. This relies on a magnetic probe. Lastly, it has a RF wireless signal detector which relies on the antenna to detect the wireless surveillance cameras or a GSM eavesdropping device. It is also built with a high-speed security chip which enables high computation speeds and security protection.Despite the many functionalities, using the device is still quite easy since many of the switches and buttons are aptly labelled. The entire unit also has an intuitive design which most people are able to understand quite well. If you have a hard time using it, the package comes with a detailed user manual that can guide you through the many functions of the unit.
- Long Battery Life
- Multiple Bug Detection Functions
- Affordable Cost
- Does not work on non-wireless devices
Product Review:“Interesting scanner, works well.”
Best for Long Term UsageThis anti-spy device comes with a magnet detection mode. This magnetizes when a hidden bug is within 10 centimeters from the anti-spy detector.Quick Specs
- Battery: 3.7V 1500 mA Lithium Polymer Battery
- Frequency Range: 1MHz-12GHz
- Working Time: 20 – 45 Hours
It is especially convenient to use in cars, because vehicles have several areas where we can’t easily spot bugs. The device also has an RF wireless signal detection mode for hidden wireless cameras in a room, as well as GSM detection to spot eavesdropping devices. Inside, this signal detector is integrated with a high tech chip that automatically searches for hidden bugs around the area. It has a sensitive detection mode which is capable of scouring a wide frequency range of signals. Lastly, it has a high anti-interference ability that blocks out GPS trackers. Another feature that this RF signal detector offers is the Laser Scanning Camera that scan for pinhole cameras, and other wired or wireless cameras in a room. Charging time can take a while; it charges for at least 3 hours to reach a full battery. However, the device can last quite long on a single charge; it has an average 15 hour working time.
- Long Battery Life
- Easy to Use
- Multiple functions
- Long Charging Time
Product Review:“More than what I expected. Complete confidence in privacy now.”
Best for the BudgetThe HLENSIX Wireless Detector is one of the most affordable options in the market. Despite the low cost, it provides a wide set of functionalities.Quick Specs
- Battery: 450 mAH Lithium Polymer Battery
- Frequency Range: 1Mhz-6500MHz
- Working Time: 10 Hours
It provides users with 5 different detection modes: laser detection, vibration detection, beep detection, LED detection, and a headset mode. These detection modes are quite convenient when you plan to use the device for different areas. The headset mode allows users to discreetly search for bugs.Weighing only 58h, the device is very lightweight. It is a portable spyt detector, with its compact size and simple build. The design is great since it allows users to just place the device in their pockets and set detection to either vibration or headset mode. That way, the device can automatically alert users when a bug is in the room.The design and build of the device is quite simple; the keys are set on the side of the device while red indicator lights are placed at the front. Using the device is intuitive, especially if you have already used signal detectors before. On a single charge, the device can last a few hours. One of the downsides, however, is that charging time also takes up to 3 hours.
- Lightweight Device
- Multiple Detection Modes
- Short Battery Life
Product Review:“A full range around detector. Picks up different frequencies. Light tone multifunction warning and vibration mode.”
Best for Technical UseThis 3-in-1 EMF Spectrum Analyzer stands out from this list of signal detectors because of it’s high range of technical functions.Quick Specs
- Battery: AC-Powered / Internal Li-Ion 3.7V
- Frequency Range: Up to 8GHz
- Working Time: N/A
This piece of tech recognizes common sources from an Electromotive Force (EMF) and Radio Frequency (RF). It also reads the ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) and the EF (Ejection Fraction). What’s unique about this device is that it shows how high the level of frequency being transmitted is – unlike the typical bug detector. The device is able to catch microwave frequencies.This Spectrum Analyzer is fitted with multiple sensors which measure the scale, range and highest accuracy of a device. It shows a real time clock to check sensitive testing from time to time, and the front LED of the device visualizes an alarm when triggered. It also shows the exchanged EMF and EF radiation level on the screen, how high it is and/or how dangerous the radiation is.The unit is built for more technical use so many would expect that this device would be more difficult to operate. However, the large display has 4 simple buttons set on the side. Users only need to toggle these buttons. The display presents a menu where users can choose the mode and sensor they need to use.
- High Sensitivity
- High Speed Chip Technology
- Multiple Functionality
- High Cost
Product Review:“So far this instrument has exceeded any and all expectations.“
Best Ease of UseThis device has a multi function detection capability. It is set with a large frequency range and high sensitivity detection.Quick Specs
- Battery: 3.7V Lithium Polymer
- Frequency Range: Up to 5.8GHZ
- Working Time: 10-15 hours
It is a reliable device; It was able to detect the 2G, 3G and 4G cards set with listening bugs in the phone. The battery is also quite powerful, providing up to 15 hours of usage on a single charge.The device has a simple and intuitive build. The double antennas increase detection capability, while the sensitivity adjuster knob is set right on top. The signal indicators are set at the front of the device, easily showing users whether there is a low signal state, medium signal state, or a strong signal state detected. When a strong signal state is detected, the device also sounds a beeping alarm to alert the user.The device has a single power button right below the signal indicators. When you turn the unit on, it automatically starts searching and you can also see the results on the indicator displays. This makes it extremely easy to use – requiring minimal instruction.
- High Sensitivity Detection
- Large Detection Frequency
- Easy Operation
- Limited Functionality
Our Top Pick: STS Wireless Signal Detector
This simple wireless signal detector sets the bar for most categories. In terms of cost, design, and functionality, this device is an affordable bug detector that is amped up with all the necessary functionalities all set into a compact device with an easy to use interface. While there may be more high end devices in the market, this unit is a great pick for most users.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Bug Detector
Today, bugs aren’t insects; instead, bugs refer to devices that are used to record, communicate, and spy on people without their knowledge. Bugging a room was not that easy years ago, as it required the use of multiple pieces of tech and the need to hide long bits of wiring. However, wireless technology has made it so much easier to spy on people. Bug detectors are great tools to help you keep your privacy safe.While people can easily procure spy gadgets, you can also easily get a bug detector to establish whether there are any bugs in your property. If you think about it, the fact that there is even a market for this kind of device just shows that there are many others like us that are not so easily convinced that we are not being watched. These are not exactly cheap either, the good quality ones at least, but either way we are sure that you will be able to find one to suit your budget.We have recommended five of the top RF bug detecting devices in today’s guide. See how they compare and find out which one we choose over all others.If you wanted to know more about RF meters and bug scanners in a bit more detail before you go ahead and buy, this helpful guide will take you through everything that you need to know.You will learn more about the different bugs that can be used to monitor you as well as what you should be looking for when considering purchasing some bug detector devices to use at home.It should be remembered that these devices are portable as well which will help if you want to make sure other places are free from surveillance equipment too, so do not forget to factor that in as you go searching for the right RF signal detector for your needs.
Types of Bugs
Before we get into giving you advice on the considerations you should be making when buying electronic bug detectors, it is important that you first know the types of bugs that people could install on your property. These bugs and cameras are not overly expensive and can be bought online with ease, so there is the potential that someone could be using one in your property or somewhere you are visiting.
Standard RF Transmitter Bugs
These bugs are radio frequency transmitters that via a microphone, will pick up any audio and transmit it across to a radio receiver that is using the same frequency. Those receivers could be a matter of miles away from the transmitter which makes it incredibly hard to learn who has been spying on you. The good news, however, is that these are easily located using an RF signal detector like those we reviewed earlier.
Because GSM bugs are not transmitting at all times, these bugs will be a little harder to detect. These work by essentially being an auto-answering mobile receiver that allows those who are spying on you to simply call the device so that they can listen in on what you are saying. This means you are likely to only locate these when they are being used or if your electronic bug detector has a GPS tracker function.
Similar in many ways to GSM bugs, a WiFi bug will use your actual home’s WiFi to transmit recording rather than radio frequencies. These are not the most common type of surveillance device simply because while they are difficult to detect using RF scanners, as long as you regularly check who is using your WiFi, you will notice when there is a new device connected.
Burst bugs are the types of bugs that professionals would use as for one, they are digital so that the transmissions can be encrypted, and two, they record all day and save to memory before then bursting that data across to a receiver in a short space of time. This means that they are difficult to detect unless you have an radio frequency detector that supports a protect mode.
Self-recording bugs have both a major advantage and disadvantage at the same time. While they are virtually undetectable unless you were to physically find them, they will have to be retrieved by the person using it before they can hear the contents of what has been recorded. A person would have to enter your property, install it, then come back and get it (probably installing another one while there).
Having our conversations spied on is one thing but you can just imagine what it must feel like to know that somebody has been secretly viewing us as well. Camera bugs are not as easy to detect either which means that unless you were to get hold of lens detector or hidden camera detector, there is not going to be much you can do apart from physically looking.That sums up the different types of audio detectors out there right now.
What to Consider When Buying a Radio Signal Detector
A quick Google search will show you that there is a broad range in the price of RF detectors starting from under a hundred bucks right up to as much as tens of thousands in some cases. Obviously, those at the top-end will be state-of-the-art and used by outright professionals and will be well out of the price range of the average user.While you will not want to pay that, you should also avoid those right at the bottom end of the price range too, as generally, these are low-quality. What you will find is that the price of a radio signal detector will usually depend on the following:
A good filter will be able to detect and filter out any ambient signals which make it easier for you to locate the signals you are looking for. You should learn about the filters that your detector has as if they are too sensitive or not sensitive enough, detection could prove difficult.
When scanning for radio frequencies you will want a detector that can cover a wide range of them. At a minimum, you will need 1mhz to 6ghz the higher the better in all honesty. If you are seriously concerned someone might be listening in to you and are willing to spend a bit more, go for one that goes up to more than 20ghz to be sure.
Unless you are going to buy your own RF bug, you are not going to know if your bug sweeper even works unless you do find a device. This is why it is important to read reviews and the feedback or verified buyers of them before buying.
While we have provided you with some excellent recommendations above we can completely understand that you will want to do more research on those products and any others that are available. In fact, we advise you to do exactly that as you will want to make sure that you are getting the right product for your needs and your budget.Just make sure that you do plenty of research, read plenty of feedback from verified buyers and have learned everything you need to know regarding any warranty or return policies.