Hidden cameras of today are so tiny that they can be placed anywhere by malicious persons. They can be set up in the bathrooms, inside a pen, and inside the door peephole. If you have reason to believe that someone might be spying on you, there is no sure way to find out than with a hidden camera detector. This device helps you to identify all hidden cameras that might have been installed in your house or office by people looking to spy on you.
While there are various methods of looking for hidden cameras like inspecting lights, checking sockets, and searching for hidden wires, the work is a lot and can fail to offer certainty. The best way to ensure no one is watching you remotely is to use a hidden camera detector. But finding a spy camera detector can be challenging if it is your first time. Hence, this article reviews the eleven best hidden camera detectors and offers a buying guide so that you can know what you are looking for in a bug detector.
11 Best Hidden Camera Detectors
The best thing about this bug detector is that it is reasonably priced and fits in your pocket. It measures 7 by 4 by 3.5 inches, and its portability ensures you can take it wherever you go. It can be employed for advanced counter-surveillance purposes as well as use at home. It can detect both radio and microwave signals from hidden cameras. It allows you to select the frequency of the radio waves you are detecting. The device beeps to indicate the presence of hidden devices, and the sound becomes more frequent the closer you get to the source. Moreover, it requires a CR 2032 lithium battery for it to operate. The battery is common and can be acquired from any electronics shop.
• Perfect for home use
• Set up of minimum frequency for detection
• Very basic features
• Works loudly
This hidden camera detector can detect a variety of equipment that transmit radio waves. It lets you know of the presence of bugs like hidden cameras via a bar graph or vibration indicator. It is fully silent. It possesses a frequency range of between 30 and 6,000 MHz and can visualize the signal strength in a ten-level indicator. The device can detect both digital and analog transmissions, and its sensitivity can be adjusted easily. Moreover, it can detect dangerous emissions from mini recorder suppressors or GSM-jammers. It can maintain your safety through the identification of radioactive emissions that originate from home appliances like microwave, refrigerators, and others.
• Can detect dangerous emissions
• Contains a robust frequency range
• Works quietly via vibrations and visuals
• The frequency is not powerful enough to detect several contemporary hidden cameras
• Can’t generate white noise
This hidden camera detector has been developed and designed by KJB Security Products Company. The company was started in 1992 and has gained high reputation in the last two decades. Due to its many years of experience, you will not be disappointed by this bug detector. It is a typical bug detector that operates between one and six GHz frequency range while detecting analog signals. It can be used with and without earphones. It can also be used through vibration and light signals. The KJB DD2020 measures 4 by 3 by 1.5 inches, which is small enough to be carried to the office or home where you will check for hidden cameras. It is also light and weighs 538 grams, making it even more portable.
Even though it has a good range, it cannot detect FM signals. FM is a radio broadcasting method, and the device is not the best radio frequency detector for professionals. But in case you are a novice user, it will suffice. Moreover, it features a case that has been designed from aluminum instead of plastic, which means it is long-lasting. It has a standard connector and antenna that make it easy to replace when they break. However, the brand fails to sell spare parts, which means you would have an issue in replacing a lost adapter
• Easy to use
• Small and compact size
• Standard antenna and connector
• Aluminum construction
• Fails to detect FM
• Extremely bright blue LED
• The brand fails to sell spare parts
It is a very compact detector that can detect between 1 MHz and 6.5 GHz signals. The device is very affordable but fails to perform well. However, it is still a good choice if it is the first time for you. It can detect bugs such as hidden mics and shower cameras, but it is not suitable for people who are looking for something more robust. It is very tiny and measures 4.5 by 2 by 0.6 inches. It is also light, and you can use it without people knowing. Even though it is popular for a wide detection range, it is also common for offering false alarms.
However, as it has a plastic casing, it should not be dropped, and it needs a lot of care to be taken. It has a rechargeable battery, and its package comes with an AC charger for when your battery runs out. But it has a manual that does not offer much help, and video guides are lacking.
• Easy to use
• Very small and light
• Very cheap
• Useless manual
• It offers false alarms
• Weak plastic casing
If you are looking for a professional bug detector to find hidden cameras, the Spy-Hawk Pro is a perfect choice. It was engineered for detecting almost every bug type, which makes it one of the best hidden camera detectors. In addition to detecting hidden cameras, it can also find hidden GPS, Bluetooth, GSM devices, WiFi, audio bugs, and computer transmitters. Simply put, the device can be essential for all the most typical purposes. It features a potent frequency range capability and can find bugs of a frequency maximum of 10 GHz.
It can also produce white noise, meaning you can halt audio listening without the use of extra equipment. Another outstanding thing is that it contains a homing switch that allows you to detect every transmission after being switched on, including weak transmissions. It has both written manuals and video guides. The device is small in size and measures 4.75 by 2.25 by 1 inch, which enables you to carry it to any place that requires a bug sweep. The package comes with a dry cell battery and headphones as well as a telephone line adapter.
• Suitable for professionals
• Wide range of detection
• Can detect 99 percent of all kinds of tracking devices
• Requires you to turn off all devices that emit radio frequency waves before using it
• It lacks a lens finder, making it harder to detect passive hidden cameras
• Weak battery
• A bit costly
This is another hidden camera detector designed by KJB Security Products. Since the company is one of the biggest players in the industry, any product designed by them would not disappoint, including this one. It is more expensive than the other bug detector they have designed; the KJB DD2020. However, it is more suited for professionals as it can find all hidden cameras, bugs, WiFi, and GSM. It has both video guides and written manuals. It is tiny in size and measures 3 by 5 by 0.75 inches, making it very portable. It features dual antennas whereby one antenna finds bugs of frequency between 50 MHz and 12 GHz while the other finds bugs of a frequency of 2.44 GHz. Since it has a high sensitivity, the hidden camera detector can detect any bug. Detecting the source of WiFi is simple. Moreover, the KJB DD1206 is unlike other detectors as it uses two AAA batteries to operate, which means it will run longer than the others.
• Excellent frequency range
• Ideal for professionals
• Nice sound
• High sensitivity
• Metal construction
• Quite pricey
This detector is a lot different from the others in the list. It fails to detect any radio waves, making it hard to compare its range of frequency. All it does is detect hidden cameras, making the go-to device in this guide. However, it still lacks in some features. The gadget is very easy to use as you only require holding the lens over your eye before pressing one button. You will then view the room in red light, and you will see the hidden cameras’ lenses as they reflect this light. To be able to detect these hidden cameras, you require being within a short distance from them. Since it measures 1 by 1 by 1 inch, it is smaller and more compact than other detectors, which makes it highly portable. Moreover, it needs two AAA batteries to operate. But the package has a poor design since no cords and antenna are required.
• Low cost
• Small in size
• Easy to use
• Cannot detect radio frequency
• A small lens that exhausts your eyes
• Reflects light from every source in the room
• Not as cheap as it should be
• Requires a short distance between the hidden camera and the device for detection to work
According to the manufacturer information, this organization supplies its devices to the FBI and CIA. The RD-10 is not your usual bug detector as it uses both radio frequency and lasers LED to find spy equipment. Therefore, it is easier to detect hidden cameras with this device than the others in the list that uses only one detection method. The RD-10 can also detect GPS trackers in your vehicle as well as hidden audio recorders. It is small in size and measures 3 by 2 by 0.6 inches, meaning it can be carried anywhere you want. Since it has a vibration mode, you will secretly find the hidden cameras in your room. Even though it has a wide scanning range of between 20 MHz and 6 GHz, there are devices with a wider range. The package is standard, and the device utilizes AAA battery.
• Reputable manufacturer
• A sensitive detector that uses both radio frequency and laser LED for detection
• Cheaper than some other detectors
• It is lightweight and small in size
• It lacks a manual sometimes
• Not so wide scanning range
The Godiag RF detector offers average performance. It is not so popular but is small like all the devices in the list, making it portable and convenient to be carried to rooms that require hidden camera detection. It has a frequency range of between 20 MHz and 6 GHz. However, most reviews state that it fails to work like required. It comes with a manual and an antenna. But the manual can be useless since it is written in poor English. Also, it fails to come with a battery, which you will have to buy.
• Small size
• Good frequency range
• Fails to perform as required
• Comes without a battery
Just like the RD-10, the CDLM10 is designed by Lawmate. The company is not well-known but still offers a decently hidden camera detector. The detector utilizes both LED and RF detection. This means that you can employ an antenna in finding radio frequencies or view via a lens. It has average size, meaning it can be fitted inside a pocket for concealed detection. It features a frequency range of between 20 MHz and 6 GHz, which is an ideal range as a majority of hidden spy equipment fall in this range. The product comes with two AAA batteries but fails to have a manual.
• Good size
• Compact size
• RF and lens detector
• Wide scanning range
• Lack of a user manual
• Need to turn off all devices that emit radio frequency
The Sleauthgear Counter Surveillance PRO is the best in the list at detecting hidden cameras. It can detect any surveillance bug by locating all radio frequency signals as well as GPS tracking units. Hence, you prevent people from watching you, listening to your conversations, and tracking your location. It features a frequency range of up to 10GHz, which is the widest frequency range in the industry. This hidden camera detector can detect frequencies that range between 10MHz and 10GHz. Even when the hidden cameras are modern, the device will detect them. In addition to hidden cameras, it can also detect telephone transmitters, wiretaps, hidden microphones, and more. It has a compact size that makes it portable to be carried to meetings, restaurants, and hotels. You will be able to find out if illegal surveillance it happening. The device has a straightforward operation. You only need to press its button and sweep it around the room to detect any hidden cameras. While its battery lasts for long, there is also life-long tech support.
• Easy to operate
• Highest frequency range
• Highly portable
• Can detect hidden cameras, GPS trackers, microphones, and more
• Required to turn off all electronic outlets
How Hidden Camera Detectors Work
These devices work in either of two ways, which depend on the chosen model. A majority of them will have the ability to detect the presence of RF transmissions that are used by hidden cameras to relay images to a viewing or recording device. While some models will beep when their antenna picks up an RF signal, others can use LED light to guide you to the hidden camera. The drawback of RF detection is that many devices emit radio frequencies, including phones. They also face a lot of interference resulting from the proliferation of gadgets with RF capabilities, such as Bluetooth devices.
Hidden camera detectors can also detect a camera through the reflection of light off the lens. A majority of camera lenses are designed from a translucent material like glass. But sometimes plastic is used. These materials have the natural ability to reflect the light that hits them. A detector that has an infrared visual window flashes infrared LED lights or lasers from the device’s back end. You will have to view via the visual window for any glimmers or glints that can locate the lens. This method is usually a slow process since the light needs to bounce off the lenses’ surface at the proper angle for it to reflect back at the visual window.
Therefore, it is best to combine both methods so that the RF method can offer you an overall idea before using the IR window to get the precise spot where the spy camera is located. If the person who installed the camera is not a professional, it will be quite easy to find it. Otherwise, it can be hard to find it if a professional did the installation job. Hence, the use of both methods will be useful.