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Best Bug Detector

Updated On September 29, 2020

As we progress to having a more digital life, we can find out selves surrounded by electronic devices left and right. We can easily notice the ones that people carry around such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, headphones. But what about the electronic devices that people forget about? Even when walking down a busy road, you might catch a surveillance camera or two watching people pass by. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to get a bug detector. For example, if you travel often, you might find yourself sleeping in hotel rooms that seem suspicious, or sometimes you just want some peace of mind in knowing that nobody is going to listen in on you.

Bug detectors are pocket-sized devices that help you track down any type of device that transmits radio signals. They help to find spy equipment like spy cameras, recording devices, WiFi bugs, and other devices that are placed in secrecy. There are many types of bug detectors available today with lots of measurements and different features, so choosing one can be a little hard. To not further waste your time, here’s a list of the topics we are going to cover today:

1. The top 7 best bug detectors
2. Extensive reviews
3. Detailed buyer’s guide

After reviewing lots of different bug detectors, we can confidently say that the STS Wireless Signal Detector was found to be the best overall due to it’s combined functionalities and price.

Quick Summary: Top 7 - Best Bug Detectors Of  2020

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1. STS Wireless Signal Detector
“Great frequency range, simple to use, wallet friendly.”
2. STS Anti-Spy Bug Detector
“Great build quality with a modern design, pocket-sized, and lightweight.”
3. STS Full RF Bug Detector
“Equipped with various features, great build quality and, a big battery.”
4. ADVANCED GQ 3-in-1 EMF ELF Meter
“Features all in one display, big frequency range and, durable build quality.”
5. FEAYEA Spy RF Detector
“Offers premium quality detection while undercutting its competitors in price.”
6. DefCon PRO-10G
“Capable of detecting devices on 40 feet distance, easy to use with a replaceable battery ”
7. JMDHKK Anti Spy Bug Detector
“Up to 12GHz detection range, bulky design with great features.”

Best Overall

Quick Summary
  • Working Time: 10-15 hours 
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz – 8GHz
  • Battery: 800mAH lithium-polymer
Feel safe with this truly exceptional bug detector from STS. It’s a great device to throw into your luggage and enjoy a perfectly safe vacation in any hotel. This powerful bug detector has the capability to catch signals on a big frequency range from 1MHz to 8000MHz. It has a decent detection range, and once it detects transmission signals, the bug detector warns you by beeping. As you get closer to the transmission source, the bug detector gets louder and louder, making it easy to catch any unwanted electronic devices.

The bug detector feels great hands-on. The body is built with aluminum alloy, which is wrapped around with patterned black plastic. STS have done a great keeping bug detector lightweight even when using very dense materials. The whole unit weighs only 160grams. On the front, you can find the 9 level LED signal Indicator and the on/off button. On top of the unit, there’s the antenna, a charging port and what’s interesting about this particular model is the sensitivity adjuster which works by turning.

Housed inside the body is a decent 800mAH lithium-polymer battery that can last anywhere between 10 to 15 hours depending on the use. As you can see, simplicity is what this bug detector represents. Although you can get a bug detector that is capable of more things than this one, we felt that the simplicity of this unit combined with the price makes this bug detector deserving to be on the top.

Pros

  • Big Detection Distance
  • Lightweight & Portable
  • Great Build Quality

Cons

  • Unable to detect non-wireless devices

Runner Up

Quick Summary
  • Working Time: 5 hours 
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz – 6.5GHz
  • Battery: built-in 400mA
Coming in at the second spot we have another great option from STS. What’s great about this bug detector is that you get pretty much the same features as our previous pick, but at almost half the price. The price difference mostly comes from the fact that this model has a lower frequency range and operates on frequencies from 1 Mhz to 6.5 GHz. It can detect GSM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and RF frequencies.

The trend of excellent build quality from STS can be also found in this bug detector. The unit seems modern and very compact. Right in the center of the unit you can find the LED signal indicator. As you come closer to the signal source the LEDs will start lighting up and the device will start beeping. If you want to stay discreet about what you are doing, there’s an option to turn the bug detector on buzzer mode, and instead of beeping the unit will vibrate.

Using this bug detector is not that complicated since every button is labeled with its function. All you have to do is extend the retractable steel rod antenna, power on the unit, choose a mode and you are ready to go.

Coming back to the design, this bug detector is the smallest of the models we have on our list. Coming in at approximately 6.5 x 4.8 x 1.5cm and just 86 grams, it’s the perfect addition to accompany you when going on vacations. Inside there’s a built-in 400mA battery that gives you just over 5 hours of use when fully charged.

Pros

  • Portable & Lightweight
  • Easy to Use
  • Great Build Quality
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Fair Battery Life
  • Fair Frequency range

Also Good

Quick Summary
  • Working Time: 15 hours 
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz – 8GHz
  • Battery: Built-in 3.7 V800mAH Lithium Polymer
To begin with, this bug detector offers a big frequency range that can detect signals anywhere between 1MHz to 8000 MHz. It can detect signals coming phones, 2G, 3G, 4G cards, GPS locators, hidden cameras on 1.2G, 2.4G, and 5.8 GHz wireless eavesdropping devices.

Although this particular bug detector doesn’t have a modern feel to it, it has a rugged, durable build. The shell is built out of aluminum alloy with the texture of sandpaper making it very easy to grip and hold in hands. Inside the 102mm x 52.5mm x 21.5mm body, you will find an 800mAH Lithium Polymer Battery that can withstand up to 15 hours of use when fully charged.

What separates this bug detector from the rest is the unique features it possesses. Starting off with the Laser Scanning feature that scans wireless cameras very quickly, the Magnetic field signal detection which helps when looking for bugs like GPS locators, and lastly the RF wireless signal detector which works only when the antenna is extended and it helps to detect wireless cameras or a GSM eavesdropping devices.

With the overwhelming modes and features, you might think that it’s complicated to use. While it can be tricky, everything on the unit itself is labeled. If you have further trouble understanding how to use it, you can find the user manual included in the package.

Pros

  • Good Price
  • Great Battery life
  • Laser Scanning Feature

Cons

  • Unable to detect non-wireless devices

Best Features

Quick Summary
  • Working Time: N/A ~estimated about 10 hours 
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz – 8GHz
  • Battery: AC-Powered / Internal Li-Ion 3.7V
Considering all of the capabilities of this bug detectors and it’s the price, there’s no doubt that we can call this one the premium pick. If you can spend a little bit more on a bug detector to stay even safer, this one is the way to go. To begin with, rather than just detecting signals from radio frequencies, it also detects EMF (Electromotive Force) as well as ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) and EF (Ejection Fraction). Once it detects any kind of frequency source, the unit notifies you visually and audibly. What’s sets this model apart from its competition is that the intensity of the signal is displayed instantly.

The design of this bug detector is remarkable and very unique. Most bug detectors don’t feature a display that lets you keep track of measurements on all sensors simultaneously. Besides the display, there are 4 tactile buttons for powering on/off and navigating through different modes and features.

Although this might be overkill for the average user, at least you can be assured there won’t be any secret spy gadgets left behind with this powerful bug detector.

Pros

  • Pocket Sized and Lightweight
  • All in One Display
  • Useful Features

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Confusing Instructions

Best Budget

Quick Summary
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz - 6.5GHz
  • Battery: 400 mAh
Another great mid-range option is the FEAYEA bug detector. The overall package offers simplicity while giving you every necessary feature for maximum safety. Equipped with powerful laser technology it’s capable of detecting frequency anywhere between 1MHz to 6.5GHz. Aside from radio frequency, it also detects GSM, WiFi, bT, FM, VHF, UHF, and video transmission frequencies. It can accurately detect various eavesdroppers, GPS trackers, 1.2G-5.8G wireless camera, 2G/3G/4G signal from SIM cards, and other spy equipment.

What’s great about this device is the fact that there are only two buttons you need to get accustomed to. You get visually and audibly alerted when the bug detector senses a frequency source. On top of the unit, you will find the power adapter, detachable antenna, sensitivity adjuster. It weighs 12.8 ounces and it’s a little heftier than most bug detectors, but its weight contributes to the overall feel in the hand.

Pros

  • Good Price
  • Simple and Easy to use

Cons

  • Low detection range

Best Value for Money

Quick Summary
  • Detection Distance: 40 feet 
  • Frequency Range: 10MHz – 10GHz
  • Battery: Replaceable battery
The DefCon Pro-10G is a law-grade bug sweep, which will set you back a pretty penny. However, for that amount, you’re looking at one of the best bug detector models out there at the moment. It detects just about any active transmitting bug, and also comes with a white noise generator that works against listening devices. This unit offers a bigger frequency range than most bug detectors, covering a huge frequency range from 10MHZ to 10GHz. With the extra coverage, you will be able to detect even the best surveillance equipment.

The device seems and feels modern. With all the labels on the front, you might get the impression that it’s a complicated bug detector to use. But all you need is one finger to switch the device on, and everything is ready to go. It’s a bit pricier than the models on our list, but if safety is your number one priority you won’t be disappointed by the capabilities from this bug detector.

Pros

  • Great Frequency Range
  • Great Build Quality
  • Big Detection Distance
  • White Noise Feature

Cons

  • Pricey

Best Frequency Range

Quick Summary
  • Working Time: 25-40 Hours
  • Frequency Range: 1MHz – 12GHz
  • Battery: 1500mA Lithium Polymer
To begin with, the main selling point for this bug detector comes from having the 4 functions such as RF Signal Bug Detector, Magnetic Field Detector GPS Detector, Camera Lens Finder Camera Detector, and AI Auto Scan. With these functions, you can detect almost any type of surveillance equipment or anything capable of transmitting frequencies between 1MHz to 12GHz. Any source the detector will sense it will show on the 10 level LED indicator on the front of the unit.

The overall build quality is excellent. The casing is built out of duralumin which gives some weight to the unit itself. Housed inside the casing is a big 1500mA Lithium Polymer battery providing 20-45 continuous working hours. It weighs around 175 grams and its size is just 125 x 52.5 x 21.5mm, making it perfect to bring it with you wherever you travel.

Besides the detector, inside the package, you will also find a detachable RF antenna, a magnetic detecting probe, a camera lens finder, a USB charger & cable, and a user manual.

Pros

  • Great Frequency Range
  • Great Battery Life
  • Portable & Lightweight

Cons

  • Pricey

Buyer's Guide

As technology progresses, wireless technology has become widely spread throughout devices and equipment. A few years back, hiding a spy gadget in a hotel room was very challenging since most of the equipment needed to be wired. Hiding any type of spy equipment has become very easy since you can place it just about anywhere. Because of these types of issues, having a bug detector on you can be very reassuring of your safety.

Frequency Range & Coverage

When you are looking to buy a bug detector, the main thing you want to look at is the frequency range. Cheaper units tend to have a smaller range and won’t pick up some frequency sources on a bigger range. High-end surveillance equipment won’t appear when scanning with a bug detector that goes as much as 6GHz. The sweet spot for the average user is somewhere between 1MHz to 10 GHz.

Portability

Bug detectors are mostly used when for traveling purposes. At the end of the day, you would want to pick a lightweight unit that you can just throw inside your suitcase. Most models that feature multiple signal detection, such as magnetic signals, have separate detachable antennas. Besides the antennas, the charging ports on bug detectors aren’t always USB chargers and we recommend finding one which does. It’s very convenient if you have a smartphone that uses a USB charger because this way you won’t have to bring separate chargers.

Filters

Filters are really important when picking out a bug detector. You need to know if the filter your detector has, because if it’s too sensitive, or not sensitive enough it might end up compromising your experience. For example, cheaper units are known to catch frequencies from places like radio stations, and their ambient sound might not filter out which will indicate that there are devices around you.

Conclusion

Picking out any detector from our list will give you good enough experience for basic detecting. But if you are looking to maximize your safety with these gadgets, we advise you to take a deeper look and understand how these devices work, since there are various types of bug detectors. Be sure to read reviews and experiences from other people before going through with your purchase.

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About the author 

Jason Evans

Jason Evans is a full-time security analyst and advisor born and situated in Denver, Colorado. Due to his extensive experience throughout his career, he is qualified to deliver trustworthy content for any type of security services and equipment.


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