Finding solid covert surveillance equipment that’s not all sizzle, no steak is pretty difficult. Since “spy gadgets” became such a huge thing in the past decade, it’s almost impossible to buy something that’s actually worth the money.
That’s what we’re here to help with.
After some deliberate research, we’ve filtered through the flashy ads and found covert surveillance equipment that actually works. No matter your assignment, these gadgets are sure to make your life and your job a lot easier. So let’s get into it.
Trackers are usually basic navigation devices that use GPS to determine someone or something’s movement and location. They then store that information into the unit or transmit it to an internet-connected device.
Covert tracking devices are pretty much the same thing as other trackers, except they tend to be smaller. Also, they’re sometimes made to mimic a different object, which is why they’re a crucial piece of any covert surveillance equipment kit.
1. AMERICALOC GL300W XW Series
With the portable GL300W, you can track vehicles, assets, and people, and receive all the right alerts. This tracker will let you know when there’s movement, speeding, the target leaving designated zones, and much more. It will also keep a full one-year tracking history, and you can use it on any device and OS.
2. VYNCS Tracker
The VYNCS tracker is OBD-powered, which means it doesn’t use a battery. It has countless different features, which allow you to see if someone’s walking, biking, or using public transport. Also, the tracking is all done in real-time, and you will receive updates to your server every three minutes.
Listening and Recording Devices
Covert listening devices, which are also often called bugs or wires, usually feature a mini radio transmitter, along with a microphone inside them. Using bugs or wires is one of the most widespread covert surveillance techniques, and it’s been around for ages.
Some of the most common types of listening devices you’ll find are:
- GSM bugs
- Mini voice recorders
- Mobile phones
- Radio Frequency Transmitters
Nowadays, given the advancement of technology and mobile phones, you can remotely activate bugs without physically accessing them.
There are a ton of examples of use, and everyone from government, to law enforcement, and civilians and get their hands on bugs, and use them. However, if you do decide to install a bug or wire somewhere, make sure that you’re following all the covert surveillance laws.
With that said, since wiretaps are illegal on a federal level, unless you have court approval, we can’t really recommend any specific models. But if you’re part of an agency, and want to buy the best covert surveillance equipment, it’s always best to ask around.
Phone and Computer Monitoring
Mobile phone and computer monitoring has become incredibly common and has a lot of different applications. From government agencies surveilling terrorist organizations to concerned parents seeing what their kids are up to online, you’ll see this type of monitoring everywhere.
Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, and which route you want to take, you can consider:
- Monitoring tools
- Phone provider services
- Third-party options
If you want to go with mainstream monitoring tools, you can use various different applications, many of which you can get from your cell provider. You can also consider jailbreaking the device, but that will void the phone’s warranty, so tread lightly.
But if you don’t want to go that route, your best option would be to download an app that would do all the work for you. You can receive screen captures, track location, monitor text messages, see passwords, and much more. Some of the more popular apps you can find around are Qustodio, mSpy, Bark, and Mobistealth.
Covert Cameras & Surveillance Devices
Covert or spy cameras are another type of covert surveillance equipment that has been around for ages. However, with time, they’re becoming much smarter and easier to conceal. Nowadays, you can find models that have 1080p resolution, two-way audio, motion sensors, and many other features.
Before you jump the gun and buy the first spy pen you see, know that spy camera laws are rigid. Most laws dictate that you can’t install one in an area where a person’s expected to have privacy. So bedrooms, bathrooms, and changing rooms are completely off-limits.
Also, keep in mind that you can only install a covert cam on your own property and places which are considered to be common areas. But if you want to use that footage later for evidence, make sure you’re following the law to a T, otherwise, it’ll be inadmissible.
If you want a real-life example of how intricate these cameras can be, we recommend checking out this BBC video. In it, a reporter tries to find all the hidden cameras in a hotel room and explains how big of a problem they’re causing.
Best Covert Cameras on the Market
As you might know, covert cameras can come in many different shapes and sizes, and their design is supposed to mimic common household objects. For example, you can buy a camera hidden in a fully functioning alarm clock, disguised as a USB charger, or one that looks like a lightbulb.
On the other hand, if you want to go the more traditional route, you can get a smaller indoor/outdoor camera. These usually have much more features and work with your virtual home assistants.
The final thing that we want to cover is counter-surveillance equipment, which is just as important as any other tool in your kit. It can help you detect if someone’s trying to surveil you, and you can use it to protect your privacy.
Depending on your budget, and just how big of a sweep you want to do, there are different tools that you can get. For example, you can just buy an RF signal detector to search for listening devices. Also, you can buy a voice amplifier, white noise generator, or camera lens finder.
But if you work in security, and counter-surveillance is part of your job, we recommend buying a bigger, more extensive kit. So instead of buying all these pieces separately, which can be very expensive, try to find a complete set, like this counter-surveillance kit.
To Sum up
In any operation, equipment is a means to an end. Corporate investigations focusing on insider threat specifically attempts by persons internal to the organization – or aligned through a joint venture – have grown in sophistication. Understanding that, selection of the right tools – albeit cyber or physically installed – are only successful through timing and proper placement. Surveillance within this domain seeks to shield proprietary data from breach and recover evidence if need be.
− Adam Taylor, Principal Security Specialist
When looking for the best covert surveillance equipment, first consider exactly what your priorities are. What are you trying to accomplish, and how do you want to go about it? Should you get court permission to do what you want, or is it more about just keeping your principal safe?
Once you take all of these considerations to heart, you’ll easily be able to find the best kit for yourself. But if you have any more questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.
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