Overview Of Spy Gadgets

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Spy gadgets are purposely built to provide automated surveillance. They can be fitted as closed circuit systems or concealed in specific places around the area that is under surveillance. There different types, models, and brands of spy gadgets. Some are designed for real-time use, other for replay at a later time, while other support both real-time use and footage replays. The main types of spy gadgets are described below. But first, there is need to categorize these surveillance devices.

Spy gadgets can be broadly categorized based on their utility profiles into industrial-scale gadgets and home use (or personal) spy gadgets.

Industrial-scale surveillance devices

Industrial-scale surveillance devices are used to conduct surveillance in large factories, multi-story commercial buildings, and critical government installations; and they need to be manned by specialized personnel. This indicates that specialized training is required to manage and operate them.

Expectedly, industrial scale surveillance devices are not only expensive to maintain, but they are also costly to acquire. The most common types of industrial-scale systems include closed-circuit (CCTV) camera systems, networked GPS trackers, and multi-utility bug detectors. Industrial scale surveillance devices are sold usually as a whole systems and comes with maintenance contracts etc., you need to ask customized offers from security companies.

Personal spy gear

On the other hand, personal spy gear is easy to use and maintain, as well as relatively cheap to acquire. These gadgets do not require specialized training, and some of them are built as plug-and-play devices with replay capabilities.

Personal spy gear is available from various spy shops online and spy stores. There are all kind of spy gadgets available for personal, home and business use such as hidden spy cams, miniature surveillance & security cameras, hand held bug detectors, personal and vehicle gps-trackers and even keyloggers. SpyGearExperts.com’s recommendation is to buy these from Amazon as they have very wide product range for sale at quite reasonable prices.

Below are examples of an excellent body worn hidden cameras you can buy from Amazon.

Covert action spy gear

Most of these devices are lightweight and built for stealth use. Possibility for covert use is important as it allows a home or business-owner or the gadget wearer to record events without arousing any suspicion. For security professionals, this allows them to come up with effective crime-prevention strategies.

Surveillance systems need to be secured

Experienced criminals, by nature of their intuition, can suspect that certain locations are being spied upon. Even though, disclosure that certain places are under 24-hours surveillance may prevent ill-intentioned people to commit crime, for experienced criminals, this gives them the drive to counter such surveillance.

They can do so by locating the surveillance device such as camera or alarm system and disabling it, and for this reason stealth spy gadgets are better than bulky ones. Secondly, they can attempt to hack into the feeds of internet-connected security systems such as WiFi and IP-surveillance cameras and then manipulate the recorded footage. For this reason, air-gapped spy gadgets are better than internet-connected ones.

In general, this shows that surveillance systems need to be secured, especially their communication channels to networked servers. Even so, there are instances where networked spy gadgets need to used, rather than air-gapped (non-networked) gadgets, for instance in a large industrial plant where security officials need to know what is happening in the entire industrial complex. Still, there is need for professionals to find a working balance between data-transmission security and ease of use of security devices.

Hidden Cameras

Concealed cameras are the most popular spy gadgets. They are also the most critical aspect of any surveillance system as it can record video footages as well as take photographs. These devices need to be concealed inside the house, office, or apartment block.

They are generally minimized in size or designed to look as ordinary office or home-use devices. They are lightweight compactly-designed devices such as  ordinary household or office equipment such as radios, light bulbs, cell phone chargers, books etc. Other are quite small, and they can be fitted into picture frames, wall clocks, and alarm clocks among other ordinary household equipment. Moreover, the extremely small buttonhole cameras can be fitted into sunglasses or spectacles.

For these gadgets, stealth use is critical, and even though they emit a light beam so as to light up the area under surveillance, they can use light rays beyond the visual spectrum of the human eye. For instance, some use infra-red light for night vision, while in the day, they take advantage of natural light to illuminate their area of concern. Likewise, the camera lenses are designed to be non-reflective so as not to alert burglars or thieves who may be shining light across the room.

Some of these camera transmit their video footages to remote servers over WiFi or IP (internet connection), and there is need for the user to ensure the integrity of the data transmission process, for example by using passwords to encrypt the transmitted data. Read our article comparing IP-cameras to stand alone recording models.

Below are examples of excellent hidden spy cameras, you can buy from Amazon.

Audio Gadgets

Unlike the concealed cameras, audio spy gadgets only support audio recordings and/or transmission. They are commonly referred to as bugs. Most of these audio bugs are small, and are designed to be concealed inside rooms, especially hotel rooms, conference rooms, and even prison cells. Some can even be worn, and the people who wear such spy devices are described as being “wired”.

High-quality audio bugs can record sound waves being transmitted across solid objects, such as wall, and they can therefore be used to record conversations happening in an adjacent room.

Another unique type of audio spy gadgets are the voice changers, which allows people to disguise their voice. One of their most common uses is to disguise voice when answering a phone call made by an unfamiliar number.

Computer Spying Gear

The main spy gadgets used for computer spying are tailored access devices which allow attackers based at a remote location to take control of computer systems. The process by which attackers gain access to computer systems is generally referred to as hacking, and the attacked computer is described as the hacked computer.

Some of these devices are hardware, for instance, a USB drive that provides a remote connection between the hacked computer system and a server operated by the attacker. However, most are software-based.

Industrial-scale computer spying operations use tailored operations hardware devices which contain specialized computer hacking programs which have been encoded into their firmware. Obviously this requires somewhat industrial scale operation, so home or small business user most likely can’t get access to such surveillance systems.

However, there are also a lot of computer-based spying gadgets designed for personal or office use.

One of the most popular software for computer spying is the keylogger. A keylogger records each and every keystroke made by the computer user, and then either stores this information in a concealed file in the hacked computer or transmits the information to a remote server operated by the attacker. There are also keylogger hardware, which need to be fitted into the keyboard port at the back of the computer, and the keyboard cable is then attached to it. Keyloggers can also be useful for parents who want to know what their children are watching over the internet, or who they are talking to through Skype.

Some dedicated spying software can turn the camera of a computer or even mobile phone into a spy camera, and the attacker can then see the computer or smart phone user and his/her surroundings. Some of these software can even be used to turn off or gain access to the whole CCTV camera system of an industrial complex or business building.

GPS Trackers

there are available plenty of personal and vehicle GPS trackers, which are small in size and can be easily carried in the pocket or be hidden inside or outside any vehicle. Those can transmit location in real time, so it is possible to follow movements continuously. Some vehicle trackers take power instead of internal battery from vehicle’s power system, which allows continuous use as they will never run out of power as long as vehicle is working. You can read more information about GPS tracking devices from our article things to know about GPS Tracking devices before buying.

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Bug detectors

There are plenty of gear designed for cover surveillance, so what to do if you suspect that you are under surveillance? The first thing is to buy a bug detector. It’s hand held device that scans whole room and finds all signals and their sources. It’s important to get advanced bug detector, so it can detect broad range of frequencies. Most spy gadgets operates outside usual radio frequencies, so if you get just a cheap bug detector which can scan only ordinary frequencies, most likely it will not find anything. Below are the two advanced bug detector models, SpyGearExperts.com can recommend. Using these devices, you can scan your home, office and vehicles and find if there are any signal sources and locate them.

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Be sure to also read our surveillance gadgets buyers guide and take a look at reviews. If you have any questions or comments about spy gadgets, please leave your comments below or contact us.

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