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Counter surveillance equipment

Counter surveillance equipment

Counter surveillance is basically the act of avoiding surveillance which sounds simple enough but the biggest problem with avoiding surveillance is that most of the time people don't even realize they are being watched. Counter surveillance measures can range from avoiding CCTV cameras in public places to hiring TSCM (technical surveillance counter measures) professionals to do a 'bug sweep'.

Unfortunately, even when you suspect you are being watched finding surveillance bugs, wiretaps and hidden video cameras can be very difficult. The potential threat of unwanted covert surveillance to the security and privacy of individuals and businesses alike makes the counter surveillance industry a prime target for scams.


There are literally hundreds of companies selling detection equipment and services, particularly on the Internet, but the buyer needs to beware of what they are purchasing. Many of these companies claim that their innovative devices will detect just about any bug, tap or camera within range but this is far from the truth.

Good quality counter surveillance equipment can easily cost thousands of dollars and for the average consumer, this is not very practical. Some equipment can be found within the $80 to $1000 range which is ideal for small businesses and individuals who can afford it.

Counter surveillance equipment basically works by detecting the radio waves emitted by a transmitter. In order for covert surveillance to be effectively hidden it needs to be small and wireless. Having no wires means bugs and hidden video cameras are easy to move and don't require any installation but it also means they have to use transmitters to send out their signals.

These transmitters broadcast signals via radio waves to the corresponding receiver where the voyeur is listening in or watching. These radio waves are what counter surveillance devices rely on to detect bugs and cameras by picking up on their radio frequencies.

Technical measures and features needed in good counter surveillance systems:

There are a few essential technical features to look for in counter surveillance equipment to ensure you get your money's worth:


High sensitivity is one of the most important technical features to look for in counter surveillance equipment because the higher the sensitivity the greater the chances of picking up on tiny radio waves. High sensitivity also enables detection from a greater distance saving time on having to scan every inch of the walls, floors and ceilings.


The bandwidth determines the range of frequencies that a device can pick up and so the broader it is the better. This is because different transmitters emit radio waves of varying frequencies and so if you buy a counter surveillance device that picks up on a broad range of frequencies, your chances of detection are increased. A bandwidth spanning from 10MHz to 4.5GHz will cover the most commonly used frequencies.

Mode of detection

A device that has a range of different modes of detection enables the device to sort through different radio frequencies and pinpoint the location of the surveillance bug more effectively.