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Best hidden camera detector in 2022: hunt out bugs, trackers and spy cams

Hand holding a hidden camera detector in a bedroom
(Image credit: Lonove)

The best hidden camera detector will help you find any bugging device, GPS tracker or and covert camera in your immediate vicinity. So if you think you're being snooped on by a reporter, private detective or suspicious partner, or are worried about peeping Toms, they'll put your mind at ease.

Spy cameras are commonplace these days. They’re small enough to be hidden in fixtures and fittings (like smoke detectors and even light bulbs), very cheap to buy and operate, and often installed in AirBnBs. But hidden camera detectors can spot them quickly and effectively. 

To learn how, skip to 'How do hidden camera detectors work?' at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, read on to discover the best hidden camera detectors on the market today, and the information you need to choose between them.

Best hidden camera detector in 2022

(Image credit: JMDHKK)
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1. K68

The best hidden camera detector overall

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: Yes
Hidden Lens: Yes
Infra Red: Yes
Frequency Range: 1MHz - 8GHz (GSM, Wi-Fi, BT, UHF)
Power: 10h working
Signal Strength Display: circular 10-bar LED
Dimensions: 124 x 56 x 20mm
Weight: 160g

Reasons to buy

+
4-in-1 Device
+
Rechargeable battery
+
Sound or Vibration option

Reasons to avoid

-
No directable wand
-
Lens sensor could be lost

Our pick for the best hidden camera detector overall is the K68. Be warned, though, that it's known by a number of names. The Sherry model, which is easier to find in the USA, while the KMDHKK edition is easily found in the UK. 

This hidden camera detector benefits from a built-in infra-red detector, but the core function is the classing RF sweep. The simulated analog dial indicates the strength of the signal detected and the dial at the top allows you to turn down sensitivity as you hone in on a suspect. 

The ‘AI’ feature (right function button) is a pulse-based approach which makes it easier to do the scans, but is still relying on the user's intelligence. Something appreciated by the hard of hearing – or when operating somewhere discretion is required – will be the vibrate option (instead of the piercing beep which, on this device, is only an option rather than something to tolerate). It’s also handy that the magnetic probe can be detached if it’s not needed.

(Image credit: Jepwco )
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2. Jepwco G4 Pro

The best small hidden camera detector

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: No
Hidden Lens: Yes
Infra Red: No
Frequency Range: 1MHz - 6.5GHz (GSM, Wi-Fi, BT, UHF)
Power: 5h working (300mAh) rechargeable
Signal Strength Display: 5-bar LED (6th light is on/off)
Dimensions: 140 x 20 x 20mm
Weight: 30g

Reasons to buy

+
Discrete and compact
+
Easy to select wi-fi only
+
Well presented

Reasons to avoid

-
RF & Laser Only

Looking for something small and easy to hide? This pen-sized bug-sweeper is as easy to use as it is discrete.

The G4 makes a few good design decisions which are apparent the second you get it out of the box. First, it's rechargeable, via a standard USB socket at the bottom (though Jepwco still supplies a charging cord) and there's a pinprick LED to indicate charging next to it. 

The detection is via a kind of ‘bar chart’ of six white LEDs, which appear inspired by Apple MacBooks (opens in new tab) of the mid 2010s. Having only two buttons is very elegant, although it does mean you need to remember to do a long-press for on/off – once on the lower button allows you to switch between Wi-Fi and full-band sensitivity, and the chosen mode is nicely displayed by a glowing word. 

Similarly, the top button cycles sensitivity. The end also acts as a torch which may help spot hidden lenses. At 30g and in a nice box, this could make a good gift for someone who struggles to trust their environment. 

(Image credit: Latnex)
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3. Latnex SPA-6G Spectrum Analyzer

The best hidden camera detector for visual representation

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: No
Hidden Lens: No
Infra Red: No
Frequency Range: 15MHz – 2.7GHz and 4.85GHz – 6.1 GHz (Wi-Fi)
Power: 1000mAh rechargeable
Signal Strength Display: 5-bar LED (6th light is on/off)
Dimensions: 110 x 70 x 25mm
Weight: 387g

Reasons to buy

+
View RF spectrum on display 
+
Export RF chart to Mac or PC

Reasons to avoid

-
Better suited to wi-fi than all bugs
-
Expensive

With two SMA connectors and three antennas, the unit has good coverage for most communication bands, including Bluetooth, LTE and GSM as well as Wi-Fi. But where it really scores over the cheaper options is by providing a genuine visual representation of the strength of individual frequencies, a bit like the scene in Contact where Jodie Foster first spots the signal. 

Operating in max, hold and and averaging modes, the system is flexible, and firmware updates provided via the USB socket. The same connection allows export to view on-screen spectrums 3D (via the program Waterfall), offering more resolution and potentially interest to HAM radio enthusiasts. 

That said, for a quick scan of a hotel room this might be too much on the RF, and too little when it comes to the more ‘low tech’ features, like a light to reflect from lenses, which you’ll need to get separately.

(Image credit: Biznlink)
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4. JMDHKK M8000

A bug detector and hidden camera detector in one

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: Yes
Hidden Lens: Yes (separate, in pack)
Infra Red: No
Frequency Range: 1MHz - 6.5GHz (GSM, Wi-Fi, BT, UHF)
Power: 8-10h working USB cable supplied
Signal Strength Display: 10-bar LED
Dimensions: 125 x 52 x 22mm
Weight: 175g

Reasons to buy

+
RF & Magnetic 
+
LED Lens Detector
+
Sensor adjustment dial

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-standard USB charger

With a magnetic and a radio frequency detector in the same device, and supplied with a lens highlighter tool in the package, this is a useful kit which will help you whether you’re checking out meeting rooms, looking for GPS devices under cars, or sweeping a hotel room for a hidden camera. 

With a user-facing sensitivity dial, it's easy to hone in on the source of a radio signal, starting to up the sensitivity as you get nearer. When you plug in the magnet sensor you need to remember to switch over to magnet mode then center the chart. But the diagrammatic design (and relentless beeper) makes remembering this easy enough. 

There's a light on the end of a flexible probe, so looking under cars is easy and it's sensitive enough to spot a hard drive magnet. Some might have found having the hidden camera detector built in easier, but this way two people can work together for a quicker sweep. 

(Image credit: SpyHawk)
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5. SpyHawk Pro-10G

The best hidden camera detector for range

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: No
Hidden Lens: No
Infra Red: No
Frequency Range (main antenna): 10MHz - 10GHz (Fixed-line, GSM, Wi-Fi, BT, UHF)
Power: 9v battery (supplied)
Signal Strength Display: 10-bar LED
Dimensions: 127 x 75 x 25mm
Weight: 397g

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in white noise generator
+
Includes phone-line adapter
+
Headphone socket

Reasons to avoid

-
Would benefit from an analog sensitivity dial

The Pro-10G has a broad detection range, able to pick up low and high frequencies which means tracking down any suspect devices, even modern ones designed to operate above the 6GHz where some detectors max out. 

When you think you’re getting near, the ‘Homing’ switch is used to lower sensitivity. The built-in white noise generation system can flood listening devices with a “ssssshhhhhhhh” sound, so as soon as you’ve identified a device you can disable it rather than have the eavesdropper record your removal and know for sure. 

The inclusion of a telephone line adaptor, along with the necessary sockets on the side of the detector, gives this machine a flexibility not available with competitors. Similarly, headphones give an option for operating without a screaming beeper, which isn’t to be sniffed at. Perhaps the 9V battery seems a little old-fashioned when so many newer designs are rechargeable, but this machine takes a more active approach to protecting privacy than others.

(Image credit: DefCon)
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6. DefCon DD1206

The best hidden camera detector for foiling industrial espionage

Specifications

RF: Yes
Magnetic: No
Hidden Lens: No
Infra Red: No
Frequency Range (main antenna): 50MHz - 12GHz (GSM, Wi-Fi, BT, UHF)
Power: 2xAAA batteries
Signal Strength Display: 16-bar LED
Dimensions: 121 x 70 x 19mm
Weight: 450g

Reasons to buy

+
Dual antennas makes signal type clear
+
Correlation detection feature
+
Sound, vibration or mixed alert modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

In a market dominated by low-cost products, a professional can struggle to get something with the full feature range they need. This device will detect all GSM, GSM(DCS), WCDMA or DECT 3G, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals and the additional pointer antenna is up to four times as sensitive as competing products to these last two categories. 

That means you can scan for analog (traditional VHF/UHF bugs) and digital ones at the same time with no worries of missing anything. As user, you can also choose to push up the sensitivity for either or both of the detection bands depending on your assignment, and with 16-segments the readout is more detailed than most. 

There is also the chance of the correlation function producing feedback, where you’ve got an FM transmitter style bug. This device isn’t a cheap option, and may provide more than you need in the radio area while missing out magnetic fields, so you should decide whether it’ll make your operations faster.

How do hidden camera detectors work?

There are two effective ways that hidden camera detectors work. The first is by looking for the glint of a secret camera's lens. That might sound like something you could do yourself, but a hidden camera detector does it more effectively, by sweeping using a lens with directional lights (this is often marketed as “laser detection”). 

The other method is to seek out unexpected radio frequency (RF) signals emitted by the sharing of the data. This is also useful in spotting other live snooping tools, like GPS trackers. 

A magnetometer (compass) such as that built into your phone could also play a part; interference from something near should throw it off and highlight a suspect area. Magnetic probes are included on some multifunction bug scanners, and can detect  anything from the magnetism in a speaker to that holding a GPS device under a car (adjustable sensitivity is always a useful feature).

Finally the ability to look for Infra-Red (IR) lights can be handy given how many compact security cameras have night vision. These IR lights aren’t visible to the naked eye, but are a reasonable indicator that a camera is nearby.

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Adam Juniper
Adam Juniper

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones (opens in new tab), The Smart Smart Home Handbook (opens in new tab), 101 Tips for DSLR Video (opens in new tab) and The Drone Pilot's Handbook (opens in new tab)