Have you ever set up a home theater projector and watched a spy movie like Mission Impossible or the Bourne Identity and thought to yourself, “Yeah, I could do that.” Deep down, you might know that Jason Bourne can do things that you can’t, but that doesn’t mean that with the help of some of the best spy gadgets, you can’t at least try.
The coolest gadgets aren’t just for the big screen action stars. There are plenty of real-world scenarios and occupations where spy gadgets can help you get the information you need and get a job done correctly. Journalists and law-enforcement officers, outdoorsmen and even creative media types could all find a use for spy gear. Even your average Joe traveling the country van camping can take advantage of equipment like VPNs, Ray Ban Stories and Faraday Bags for your phone.
How We Chose the Best Spy Gear
Whether you’re gathering intel late at night, dropping off sensitive documents, or having a conversation with a client that isn’t meant for public consumption, we compiled a list of spy gear that can:
- Enhance your sight (such as night vision goggles)
- Disguise your voice and help you make sure you are safe and secure.
- Protect your identity online
- Protect your data and phone’s data
- Take pictures and video without a phone
- Enable GPS Tracking
- And more….
We encourage our readers to use these devices responsibly. You can do some really cool things with spy equipment, you can also be a total creep with some of them, too. Don’t be that person. That person is not cool. So without further adieu, check out some of the best spy gadgets you can buy right now.
1. Ray-Ban Stories
Take pictures and videos without having to physically pull out your phone or camera. These Ray Bans have two cameras on the frame that can take photos and videos, and with Bluetooth speakers built into the frame, you can even take a phone call without grabbing for your phone. And at the end of the day, even without all the cool spy features, you’ll have on a stylish pair of Ray Bans making you look great on sunny summer days.
2. DIJ Mavic 3
If you really want to be prepared for anything, you’ll need spy gear that can take flight, even when you can’t. The DIJ Mavic 3 is the drone you want that can fly for 46 minutes before it needs a recharge. The omnidirectional obstacle sensing keeps your drone from getting damaged even when it’s more than 9-miles away (yeah, it can fly that far!) And when the battery is getting low, it can return safety on the fastest route without pilot intervention.
Related: Best Drones for Beginners
3. Insta360 Go 2
If you’re going to capture video on the move, discretion is key. The tiny Insta360 only weighs an ounce and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s smartly designed with a charging case like the Airpods Pro that will keep the Insta360 charged and ready to go when not in use. It’s rugged enough to take a spill and can handle water down to 13 feet. Regardless whether you’re taking video by land or sea, the 1140p video will look crisp and stabilized, even when you’re on the move.
4. Mission Darkness Non-Window Faraday Bag for Phones
Sometimes you need spy gear to protect your data, and other times you need it to prevent someone from tracking you. That’s when the Mission Darkness Faraday Bag comes in handy. This faraday bag is lab tested and certified that when you place a phone in the bag and seal it up, nothing is getting in or out. That’s right, no WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS — nada. If you don’t want anyone tracking your whereabouts or trying to steal your data, dropping your phone in this bag will certainly conceal your location and help you keep your privacy.
5. Night Vision Binoculars
Typically when you think about a spy, images of a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows come to mind. But all that spy work is worthless if you can’t see anything in those dark settings, and for that, you’ll need a sight-oriented spy gadget. Night vision goggles vary widely in quality. Entry-level devices, such as the night vision binoculars used by hunters, typically start at about $400, while military-grade night vision goggles can cost anywhere between $3,000-$10,000. We’ve got a few different options for you below.
The GThunder Night Vision Binoculars are designed for hunting but can be adapted to other purposes as well. These low-light sights have 984 feet of infrared night vision range, 3X optical zoom, an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, and a pair of AA batteries that will get you three hours of use in infrared night mode. On top of that, you can save the footage you capture with these things to the included 32GB flashcard and then back it up to your computer when it’s all said and done.
Were you looking for something a little more advanced than night vision binoculars? Then you’ll want to go with the military equipment available at ATN Corp, where you can buy the same night vision technology used by U.S. military and intelligence forces. They aren’t cheap, but the Superior Tactical PVS-7 goggles offer military-grade night vision capabilities. Lightweight and waterproof, it works under extreme weather conditions, has a 50-hour battery life, and can be attached to headgear. If you want the best spy gadgets money can buy, these goggles are a must-have.
6. iPhone 13 Pro Max Privacy Screen Protector
When you’re up to secret spy activity, you have to have spy gear that prevents other people from eavesdropping on the information you have. A iPhone 13 Pro Max privacy screen protector keeps anyone from rubbernecking to secretly see what’s on your phone. Unless you’re looking directly at your phone, the screen will look black. An added bonus beyond the added privacy, is it protects your screen as well.
7. Rabbler Noise Generator
There are many reasons you wouldn’t want a sensitive conversation to be overheard or recorded without you knowing. Still, it isn’t easy to find a private place in the era where everything has an internet-connected mic. Instead, create your own personal bubble with the Rabbler, one of the coolest spy gadgets we’ve found yet. This noise generator can create noise that replicates a crowded room’s ambient sounds, making it hard for microphones or eavesdropping ears to discern what you’re saying.
Every good intelligence agent knows that information security is essential to maintaining a secure operation. And since we’re at the mercy of big tech companies to keep our online and mobile behavior safe, many people are investing in their own spy equipment to ensure their private internet activity is secure: VPN cybersecurity technology.
What does VPN technology do? A service like NordVPN routes your traffic through remote servers. In fact, NordVPN gives you the ability to route your IP address and DNS settings through one of its more than 5,000 global servers. This action has two critical effects: it hides your IP address and encrypts all incoming and outgoing data. So with NordVPN cybersecurity technology, your web browsing won’t be tracked by anyone, keeping you safe from prying eyes, internet service providers, hackers, and, in theory, the government. On top of that, it ensures your ISP won’t throttle your internet connection. A VPN can also let you access the dark web if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
9. Wyze Outdoor Cam
With the Wyze Outdoor Camera, you can keep your home, or spy headquarters protected with this handy little gadget. It’s easy to install and has 1080p video quality for both day and night. You’ll only need to charge the battery every six months. And with the base (not included) you can connect up to four cameras at once.
Related: The Best Outdoor Security Cameras
10. JMDHKK M8000 AI RF Detector
Suppose you’ve got yourself into a predicament where you may be under heavy surveillance. In that case, you’re going to need a spy gadget that does more than detecting hidden cameras to make sure you’re in a secure space. The JMDHKK M8000 AI RF Detector takes the traditional RF bug detector and infuses it with AI to make it easier than ever to detect if you’re being spied on. Instead of adjusting the tracker for each signal type, the auto-scan program will cycle through different signal detection programs to figure out if there are issues. These can include audio bugs, Wi-Fi cameras, IP cameras, GSM bugs, wiretaps, body wires, GPS trackers, phone taps, or other types of surveillance bugs in the room. If it finds something, it will let you know.
Related: The Best Car Gadgets
Spys need to keep their passwords safe, too. One of the easiest way to manage all of your online passwords is with a password manager like 1Password. With a single personal subscription for $3 a month, you can use 1Password on all of your devices and receive notifications when your passwords are vulnerable so you can make changes. There’s even a travel mode that you can remove sensitive data from your devices and restore access with a single click.
12. Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot
It isn’t very easy to accomplish any work when your device is running low on data. Thanks to the Netgear Nighthawk M1, you can create a WiFi network virtually anywhere. The Nighthawk makes speeds up to 1Gbps and allows up to 20 different devices to connect to it at once. You can connect it to the USB port on your computer and keep the hotspot charging while it is in use: no more dead zones and no more unreliable data.
13. Spot Trace GPS Tracker
Spot Trace makes tracking a vehicle easy and accurate. You can use it to protect your vehicle from theft or use it to follow someone else. The Spot Trace will automatically start sending signals to you as soon as it detects movement and provides nearly real-time updates on the device’s location. You will receive a text or email (your choice) and you’ll be able to see the movement of the locator on Google maps. It can also be used on boats using Dock Mode that way, you don’t receive updates from the boat swaying in port. This piece of spy equipment is one of the most reliable ways to track your asset while maintaining complete discretion.
14. WeBoost Drive X
Suppose you want to ensure you aren’t left high and dry, especially when driving out in the middle of Timbuktu. In that case, the WeBoost Drive X extends your cell phone’s signal so you can continue to get coverage even when you are seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. The WeBoost Drive X reaches out to faraway cell towers providing a signal for your phone. This wireless extender is an excellent spy gadget for anyone who travels for a living, even if that living is super top secret.
15. Silent Ultrasonic Microphone Defeater
Okay, so maybe you have one single room where you need to prevent conversations from being recorded, and you don’t want anyone to know you’re trying to avoid this. Maybe it’s your office or operations center. With the Silent Ultrasonic Microphone Defeater, this audio jammer will emit an ultrasonic tone that is undetectable to human ears but overpowers any audio recorder’s microphone so that no one outside the room can hear the conversation. But even better, this noise jammer is concealed as a pair of speakers that can play back different audio from its USB port so that you can deceive any suspicious figures in the room.
16. FLIR One Pro LT Thermal Imaging Smartphone Camera
Thermal imaging is a powerful tool, which is why it makes for a pretty cool spy gadget. Law enforcement uses thermal imaging to pick up heat from a person or object, even if there’s a solid surface concealing it. In other instances, it can make it easy to see what is going on in a foggy or smoky environment where visibility is low. As a hidden figure, you want only the best spy gear at your disposal, and the FLIR camera for iPhone/iOS and Android is the way to go. This little attachment, packed with a pair of thermal sensors, plugs into the bottom of your phone and turns the screen into a thermal imaging viewfinder. So if there’s a person or thing that you’re trying to avoid and can’t see them very well, this will help you get out of a sticky situation.
17. Kingston IronKey S1000 Encrypted Flash Drive
There may be times in your life when sensitive files need to change hands, and an encrypted hard drive is essential to keeping those secrets secure. And whether that’s photos, blueprints, contracts or an obscure fan recording of a Justin Bieber concert from 2012, you’ll want to make sure that no one can ever open those files. This piece of spy equipment has a hardware encryption chip built into the drive itself so that you can be confident that your data is protected by the most rigid security protocols around with 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption and 140-2 Level 3 validation. Long story short, with the encryption activated, nobody will ever lay their eyes on anything this drive contains.
18. Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder
Need to record a conversation? Then we recommend this well-reviewed Sony digital voice recorder. This affordable and compact spy gadget has a built-in USB stick so that you can easily access and save your files.
19. Voice Changing Devices & Apps
We’ve all seen villains in movies disguise their voice on the phone, perhaps after taking a hostage. While we don’t encourage criminal behavior (in fact, we discourage it entirely), these voice disguises exist in real life. You can purchase physical Voice Changing Devices that interact with your phone for landlines and cell phones to filter your voice on calls. However, this is the digital age … Instead of buying an expensive device, the Google and Apple App stores have dozens of apps that will create the same effect when using online communication services like Skype, Discord or Steam. One popular option is called VoiceMod, but there are plenty of options available depending on your device and spy gadget needs.
20. Backcountry Access BCA Walkie Talkie
When you want to stay off the grid, a good set of walkie-talkies like the Backcountry Access allow you to keep in contact with someone else while eliminating all the annoyances of cellphone tracking. This set can last days on end without a recharge and have great range regardless of the weather. Speaking of the weather, if it happens to turn on you while you’re out and about, the walkie-talkies are IP56 weather-resistant, so you won’t be out of luck if the rain comes unannounced.
Read More: The Best Long-Range Walkie Talkies
21. Express VPN
Hiding your IP address is one of the best ways to keep your information secure, especially when using public WiFi. Express VPN makes spy equipment incredibly easy — one touch of a button to turn your VPN on and off. There are many locations to choose from, making it virtually impossible for someone lurking in the interwebs to track you. The best part is you can use this VPN on your computer and your phone. It’s safe, secure, easy and only costs $13 a month.
Finally, a Note on Hidden Cameras…
When we initially wrote this article, we decided not to include any hidden cameras in the spy gadgets featured above. There are some excellent reasons for this. First, many cheap “spy cameras” are available on sites like Amazon and eBay that have abysmal reviews and come from sketchy overseas companies. Most of these hidden cameras are of dubious quality. Second, some hidden cameras are designed to be disguised as alarm clocks, wall hooks, electrical outlets, chargers and other everyday devices.
While there are legitimate reasons to use these devices, there are sketchy reasons, too. Unfortunately, perverts also use these devices to secretly and illegally record people in changing rooms, bathrooms and other private areas.
Even if you don’t have nefarious intentions, we advise our readers to research your local, state and national laws regarding hidden cameras and voice recordings. As mentioned above, it is illegal to secretly record conversations and phone calls in dual-party consent states without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. Evidence gathered in this way may not be admissible in court, and you could face civil or criminal exposure for breaking these laws.
While it is usually legal to film and photograph people in public areas where they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, there are exceptions to this rule. Likewise, some regions have laws discouraging people from filming “upskirt videos” and other obscene materials.
Because hidden cameras are available online and we can’t stop you from purchasing them, we’ve decided to scope out some below. Please note: if you plan to use one of these hidden cameras, understand what you’re getting yourself into. They aren’t the most high-quality cameras you can buy, and if you’re someone like an Airbnb host that wants to spy on their guests or a perv that likes to hang out in public bathrooms, please leave and seek professional help.
22. WAYMOON 4K Hidden Spy Camera Digital Clock
This spy camera looks like your average digital clock. It claims to feature 4K video, high-tech night vision, a 160 ultra-wide-angle and can be viewed anywhere in real-time via your iPhone. Reviews on Amazon are pretty back and forth, but if you scroll down to the comments, you can see a lot of decent video capture quality. And, yes, it actually tells time.
23. Koios 1080p Charger Camera
Surprisingly, this wall charger camera is backed by a lot of stellar reviews. It allows you to live stream video right in your home so you can see what’s going in when the nanny, cleaning person or any other person is around when you’re not. It also works as an actual USB charging cable to keep people less suspicious.