What are the Different Types of Spy Bug?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Within legal parameters, some people may want to monitor events in their homes, offices, or other areas. There are several different kinds of spy bugs that allow people to hear conversations between two or more people. A spy bug can transmit conversations from a room or from a phone. In addition, some can catch passwords typed on a computer keyboard.

There are spy bugs that record passwords typed on a computer keyboard.
There are spy bugs that record passwords typed on a computer keyboard.

Room transmitters comprise the vast majority of spy bugs. The device often is a voice-activated spy bug. This means that it only turns itself on when a voice is heard. It will also turn itself off if there is no one speaking for a given period of time. As a result, it will use batteries sparingly, ensuring that the listener will not need to change the batteries for several months or years at a time.

Hidden listening devices may be used to record someone sharing secret information.
Hidden listening devices may be used to record someone sharing secret information.

Along the same lines of the voice-activated spy bug is the remote-control spy bug. As a result of being operated remotely, if the listener feels that an important conversation will take place, the bug may be turned on. Otherwise, it may be kept off. In addition to saving batteries, this type of device is also beneficial because it cannot be detected by spy bug detectors if it is in the off position. Consequently, it can be turned off at a moments notice to go undetected, if necessary.

The disguised spy bugs are among the more fun kinds available. The transmitters for these bugs are usually disguised as ordinary household or office items. For example, what appears to be an ordinary desktop calculator or mouse may actually contain a miniature listening device.

Although most spy bugs are in the form of room transmitters, there are also telephone transmitters available. These bugs transmit all sides of a telephone call to a listener. Depending on the model, the telephone calls can be recorded and stored for later use, or they can be listened to live.

Also, there are bugs that are used on computer keyboards called key catchers. This type of spy bug works by recording all the letters or key strokes typed on computer keyboard. The information is then transmitted to an off-site location where it can be seen live or saved for future use.

In addition, although nearly all the bugs are used for audio purposes, there are cameras that are available for visual spy needs. The cameras typically are not considered to be bugs. They can be small in size and virtually undetectable as well.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to EasyTechJunkie.

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Discussion Comments


Did you know that cheap cell phones can be used life spy bugs? The bugs are easier to hide, but the cell phones can be just as effective.

Basically, you leave the phone in the location where you want to record a conversation. You have to be sure to silence the phone and place it in an area where it won't be detected, even when it lights up.

Set the phone on the setting so that it will automatically answer when it receives a call. Most phones have this setting, even though many people are unaware of the setting.

Once you have hidden the phone, you can then call the phone from another location and since you set the automatic answer feature, the phone will answer and you will be able to hear any conversation taking place in the room where the phone is hidden.

When secrecy is a necessity you should use one of those prepaid disposable phones that can't be traced back to you. And be sure to conceal your number when you call the hidden phone. This way the call can't be traced back to you.

I know this isn't as sexy as a sophisticated spy listening bug, but in the end it should have the same result.


I'm a bit of spy geek. I like the old detective pictures and the modern hi-tech spy thrillers. Sometimes I find myself watching the devices some of the fictional characters are using and wondering where can I get those spy gadgets.

Much of the spy gear you see in the movies is actually real and available. However, much of the more sophisticated stuff is also illegal. However, almost anything can be purchased on the black market. You just have to find the right person and be willing to pay a large price.

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