written by: KennethSleight•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 9/30/2011
High tech spy gadgets are more than just fun and games. The world of spy gear that was immortalized in movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mission Impossible is out there and some of it is the real deal. This guide will help you determine where to put your money to have a well rounded spy closet.
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Before we get into the specifics of any particular type of spy gear, it’s important to understand that almost any item can become a piece of spy gear. This means the watch that you are wearing, the briefcase you are carrying, even the pen you are writing with, can all be enhanced to become a potent piece of spy gear. It is also important to understand that although this is a high-tech spy gadget piece, there are still some relatively low-tech essentials that work on high-tech scientific principles, so we’ll look at those too.
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Spy Gear Essentials
The best place to start is with the essentials - the things that every respectable spy needs to have. This is where we get to talk about night vision goggles, mini spy cameras, hidden USB drives, wrist watch phones, tracking equipment (GPS locator) and remote audio detection items.
What type of gear will you start with? The best place is probably with the cornerstone of all spy gear - surveillance.
Once you have picked out the top surveillance equipment for your kit, the next step is to look at devices to help you track your quarry. Tracking equipment can come in several shapes and sizes, but in general the smaller the better.
Ok, now you've got the basics. How about taking it up a notch? Here's some specialty gear that gives a spy a major advantage over those he's spying on. Whether you are securing information with a pen-top digital camera, keeping in touch with your crew via wrist watch telephone, or operating under the cover of darkness...we have the tools for you.
Once you have equipped yourself with all of the basics, it's time to look into some high-end equipment to take your spying to the next level. There are literally hundreds of spy gadgets out there but some of them fall into a class of their own. These are the Rolls Royce's of spy gear: keyloggers to grab computer passwords, fingerprint transfer kits for breaking into biometric security systems, streaming video pinhole webcams, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. James Bond would be jealous of some of this high-tech gadgetry that would leave "Q" scratching his head and saying "How did they do that?"
Of course a spy isn't always the one doing the spying. Sometimes, the spy is the subject of counter spying. How can you keep yourself safe from those who are trying to spy on you? There are several types of anti-spy equipment available to help you defeat surveillance. The first thing to do to secure your home is to set up a video recording system. With the small size of these cameras, they can be placed in the most innocuous of spots. This includes in the leaves of house plants, the corners of picture frames, or even in the peep-hole on your front door. If you don't want to wire your own camera, there are several household items sold with cameras in them including tissue boxes and digital clocks. It's also important to be able to jam any outgoing signals from your home. Consider purchasing a jamming device to scramble any covert signals.
If your budget it tapped and you just can't seem to afford all of the spy equipment you think you need, there are several cheap items and homemade solutions for the handy spy. Are you really good with your hands? If so, you can make some pretty amazing spy gear of your own including a DIY fingerprinting kit, a set of bump keys (great for opening all kinds of locks) and even a special hat that can make your face invisible to night vision cameras. Keep in mind that the cheaper equipment won't be as high quality as the gear in the sections above - but beggars can't be choosers. Having a cheap item is often better than having nothing at all.
High-tech spy gear doesn't always have to be expensive. You also do not need every piece of equipment out there to be a good spy. It is important to choose your equipment wisely and spend your money on high quality merchandise only when your needs warrant it. Often. a cheaper gadget, or one that can function in multiple ways, is preferable to carrying around 100 lbs. of gear. After all, it's hard to be stealthy when you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.