What is the Difference Between a GPS Jammer and a Voice Jammer?

Modern living essentially requires us to give up data and privacy for everyday activities, from social media use to airport travel (i.e. biometric-based services like Clear and TSA Precheck).  These practices extend to our vehicles and, in some cases, our private conversations. With the constant risk of hacking and data breaches, many people are searching for ways to not only hand over less data but also protect themselves from harmful exposure.

Some of the most tempting and easily accessible ways to go off the grid include GPS jammers and audio or voice protection systems, sometimes called voice jammers. As you consider these different counter surveillance devices, it’s important to recognize their differences, specifically in terms of legality. GPS jammers are illegal devices, which audio jammers are legal and ethical, as well as inaccurately named because they have entirely different functions from their highly illegal counterparts.


What is a GPS Jammer?

GPS jammers were originally created for government use to conceal the location of combat vehicles during high-risk missions. In essence, a GPS jammer is a small device used to conceal your whereabouts from a GPS tracking device that is monitoring your location and movements. The GPS jammer sends out radio signals with the same frequency as those of your GPS device and, because of the interference, the GPS tracker is unable to determine your vehicle’s position.

The typical GPS jammer is unassuming – it’s a self-contained unit that plugs into a cigarette lighter or similar auxiliary power source. It sends an interference signal (1575.42 Mhz) over a distance of up to 10 meters, and is usually placed in close proximity to the GPS device. Once the GPS jammer is powered up, it’s running in less than 20 seconds. These devices can come equipped for all sorts of needs – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connectivity, physical shields, remote controls, and options that work with spy cameras and drones.

They’re cheap, easy to conceal, and they provide immediate protection – GPS jammers seem like a no-brainer.  However, their use is prohibited by law, and they can actually be dangerous.

GPS jammers interfere with the transmission of critical automobile data used by many major companies, including fuel economy, engine health, driving habits, and general vehicle statistics.  This information is used for your benefit, to improve driver safety and your vehicle’s efficiency and productivity. The data is also used to help companies remain compliant with federal regulations.  Furthermore, these jammers also interfere with air traffic signals.

Additionally, GPS jammer users have deployed the devices for far more sinister activity than simply going off the grid. They’ve been purchased to help hide illegal acts and car theft, dodge important duties while using a company vehicle, and even avoid police radar detection to sidestep pricey speeding tickets.

Thus, the jammers are illegal, as enforced by the Communications Act of 1934, and violators can face jail time and fines up to $112,500.  Even GPS jammer manufacturers have been punished – in 2016, the FCC fined a Chinese electronics company over $34 million for selling the devices. For obvious reasons, we do not sell these illegal counter surveillance devices.

As an alternative, if you want to opt out of GPS tracking on your owned vehicle without violating the law, you can simply locate and disable the unit on your own.


What is an Audio Jammer?

Audio jammers serve a purpose similar to that of GPS jammers but through different means.  They are small devices that produce unique sounds to protect confidential conversations from external listening devices. The random masking sound desensitizes microphones in the area, essentially rendering them useless. This extends to several types of mics and wiretapping devices including tape recorders, RF transmitters, hard-wired microphones, and shotgun microphones. The main objective is to ensure that private conversations remain private, even when the eavesdropper is just a few feet away.

Unlike GPS jammers, audio jammers are not illegal because they don’t interfere with signals from government organizations or jeopardize public safety. In fact, they not only help protect your confidential information and conversations but also help enforce the law, as recording conversations without all-party consent is illegal in 11 states, as of 2018. If you’re concerned about protecting sensitive information in your private conversations, audio jammers are an easy and legal option.

It’s natural to want to protect yourself – your whereabouts and your sensitive information.  But it’s important to do so in a legal way that doesn’t put others at risk. To explore the full range of available options and stay on the right side of the law, contact BrickHouse Security today.