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How To Prevent Eavesdropping When Using Two Way Radios

XLT HS200 HeadsetOne of the most frequent concerns from our business customers is whether or not their radio communication will be private from eavesdroppers. It is important to be discreet when using two way radios, especially with sensitive information. When it comes to company communications, even with regular conversation, privacy is always a top priority.

With normal analog radios, creating a true private channel can be very tricky and expensive. Analog radios typically have a default list of programmable privacy codes or PL tones that can be set to each channel. Enabling these tones will definitely help prevent outsiders from cutting in on your conversation, but it is important to note that they do not prevent them from hearing you.

Another option is voice scrambling, but on analog radios this typically requires additional hardware, such as scrambling/encryption cards, which greatly increases the overall cost of the radios. Considering this, your best line of defense to prevent against eavesdropping is to go with a digital radio.

Digital radios such as the Motorola EVX-S24, Motorola EVX-261 and the Kenwood TK-D340U would all be excellent choices. These are DMR radios using TDMA or Time-Division Multiple-Access, a popular technology with enhanced privacy.

The fact that FDMA or Frequency-Division Multiple-Access digital technology is much less common and not readily supported by scanners makes the Kenwood NX series radios such as the NX-340U16P a great option. An added bonus on these units is that they also have the ability to operate in analog mode, and they can be programmed to be compatible with your existing analog radios. This helps make for a smooth transition if you want to make the jump from analog to digital without replacing your entire fleet of radios all at once.

The Motorola DTR600 and Motorola DLR1060 both use 900 mHz frequencies, which are rarely used to begin with. Additionally, these radios use FHSS or Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology, which means that the radios change frequencies every few seconds, all while staying synced up with one another. These features combined makes it nearly impossible for anyone to pick up your transmission for more than a second or two.

Privacy is a valid concern for business owners, but there are options. Going digital is one of them. If you have any questions or concerns on which digital radio may be right for you, give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 and we will be happy to help.

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