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Is this secure if I was talking to another Baofeng UV-5R+?

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  • $\begingroup$ From the 10 seconds it took to do a simple Google search, it sounds like the answer is "yes". $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Mar 8 '15 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ You have to determine if the radio is technically and legally usable. The first thing to do is find the FCC ID of the radio. It should be written on a sticker on the radio. Technically it can be used but another legality might hinder its use. FRS and GMRS share some common frequency channels. For FRS there are additional requirements, 1/2W and integral (not detachable) antenna. Read paragraph near bottom of page on this FCC page. Secure? Using voice/speech inversion? I doubt it, but I don't own one so I don't really know. $\endgroup$ – sessyargc.jp Mar 9 '15 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ They baofeng radios do not have any speech inversion or any form of encryption. Keep an eye out for digital baofeng radios which will be coming out soon $\endgroup$ – Skyler 440 Mar 9 '15 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ Compatibility and security are to completely different issues. $\endgroup$ – W8AWT Mar 12 '15 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'm convinced that the UV-5R can be used for almost anything :) $\endgroup$ – AG5CI Nov 30 '17 at 20:45
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Yes & No. The Baofeng is capable of transmitting on FRS/GMRS & MURS. But its not legal to do so (except maybe on GMRS with a license). And no frequency is "secure" as in "private" with any handheld radio that I've ever seen. PL tones, (aka Privacy Codes) are not private at all. This is a popular misconception promoted by manufacturers of those bubble-pack radios found at walmart. PL tones, privacy codes, CTCSS, whatever label you want to put on it, do NOTHING to prevent other radios from hearing your conversations. They merely prevent YOU from hearing other radios that are not using the same tone you are using. If you turn off CTCSS on your baofeng, then you will hear every radio on the frequency you are using that are within range, REGARDLESS of which tone they may be using. So much for privacy.

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Legality is a big issue. Not to be ignored.

There is no legal way for you to do as you suggest in the USA.


This radio is too powerful to be legal on FRS.


You need a license for GMRS. Applications are in the $90 range.


MURS provides exactly the kind of service you are asking about.

  • MURS is license-free
  • All MURS radios must be FCC Type-Certified for legal use in the USA

Thus, the Chinese radios do not qualify as being legal for this service.

Here is more info on MURS:

The Best Kept Secret in Radio Communication

Excerpt:

License free, low cost, two-way communication. What’s not to love about MURS? MURS stands for Multi User Radio Service, and is one of the best kept secrets in personal and family radio communications.

Formerly available only for business communications, the FCC has kept five MURS frequencies license-free and open for public use since 2000. Handheld radios broadcasting on MURS frequencies can experience a range of two miles to eight miles depending on terrain and obstructions, while MURS Base Stations can reach up to 20 miles.

The stipulations for MURS use provided by the FCC restrict any transmitter in excess of two watts, but any type of antenna is allowed as long as the tower height (with antenna) is no greater than 60 feet high. All communications must also yield to any emergency communication on the same channel.

The five MURS frequencies are listed below, The 154 MHz channels can be operated on the standard 25 kHz wide band or narrow band mode. The 151 MHz channels can only be operated in narrow band mode.

  • 151.820 MHz
  • 151.880 MHz
  • 151.940 MHz
  • 154.570 MHz
  • 154.600 MHz

Each of the five frequencies can not only transmit voice, but also data.

Another hidden benefit of MURS frequencies are the PL codes (Private Line codes) or CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) which are sub-audible tones that allow users to operate on the same channel without hearing chatter directed to other users.

There are 38 PL codes available to each of the five MURS frequencies, which makes for a combination of 190 different MURS channels. While this is not encryption, anyone not operating with the same PL code won’t hear your conversation.


Various legal radios can be obtained from the usual sources.

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  • $\begingroup$ You assume the US, which isn't a safe assumption, but for the US, it's correct. $\endgroup$ – Jim MacKenzie VE5EV Nov 30 '17 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ The terms FRS and GMRS are also used in Canada by Industry Canada, and MURS, while not yet launched in Canada, is also an abbreviation that is seen in the wild. $\endgroup$ – Jim MacKenzie VE5EV Nov 30 '17 at 20:43

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