Two way radios or “walkie talkies” allow two or more people to converse (often while separated by miles) by transmitting and receiving voice signals through the air. While they work very much like a telephone they have the advantage of being able to be used anywhere since they require no central network. The FRS/GMRS two way radio is the kind of two way radio typical consumers will usually come across, and you can purchase them at whatever department stores you normally shop at. The two channels it can work on are GMRS and FRS, hence the name. The first seven channels are shared between FRS and GMRS, while the former gets 8 through 14 and the latter gets 15 through 22. When you want to use these two way radios, you have to use the same channel in order to speak to each other. Every radio that is set to channel 7 can talk to each other, but not to someone whose radio is set to channel 6. As it is not an entirely private medium, you have to watch what you are talking about, as you might be eavesdropped on by someone else on the same channel you do not know is there. As you decide to pick a channel, make sure you have the type of range you want, as well as your preferred level of privacy. With an FRS only channel, government regulations are in place that set it only at .5 watts, giving it a range of up to a half mile. With GMRS channels, the radio uses its maximum power output, so you get a much better range. Unfortunately, you need FCC clearance to use GMRS frequencies, so be sure not to use those channels unless you do get it. When it comes to privacy, you just have to keep switching channels until you find one that no one else is using. There are times when you might not be able to find a truly private channel, as there are people using every channel, For this there are “privacy codes,” which most decent mid range radios offer. With these codes, you just divide one channel into a hundred or more subchannels, pick the privacy code you want to use, and you will be able to talk free of eavesdropping.
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