Zello and Voxer Walkie-Talkie Apps: Instant Private or Group Voice & Multimedia

Zello and Voxer Walkie-Talkie Apps: Instant Private or Group Voice & Multimedia

Two-Way Radios and Communicating in Protective Services have several key limitations: line of sight/interference, encryption and multi-device requirements. With Zello or Voxer, as long as you have GSM/CDMA signal (cell tower reception) or WiFi you can alleviate those issues and communicate like never before.

Remember Nextel? These apps are just like but have even more features. Voxer is an app you can download and use for free on iPhone or Android, and has a paid subscription for full features. ($30 annually) It is an instant communication tool over GSM/CDMA (global system for mobile communications, code-define multi-access) or WiFi so it is not limited by line of sight. You can use surveillance headsets, in which there are many wired headset and bluetooth options depending on your platform. I have found the options listed on Zello’s hardware page to work well. Additionally, Voxer allows you to geotag your messages as to share your location automatically. Private chats or large groups to communicate to an entire group at once, while recording all messages, and also allows for text and MMS. (multimedia message system = pictures)

Voxer iASUS 500k headset

For more information on programming radios and CTCSS codes, see this link: Custom Radio Programming: Frequencies and CTCSS Read more on Encrypted Radio Communications with DMR Privacy Modes

dmr encryption privacy

Zello is another instant communication tool over GSM (global system for mobile communications) so it is not limited by LOS. (think Nextel) Free for personal use and business plans are available. A great option for using Zello is a Bluetooth mic and earpiece with a bluetooth PTT button. This combo makes for a hands free, convenient, clear and discreet communications platform. Bonus points if you plug an N-Ear or  EarHero earphone kit. If you are using an iPhone with Zello, Apple AirPods also work very well. FYI – The paid platform (currently $8/mo per user) has a few settings that will make the app much more useful for ‘walkie-talkie’ use. (see image below)

zello settings

Also, these apps allow you to geotag your communications as to share your location automatically, add groups of recipients to communicate to an entire group at once, records all messages, and Voxer also allows for text and MMS. (multimedia message system […pictures, files, etc.]) I highly recommend you give them a shot to augment to your comm plan.

Executive Protection Training – Security Driver Training


A couple of tips for using Voxer:
Disable “Show My Contacts which will not show your contacts to viewers of your profile. Enable “Audio Overlap” which allows multiple users to talk at the same time, which may be useful if an interruption is warranted. I.E. an emergency or perhaps just a hot mic. And adjust your “Search Privacy” as well as customize your name/account info so people can find you…or not.

Voxer Features

Will it work for you? You will have to decide depending on your task, environment, desired communication network, preferred platform, etc. but I highly recommend you give it a shot as an augment to your comm plan, not to replace it. For the price of free you can’t complain…

Joseph M. LaSorsa, CPP® is currently a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm.

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