GMRS Radio Vs FRS Radio

Many people have heard of the GMRS Radio and FRS Radio. If you haven’t, then this article could clarify some things for you.

GMRS stands for “General Mobile Radio Service” and FRS stands for “Family Radio Service.” Both of these types of radio services are intended for communication that is considered to be “two way.” There are many similar characteristics between both as well as many distinct differences.

Both of these services are UHF based. This stands for “Ultra High Frequency”. Additionally, both use FM which stands for “Frequency Modulation”. Both of the radio services are also utilized in the United States. In this guide, “GMRS Radio vs. FRS Radio”, you will learn information such as the advantages and disadvantages, the similarities, and the differences.


There are many similarities when it comes to GMRS Radio and FRS Radio. As mentioned previously, both are designed for the purpose and intent of communicating in a two way fashion. Additionally, both services are broadcasted in UHF on FM. Both services are available on walkie-talkie units as they are appropriate for communication within short distances. These radio services were originally designed for individuals to communicate with other members of their family, but as time progressed, individuals who had a connection in business also implemented the services for two way communication.


While GMRS Radio and FRS Radio are similar in nature, there are several distinct differences between the two services. GMRS Radio typically operates on a range of eight unique channels. These channels are uniquely specified by the FCC. These range from channel 15 to channel 22. The maximum power usage is fifty watts, but the radios that are used to communicate with others usually have a rating in power of 1.0 watt to 5.0 watts. The FRS Radio usually operates over a section of fourteen channels, the range being from channel 1 to channel 14. The channels are only used with FRS Radio. The maximum power that can be used on this type of radio service is only ½ watt. Also, it is required that you acquire an FCC license to broadcast on GMRS Radio channels. This is not required for the FRS Radio channels. 

When it comes to the distance in which the two radio services can be used, the FRS systems may not be altered with longer antennas or any type of signal modification device. However, GMRS Radio devices may be altered in order to increase the signal strength. As you can see, there are many unique differences between the GMRS Radio and the FRS Radio.


There are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the GMRS Radio and the FRS Radio. The benefits associated with using these types of radio services is that you no longer have to worry over being charged for air time, or on a call to call basis. This means no more surprise bills, monthly contracts, and expensive service charges. Additionally, many appreciate the fact that there is less interference when communicating on these radio devices than cell phones. Rarely do you experience static or call drops. Additionally, the radio services use devices that are lightweight, compact, and less expensive than many cell phones on the market today.


The disadvantages associated with GMRS Radio and FRS Radio includes the fact that an operator’s license is required for the GMRS Radio service. Furthermore, most individuals that many want to communicate with do not implement the use of these radio services. Furthermore, the selection of two way devices is not as broad as the selection of cell phones on the market today. While both GMRS Radio and FRS Radio are productive services, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons to determine if they are right for you and your family.


Both GMRS and FRS are very suitable for hunting, camping, hiking etc. It’s a great way to keep in touch with others when you’re out and about, especially in the mountains where cell phone range is nil.

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