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Best Personal GPS Trackers

last updated Feb 19, 2019

Personal GPS trackers have a wide variety of uses. They can be used to track pets, children, cars, or any valuable item that you would like to know the location of at all times. Personal GPS Trackers offer a sense of security as you can attach these trackers to almost anything. It may seem a bit daunting when you first consider buying a GPS tracker for personal use if you are not a tech-minded person. However, it is safe to say that most personal GPS trackers on the market today are very simple to use and, if you find that you get uneasy about possibly losing a certain item, there is a solution. Below we have listed and reviewed the top ten personal GPS trackers on the market.  Let us tell you why these are the best of the best if you're looking to invest.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
98.8/100 our score
Durability
99
Effectiveness
98
Portability
99
Battery Life
99
AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
Why is it better?

Flexible battery system

Monitor arrivals, departures and receive alerts

Waterproof design

Unlimited text message and email alerts

Small

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
Test Winner: AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
2.3k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
18
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Melissa Coleiro:

This buying guide for personal GPS trackers has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed products to help you keep track of the important things in life and know their location at all times if needed. A great personal GPS tracker to keep your eye on is the MotoSafety. We love this tracker because it is highly rated, reliable, and compact.

Sorting Options
Durability Effectiveness Portability Battery Life By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
Durability
99%
Effectiveness
98%
Portability
99%
Battery Life
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$89.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Durability
98%
Effectiveness
97%
Portability
96%
Battery Life
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$106.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Durability
95%
Effectiveness
97%
Portability
96%
Battery Life
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$259.59
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Durability
93%
Effectiveness
94%
Portability
92%
Battery Life
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$97.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Durability
90%
Effectiveness
91%
Portability
92%
Battery Life
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$79.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Durability
87%
Effectiveness
88%
Portability
88%
Battery Life
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$119.00
$149.99
See Deal
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Durability
86%
Effectiveness
85%
Portability
86%
Battery Life
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$48.80
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Durability
83%
Effectiveness
84%
Portability
83%
Battery Life
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$149.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Durability
80%
Effectiveness
81%
Portability
82%
Battery Life
81%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$159.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.3
Durability
78%
Effectiveness
79%
Portability
78%
Battery Life
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.02.19)
$39.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
  • AMERICALOC’S GL300 W
  • DELORME INREACH SE
  • SPY TEC STI GL 300 MINI
  • OPTIMUS REAL TIME
  • SPOT GEN 3
  • TRAK-4
  • VERIOT VENTURE SMART
  • YEPZON FREEDOM
  • MOTOSAFETY MTAS1
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. AMCREST AM-GL300 V3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.8
AMCREST AM-GL300 V3
Durability
99
Effectiveness
98
Portability
99
Battery Life
99
best offer for today
$89.99
Pros:

Flexible battery system

Monitor arrivals, departures and receive alerts

Waterproof design

Unlimited text message and email alerts

Small

Cons:

Locations can be slightly off

Tracking is not always instant

The Amcrest AM-GL300 V3 is the ultimate portable tracker as it's smaller than the size of a cigarette lighter. Use it to track yourself, family member, or a pet, and you will have great tabs on all that you love. You can access the GPS reports from a Mac, PC, or even a smartphone. You can tailor this GPS tracker to fit all of your needs, so that tracking is simple and customized.

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Features

Amcrest AM-GL300 V3 Personal GPS Tracker allows you to program it to set limits and boundaries, as well as speed limit alerts, which will either text message you or your loved ones so that the person with the device can be located at all times. You can also monitor the device from a computer, or use the free apps provided by iOS and Android.

Amcrest AM-GL300 V3 Personal GPS Tracker gives you 24/7 access to either share your location with loved ones, or to allow you to track your loved ones. Plus, this device has multiple power options to help give you some flexibility when charging it, and to also increase your battery life.

Benefits

With this GPS Tracker, you’ll get a waterproof design that makes the product both durable and reliable, and also lets you see sixty days of GPS tracking history. You’ll also be able to monitor arrivals, departures, and travel histories by receiving alerts.

2. AMERICALOC’S GL300 W

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
AMERICALOC’S GL300 W
Durability
98
Effectiveness
97
Portability
96
Battery Life
97
best offer for today
$106.00
Pros:

Affordable

Long battery life

Multi carriers

Cons:

Website can be buggy

Americaloc’s New Version GL300 W Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker gives you a personal GPS Tracker that can be used on people, vehicles, and assets. With a purchase of this GPS Tracker, you get two extra months free when you buy the service plan, which comes at a low monthly cost and allows you to cancel at any time without an auto-renewal.

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Features

Americaloc’s GL 300 W GPS Tracker has a very long battery life, and also comes with multicarrier service plans so it will use various signals from a variety of mobile carries to transmit locations, covering a wider range of locations. So, unlike other trackers that only use one carrier service, this GPS Tracker will utilize all of them and help pinpoint location better.

This GPS Tracker also sends out alerts depending on how you program it, and tracks movements, parking, speeding, battery life, and boundaries. Plus, its battery life lasts a long time, so you won’t need to worry about constantly recharging it.

Benefits
Americaloc’s GL 300 W GPS Tracker provides both real-time tracking and also shares up to a year of tracking history. You can track the device from any computer, or using the Android or iPhone app to help you see locations.

3. DELORME INREACH SE

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
DELORME INREACH SE
Durability
95
Effectiveness
97
Portability
96
Battery Life
95
best offer for today
$259.59
Pros:

Great worldwide coverage

SOS messaging

Two-way messaging

Adjustable tracking intervals

Cons:

Expensive

DeLorme’s inReach SE Satellite Tracker gives you several great features, including a small screen that includes direction buttons so you can even use it to send text messages no matter where you decide to adventure to in the outdoors. DeLorme’s inReach SE Satellite Tracker also is SPS enabled and gives you a lot of tracking options with a long lasting, 100-hour lithium battery.

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Benefits

Although it is more expensive than some of the other trackers like our list, it does offer more professional features and options in comparison to some of the other products here. With this GPS Tracking device, you’ll be able to send SOS signals to search and rescue teams 24/7 in case anything bad happens, keeping you safe at all times.

Plus, you are able to adjust the tracking intervals from ten minutes to four hours so that you decide how and when you’ll share your location. Also, this GPS tracking device gives you full global coverage provided by the Iridium satellite network.

Features

You’ll feel safe with this GPS Tracker’s delivery confirmation of text messages and SOS signals, so you know your messages are getting out. Also, the color screen on the device is very easy to use, and gives you two-way messaging capabilities.

4. SPY TEC STI GL 300 MINI

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
SPY TEC STI GL 300 MINI
Durability
93
Effectiveness
94
Portability
92
Battery Life
94
best offer for today
$97.95
Pros:

Affordable

Updates every five seconds

Motion sensor battery

Cons:

GPS can be off on occasion by three or four feet.

Spy Tec’s STI GL 300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker provides you with the opportunity to track just about anything—from vehicles to spouses, teens, children, or elderly persons. The small size of the Spy Tec STI GL 300 means it can go anywhere, and be placed in a vehicle, belt, or backpack easily.

Read more

Features

Spy Tec’s STI GL 300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker allows you to track with Google Maps in real time over your Internet connection. Also, it comes with no contracts, no activation or cancellation fees, and costs very little per month.

Spy Tec’s STI GL 300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker will also text or Email you anytime a person it is tracking leaves a certain area. With the GPS technology in this tracker, you’ll be able to track everything in real-time, since you’ll get location updates as often as every five seconds.

Benefits

Also, with Spy Tec’s STI GL 300 Mini Portable Real Time GPS Tracker, you can set boundaries and have the device contact you anytime a person moves outside of them. This GPS Tracker also comes with a motion sensor battery device, which helps save battery life when it’s not in use.

5. OPTIMUS REAL TIME

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
OPTIMUS REAL TIME
Durability
90
Effectiveness
91
Portability
92
Battery Life
83
best offer for today
$79.95
Pros:

Affordable

No contract fee

Alerts

GPS history

Cons:

Signal sometimes fails

The Optimus Real Time GPS Tracker provides you with the capabilities to track people, vehicles, or items and comes with a contract-free, no hidden fees and a low-cost per month data plane. This GPS Tracker provides excellent coverage for transmitting signal and uses AT&T’s signal services.

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Features

The Optimus Real Time GPS Tracker also comes with an iPhone and Android compatible app to help you track things quickly and easily, and the tracker also has a special routing feature. With this GPS Tracker, you’ll get Email and text message alerts for speeding, leaving, or entering certain areas, as well as getting driving reports and being able to see unlimited GPS history.

Plus, the Optimus Real Time GPS Tracker is also very small and portable and features an internal motion sensor to help keep battery life longer, since the tracker will sleep when there is no movement. You can easily track minute by minute and get alerts for a variety of things.

Benefits

The Optimus Real Time GPS Tracker also works with Google Maps online to help you keep track of where it is, and it has service coverage in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. With this GPS Tracker, you can keep track of yourself, your loved ones, or your important items anytime you see fit.

6. SPOT GEN 3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
SPOT GEN 3
Durability
87
Effectiveness
88
Portability
88
Battery Life
89
best offer for today
more shops
$119.00
$149.99
See Deal
Pros:

Great for outdoor enthusiasts

Sends messages

Contacts loved ones and emergency responders.

Cons:

Difficult to change the contract

With the Spot Gen 3 GPS Tracker, you get a larger tracker that lacks a screen, but features many buttons for programming commands. Plus, this GPS tracker can track where you are, where you’ve been, be set up to check in at different places, and also send pre-planned messages.

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Features

Spot’s Gen 3 GPS Tracker is made for those who like venturing outside, and is excellent at helping outdoor enthusiasts know where they are at. The batter on the Spot Gen 3 GPS Tracker is also made to be motion activated, to help extend battery life.
You’ll get unlimited tracking capabilities with the Spot Gen 3 GPS

Tracker, which also features a USB Power Input for easy and quick charging. With this GPS Tracker, you’ll have a lifeline of communication no matter where you travel outside, even if your cell phone isn’t working, giving you a lot of safety and protection for outdoor activities.

Benefits

Spot’s Gen 3 GPS Tracker also is developed to send out messages to let friends and family know you are okay, or even reach out to emergency responders in case you need assistance. Plus, this GPS tracker is designed to stay connected no matter where you wind up.

7. TRAK-4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
TRAK-4
Durability
86
Effectiveness
85
Portability
86
Battery Life
86
best offer for today
$48.80
Pros:

Low service cost

Up to 12 months on a single charge

Weatherproof

Cons:

Updates every two minutes

This Personal GPS Tracker is a sound choice if you are looking for a tracker that can not only be mounted both indoors and outdoors. This unit is fully weatherproof and built like a tank to ensure that you can track anything, anywhere.

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Features

The Trak-4 GPS Tracker is a unit that is affordable and can be placed anywhere. It is a more basic tracker than the others on the list but is specifically made for outdoor tracking that will take a beating from the weather. The most notable features on this unit are the battery life and its ability to resist damage from the elements.

Benefits

This Personal GPS Tracker is a unit that will hold up to the elements but if you are looking for a compact and a more discreet unit, than you may want to check out some other trackers on our list.

8. VERIOT VENTURE SMART

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
VERIOT VENTURE SMART
Durability
83
Effectiveness
84
Portability
83
Battery Life
82
best offer for today
$149.99
Pros:

Small

Great battery life

Versatile

Real-time tracking

Cons:

Some find that it is a bit bulkier than expected

The Veriot Venture Smart Tracking Device touts that it's tracking made simple, and many happy users of this device agree. This personal GPS is a wonderful option for children or even to place with any items of great value to you, like musical instruments, or other expensive gear. You can get real time notifications directly from the device to your smartphone or tablet. It is a popular choice for employers who have fleets of vehicles or mobile employees.

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Features and Benefits

The Veriot Venture Smart Tracker has real-time location tracking that can be easily utilized through a smartphone or tablet. The simple design and ease of use of this tracker allows it to be optimal for a wide variety of situations. As stated in the description, many employers use it to track mobile employees, and it's a favorite for parents to give to children to keep track of them.

This GPS tracker offers nationwide coverage, so that you are never out of touch or reach.

Currently, this tracker is offered at a very reasonable rate, as it includes six months free of tracking, and it's services can be renewed for as low as five dollars a month.

If you are looking for a device that offers great customer support, this is a fantastic option. The Veriot Venture Smart Tracking Device 24/7 email and phone support 365 days a year. Not to mention, there is a one-year warranty on the device, should anything go wrong.

One fantastic benefit of this GPS tracker is that it has five days of continual battery use, so you don't have to worry about recharging constantly.

9. YEPZON FREEDOM

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
YEPZON FREEDOM
Durability
80
Effectiveness
81
Portability
82
Battery Life
81
best offer for today
$159.00
Pros:

Small, portable device

SOS alarm button

Indoor Wi-Fi positioning

Cons:

Battery life could be better

Yepzon’s Freedom GPS Tracker brings you one of the most popular GPS tracing devices on the market, since it includes an SOS alarm button and three tracking devices, all available in a small device you can hold in your hands. Yepzon’s Freedom GPS Tracker also features the world’s first indoor Wi-Fi positioning, making it a very effective GPS tracking device.

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Features

Yepzon’s Freedom GPS Tracker is also very easy to use, and allows you to connect the tracker to a smartphone so that it is easy to track locations using a mobile app from anywhere in the world. With the Yepzon Freedom GPS Tracker, you also get three user modes: locator, locator with alarm button, or just the alarm button, and you can decide how you wish to use and program the tracking device.
With the SOS alert feature on this GPS Tracker, you’ll be able to hit a button and reach out for help in a matter of seconds. By pushing the button, you’ll send out a safety alarm that will share your location no matter where you are at.

Benefits

Plus, Yepzon’s Freedom GPS Tracker works with multiple devices and can be set-up for many users, helping you to track locations more easily. Plus, no registrations or passwords are needed to set-up this device.

10. MOTOSAFETY MTAS1

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.3
MOTOSAFETY MTAS1
Durability
78
Effectiveness
79
Portability
78
Battery Life
78
best offer for today
$39.99
Pros:

Fits anywhere

Affordable service

Reliable and discreet

Cons:

Signing up on website can be complicated

This Personal GPS Tracker fits anywhere and is brought to you by a reliable service. If you are looking to track a family member, personal item, or vehicle this unit will make sure you know its location at all times. With an affordable membership, this is a Personal GPS Tracker to check out.

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Features

MotoSafety provides a great Personal GPS Tracker with a variety of features. The most notable is the battery life which lasts up to 14 days constant use. You can Geofence locations so if your item or person goes outside that location you will get a instant alert. It is small and lightweight and updates every 60 seconds so you know where your tracker is at all times.

Benefits

The benefits to this Personal GPS Tracker is that it is lightweight, small and undetectable, and comes with a variety of features that will make sure you not only know where your personal tracker is but also where it has been. If you are looking for detail and discretion, check this one out.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Durability is another important factor when you’re considering what type of GPS Tracker to purchase since some devices are built to be waterproof, weatherproof, and long-lasting. Other GPS Trackers that don’t have as much durability typically offer additional cases and other options for purchase to help increase the lifespan of the product.

You do need to factor in the likelihood that the GPS Tracker might be dropped, mishandled, exposed to water—or any variety of accidents. So, some kind of protection will be necessary, whether the GPS Tracker you buy comes ready-made to handle accidents, or if you need to purchase an additional case to help make the device more durable.

While you might want to skimp out on the durability of the device to save a bit of money, in the long-run, you’ll lose out on costs if your GPS Tracker breaks and you need to purchase a new one. So, it is important to consider the durability of the product before you purchase it.

Effectiveness

Some GPS Tracking devices also allow you to control the real-time reporting the device delivers, which can be a good option for those who only want to use real-time reporting when they really need it. Some GPS Trackers will respect your real-time reporting requirements, although all of them still log data so that the device can report where it’s at in case of emergencies.

If you do limit the real-time reporting features of a GPS Tracking device, you won’t be able to share information on where you are at as you’re moving, but you can still keep track of historical information. So, you can still see where you’ve been, or where somebody else has been, but you can control when your location is reported out in real-time.

Portability

Depending on what you plan to use your GPS Tracker for, you need to make sure the device is both versatile and portable enough to do all you want it to do. If you need it to track more than one person or different objects, you need to make sure the GPS Tracker has the versatility and portability to do all that you want it to do.

Some GPS Tracking devices are more portable than others and do better when moved to different locations. Devices that are more portable are able to be put anywhere, like in a backpack, purse, or on a belt. Also, many portable devices are made to be waterproof, or feature add-on cases to help make them more durable.

Battery Life

If you do need a lot of versatility in your tracker, you might think that buying something that’s smaller would seem like a better option. However, with most GPS Tracking options available on the market today, the smaller the GPS tracker, the less the battery life you’re likely to get. This issue isn’t true of all small GPS trackers, however, and some GPS manufacturers have found ways around this problem. For instance, some brands give you the option to pick an extended life battery kit for an additional charge that can make even the smallest GPS trackers last six months on one battery charge.

How much battery life you really need will depend on a lot of factors, but most important is how often you plan to use the device. If you plan to use it often, and you worry you’ll forget to charge it, then you might want to consider purchasing an extended battery life kit so you won’t run into the problem of a dead battery when you simply forget to charge the device—which can happen often, depending on how busy and distracted your life can get.

Battery life on many of these devices can vary and don’t function as an exact science. Several of the GPS Trackers we’ve mentioned on our list can function for as long as a week without recharging the device and without using an extended battery pack. However, some of them last only as long as two hours, so you want to make sure you get a GPS Tracker with the battery options you’ll need.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
Battery Life
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Effectiveness
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Sensors

Some portable GPS Trackers use motion sensors to turn the devices on and off, which is a great feature since they’ll only be active when somebody is on the move. When the person stops moving, the GPS Tracker can then switch off to save battery life. The battery life on your GPS Tracker is also going to affect how well the Tracker reports out its location since low power means the device won’t function up to par. You want to make sure you get a tracker that will keep going for a while so that it continues to report locations accurately

Other Factors to Consider

Apps

Another factor you’ll need to consider before making your purchase on a GPS Tracking Device is the cost—and not just the overall purchase price of the device, but the monthly fees you’ll have to pay when you want to use the device. Depending on the brand, costs can vary based on the GPS Tracking Device.

Some devices will give you the first year of the plan free, and others may only give you the first month free and then charge a monthly charge each month. Also, some GPS Tracking Devices come with plans you can cancel at any time without paying any additional fees, while other (typically those with cheap monthly rates) can lock you into a long contract you might not want to be in. So, make sure you take a look at the monthly plan options and features before selecting your device.

When you’re comparing monthly fees, make sure you are considering the plan options and the brand of device you are using. Much about the monthly plan cost will depend on the brand of the GPS tracking device itself, and some trackers come with additional features as well. For instance, some of the GPS Trackers we listed on our guide above include SOS emergency buttons, one-way or two-way calling or text features, and a variety of text alert features. The different types of capabilities offered on your GPS Tracking device will dictate how much the monthly fees will cost, so you’ll want to determine what you really need before you make your purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is GPS Technology?
a:

The global positioning system or GPS was developed by the US government. It consists of 24 satellites in orbit above the planet and receives signals from these satellites to use them to pinpoint and track a device location, generally accurate to within a few yards during optimal conditions.

q: What is a GPS tracker?
a:

GPS devices were developed by the U.S. government, and they utilize the Global Positioning System, which has 31 satellites that orbit the Earth. GPS systems can be tracked by receiving signals from the satellites, which accurately pinpoint the location of the device.

q: What can GPS devices do?
a:

GPS devices are typically used to locate items, pets, or people in real time, as long as you have a device tied to your GPS tracking location service, and the person or thing you are tracking has the GPS tracking device on him or her. With a GPS Tracker, you can locate items, pets, your car, your loved ones—almost anything in real time, so you know where your loved ones or your belongings are at all times of the day. Plus, most GPS tracking devices allow you to track on a map system in real-time on a computer, while several others will text or Email you to let you know the location of the GPS Tracker.

Many GPS Trackers also allow you to set up what is known as geofence alerts—which means you can set up boundaries and have the GPS Tracker text you right away anytime the device moves outside of those boundaries. These features allow you to make sure people stay within a dictated location, and can help you figure out more quickly what is going on if somebody moves beyond the usual boundaries.

People use GPS Trackers to locate a variety of things, from cars to pets and people, which can help make things safer for everybody. Many outdoor enthusiasts use GPS Trackers to share their locations when they adventure out in the wilderness so that they have the added safety of using a device to locate help if needed, or if they get lost, using a device that gets a wider signal range than a traditional cell phone.

q: What’s the difference between a GPS Tracker and a Smart Phone?
a:

A lot of people wonder why a GPS tracking device would be needed when many tracking apps are available for free on Smart Phone devices. There are several reasons why, however, one might prefer a GPS Tracker over a Smart Phone when considering safety and affordability.

First, a GPS Tracker can offer better functionality and more affordability, especially if you need to keep track of several people. GPS Trackers can offer a lot of features for people that move around a lot, or to keep track of both people and items that could get easily lost or stolen. Many companies prefer to use tracking devices on machines to avoid tracking on employee cell phones, which can lead to personal lawsuits.

These tend to last longer than SmartPhone devices since Smart Phones typically have a lifespan of around two years. GPS Trackers tend to be much more durable and last much longer than Smart Phones. Also, GPS Trackers can cost you far less in upfront costs, and offer cheaper monthly fees, than many GPS Trackers on cell phones.

GPS Trackers also work well so that you don’t have to activate the app or device each time you want to check in on where somebody is at. Smart Phones don’t typically feature this option, so it’s easier to track in real time using a GPS Tracker.

q: How did GPS Trackers develop?
a:

GPS Trackers, short for Global Positioning Systems, date their use back to the Cold War era when Russia launched the first artificial Earth satellite. At that time, MIT scientists started studying the signals that this particular satellite transmitted, and the scientists realized the changes in the frequency of the radio signals that were impacted by the Doppler Effect. As scientists studied that phenomenon, they learned how to track receivers on the ground through a distant satellite system.

In America, the first real satellite system that could use GPS Tracking was built by the Navy. When the Navy first build this satellite system, they wanted to watch the location of their submarines. Initially, the Navy began with six satellites and they later expanded this to ten so that they could monitor where all branches of the military kept their vehicles. In the early 1980s, President Reagan okayed the use of commercial aircraft to be monitored by similar systems with the goal of making air travel safer.

By 1993, the full satellite system we now use in today’s society was created and launched, using twenty-four total satellites. Until 2000, the Department of Defense curbed the accuracy of GPS systems so that enemies couldn’t use it against the United States. After 2000, GPS systems became even more accurate, and civilians began to use it to track vehicles, people, and to also use GPS systems on cell phones.

Sources