Best Personal GPS Trackers
Buying one of the best personal GPS trackers available today can be both a safe and rewarding purchase, giving you peace of mind each time you decide to venture outdoors. With a personal GPS tracker, you’ll know your location wherever you are at, and be able to find your way back to wherever you started from.
There are so many great options available nowadays in personal GPS trackers, it can be difficult to pick the right one. So, to help save you time researching, we’ve compiled a list of the best personal GPS trackers, and we will also cover some criteria for evaluation you’ll want to consider before making your purchase.
- Optimus 2.0
- GPS history
- Spy Tec STI GL 300
- 5 sec. update
- Motion sensor battery
- Trax Personal
- Real-time tracking
10 Best Personal GPS Trackers
Optimus Real Time
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.
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.
- No contract fee
- GPS history
- Signal sometimes fails
- Icons sometimes disappear
Spy Tec STI GL 300 Mini
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.
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.
- Updates every five seconds
- Motion sensor battery
- GPS can be off on occasion by three or four feet.
- No privacy with tracking locations
Trax Personal Tracker
Each time you charge the Trax Personal GPS Tracker, you get a battery life of one day, and a GPS device that will track and update locations with an intelligent real-time algorithm. Plus, this GPS tracker also features an app that will let you keep track of your loved ones anytime you want to check.
With the Trax Personal GPS Tracker, you’ll also get a build-in SIM card that can be used without roaming charges in a wide variety of countries. You’ll get push alerts and notifications based on the settings you decide to keep track of, and know where your loved ones are at all times.
Trax’s Personal GPS Tracker also comes with a strong plastic case that can handle water, mud, snow, heat, and drops well, so you know the tracker will be reliable, durable, and long-lasting. Plus, the Trax Personal GPS Tracker is so small you can easily clip it onto a belt or bag.
- Covers over 30 countries
- Real-time tracking
- Short battery life
- App seems to have some issues
Spot Gen 3
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.
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.
- Great for outdoor enthusiasts
- Sends messages
- Contacts loved ones and emergency responders.
- Difficult to change the contract
- Must pay a full year in advance
DeLorme inReach SE
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.
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.
- Great worldwide coverage
- SOS messaging
- Two-way messaging
- Adjustable tracking intervals
- Need to buy a service plan
Amcrest AM-GL300 V2
Amcrest AM-GL300 V2 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 V2 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.
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.
- Flexible battery system
- Monitor arrivals, departures and receive alerts
- Waterproof design
- Locations can be slightly off
- Tracking is not always instant
Yepzon One Locator
The Yepzon One Personal GPS Locator also comes with an easy-to-use app that works with all mobile devices without requiring you to use a password or register anything. Also, you’ll be able to follow several Yepzons if you buy them for your entire family, allowing you to track everybody easily.
This GPS Tracker also comes with increased data security, since your personal data is never collected by the company and not shared by them. Only you can share the information and locate the person carrying the device with those you want to divulge that information to.
Yepzon’s One Personal GPS Locator also comes with a very long battery life that can last several weeks, since the batter on this tracker is motion-operated, which saves battery life. You also are allowed to share location updates on the Yepzon Cloud as needed.
- Comes with cloud sharing
- No password or registration required
- Communicates only at certain intervals of time
- Location can be a few feet off
Americaloc’s New Version GL300 W
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.
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.
- Long battery life
- Multi carriers
- Website can be buggy
- Locations can be a few feet off
With JVSURF’s Mini Personal GPS Tracker, you’ll get GSM and GPRS connectivity that also features a two-way voice function, so you can talk to others anytime you need help. Plus, this GPS tracker will work anywhere you go, since it functions in all countries and helps you find worldwide locations.
JVSURF’s Mini Personal GPS Tracker is also very small in design, and can be easily placed inside a pocket or backpack, giving you peace of mind. This GPS Tracker also uses GPS satellite positioning combined with auxiliary positioning and LBS base station positioning, making it very accurate when it tracks locations.
JVSURF’s Mini Personal GPS Tracker also comes with real-time tracking, route history functions, geo-fence location assistance, an emergency call feature, and multi-platform monitoring capabilities. You’ll be able to locate yourself or share your location and call for help anytime you might need it.
- Emergency call feature
- Multi-platform monitoring
- Doesn’t have a great battery life
- Only uses Google maps
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.
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.
- Small, portable device
- SOS alarm button
- Indoor Wi-Fi positioning
- Battery life could be better
- Signal does not always work
Here’s What We Looked At For The Best Trackers
Depending on what you need in a GPS Tracker, you want to factor in both cost and battery life before making a purchase. We’ll cover in a bit more depth below some of the items you’ll want to think about before you settle on buying the best personal GPS tracker that’s right for you.
Selecting A GPS Tracker
Personal GPS Trackers can offer a lot of versatility depending on what you need to use them for. You can purchase ones that offer a variety of tracking options, from being placed on a car to being placed in a backpack or even clipped on a belt. How much versatility you really need in your GPS tracker depends on what you plan to use the tracker for.
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.
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
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.
Monthly Plan Fees
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 anytime 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.
If you are using your GPS Tracker to venture into the outdoors and want to let others know where you are at all times for safety reasons, then you’ll probably want an SOS button and some kind of one or two way calling or texting feature, since most GPS Trackers can work in areas where your cell phone cannot, and can also inform others about your location in case you get into trouble.
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.
But first, what is GPS?
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.
Trackers use multiple satellites to exact their gadget locations via triangulating patterns. This means that the more satellites the device can “see,” the more accurate it will be in pinpointing locations.
GPS Tracker 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.
Q: What can GPS devices do?
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.
Some GPS Tracking devices also have what is known as an SOS button, which lets the person with the device press the button anytime they might be in trouble to send out an automatic alert to emergency services, as well as other people tracking the GPS Tracker on a smart device. Using a GPS Tracker with an SPS Device obviously boosts the safety and protection of the person with the GPS Tracker on their person.
Q: What’s the difference between a GPS Tracker and a Smart Phone?
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 Smart Phone 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.
Also, most models feature push-button SOS emergency features, which is a bonus if somebody ever needs help or gets into trouble. For somebody venturing out into the wilderness, emergency services can be contacted and brought to your location with the simple push of a button.
Most GPS Trackers are also smaller, more portable, and more durable than Smart Phones. So, you’ll get a lot more use out of them at a lower cost.
Another benefit that GPS Trackers offer is their ability to use multiple cell phone carriers and satellite systems to bring a greater degree of coverage, meaning they can typically operate just fine in areas where a cell phone might not work. For people venturing out into the wilderness on outdoor adventures, that offers a lot of protection since it will make them easier to find in case of emergency.
So, if you know you want to track somebody or allow others to track you no matter where you go, you’ll get better power and protection with a GPS Tracker when compared to a cell phone. GPS Trackers offer better coverage and work in far more areas than your typical cell phone or other devices.
Q: How did GPS Trackers develop?
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.
Today’s satellite systems and GPS location devices are quite powerful, and register the user’s location with a good deal of accuracy. With so much technological advancement in recent years, GPS devices offer a lot of safety and protection for location purposes, which can be used to locate people, vehicles, or even on outdoor adventures when you want people to be more easily able to find you for safety reasons.
When you are trying to decide which one of the best personal GPS trackers you want to utilize for your safety or your family’s safety, you’ll want to consider what you can afford, the options and features you’ll need, and what you’ll be using the GPS Tracking device for. If you want features like an SOS emergency button and some communication systems, whether one-way or two-way, and the ability to give out your location no matter where you plan to go, then you’ll want to make sure you purchase a GPS Tracking Device that offers those features.
Once you purchase the GPS Tracking Device that meets your needs, you’ll be able to use it for many years to come, since these devices are very durable and can handle a lot of abuse. You’ll feel safe no matter where you or your family members decide to venture.