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Choosing A GPS Tracker / Tracking Device

Before we talk about choosing the proper GPS tracker for your needs lets first dispel some myths about what a GPS tracking device is and what it is not.

A GPS Tracker is an extremely sensitive, high tech piece of equipment that allows the user to do things that was  only available to the likes of James Bond, law officers, and private investigators up to a few short years ago. When placed properly it is accurate to within a few feet.

With that said, many people have some misconceptions about GPS Trackers. The movies show tracking devices the size of a dime or even as small as a grain of rice. Unfortunately, trackers that small simply don't exist.....yet. The reason is not because of the GPS module itself. It is possible to make a smaller GPS module, but battery technology has not caught up. Most of the bulk from todays trackers comes from the battery.

When choosing the right tracker you should first consider how the tracker will be powered. If you will need to move the tracker from vehicle to vehicle, if you are tracking a person, or if you are tracking an asset you will probably need a battery operated GPS tracker. This is what most private investigators use. If you have access to the vehicle and you don't want to worry about changing or charging batteries you can install a hard wired tracker in less that thirty minutes in most cases.

Next consider how you want to monitor your tracking device. If you want to be able to locate the tracker instantly over the internet you will need what is called a real time GPS tracker. Real time trackers use cellular networks to send the data so there is a small monthly fee. Real time GPS trackers can also be set up to send you alerts via text message or email.

If you don't need real time monitoring or text alerts, a GPS logger is a great choice and there are no monthly fees. To view the data with a GPS logger you will need to retrieve the tracker and connect it to a computer which means you will be looking at historical data after the fact. You will still get the same information as you would with a real time tracker just not instantly online.

If you need a real time tracker for only a few weeks you may want to consider renting a real time tracker. You can see our GPS rental page here.


Real time GPS tracker

  • Instantly locate and monitor your tracker via the internet and/or cell phone
  • Small monthly fee

GPS logger

  • Tracker retrieved and connected to your computer to view the data
  • No monthly fees

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