Pick the Right GPS Tracker | 8 things to consider before buying
Not all GPS trackers are created equally. There are many factors to consider before picking the type that will work best for you. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of trackers, the technology they use, and the scenarios for each use type.
What Do You Want to Track?
Today’s GPS trackers are capable of tracking any number of things. These include vehicles, trailers, heavy equipment, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, landscaping equipment, and shipping containers, to name a few.
How Will the GPS Tracker be Powered?
There are both wired and wireless systems on the market. Which of these you choose will depend on your goals.
If you need to have real time constant tracking, a wired system is the sensible choice. Wired systems are generally installed by professionals. Some plug into a vehicle’s OBD port. On the downside, these systems are very easy for a thief to detect and can be easily disabled, preventing you from being able to track in case of theft.
The other option is a wireless tracker. This type of tracker relies on a battery. Battery life can be a challenge. However, these devices are easier to hide from thieves, so they are less likely to be disabled.
Installation Costs of GPS Tracking Systems
Labor costs vary throughout the United States, but installation of a wired GPS system can cost hundreds of dollars. It’s very important for wired systems to be installed by professionals. While some systems may claim that they can be plugged right into an OBD port, it really depends on the vehicle. Most OBD’s were built with a port to receive diagnostic information. They were not intended for 2-way communication with a device. A bad installation can lead to problems in the electrical system of the vehicle.
Wireless systems do not require professional installation as they are not connected to any of the vehicle’s systems.
Battery Life of Wireless GPS Trackers
For wireless GPS trackers, battery life is affected by how often the device sends and receives location data. In trackers that allow intervals of 1 to 5 minutes, battery life is limited to days. While a system like that may be rechargeable, there’s a significant risk of forgetting to charge and rendering the device useless.
In the case of Track N Recover trackers, battery life is between 1-4 years. Once again, the actual life depends on the amount of activity. The Trip Mode tracker is equipped with a motion sensor and sends a location ping each time the item is moved. It is designed for use with equipment that isn’t used daily. Track N Recover Endurance mode trackers send a ping every 12 hours. The planned frequency conserves battery life. It’s the best solution for items that are used frequently.
GPS Tracker Technology – Bluetooth vs WiFi vs GPS vs Polte
Bluetooth trackers work by connecting to a compatible device such as a phone. They work very well in a contained environment and are an excellent choice for items such as keys. However, range is short and depends on the strength of the Bluetooth signal. Max range is generally 200 feet. Great for keys, but not so great for trailers and equipment.
Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) is a geolocation system that uses Wi-Fi networks to locate compatible devices and users. Wi-Fi positioning is useful in urban environments, where there are many wireless networks broadcasting within the same area. However, it won’t work at all if there aren’t any WiFi networks available. It finds the item’s location based on other users in the area accessing the WiFi network to triangulate the positioning.
GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking uses satellites to pinpoint the exact location of a signal. It is incredibly accurate when used outdoors, but can be limited by obstructions. In indoor locations away from windows, trackers may not be able to communicate with satellites.
Polte is the newest tracking system on the market. It is revolutionary and has disrupted the way things will be tracked in the future. Polte works by communicating with 4G and 5G cell towers. Polte devices send and receive data packets to nearby cell towers. Using cloud software, precise calculations can be made about location, altitude, and much more. Most importantly, Polte can work indoors where GPS can’t. It is a forward-thinking technology.
Track N Recover trackers combine the best of the best using motion sensors, GPS, and Polte.
GPS Tracker Software
How will you know where your asset is located? Some tracking systems offer a website while others allow you to access data through an app on your phone. The right one for you depends on your use case.
Track N Recover utilizes the InTouch VP app. It is available in the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play store. The app shows current data as well as location history.
Recovery Support for Stolen Items
It’s one thing to know where your item is, but will there be support to help you recover it?
Support for Track N Recover trackers is one click away. Simply open the app, click the support button, and you’ll be in touch with a support agent. At that point, the agent can turn on active tracking for real time locations. If your asset is on the move, support can also coordinate with the different police jurisdictions on the route to not only track down your item, but help you recover it.
The faster the thief is caught, the more likely you’ll be able to get your property back without a loss.
Monthly Costs of GPS Trackers
The reason for service costs is the airtime needed for any tracker to communicate over the cellular network and get the data to your phone or computer.
When you start shopping for a GPS tracker, you’ll find many seemingly low-cost options. In recent years, subscription models have become all the rage. The concept is to bury the real cost in small transactions over time, hoping you won’t do the math or notice.
We did the math. In this table, you can see the initial cost, monthly, and the total amounts per year. As you can see, those monthly charges can really add up. Low cost trackers may seem like an inexpensive solution, but they can cost a lot more without providing the same level of technology found in a Track N Recover tracker. And we have zero monthly fees.
GPS Trackers Cost Comparison over 2 Years
|Company||Product||Wireless||Equip Cost||Monthly||Year 1 Cost||Year 2 Cost||
Track N Recover
Trip Mode Tracker
|Tracki||2022 4G LTE Mini GPS||Yes||$16.88||$19.95||$256.28||$239.40||$495.68|
|Land Air Sea||54 GPS Tracker||Yes||$29.95||$20.00||$269.95||$240.00||$509.95|
|Spy Tec||STI GL300 GPS Tracker||Yes||$39.95||$25.00||$339.95||$300.00||$639.95|
|Americaloc||300 Mini Portable||Yes||$106.00||$25.00||$406.00||$300.00||$706.00|
Which Will You Choose?
Track N Recover trackers feature the most sophisticated technology, no wires, easy setup with no installation charges, long battery life, easy to use app, recovery support, and no monthly fees. Pick one up today and start tracking.