GPS Tracker Review

 By
 

Why Buy GPS Trackers?

A certain peace of mind comes when you know where your child is. The ability to pick up your phone, or pull open an internet browser, and locate your child is possible with GPS trackers. GPS technology is now sophisticated enough that you can know if your child is safe by simply attaching a small tracking device to your child.

Despite our best efforts, the world is a scary place. If you keep a GPS tracker on your child, you will be able to not only see their current location, but also see where they have been. You can create an alert that goes to your cellphone if your child leaves a safe area. You can create an alert to notify you if your child is moving too quickly, indicating that they got in a car. Some of these GPS devices even permit two-way communication so you can speak directly to your child in times of trouble. The top three GPS trackers for kids, the Amber Alert GPS Device, the PocketFinder Personal GPS Locator and the Spark Nano 4.0, combine these elements for useful and stress-relieving products. To learn more about these products, check out our articles on GPS trackers.

GPS Trackers: What to Look For

When choosing a GPS tracker for your kids, you need to find one that will fit your lifestyle and preferences. If you prefer smartphone apps, look for a device that has one. If you need a device that lets you talk instantly with you child, then look for one with two-way compatibility. The following is a description of the things we looked for.

Device Performance
When your child's safety is a concern, the accuracy of your GPS tracker is of the utmost importance. Look for a device that gets the closest to your child's actual location. Next, look at the size and weight of the device. You want a tracking device that is small, lightweight and easy to conceal. If you are clipping the device to your child's clothes or hiding it in their backpack, you'll want to make it difficult for a potential kidnapper to find. If you are tracking your teenage driver, sticking the tracker in the center console or glove compartment is easier if it's small.

You will want to choose a GPS tracking device with a long battery life. When you add real-time tracking services to a GPS tracker, the battery life drops dramatically. Choose a device that will run for the length of time you want to track your child – the best GPS trackers can go for a few days. You should choose a unit that will last four to five days when inactive or in standby. Units that have motion sensors and can come out of standby when moved will last even longer. However, the motion sensors are a double-edged sword. Depending how sensitive the sensor is, your device could go into hibernation and not come out unless strongly jarred, making it harder to track a child who has been sitting all day at school. Look for a device that will begin tracking if it starts traveling above a designated speed or further than a set distance.

Also, look for GPS trackers that use assisted GPS. Assisted GPS means that the tracking device uses both the global positioning system as well as a wireless carrier network. Some devices require that you purchase a SIM card, but the wireless carrier is up to you. The best GPS trackers include SIM cards and access to the best wireless carrier networks. Look for a tracking device with a durable, water-repellent exterior, so that you know the device will withstand wet conditions.

Features
Look for a GPS tracking device that includes a panic, or SOS, button that your child can press when they feel threatened, or in danger. When your child presses this button, the tracking device connects to a list of emergency contacts or emergency officials. The best GPS tracking devices will include two-way communication capability when your child presses the panic button.

When using a child GPS tracking device, you can create zones. These zones are areas that you designate as safe or unsafe. Most devices allow you to create radial zones that circle an entire school, neighborhood or larger area. Some of the more sophisticated GPS devices allow you to create custom-shaped zones, or even mark out a particular route. You can create these routes and zones as big as you need them to be, but it is recommended that these zones are bigger than a single house to avoid accidentally tripping the alerts. There are a few types of alerts. Zone alerts notify you when your child enters or exits a specific zone. Predator alerts will notify you when your child enters an area near a registered sex offender. If you have a teenage driver, you can be notified when they are driving over the speed limit. You can also set an alert for when the battery is dying on your child's device.

User Interface
In times past, you could text a tracking device to receive the coordinates of your child's location. Now, you can use web-based maps and smartphone apps to see your child's movements in real-time. Look for a company that has a proprietary web portal that you can log in to, as well as apps for both Android and iOS devices. The user interface should display the address of your child's current location and the speed they are traveling. The best GPS trackers will include a distance measurement indicating how far away from you your child is.

Also, look for a company's web portal that includes status indicators. These indicators show you the current state of the tracking device itself, such as the remaining battery life and the current signal strength from the GPS system. If you have multiple children, look for a user interface that can support multiple trackers. This is particularly helpful if you have a teenager at driver's education, a child at dance class and another at piano lessons. You can keep track of all of them from one screen.

Optional Accessories
Look for a company that offers accessories. Some accessories may come with your tracking device, while others may be after-market accessories. Two of the most common accessories are a pouch that allows you to clip the device to your child and a lanyard, which can hang the device around your child's neck. Other accessories include an armband, which can also go around a wrist or an ankle; a sleeve that can provide additional water protection and another way to attach it; and a magnetic case, which is a waterproof box that you attach to a car. In addition, some GPS tracking devices have an optional car installation kit where you can hook the device to the car's power supply and no longer run on the tracking device's battery. This is a particularly great option if you are concerned about your teen driver, but has many other applications.

Lastly, interchangeable faceplates or alternative sleeves are helpful in distinguishing tracking devices at a glance. The best GPS tracking devices give you a few color options.

Help & Support
Look for a company that offers a warranty for the tracking device, just in case you receive a defective one. It is best if you find a company that guarantees their product for at least a year. Next, look for a company that you can reach by phone and email, should you run into any problems or have any questions. The company website should have a FAQs page and the product should have a user guide. Lastly, the best GPS tracking companies will have online tutorials to walk you through how to use the tracking device and the user interface.

With a GPS tracker, you’ll be able to ensure your teen is driving safely or that your child isn’t wandering around after school when he or she should be home. These tracking devices are easy to use, and you can access the location data from a web-based user interface or from your smartphone.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

 
 
Electronics » GPS » GPS Tracker Review
LIKE OUR REVIEWS? SUPPORT OUR SITE BY LIKING US ON FACEBOOK OR GOOGLE PLUS
Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Amber Alert GPS PocketFinder Spark Nano LiveViewGPS eZoom Zoombak iTrack 2.0 5Star Meitrack iTrack GPS Tracker
Amber Alert GPS PocketFinder Spark Nano LiveViewGPS eZoom Zoombak iTrack 2.0 5Star Meitrack iTrack GPS Tracker
Reviewer Comments Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Read Review
Visit Site
Visit Amber Alert GPS
$125.00
Visit PocketFinder Personal GPS Locator
$129.95
Visit Spark Nano 4.0
$149.95
Visit LiveViewGPS PT-10
$248.95
Visit eZoom Portable GPS Locator
$57.05
Visit Zoombak Advanced A-GPS Locator
$86.08
Visit iTrack 2.0 Real-Time Tracker
$199.99
Visit 5Star Urgent Response
$39.36
Visit Meitrack MT90
$125.00
Visit iTrack GPS Tracker
$129.99
Ratings
9.53
9.03
8.50
8.28
8.25
8.07
7.98
7.65
7.57
7.53
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
8.75
10.00
10.00
9.38
10.00
9.38
8.13
10.00
7.50
8.75
10.00
8.75
7.50
2.50
7.50
9.38
7.50
8.75
2.50
8.75
8.75
7.50
8.75
5.00
10.00
8.75
7.50
7.50
7.50
10.00
9.38
8.75
6.25
0.00
10.00
8.75
6.25
6.88
10.00
10.00
7.50
8.75
6.25
5.00
10.00
8.13
7.50
6.25
7.50
10.00
 
Fees
Monthly Price $15.00 $12.95 $29.95 $39.95 $19.99 $19.99 N/A* $14.99 N/A* N/A*
Device Price $125.00 $129.95 $149.5 $199.00 $99.99 $79.99 $199.99 $49.99 $89.99 $129.00
Activation $19.99 None None $19.95 $30.00 $15.00 N/A $35.00 N/A N/A
Contract Length Yearly Monthly Monthly Monthly Yearly Yearly N/A Monthly N/A N/A
Device Performance
Size (inches) 2.8 2 2.56 3.5 2.76 2.87 3.7 2.9 3.03 2.5
Weight (ounces) 2.17 1.4 3.53 4 3 2.5 10.5 1.8 2.3 1.7
Active Battery Life (days) 2 3 1 1 3 2 120 3 0.5 3
Standby Battery Life (days) 5 5 14 4 21 5 365 3 2 6
Rechargeable Battery
Motion Activated   
 
 
Wireless Network Assistance AT&T AT&T T-Mobile Yes T-Mobile T-Mobile Varies Verizon Yes Yes
Water Protection Water Resistant Waterproof Water Resistant Water Resistant Waterproof Water Resistant Water Resistant Water Resistant Waterproof Water Resistant
Features
Panic Button
 
 
 
2-Way Voice
     
 
Zones
 
Zone Alert
 
Predator Alert
         
Low Battery Alert
 
 
 
Speed Limit Alert
 
Text Notifications
 
Email Notifications
 
 
Emergency Contacts (#) 10 Unlimited 1 1 1 5 5 Unlimited 1 5
Tracking History (days) 90 60 90 90 90 90 Built-In Memory N/A Varies Built-In Memory
User Interface
Web-Based User Interface
iOS App
 
 
  
Android App
 
 
 
Standard Mobile Phone
 
Address
 
Speed
 
Distance
      
 
Status Indicators
     
Multiple Trackers
 
Accessory Options
Pouch
  
 
Lanyard
      
 
Arm Band
      
  
Sleeve  
   
    
Magnetic Case   
     
Car Installation Kit     
   
Color Options
     
  
Help & Support
Warranty 1 Year 6 Months 3 Months 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year Lifetime** 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
Phone
Email
User Guides
FAQs
 
*This model does not have a monthly price plan because you are responsible for providing your own SIM card or prepaid cellphone plan. **Battery not covered.