Your GPS Tracker Questions Answered
If any question about GPS Trackers is not answered here, then please contact us with your question or needs.
Our GPS Trackers are quadband which means they can use all worldwide mobile phone signals. The GPS technology is also worldwide. You will just need to get a SIM card for whatever country you are in. The only limitation is therefore SIM network coverage – if you are in the middle of the Sahara, your tracker will get a GPS signal but it won’t have a chance of picking up a cell phone network signal. Most urban areas will be fine. The GPS trackers are unlocked, so you can use your own SIM from any network.
GPS satellites surround the world, so you the GPS tracker will be able to get a location anywhere (as long its not deep indoors). The only limit is the SIM card inside the tracker – if you want to track from a different country then it will need to have roaming enabled to send the location texts, unless you set it up to upload to the internet instead. Then you can just log into a website from anywhere in the world to see the location.
For most purposes (i.e., local tracking in your own country), you don’t need to worry about “range” as your SIM card will be fine for the whole country. The only limitation is cell phone network coverage, to be able to transmit the location information.
GPS signals are good when the GPS trackers are outside, on transport, or near a window. If the GPS Tracker is in a building and not near a window, then GPS signal may be weak or non-existent.
The cell phone signal (for the SIM card to send and receive text messages) vary from carrier to carrier – there are some rural blindspots for example. Most of the UK is fine, although it will be worth checking your area on the mobile phone company’s website if you aren’t sure.
All our trackers have an SOS button. When pressed (and held), a text is sent out to the programmed number to indicate the SOS has been pressed, along with the location coordinates. Also, some trackers then also call the programmed numbers to connect the wearer to the carer.
The GPS Trackers have a small USB port, and the battery is charged by plugging the charger lead into the tracker directly. This can be via a USB port on a computer/laptop, or a UK plug socket. A UK USB plug adapter is supplied for this purpose. Charging cradles are not used to charge the GPS Trackers.
Charging takes just a few hours. The battery life of the GPS Trackers vary according to the tracker. Please see the individual product pages for details.
Battery life varies – please check the product’s page, towards the bottom you can find the battery life. You can also compare the different GPS Tracker’s features here. The GPS Trackers can text a “low battery” warning when the batteries are running low.
Sometimes, people require a GPS Tracker that can be fixed to the body – for example for tracking autistic children who may remove a GPS Tracker.
There are a number of text commands which vary from Tracker to Tracker which follow the same basic pattern. So you text a short message to the GPS tracker from a mobile phone to retrieve its location coordinates by return text. You can also text the GPS tracker to set up a geo-fence (where you receive a text if the Tracker strays a specified distance from its current location), send regular location reports and other useful functions. More details can be found here.
The trackers themselves also carry functionality for the wearer – such as an SOS panic button which sends the location to a programmed phone number, and buttons to call programmed numbers (therefore operating like a mini-mobile phone using the on-board mic and speaker). Please check the functionality of your tracker before you buy to ensure it has the features you need.
Latitude and longitude coordinates are sent from the GPS Tracker by text message. They can be entered into Google Maps or Google Earth to see the exact location. If you have an internet phone, then the clickable text link gives an immediate location on Google Maps. Some trackers also report speed information, and the date and time of the last known location (if a GPS signal is not present).
If you want to use online tracking, then the location is instead uploaded to a website. You can log in to your account (free to set up) and see the location on a live map.
Click here to read about our GPS Car Tracker. Trackers can also be used to track people, your children, your pets or vehicles. Of course, ethical and legal restrictions must be considered.
There is no indication to the wearer that the location is being requested or sent via text. Our Personal GPS Tracker makes no sounds at all – it answers incoming calls from authorised numbers automatically. The GPS Watch Tracker makes a ringing sound when called, and is answered by pressing a button. The Car Tracker is completely silent.
SIM Cards and Ongoing Costs
The GPS trackers need SIM cards inside – this is how they are able to make and receive calls and texts. SIM cards can be either on contract (with inclusive texts or minutes) or “pay as you go” – from any typical carriers (e.g. in the UK – Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, Giff Gaff, Orange, O2 etc). These are not provided with your GPS Tracker – although upon purchase, you can request a free Giff Gaff SIM which can be activated later. There is no cost or ordering a SIM – it will simply arrive in the mail a few days later. It will even have £5 free credit included when activated.
The person wishing to locate the GPS tracker will need a mobile phone in order to text the GPS Tracker to get the location coordinates back.
Finally, you need access to the internet to be able to make use of the location coordinates which are sent from the GPS tracker. If you have a smart phone, then some trackers send a clickable link direct to Google Maps. Otherwise, access to Google Maps on a desktop or laptop computer will allow you to see the location of the GPS tracker. Or, with a data-enabled SIM, you can use real-time online tracking.
GPS Trackers transmit their locations via text message – or by uploading their location information to the internet (GPRS online tracking). In order to send and receive texts, upload information, and make and receive two-way calls, they require SIM cards. This is how they are able to have a unique phone number, just like a cell phone, and utilize the cellphone networks.
This also allows you to program and use the GPS Tracker remotely. You could be 200 miles away (or even in a different country) and set a geo-fence, listen in via the microphone, or request a location.
If you want to supply your own SIM card, then it can be PAYG or contract – whatever is most convenient for you depending on your likely level of usage. Our recommended SIM card for the UK is with GiffGaff – they are very flexible, have great rates, and no minimum contract. Depending on your country, your SIM card packages and features will vary.
If you will only use the GPS Tracker once in a while, then a Pay As You Go SIM card might only cost about £1 per month. Location texts from a GiffGaff SIM are only 6p each. If you plan to make regular text location requests, then the GiffGaff SIM gives 300 texts for just £5 per month – which is 10 location texts a day. Also included is one hour of talk time, which might come in handy. This is only for UK customers however. Your SIM card costs will vary depending on your usage and country.
Some GPS companies charge set up fees, or ongoing fees.
We don’t charge any extra fees
We simply sell the devices themselves – with prices ranging from £109 upwards (individual prices are listed on the product pages). When you have your GPS tracker, the only cost will be for the texts that the GPS tracker sends from the SIM you put inside it – which will vary in price depending on whether you are on contract or pay as you go. GiffGaff for example give unlimited texts, internet (for GPRS) and 250 minutes for £10pm, or 300 texts and 60 minutes for £5pm. Via our link, you also get an extra £5 credit.
Our manuals are written in a down-to-earth, easy to understand way. They include all the detailed information you need to work your GPS tracker and make the most of it. Most problems are a result of not reading the manual properly!
There are also thorough troubleshooting guides, referenced at the back of the manual, for any updates or “more detail” for some functions. This will solve most issues.
If you’re still stuck or have questions, just email via the contact page and we’ll do our best to help.
The trackers are provided in a nice presentation box, with a battery (some also carry a spare), USB lead, UK USB plug adapter for charging, and a manual.