GPS tracking devices have gained popularity over the years, and they have evolved to provide personal or vehicle tracking. The best GPS tracker is a small portable transmitter that allows you to track the real-time location of items like cars, motorbikes, overseas packages, or people like children, elderly parents. Once you place the tracker in position, you can comfortably view the location of your items through a desktop web access, tablet, and even from your phone.
We took the liberty of curating a list of the best GPS trackers in the market, including a detailed buying guide to help you make an informative decision.
1. Bouncie GPS Tracker
- $8 Monthly Service Includes
- Realtime Driving Data - 4G LTE
- 15 Second Auto-Refresh
- Accident Notifications - Roadside Assistance
- No Activation Fees - No Hidden Fees - No Return Fees - Cancel...
Bouncie GPS Tracker is the best GPS tracker for vehicle maintenance plugged into your car's OBD port, and it offers standard geofencing and real-time alerts for hard braking, acceleration, and speed. Besides, it helps track gas levels, routine car-related tasks, or vehicle maintenance such as inspections or annual emissions. The GPS car tracker tells you where it has been, whether the car is on the move or in a parking lot, and the route it took to get there and also updates every 15 seconds thanks to its auto-refresh feature and shares the vehicle's location on the map.
The Bouncie GPS trackers feature a usable map that allows you to choose between a street or a satellite view and zoom in or out to look closer at any address or the driving information. Using the Geo-zone feature, the car tracker sends you notifications on the arrival of your vehicle or when it leaves. Being on the list of the best GPS trackers, the company is a favorite for many consumers. It charges an $8 monthly fee which can be canceled anytime with no hidden charges like activation or return fees.
2. Vyncs GPS Tracker for Vehicles
- GPS TRACKER FOR VEHICLES. 4G LTE DEVICE. NO MONTHLY FEE, One-time...
- VYNCS ADVANTAGES. No Battery needed, powered by OBD. Vehicle DTC...
- REAL TIME LOCATION TRACKING AND TRIPS. Collects data every...
- ALL THE DRIVER AND VEHICLE ALERTS YOU NEED. Geofence zones,...
- WHY VYNCS? ULTRA FAST: New 4G LTE Device. HIGHLY RATED: 1800+...
Vyncs GPS Tracker is the best GPS tracker if you are looking to pick the OBD Car trackers which get power from their car and are very easy to use. It is a 3G network tracker which is usually accurate and provides a reliable track of location information for all users. Additionally, it comes with additional features such as emergency roadside assistance, drivers' monitoring, fuel reporting, maintenance reminders, and vehicle performance reporting making it a superb vehicle tracking device.
The Vyncs is one of the best multi-functional trackers in the market. Besides informing you of unsafe driving practices, recall notices, fuel levels, and engine diagnostics, it can also help you save on car insurance by giving you a Tip Performance Index (TPI) score. It costs around $75 and a one-time activation fee of $30 with a refreshing time of 3 minutes which is quite slow. However, it uses yearly plans instead of monthly and therefore calls for commitment, but this can help you save cash.
3. Optimus 2.0 GPS Tracker
- Accurate, Discreet, Real-Time GPS Tracker with POWERFUL Twin...
- $19.95 per month - All features included - Cancel Anytime - No...
- Battery Life up to 2 weeks reporting frequency at 1 minute
- Email and Text Message Alerts for Movement, Speeding, Leaving or...
- Set up custom INSTANT ALERTS – text and/or email - App...
The Optimus 2.0 GPS tracker is a high-quality, well-respected GPS tracking device compatible with apps either in IOS or Android devices. It is a small battery-operated device that offers a great battery life. Whenever your GPS tracker generates new information, the users can view it using your mobile app at a $20 monthly fee.
However, the Optimus GPS vehicle tracker is slightly expensive than other GPS trackers and loses power quickly in extremely cold temperatures. Also, location tracking has a less fluid turn-by-turn experience than other apps depending on the monthly service subscription you opt-in for and can be accessed through an app and a website.
4. PocketFinder GPS Tracker
- Locate – see where your children are at on a map
- Monitor – track arrival & departure, and travel history
- Safety – receive alerts if they’re out of zone
- Mobile – manage activity from Android or iOS smartphone
- Breathe easier – confidence provides peace of mind
The PocketFinder GPS trackers are suitable for family members with an emergency calling and have a basic black key chain fob design with one silver SOS button. Using the attached key chain, the consumer can hook the finder to the belt loop or bag of a loved one, and you can press the SOS to send alerts or SMS the specific phone number in the app. The battery varies depending on the number of times the device pings the server with its location, which you can set according to your needs and preference.
Also, when Pocketfinder is not moving, it automatically goes to sleep, but even when asleep, you can press track mode in the app's power management menu. To sum up, Pocketfinder has a history feature that allows you to check a specific time and see all the tracker's locations during the specific time plotted on the map. You can also download the history as a PDF or CSV file.
5. Jiobit Location Tracker
- REQUIRES A SUBSCRIPTION PLAN: Jiobit requires a data plan to...
- The first-of-its-kind Jiobit TrustChip delivers unmatched...
- Small, lightweight, and durable design allows you to discreetly...
- Track at any distance - even indoors. Not only will you know...
- Jiobit is proud to be a U.S. company with 100% U.S.-based support...
Jiobit tracking devices are one of the smallest and durable GPS trackers in the market, with the capability of lasting up to a week. The compact size makes it suitable to keep tabs on all your assets, vehicles, including your loved one or any family members, pets, or luggage. Jiobit operates using its network, but you still need to get a subscription plan that is quite flexible, meaning you can get out anytime.
The Jiobit app is ideal for your home and people with plenty of ways to keep track and provides you with real-time and push notifications based on the tracker's area and tethering email alerts when the tracker moves far away from your tracker phone. Jiobit also packs various accessories depending on the users' needs, provides an extra security layer, and has a monthly data plan of $8.99.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best GPS Tracker
Before choosing GPS trackers, you should first consider what you intend to use because there are different ways the tracker can be helpful. Therefore ensure you choose tracking devices depending on what you need to track it for, such as for your loved one, biking, sales trips on the road, or navigating the wilderness. After you decide your main purpose, identify specific features that your GPS tracker will need and make sure your choice supports your needs.
When choosing the best GPS tracker, it is important to opt for simple GPS trackers to understand and withstand extreme weather conditions. The best GPS trackers should feature an SOS button for any emergency, and this allows the user to notify a preset contact when they encounter an emergency instantly. Additionally, to ensure ease of use, avoid a tracker with many buttons that can be confusing so long as you can send out your location with no disruption. Opt for a location tracking device that has around three buttons and does not require any initial setup.
3. GPS Smartphone App
An application is very handy for location trackers because it includes some bonus features that may add convenience. For example, you cant track vital details like battery life, you cant view account settings, and you cant create or view the geofences. Suppose a tracking app is installed on a smartphone. In that case, notifications are instantly displayed on the tracking app, and a great GPS tracker can allow a high degree of control over customizing location reports.
4. Battery Life
The battery life greatly affects how tracking devices will report any information. That is exactly why you have to ensure that your choice will be appropriate for you and your family's lifestyle. Several GPS trackers, including portable and battery-powered, feature an inbuilt motion sensor that can be used with minimal power when not moving. In contrast, another GPS tracker will have power banks that will provide you with extra life and charges if yours runs out. Notably, different GPS devices come with different battery lives, with most units being enough for a week on a single charge, and also, others can last up to 2 hours a day.
For monitoring one car, you can have a GPS installed in your car as the GPS tracker will get power from the electrical system, and therefore you won't need to recharge it when your batteries run low. These GPS tracker systems are suitable because they have a simple installation and are invisible inside your vehicle, so nobody, including the driver, would know it's there unless you inform them.
Thanks to cellular technology, the data collected by the tracker are transmitted to the server where your computers or smartphones can access it, with most of the best GPS trackers use mobile phones for transmitting data. Before you choose a GPS tracker for your home, ensure you check what cell service the vehicle tracking device you are using will use and check how strong the network coverage is in your location. It is important to confirm the above to determine if you have coverage issues in areas your recipient will be traveling and whether you can afford to wait for minutes, hours, or days before your device reports its location information.
You can also check if your GPS tracking devices can provide multiple coverage options and can also provide tools that determine the need for one coverage or another. If your recipient is anywhere on the planet, you might need a tracker that comes with a global roaming SIM card that allows you to track no matter the country.
6. Smart Alerts
Since the main purpose of a GPS vehicle tracker is precise location tracking of a vehicle or an object, adding security, safety, proper management, and efficiency are additional benefits that would make you realize if limits have been crossed sooner rather than later. The best GPS trackers usually issue instant smart alerts when your device changes the area, exits the safe zone, breaches speed limits, or moves beyond schedule. However, this a feature only available in the real-time system, while the passive system will allow you to track when your property has been returned to the warehouse.
The passive GPS tracking systems store all the data in a receiver unit that can be downloaded to the server only after the vehicle returns to its headquarters. This might not be reliable because there is a risk of losing data when you exceed the memory. On the other hand, real-time GPS location tracking uses a satellite modem with the GPS guaranteeing no data loss.
7. Water Resistance
Water-resistant GPS Trackers can withstand any water splashes without causing damage to the internal chip or wiring, which can be damaged by water. This is a crucial feature for mostly outdoor purposes such as drones, boats, trucks, cars, kids, pets, and many more. Ensure you opt for a durable GPS tracker to give you value for your money while providing you with the best service.
If your budget can allow bonus accessories, ensure you get them. Such accessories include uploadable maps, cables, cases, and vehicle mounting brackets, a pouch, to mention a few. Additionally, some of the best GPS trackers come with magnetic cases that you can mount under a vehicle when you want to hide the trackers from your drivers.
Every GPS tracker comes with different features and is made of different materials, affecting its cost. Advanced features may come at a higher cost, but it's advisable to go for a device that will help you achieve your needs satisfactorily and matches your preferences and tastes. Another factor that may affect the prices might be the brand, international coverage, battery life, GPS chipset, associated service fees, and design.
Additionally, in the price factor, it's important to note that a GPS tracker will need tracking software and cellular service, and therefore, they will come with a monthly service fee from as low as $5 to as high as $49.95. However, some GPS device manufacturers don't include the cellular costs in the monthly service fee, so it's important to inquire what is included in the service fee and what it does not cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are there GPS trackers without a monthly fee?
An example of such a device would be the iTrail GPS Logger, one of the best GPS trackers with no monthly fee, making it very cost-effective. It also features a built-in 750mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery that lasts up to 120 hours when full of charge and motion activation. Another one is the Yepzon Freedom.
2. Can I use an old cell phone as a GPS tracker?
Yes, an old cell phone can be used as a GPS tracker, with a downside of you collecting your tracking data when you get it back, you can transfer the data. You can transfer the data via USB, flash card, Bluetooth, or Wi-fi.