GPS trackers are most commonly used in vehicles. This is of course for various reasons which we may consider later on. But then, the question is, are they special trackers for vehicles, if yes what are they called and how do you identify them.
Well, the answer is not quite as simple as one may think. But then certain tracking devices are designed for certain purposes.
Now that you know that some trackers are designed to work on certain environments, the question could be: where to buy a GPS tracker for my car? Seeing that the sole purpose for which you need a GPS device is for monitoring your car.
We will take a look at how GPS trackers work and how it affects its usage in vehicles, the type of tracking devices that exist and could be at your disposal and which of them best meets your need.
How GPS Trackers Function
GPS trackers function using the global navigation satellite system (GNSS). The GNSS is a constellation of GPS satellites that orbit the earth. Presently, there are about twenty seven (27) of them.
Out of the twenty-seven GPS satellites out there in outer space, only twenty-four (24) of them are currently actively orbiting the earth and performing the designated function of providing geographical position data to GPS stations and subsequently GPS devices.
For a GPS tracker to effectively track the position of any target on the surface of the earth, three GPS satellites are required. Three GPS satellites over that location are required to effectively triangulate the target accurately and relay the geographical coordinates to the tracking device.
This is the famous mathematical triangulation principle. These three satellites help in triangulating the position of the target on the surface of the earth.
Triangulation is of two types. We have the 2D and the 3 D triangulation. Each of these types aid and enhance the quality of information deliverable by the tracking device.
There is so much more modern-day tracking devices can do beyond giving out coordinates of targets. Most recent innovations in GPS technology allows you to even eavesdrop on the conversation of the target.
Such recordings could be stored in memory cards slotted into the tracker or transmitted to a remote location in real-time.
Such devices are also able to even tell the speed at which the target is moving. This is amazing. Some other GPS trackers that are used in the medical field are able to also pick the pulse rate of the target for health reasons.
This really brings us to the different types of tracking devices.
Types of GPS Trackers
Trackers are broadly classified into two. We have the active or real time trackers and the passive devices. The active trackers are the type that is able to transmit the coordinates of the target in real time to you or some central server.
They are able to intermittently report on the location of the target based on some set timing. Some of them that have mobile applications are able to show you the location of the target on a map just whenever you want it.
Such devices use cell phone networks or even the internet in transmitting the location of your target. The issue with this type of tracker is that it depends on the availability of the internet or cell phone network to function.
This may not be the case with military-grade trackers. But then this is what is available and authorized in the civilian market based on the approval of the United States Defense Department which is the regulatory body responsible for the issuance of licenses and regulation of the use of GPS technology.
So, if in the course of usage, your tracking device runs into an area where cell phone network is non-existent, your target becomes invisible. Yes, you will not be able to know where the target is or what is happening around it.
Unless the device has a memory storage device attached to it, that particular time will be lost forever, you will never know what transpired within that period especially if the tracker is used for monitoring or supervising an operation that is being done remotely.
On the bright side, you can use this device for several purposes. It can be used for fleet management and other corporate purposes. However, it is has found more applications in domestic use.
A lot of parents use it to monitor their young children in order for them to be able to know their whereabouts at any time.
This is an important measure for keeping children safe and entirely avoid the incidences of missing kids. Another application that is along this same line involves its use for monitoring aged parents.
This area is serious and as sensitive as monitoring children. It averts and prevents all the issues associated with aged parents missing their way and getting lost.
This device helps you know where such persons are per time and makes it a lot easier to locate them when they stray. This also applies to pet animals like cats, dogs, and other domestic animals we keep at home.
Most importantly as it relates to the issue at hand, such devices are good for tracking your car. You can simply place it in your car or under depending on your reason for requiring such a device. We would explore the different forms of trackers used in cars and how they function.
On the other hand, the passive GPS device is able to obtain the location of our target just like the earlier category we just talked about. However, unlike the active trackers, they are not able to transmit the location of the target in real time.
These are the type of tracking device that uses memory cards and its likes to store up the location of the target as it travels. They are also able to record the travel speed and they are also capable of acquiring audio recordings of happenings and conversations around the target.
However, you can only access this information when you retrieve the GPS tracker. Then and only then can you access the information you desire.
While it is very clear that the major disadvantage of this tracker is that you can only access the information, you need when you retrieve the device, it still has enormous advantages which are the pitfalls of the active GPS tracker.
You will be able to use this device irrespective of the location of the target. Whether the location is rural with no internet or cell phone networks, the tracker will be able to record such locations without interruption. This is one of the main advantage this type of tracker has over the earlier category.
It is in the light of this that most tracking devices built these days now have memory cards. So, they are not just able to transmit data in real-time, they are also able to record such information in the case the target runs into locations where there is no internet or cell phone network.
In any case, such a device is able to function both as a passive and as an active GPS tracker. Sometimes, this type of device is referred to as a hybrid.
GPS Tracking Devices Used in Cars
Among the wide variety of tracking devices available in our day, a broad range of them are used in cars for fleet management in corporate organizations. They are also used by private individuals in monitoring the movement of their private property (cars).
Some trackers are designed and adapted for use in cars. They can be planted in and around the car in different ways. Each of these trackers can be installed in a car in different ways depending on the purpose which they serve.
The way the GPS tracker is designed to work determines where you use it and how to install it. Based on this feature, you can categorize trackers into the battery-powered, live wired trackers and the onboard car GPS tracker.
Battery Powered Tracking Devices
A good number of tracking devices are battery-powered. Most of the trackers you would want to plant on people, phones, or even in cars need to have an independent source of power for your surveillance operation to be effective. In such cases, you have to use a tracker that has a battery.
When you have to place a tracker on your child who will likely be mobile or on your aged parents, there is no room for plugging the tracker to some electrical source. However, the device will still need to run on electrical power since the tracking device is an electrical device.
Otherwise, the tracker will go off and just lie around wherever you kept it doing nothing. Battery-powered tracking devices are the best fit for this kind of surveillance operation.
Even when using a tracker on your car, you really also need it to be battery powered especially when you do not want the tracker to be seen. The bulk of the places where you could hide a tracking device in a car are remote and may not be close to the power source of the vehicle.
Wiring a tracking device to the car is an entirely different business and has its own downside. But you do not want a battery failure in the car interrupting your operation.
In all of these usages, it is important that the type of tracker you use be battery-powered.
Using battery-powered tracking devices has its own challenges. Its major challenge is always the battery life of the device. Your tracker needs to have a very long battery life. This simply implies that while making your choice of a tracker, you should make sure it has a durable and long-lasting battery.
There are several tracking devices that have reasonable battery lives. One such is the mini A8 tracker. It has a battery life of two weeks and you can get this device on Amazon.
For an active GPS tracking device, this is an enormous battery life. What makes the mini A8 tracking device particularly suitable for use in monitoring your car is not just the battery life, but also the fact that it has a magnetic casing that allows you to attach it to just about any metallic part of the vehicle.
This particular addition changes the way GPS devices are hidden as well as vehicle tracking.
There are other vehicle tracking devices with a magnetic case whose batteries are capable of lasting for three years. Three years is a very long time. However, this type of tracking device only allows you to get the location of your target once in a day.
This may not be convenient and you could hardly place this function alongside those of active GPS tracking devices. However, if this meets your need, then you could just go ahead and get this from any online store.
Vehicle Onboard Tracking Devices
We have another type of tracking device which is also available for use in cars. This type is not battery powered as we talked about earlier even though they are electronic devices.
They come as components that can be connected to the car just like your battery charger or cigarette lighter. They do not require a magnetic case for tagging them to the car. Rather, they are designed in such a way that they can be plugged into already existing ports in your car.
This type of onboard device is designed to look like regular devices that are connected to every other modern car. Such designs are incorporated to make the presence of the tracking device less obvious. One could even mistake it for a multimedia device.
This also helps in hiding the tracker in plain sight. You do not need to worry about how long the battery could last. This is because the tracking device takes its power from the electrical system of the car.
In view of this, as long as the vehicle’s battery is functional irrespective of whether the vehicle is in transit or not, your tracker will remain active and functional. Knowing these advantages of onboard devices could endear it to your heart.
Sometimes, cars come with onboard tracking devices. If yours does not, such devices are available on Amazon at affordable rates. It is important to note that most onboard tracking devices are most of the active category.
Live-wire Tracking Devices
This type of tracking device does not use batteries just like the onboard tracking device. However, they are wired into the electrical system of the vehicle too so they do not need to be charged and you do not have to worry about how long the battery could last and other battery-related issues.
You however have to note that this is not the same as the onboard tracking device. In onboard tracking devices, the provision is made for it in the vehicle.
However, for these types of trackers, such provisions are not made, rather they are connected to tap electricity from the vehicle in a supposedly illegitimate way.
This is mostly used when you do not have the authorization of the vehicle user on installing the device. This type of tracking device is also available for use in cars and you can get one from Amazon.
Where to Buy a GPS Tracker for my Car
In view of the various categories and types of tracking devices that we had earlier highlighted that could be used in cars, you could begin to wonder where you could get such devices.
Well, worry no more. In this section, we would list some high-quality tracking devices that you may wish to use in your vehicle and where you could easily get them.
For the onboard tracking devices, one of the best GPS tracker in this category is the MOTOsafety Teen tracker, we also have the Accutracking VTPlug Real-time vehicle tracking device. These two are active tracking devices. Using them usually attracts a monthly fee.
This monthly fee is in the form of a subscription. They also come with google maps which are compatible with your android or any other smartphone you may be using. These devices are available on online stores such as eBay, Walmart, or Amazon.
For the battery-powered category of tracking devices we have the Optimus 2.0 GPS tracker bundle and the LandAir sea 54 with a magnetic case. These are not the only battery-powered tracking devices available in electronic stores or even in online stores.
You sure can lay your hands on some of these devices on Amazon. They are also available on other online stores such as eBay and Walmart.
For the live wire devices, we have the CKT tracer kit, Trak-4, the DIXIUZA waterproof real time trackers, and many more.
They are a broad variety of tracking devices that are available out there. you have to be deliberate and knowledgeable before going out there to get a tracking device. We hope this offers you an overview of the types of tracking devices that are out there and where they are best suited for.
Now you also know that these devices are always available in online stores. You can then go ahead and make your choice among the best that are available to you.