10 Best GPS Trackers: Reviews and Buying Guide

GPS trackers are ideal for theft protection. For example, you can attach a GPS transmitter to valuable items or vehicles. In addition, GPS trackers are suitable for determining the location of your children or people who may be lost due to illness. Of course, you can also attach such a GPS logger to animals that like to grow out.

There are a number of different GPS trackers on the market. Most models require a SIM card. Most of the fees are for use. These are often collected by the mobile service provider and not by the manufacturer of the tracker. we show in our GPS Tracker comparison 13 models of PAJ GPS, Car Watch Dresden, and other manufacturers. In the guidebook, we explain, among other things, how a GPS tracker works, what the direction finders are suitable for and what functions these GPS devices are equipped. In addition, you can find out if the Stiftung Warentest has already carried out a GPS Tracker test.

Top 10 GPS Trackers

What is a GPS Tracker?

A GPS Tracker is a transmitter that is usually quite small in size. For example, it can be attached to valuables, vehicles or people. This gives you the opportunity to know the location of the objects or persons. At STERN.de we summarized the advantages and disadvantages of GPS trackers below.

How does a GPS tracker work?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. This system developed the American military. But how does a GPS tracker work?

Usually, a GPS tracker is equipped with a GPS module and a GSM module. The GPS module can find out the location of the device. This succeeds by means of satellites. Then the data is sent to a server. Here they are processed and finally transmitted by the GSM module to the receiving device, such as a smartphone.

The location type: SMS location and online location possible

How to find out about the location of the GPS Tracker differs from model to model. In many cases, the location query by SMS and/or call succeeded. There are various GPS trackers, where you can view the location on a web platform and/or an app. Some models even offer all three types of location. we present below the SMS-location as well as the online-location:

  • SMS location: During the SMS location, the location is determined by a call or SMS. If you want a GPS Tracker without running costs, a model with SMS tracking is ideal for you. Because with this variant you do not have to expect running costs. Instead, you have to pay per query. Accordingly, only fees will be charged to you, if you query the location, set an alarm and an alarm SMS is delivered.
  • Online location: The online location allows a real-time location query in the web browser and/or via an app. Most of these models require you to pay a certain amount per month or per year. The costs are therefore not based on the intensity of use, but on the respective tariff.

Various applications: GPS tracker for vehicles, persons & Co.

GPS trackers can be used in many areas. You can use a GPS transmitter to monitor objects as well as to monitor humans and animals. Below we show you what GPS Tracker is suitable for.

  • GPS tracker for people

A GPS tracker is suitable for locating people. For example, you can use a GPS Tracker to locate the following people:

  1. Children: A GPS transmitter for children can serve as protection and reassure the parents. Parents need not worry much about the GPS transmitter. Children benefit from the GPS transmitter if they are lost or in a different emergency situation.
  2. Dementia sufferers: Often a GPS tracker is helpful in dementia. Sometimes, people who have dementia leave the apartment or house. If they forget the way home, it can be dangerous. In these cases, a GPS tracker may be useful.
  • GPS tracker for animals

A pet tracker you can usually attach optimally to the collar of the animal. Practically a GPS tracker can be for dogs, cats, and other pets. For example, you can use a direction finder if you are worried that your pet might get lost.

  • GPS tracker for objects

GPS trackers are useful as theft protection for various objects. For example, a GPS Tracker can be used as a car theft protection. A GPS tracker for cars can pay off if you live in an unsafe area. But even if your car has a high value, worth a GPS tracker. At the same time, a car GPS transmitter is useful if you constantly forget where you parked your car. You can also attach GPS Tracker to the following objects, for example:

  1. Cycles
  2. motorcycles
  3. truck
  4. boats
  5. Construction
  6. Container
  7. garden Tools
  8. suitcase

Relevant purchase criteria & features of GPS trackers at a glance

Which GPS Tracker you should use, depends on the purpose. Some models are intended primarily for vehicles. Others are ideal for locating persons or for locating animals or for locating valuables. If you would like to buy a GPS Tracker, it is advisable to keep an eye on the individual needs and wishes in addition to the purpose. At STERN.de we show below important criteria and functions of GPS trackers:

  • Battery life: GPS trackers are usually equipped with a battery. The GPS Tracker battery life depends on several factors. This includes, on the one hand, the battery capacity. Some GPS trackers have a battery capacity of 600 mAh. With other models, you profit from a high battery life of partially 20,000 mAh. On the other hand, the polling intervals decide on the battery life. The more often you retrieve the location, the faster the battery empties. With one call per day, a battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh can last up to 30 days. If you frequently call the location, the battery life will be shortened.
  • The weight and the size: Especially if you need a GPS transmitter for dogs or other animals, it is advisable to take a look at the weight and the size. A GPS transmitter that is too heavy and too large can restrict the animal’s freedom of movement. That’s why a lighter and smaller GPS transmitter is more suitable for pets. It also makes sense to check the weight and size of a GPS tracker for people.
  • Water and dust tightness: Most GPS trackers are splash-proof. Partially a GPS Tracker is waterproof. This is especially important if you are looking for a GPS tracker for animals or children. At the same time, you should pay attention to the dust-tightness with a GPS Tracker.
  • The Battery Alarm: This alarm feature is useful if you need the GPS Tracker for vehicles or other objects. Thanks to this feature, the GPS Tracker will inform you when the battery level is low.
  • The SOS button: If you need a GPS tracker to locate children, seniors or other people, you should pay attention to the SOS button. This is located on the GPS tracker. If the wearer of the transmitter is in danger and needs help, he can press the SOS button. This sends the tracker an alarm SMS to the pre-stored phone numbers and/or sends a message to the app.
  • The Motion Alert: Many GPS trackers have a motion alert. This is often called a vibration alarm. If the tracker is equipped with this function, it has a motion sensor. This can detect vibrations, movements, and vibrations. If you have activated the alarm and the tracker is being moved, it will send an alarm SMS and/or inform you about the movement via the app. The motion alert is especially useful if you want to attach the GPS Tracker to valuables that are not moving.
  • The Geo-Zaun: This feature is sometimes referred to as a radius alarm. This feature allows you to mark a specific area. If the GPS transmitter is outside the set radius, you will receive an alarm SMS. This function is useful, for example, in Tracker for dementia patients as well as Tracker for dogs.
  • The speed alert: With a GPS tracker with speed alert you can set a speed. You will then receive an alarm SMS if the speed of the tracker is higher than your set value. Practically, this function is especially if you want to guard vehicles with the GPS Tracker.
  • The GPS logging function: The GPS logging function, also known as the history function, allows you to view the distance covered. Because a GPS tracker with this function can record the distance traveled. However, the memory is usually limited. Many models can save the covered distances of about 3 months.
  • The SIM card: Sometimes the SIM card is integrated into the device. You usually can not exchange these. For many models, however, no SIM card is included. In these cases, you can usually use any SIM card. Only the card format should be considered.

Hide a GPS Tracker in the car: That’s how it works!

If you want to install a GPS tracker in the car, you should first think carefully about where a potential thief will probably not find it. For example, you can attach the GPS Tracker under a seat or under the dashboard. If the vehicle tracker is equipped with a magnet, you can mount it under the car or on the wheel arches.

In certain places, you should not mount the vehicle tracker better. These include, for example:

  • The glove box
  • The trunk
  • The side door tray

Thieves often look around these places, so your car GPS Tracker can be found quickly. If you want, you can “hide” a dummy in these places. This can provide protection against finding the real car GPS transmitter.

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