Best GPS Trackers Reviewed & Rated for Quality
It’s easy to lose track of things these days. From our phones to keys and everything in between, our items get lost or misplaced all the time. On top of it all, we have our pets running off and our children to worry over where they are headed off to. Even a drive can become an adventure of losing ourselves. So, what to do about this everyday question of ‘where is-?’ has become quite common.
- Whistle 3
- Proactive Alerts
- Garmin GPSMAP 64st
- 3G Wireless Connection
Many people have the quick reply of ‘just maintain a spot of where everything goes, and you will know where it is’ but those of us who live in the world and have a hectic calendar know that even the most organized person can easily forget or lose something and then it becomes a guessing game. No one Is perfect with putting things away every time, so we need a better solution than just having a spot where the items ‘should’ be. We need a way to find the keys, the fence jumping dog, and our kiddo who said they were going to a friend’s house but somehow did not end up there. That’s where we have GPS trackers and the tracking devices that can be located with a simple sound. These handy little things will help get us through our days without having to question where anything is and make the trips to that rare spot on the map we have always wanted to visit. So, scroll through our top ten list map of the best trackers out there today and see if any spark your ‘where has this been?’ button and make sure it gets safely to your door! We know there were several on this list even we were considering adding to our stuff just because it would ease the burden of having to clear every flat surface looking for those darn keys!
10 Best GPS Trackers
1. Whistle 3
Apparently, you can use text, app or email notifications with this product through your cell phone when you want to see what your pet is up to. This will work for dogs or cats and can attach to most collars. If your pet leaves their predesignated area the alert will let you know before they can get far. This works especially well if you have Wi-Fi at home.
Now keep in mind as with any battery the length of the battery life is dependent on the amount of usage and environment. It can last up to seven days for a homebody dog that tends to hand around. However, if your pet gets out of Wi-Fi or cellular range the batteries may burn faster. The application that comes on your smartphone to go with it will also alert you when the battery is getting low, and a full recharge only takes two hours.
Cost and Value
This device will attach to any collar or harness up to one inch wide and is even able to go into the water if you have a swimmer. They are a great way to also keep track of your pets activity level which can be important especially when it comes to sick, injured or elderly pets. While the cost isn’t too bad neither is it the cheapest option. This does require a subscription plan but will work off your cell phone and the device itself is best on ATT cellular. Our overall option is that if you think you need something like this or you just want an easier way to see where the cat is taking off too this will get the job done. Not a bad deal all things considered.
Seven day Battery life
Needs subscription plan
Can fall off collar
2. Garmin GPSMAP 64st
This little gem includes a two-point six-inch sunlight-readable color screen so you won’t have to deal with glare while out on the trail. It doesn’t matter if it rains or shines this gizmo makes it easy to see both where you are going and where you have been.
Tilt Compensated Compass
We admit when we heard about this we giggled a bit, about five minutes later we weren’t laughing at all. The electric compass in the device is on a built-in three-axis tilt compensator. This means that even if your standing on hilly terrain it can still tell exactly where you are and because it also has a barometric altimeter it will also pinpoint your altitude. Talk about a cure for getting lost.
Cost and Value
Honestly, if you want to buy the base model for this go ahead, however, you will only be saving a few dollars and honestly a lot of versatility in how you can connect with others. Durable with a nice battery life and multiple ways to connect for those up to date map changes this was a nicely made device that does exactly what it is supposed to do with ease. There are cheaper models out there but this a good product to check out if money is less of an issue.
ANT and Bluetooth
Comes with rechargeable battery
This gizmo may be on the mid-high range for cost but that first year the data plan is included at no additional cost. You pay a one-time activation fee but nothing again until your year is up. This will provide all the real-time tracking and information transfer you need to see what is going on and where with your vehicle.
Real Time Updates
Those of us that have driving age kiddies like them to stick to the legal curfew whatever it may be. This tracker will let you know the start/stop points of the vehicle as well as being able to see the diagnostics. Speed, braking, rapid acceleration, and fuel level are just a few of the other things that you can get sent to whatever device you have it set to alert. It can push the alerts through e-mail or SMS, the car will now tattle on the driver. Nice!
Cost and Value
There are a lot of great features about this machine that we can appreciate. The highly accurate information and unsafe driving chip are just a couple. The cost is not as high as some and considering everything you can do with this device we found it to be well worth the price. If you want to make sure to get the warranty to make sure you are getting it from the manufacturer AGNIK, and this will also allow you to get the full data plan. If you are looking for a way to make sure someone is driving when, where, and how they are supposed to be this is what you are looking for.
Links to Android/iOS
No external battery needed
Requires data plan
4. MOTOsafety OBD
For the teenagers in our lives, we want a way to allow them the feeling of freedom without being blind to where they go. I mean we all want to trust our kids but those of us with older kids found this to be helpful when we wanted to “double check” the whereabouts of the car on nights they were told they couldn’t go to a party that was in full swing that evening. The fact that you can also set it to give you alerts for sudden braking and accelerating will tell you if the teen is being a bit of a race driver or if they are dangerous in their driving usage braking late and whatnot.
Easy to install
While there are some GPS devices out there that can be installed into the car this one is very easy to install. All you have to do is plug it into the OBDII port under the dash of your car and your all set. This device will work in any vehicle that was made after 1996 so basically, almost any car that is currently on the road should be functional with this tracker.
Cost and Value
This device comes in on the low end of the price range. Simple to install and use with several different styles of alerts and real time tracking for whatever vehicle you choose we found this to be a great gadget. Great for the old or the young or anyone that you want to be able to keep an eye on this will let you know how they are driving as well as where. The program to do all of this is a simple download that will come through and standard 3G service that will provide the real time updates via e-mail and text message. We found this to be a great way to watch what we needed to watch and still allow them to do what they wanted within reason. A great price for the feeling of safety this can give parents.
Track driving activity
5. AMERICALOC GL300W
The manufacturer provided a one year warranty that is good for manufacturer defects. The seller, however, provides a 30-day return for a full refund guaranty. You will have to pay for a return to the seller but for a full refund, we think it is well worth it. Just contact them or the manufacturer if you have any defects and they will do their best to correct the issue.
One thing we always mention when applicable is good customer service. The e-mail support is super fast to respond and easy to use. They will do almost anything including in one case creating unique code to make sure your device does everything it is supposed to just the way you want. If you are not getting alerts the way you want or the map tracker isn’t quite pinpoint just let the manufacturer know and they will help you make setting adjustments or do whatever it takes on their end to get you what you want.
Cost and Value
Small in stature but in no way small in ability this little tracker will get the job done. Some have used it to track items some for animals but regardless this device can do it. We put it through its paces and it hit all the marks every time. Battery life is good and if you are somewhere that the system can’t get a signal it will be saved within the device and sent to you once the signal is reconnected. A bit high on the cost scale but it can be tracked from any computer, tablet, or phone by downloading the application and setting things from there. Overall this is a great device that gets the job done and the customer service makes up for anything you may not find.
Keeps historical data
Monthly or yearly fee
6. LandAirSea 54
Unlike most trackers the fifty-four is made completely waterproof. We looked at a lot of different ones, but most required the separate purchase of a special case to be waterproof. This means you don’t have to worry if you have to have it somewhere in the elements which is a nice change from a lot of other styles available.
As always, we like to mention when customer service is exceptional. This beauty comes with a lifetime warranty. If something on it should fail or it isn’t working as it should you can just contact customer service for the manufacturer and let them know what is going on. They will either be able to walk you through a solution or if it isn’t something software related they can exchange it for you.
Cost and Value
We found that for the price this is a nice little unit. It is compatible for MAC, PC, IPhone, and android meaning you don’t have to worry about getting info. Waterproof and with a built-in magnet that will allow you to keep it indoors or out. We didn’t have any issues using it and the setup was simple as well. Considering all it can do and how little it costs compared to some other units this is a great buy.
Domestic use only
7. Linxup OBD
Linxup can use its GPS trackers to not only track location but the speed and idle time of the vehicle. When it records and gives you the information it also gives you the ability to help drivers reduce speeds and remember to turn the engine off, so it is not burning through your fuel bill. Reviewing vehicle driving history and monitoring driver safety and performance are great to help you weed out any careless drivers.
One of the nice features of this system was that it allowed you to create a geofence boundary that you can create on the map. If you want to know if the vehicle is going to or leaving certain areas when they shouldn’t this device allows you to do just that. This will allow you to know where your vehicle is at all times especially if there is somewhere specific you do not want them to go.
Cost and Value
Since this gizmo is on the less expensive end of the price range and has multiple data options at reasonable prices this is an investment that seems worth the money. Easy to set up with all kinds of features you can use to track not just where but when and how your vehicles are being used will help to bring you all kinds of peace of mind. We recommend giving this one a try especially if you are tracking multiple vehicles.
Phone app is simplified
8. Optimus 2.0
While a lot of these have required us to hook it into the care itself the Optimus does not. Useable from the glove box, behind a seat or even in the trunk. This box runs on a battery instead of the car so you give it a good charge either at home or work and put it where you need it. The battery life is decent and will probably hold out for a week or more. This is a great battery life for this type of device.
While checking out this unit we were pleased to find that it was not overly bulky like some others. Coming in at 3” x 1.5” it is easy to say that there are few places this little gem will not easily go. Even if you want to slip it into a younger child’s bookbag it is small enough and lite enough to not cause any discomfort or issues.
Cost and Value
In what we could call the middle of the road cost wise this is a very nice unit. We found it easy enough to use in a purse, backpack, vehicle, or even attached to a wheelchair. A simple purchase of the magnetic case or a few wire ties and you are good to go. The applications are easy to use either on a smart phone or computer and you can decide just how often you want to receive updates about the location of whatever you are tracking. Right now, the coverage is only available in North America but the service is well worth it.
Month to month service charge
Battery can run down fast
While there are several different options you can use when it comes to reading the reports from this piece of equipment none of them are complicated. Just log into the site, fill out the information and once you receive the confirmation your off to the races. You also don’t have to concern yourself with hooking this into a power source as it runs on a battery and depending on your alert frequency the battery will last up to 18 months.
While this particular model is not the perfect spymaster black shade of some of its competitors it is still easy to conceal due to its small sizing. Slide it into a bag, mount it in your car, or secure it behind a piece of equipment this will tell you where the valuable is heading and how it is getting there in real time. The fact that it is smaller than today’s average cell phone is no mistake and the rugged commercial housing provides durability reliably.
Cost and Value
Price wise this is at the lower end of the financial slide being a nice affordable item. It is weatherproof although not waterproof and seems to work just about anywhere. If for some reason you have an issue with its use just contact customer service and they will help you do whatever it takes to get it working the way you want. The long-lasting battery was the final drop of icing for us when it came to the usefulness of this product.
Low monthly fee
Long battery life
Works well in urban areas
No indicator light to know if battery is charging
Difficult to get working
10. AES RGT90
There are very few devices that come with a waterproof case included but the AES RGT90 GPS Tracker was one of them. Instead of having to worry about rain or other inclement weather affecting your product just slip it into the included discrete waterproof magnetic case and place it where you need it. It is small enough to not be obvious but not so large that it becomes a liability.
We can all appreciate it when a company is so sure of their product they will do anything they can because they are convinced they can get it to do what you need. The customer service people really work with you both when it comes to walking you through issues in set up or operation or when it comes to some kind of deficit within the device. They are available almost 24 hours a day and can provide you updates via text, phone, chat, or email.
Cost and Value
We recognize the fact that this is not the cheapest product we have listed but it seems by far to be one of the most efficient and easy to use. You won’t have to worry about how to hook it up or struggling with any complicated software. You can get detailed reports when tracking a vehicle when it comes to speeds and idling, or you can set up the geofencing and get alerts when whatever you are keeping an eye on is out of the area. Rain or shine this is a great buy and worth the time to try out.
Can be used internationally
Easy to install
Poor battery life
Poor accompanying app
After searching our list for that perfect item, we hope we helped you discover the best possible item for your treasures. Whether you have a wandering little one, a traveling retriever or a wallet with legs, this should have found the answer to keeping things rounded up and where they belong. If you have any questions on how we chose the items on our list, feel free to peruse our Criteria section. For more on the general topic, read through our additional information section. If you can’t find the answer in there, glance over our FAQ and check our sources to get the information you need to pick the best tracker for what you need. From all of us here at GearHunt- happy hunting!!
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best GPS Trackers
As with any device we write a list for, we want to be sure that what you get will last if used properly. Durability means that if you are taking care of the product and following its specific uses it won’t simply quit working. In some cases, these products go above and beyond the call of duty in this category. They are waterproof or have a case that seems nigh indestructible even when it’s only use is in your car mounted to the dash. Not all products are able to stand up to normal everyday use, but the ones we bring to you we try to make sure are known to do so.
Do you have to be within a certain range for your product to stay active? Will this tracker quit working if your pet is more than a mile from the house, or can you use it to track him/her halfway across the country? These are the questions we asked when looking at these devices. What good is a GPS tracker for hiking if you are deep into the woods and suddenly you can’t be located on the map, or the map simply vanishes? The same applies to those being used to help keep track of pets or our children. If you can only follow them so far, you won’t know where to look if an emergency arises or a shelter is called on fluffy kind.
Ease of Use
Especially when using something for location, it should not be hard to turn on and use. If it requires an enormous set-up to keep track of your pet or locate where you are compared to the tracker, what use will it end up being? Things that take hours to set up properly may work really well, but most of us want or need to be able to set it and go. We all have work or activities that demand much of our time and attention, so something that won’t take hours or a whole day to set up works best for everyone.
Cost and Value
Most people look only at the price tag before purchasing an item. With something as important as this device can be, a higher price tag is often assumed to be the better product- but what if it isn’t? What if the value of the item is no better than the one at a quarter of the same cost? When we look at cost and value, we aren’t just looking to see how much the seller wants you to pay for the item, but if it is worth the asking rate, or if it is worth something else entirely. We often come across those that are asking less and offering more for every cent, and we also come across expensive brands where all you are really getting for what you pay is a name and little else in the actual use of the product. We weigh everything out for you while building these lists so that you don’t have to wonder if you just poured your savings down a black hole.
When using a device like this one a very important aspect is to know that where it says the device is, actually relates to the real location. If you get a tracker that is off anywhere from a quarter to half a mile, then it obviously is not doing what you wanted and needed it to do- keep track. We try to make sure that when we look into any device it does exactly what it is meant to do and doesn’t add even more issues to the one it was supposed to solve.
Another part of reliability is its battery life or its recharge life. You want to know that the device isn’t going to work for only an hour or two before it either needs new batteries or needs recharged. This especially important for trackers that may not plug into an outside source very often or even be near one. Anything handheld, worn or carried in one’s bag or purse should at least have several hours of battery life if not days or weeks. We want to know that our pet won’t be gone two hours only to have lost the ability to find him or her after purchasing a collar device for just that reason.
Some of these products are free to use just by buying them, but others have specific monthly plans that go into effect once bought. Checking to be sure that the monthly plans are just as worth it as the device itself goes hand in hand when working on a top ten. We want to know you won’t have to pay for things you either don’t want or need. We feel that any of the items listed that require an actual cost per month are worth it and that the extra benefits are worth looking into. Take the time to look over each device and decide if what you need would be better with or without such additional fees, sometimes a little extra padding can come in handy- but no one wants to pay to find their keys.
When choosing a GPS tracking device one of the things you have to consider first is its intended use. This has several factors involved due to what it is attached to and the laws that are in your area. Some types of tracking are illegal, and others aren’t. The other aspect is what you need- after all a GPS device that gives you a map won’t help you locate your keys, but it might help you locate other things, like your car, pet or child (maybe even your phone!). Of course, there are certain things you can’t do with a tracking device legally and checking your local laws will help you decide if what you need is a product or an investigator.
GPS generally is allowed on any vehicle you own, it’s also legal to track your children and pets. This helps to create a safety net, and until the little ones are adults, allows you as a parent to have peace of mind in knowing where they say their going and where they end up is one in the same place. This same tracking is not however allowed without permission by a significant other.
Laws prevent not only companies tracking privately owned vehicles outside of work hours, but also prevent you from legally tracking someone you care about but suspect of wrongdoing. This may seem harsh, but if you have an ex or a stalker this is definitively a good thing. After all, if you can’t track Mr. or Ms. Right, Mr. and Ms. Wrong can’t track you either.
The other aspect mentioned is the type of tracking. There are more than four types of tracking devices out there, and each one has its own type of use. Some track keys and phones, other trackers follow cars and other vehicles and still others track the user’s location to help them stay on route. Of course, there are also collar trackers and bracelet trackers which are used to help keep track of pets and our younger generations. So, you need to know what it is exactly you want to be keeping tabs on.
An important thing also to keep in mind is whether simply buying the device is enough. Some systems work off free apps and other types of connections, but a few of these products require you to pay a monthly fee. If you are needing something that has alerts and all sorts of extra precautions, you will likely need one of those plans. Going over which plan is best for you with the device is a great strategy for deciding if the one you are considering is the best one for you.
You may also want to check just how mobile the device you are looking at truly is. Some types of GPS require hardwiring, such as those for cars and other vehicles, while others are easily moved from one vehicle to the next or one object to another. Knowing what you can do with the device is very important when selecting it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the types of GPS options available?
A: There are many, but device-specific there are a few to consider: Portable battery operated and mounted hard-wired. But with both of these, there are also the types that only operate when in motion, those that operate all the time, history trackers, those that track only after the device is stationary long enough, etc. Check our sources to see which you might want to look at most
Q: What can’t I track?
A: Any individual that is considered an adult or property that is not yours cannot be legally tracked using a GPS unless under special circumstances. For instance, a company can use one to track you if you use your own car during business hours for work. They can’t, however, track you if you are off the clock. For more information check our sources.
Q: What is available with a device automatically?
A: Unless otherwise mentioned by the provider of the product, most GPS devices only show a history of locations if a monthly fee is not required. If you want something more, you will likely have to pay a monthly fee to get it.