Best GPS Trackers Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 shelter is called on the 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.
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.
Best GPS Trackers
1. Whistle 3
If you are looking for a way to keep an eye out on your crazy canine that doesn’t involve getting up to check every hour or so this might be just the thing you need. It is also a nice option if you do not like the idea of putting a tracking chip into your animal. Nothing wrong with them just another viable option.
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.
2. Garmin GPSMAP 64st
If you are someone who appreciates gadgets that do a little bit of everything you are going to love this one. This GPS mapping system is handheld so its easy to keep track of and lightweight. If you are ever looking for that system that won’t fail for hunting season here is a good option.
Sunlight readable Screen
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 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.
If you have the kind of business where you want to keep track of your fleet or a teenager just heading out on the road alone this is a way to keep an eye on things from home. You can keep an eye on things from anywhere really and that is just one of the abilities that come with this handy gadget. Check out the rest of what we found this could do below.
Free One Year Data Plan
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 of 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.
4. MOTOsafety OBD
If you are someone that has an elderly or teenage driver that you are looking to keep an eye on then this may be what you are looking for. Teenagers and the elderly both want to feel like they have the freedom to do or go where they want. This is a way they can do just that while you are still able to have some idea about what is going on. Check out what we had to say below.
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.
5. AMERICALOC GL300W
If you are looking for a device that will work even internationally this may do the job. All the units on our list will track things but this one is a bit different. If you're looking for a way to keep track of someone while they travel or you want to make sure something you are shipping is going where it should this will give you the ability. Just check out below for all the details.
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 inability 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.
6. LandAirSea 54
Coming in at number six on our list is the LandAirSea 54 waterproof, magnetic GPS tracker. This is the kind you're looking for if your aiming to be less detectable than some other models. It does everything they claim and probably everything you are looking for. You can see what else we found out by reading below.
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.
7. Linxup OBD
This is something that is very nice especially if you want to keep track of a fleet of vehicles. Whether you own a private ambulance company, a rent a car company, or you just want to know how the kids are doing on the car in your driveway this is a handy gadget to help you do just that.
Helps reduce fuel usage
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.
8. Optimus 2.0
Another great choice, if you are looking to be able to track something, is the Optimus 2.0. It has several of the features some others do like a few that others we looked at did not. This device will allow you to customize any information you may be looking for in the where and when of your vehicle, backpack, or another item. Take a look below and see what else this one offers.
No Hookup Required
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 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 smartphone 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.
This seems to be more aimed at tracking people or items than vehicles which is just what a couple of us needed. Whether you have a person suffering from Alzheimer's, Dementia, or just a teenager you want to keep an eye on this device can get it done. Read below to see what we were able to figure out with this piece of equipment. We were pleased with the results.
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 tracked item 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.
10. AES RGT90
Coming in at number ten on our list is the AES RGT90 GPS Tracker. Of the many we looked at there were a few things that we really loved about this one. We suggest that if you are looking for a simple way to keep track of things this might just be what you are looking for. Check out what we thought of the customer service and device below.
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 setting 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.