Are GPS Trackers Worth It?

Are GPS Trackers Worth It

Last updated on June 4th, 2021

Now, let’s be real here. Whether a GPS tracker is worth it depends on what or who it’s being used for, and how much they travel around and how likely they are to get lose their way and find themselves lost. 

If you have a pet that has a tendency to wander off to only who knows where  for long periods of time, or if you have an unreliable or vulnerable child whose whereabouts you need to keep track of, then a GPS tracker could be a worthy investment.

But where GPS trackers really come into their own is when you use them to navigate to a new unfamiliar destination. In these cases, a good quality GPS tracker can be nothing less than a godsend.

Within just moments of getting a GPS signal, you can have your location displayed right before you on your chosen device. If you get the right one, it can even give you real time directions to the place you’re going to. It works as an excellent safety measure, alerting those who need to know of your whereabouts if something happens, and you need help urgently.

We also love all the trip data it stores. It even tracks potentially unsafe habits, like harsh braking or rapid acceleration. And some can even tell you if your car has been bumped in the parking lot. And this means you can act quickly and hopefully get there in time to sort it out.

Do you need Wi-Fi for GPS to work?

We are pleased to report that although you do need a signal for GPS to work, it is not a Wi-Fi signal you need but a GPS signal. Moreover, you don’t need any kind of internet connection at all. This is how a car’s GPS system can still work even if there’s no Wi-Fi connection in the car. 

You don’t always need a Wi-Fi connection to use GPS on your smartphone either, since both Android and Apple operating systems can track the phone’s location without the need for any internet.

Google Maps works best with an internet connection if you can get one, however. Although it will easily switch to offline maps if you have to go offline. You can get driving directions offline, but not transit, cycling, or walking directions. GPS signaling is free wherever you happen to be in the world. But admittedly it is easier to get a GPS signal in some areas rather than others. 

Indoor areas and heavily wooded areas are trickier to get a signal from but it can be done. Did you know that GPS is just one of the global positioning systems out there? There are others too, and some of them are more accurate than GPS.

Is there a GPS tracker without a monthly fee?

We are pleased to report that you can get GPS trackers and GPS tracker apps that don’t require a monthly subscription. First off, let’s look at GPSWOX…

GPSWOX is an app available for Android devices that uses GPS to track where you are. You can download it from the Google Play store, create an account in minutes, and it’s free to use with no subscription fees to worry about. Not bad hey? Very handy if you’re already an Android user anyway.

When it comes to GPS trackers that don’t have a monthly fee however, the pickings are slim. And worse yet, they don’t seem to attract as many sales, and even less in the way of positive customer reviews.

There’s a good reason why most GPS trackers require a monthly fee. They broadcast your location in real time by using the very same technology that your cell does to make a call or connect to the internet. And such services come at a cost and have to be paid for.

GPS trackers that request a subscription fee definitely seem to have a much better reputation with customers than the ones that don’t. But we did manage to find one for you that was passable. It earned an average of 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon after over 4000 individual ratings, so that’s not too bad.

Here it is: Vyncs GPS Tracker for Vehicles

GPS Tracker for Vehicles Vyncs 4G LTE - No Monthly Fee - Real Time, 1 Year Data, SIM - USA-Developed - Car Truck OBD Trip Driver Alert OBD2 Data Teen Senior Family Fleet Alexa. Activation Fee Required

The Vyncs tracker collects data every second, analyzes it, and sends an update to the server every 3 minutes. All that you need to see exactly where the GPS tracker currently is, is to have the Vyncs app installed on your smart device. It’s available on both Android and Apple operating systems and is free to download.

There are no batteries required, because you can simply plug the tracker into the vehicle’s OBD port. And you get unlimited trip history data. The reason there’s no monthly subscription fee is because you make one one-off payment as an activation fee, and for that fee you get to use the GPS service for an entire year without having to make any extra payments whatsoever.

But please bear in mind that the “free” tracking service is only on there for 1 year. But don’t worry, you will receive a notification when it comes  time for renewal. Amazon occasionally has deals on this GPS tracker, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But even if you don’t manage to catch a deal, it’s a steal!

Sale
GPS Tracker for Vehicles Vyncs 4G LTE - No Monthly Fee - Real Time, 1 Year Data, SIM - USA-Developed - Car Truck OBD Trip Driver Alert OBD2 Data Teen Senior Family Fleet Alexa. Activation Fee Required
4,262 Reviews
GPS Tracker for Vehicles Vyncs 4G LTE - No Monthly Fee - Real Time, 1 Year Data, SIM - USA-Developed - Car Truck OBD Trip Driver Alert OBD2 Data Teen Senior Family Fleet Alexa. Activation Fee Required
  • GPS TRACKER FOR VEHICLES. 4G LTE DEVICE. NO MONTHLY FEE, One-time ACTIVATION fee: $39.99 (full refund if returned and account cancelled within 30 days). 1 year Service included. Renewal (USD...
  • VYNCS ADVANTAGES. No Battery needed, powered by OBD. Vehicle DTC Codes, Fuel Economy, Fuel Level (if available), True Idling, Engine RPM, Vehicle Speed, Manufacturer Recall, Vehicle...
  • REAL TIME LOCATION TRACKING AND TRIPS. Collects data every second, analyzes, and sends update to the server every 3 minutes. 60/30/15 seconds update upgrades available. Unlimited trip...
  • ALL THE DRIVER AND VEHICLE ALERTS YOU NEED. Geofence zones, street address for start/stop points on the map. Driver speeding/braking/rapid acceleration alerts by Push Notification/Email and...
  • WHY VYNCS? ULTRA FAST: New 4G LTE Device. HIGHLY RATED: 1800+ great reviews and near 100% 5 star seller feedback. BEST PRICE: Compare 1st year price and price after 1st year. BEST FEATURES....

Last update on 2021-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the best GPS tracker for seniors?

Our favorite GPS tracker for seniors is this one:

Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real-time GPS Tracker

Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker. Full USA & Worldwide Coverage. for Vehicles, Car, Kids, Elderly, Child, Dogs & Motorcycles. Magnetic Small Portable Tracking Device. Monthly fee Required

It’s a small device that will fit anywhere. It provides unlimited distance real time GPS tracking, and an international SIM card is included in the price. You also get several accessories with it such as a magnet, a belt clip, a key chain, and a lanyard. The battery is entirely rechargeable, and on a full charge it will last between one to two months.

We  also love that it features a handy SOS panic button. Just what you need in an emergency situation. You will have to hook it up to your smart device using the Tracki app, which is available for both Android and Apple operating systems. It does unfortunately require a monthly fee, but at such a low initial cost you probably won’t mind paying the $19.95 subscription fee.

We also like how it comes backed by a lifetime warranty. Very reassuring.

Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker. Full USA & Worldwide Coverage. for Vehicles, Car, Kids, Elderly, Child, Dogs & Motorcycles. Magnetic Small Portable Tracking Device. Monthly fee Required
16,370 Reviews
Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real time GPS Tracker. Full USA & Worldwide Coverage. for Vehicles, Car, Kids, Elderly, Child, Dogs & Motorcycles. Magnetic Small Portable Tracking Device. Monthly fee Required
  • Unlimited distance real time tracking. Full USA & all countries worldwide coverage. International SIM card included. Track Vehicles, Cars, trucks, Children, dogs, elderly, motorcycle, ATV,...
  • Tracki is super small (1.75x1.5x0.55in) and super light (1.26 oz). Comes with SIM included and works worldwide. Included attachments: Strong magnet, Belt clip, Key-chain, lanyard. 5 years...
  • Rechargeable battery life is 2-3 days tracking real time every 1-5 minutes. If real time tracking is not needed, battery lasts 30-75 days tracking 1-3 times/day. Optional (not included)...
  • Works with GPS satellites when outdoors and when indoors Tracki listens to nearby Wi-Fi routers MAC ID, matching IDs to Wi-Fi database for accurate location when GPS is not available. Get...
  • Lifetime warranty including lost or damaged devices. Tracki is cutting-edge & easy to set up working out-of-the-box within a few minutes. Compatible with: Android, iOS and all Internet...

Last update on 2021-06-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is the range of a GPS tracker?

The large majority of GPS trackers are designed to pinpoint your location to within about 3 meters or 6 feet to your actual location, which is very accurate if you ask us. It should usually get the right street at least. That’s a general rule of thumb anyways.

However, according to the US GPS Performance Standard, the minimal range of a GPS tracker is slightly larger, coming in at 7.8 meters or 25 feet. And this is with a 95% confidence level.

The GPS works out the exact location by calculating the the distance between the nearest satellite and the GPS receiver. Which certainly goes some way to explaining why it can’t get an even more accurate signal than that, given that the nearest satellite is very far from your exact location no matter where you are in the world.