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Which is the Best GPS Tracker? – Ultimate Guide to GPS Tracking

Which Is the Best GPS Tracker for You?

Whether for dementia, kids, pets, valuables or vehicles; below are 6 of the best GPS trackers on the market, compared and analysed.

All the GPS trackers below have FREE UK delivery! (+ Low-Cost EU / Worldwide Shipping)

Best Looking Tracker

GPS Pendant/Keyring

This device’s design means it’s suitable for those who want something subtle and discrete that will blend in with their lifestyle.

Available to be worn as a pendant, keyring or a jewellery necklace.

  • Safezone Alerts ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Tracking App ✓
  • 2-5 Day Battery Life ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • 2-Way SOS Calls ✓
  • Water- Resistant (IP54) ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓

£124.95

Best Battery Life Tracker

Waterproof Long-Life Battery Tracker

A tracker designed to get rid of any worry about constantly charging, whilst allowing it to be worn in the shower and bath.

Available to be worn as a pendant or keyring.

  • Safezone Alerts ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Tracking App ✓
  • 14 Day+ Battery Life ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • 2-Way SOS Calls ✓
  • Fully Waterproof (IP67) ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓

£164.95

Basic Tracker

Small GPS Tracker

This basic tracker does not have as many features as the others, but is good for those who want something simple.

Available to be attached to keys or other items.

  • Safezone Alerts ×
  • SOS Alarm Button ×
  • Tracking App ✓
  • 7 Day+ Battery Life ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ×
  • 2-Way SOS Calls ×
  • Water-Resistant (IP54) ✓
  • Monthly Fee ×
  • Network: 2g ✓

£159.95

SOS Button Tracker

Personal Alarm GPS Tracker

This GPS tracker includes an SOS alarm that can notify any number of app users when pressed. It’s easy to set up and nicely designed with an app that’s pleasant to use. 

  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Water-resistant (IP55) ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • 3-7 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Network: 2g + 3g ✓
  • Works in UK, EU, US +More ✓
  • Safezone Alerts ×
  • 2-Way Communication ×

£179.95

Discreet Insole Tracker

Dementia Tracker Insoles

Discreetly slipping in to the shoes of the wearer, this GPS tracker is ideal for those that are likely to forget items like a phone or keys. Full waterproof, with advanced and accurate tracking.

  • Safezone Alerts ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • 1-2 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓
  • 2-Way Communication ×
  • SOS Alarm Button ×

£299.95

Remote Area Tracker

 

Satellite GPS Tracker

This tracker does not require mobile signal (perfect for rural areas) like most trackers do. It works anywhere in the world, and can be tracked on computer or smartphone.

  • Works Globally in Remote Areas ✓
  • Safezone Alerts  ✓
  • Fully Waterproof ✓
  • Up to 4 Month Battery Life ✓
  • Network: Satellites ✓
  • 2-Way Communication ×

£169.95

If you’re looking to find out more about the best GPS trackers, this guide will introduce what you need to know to make the right decision.

What is a GPS Tracker?

A GPS tracker is a clever piece of technology that enables something or someone’s location to be pinpointed accurately pretty much anywhere in the world. They come in all shapes, sizes and with extra features that can be invaluable when ensuring safety and security. For example, some are specifically designed to help when someone with dementia goes missing, to help find them faster and keep them safe.

Common Uses for a GPS Tracker

Tracking People with Dementia / Alzheimer’s (Those That Wander / the Elderly)

The number of people around the world developing dementia is increasingly rapidly, being driven by an ageing population.  In the UK, there’s over 250,000 new cases of dementia (most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease) diagnosed every year.

Overall, there are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK alone.

With no known treatments currently, it’s often the role of family and carers to ensure the highest quality of life and safety for the individual with dementia, whilst maintaining their independence and your peace of mind. GPS Trackers allow you to not worry that if they go missing, you won’t know where to find them.

Similarly, in-home devices such as motion sensing sound players and fall detectors can help to safeguard against the additional dangers of dementia, like night-time wandering and nasty falls.

Want to prevent your elderly loved one falling? Read our Ultimate Guide to Fall Prevention in the Elderly, a simple and comprehensive way to learn all about fall prevention, detection and the best ways to respond!

yepzon ONE small GPS tracker
Tracking Kids / Young Children

As we live in what seems to be an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable world, it’s become even more important to keep our loved ones safe. The innocence and naivety of children makes that extra important, so being able to track their location can be invaluable in offering you peace of mind and keeping them safe.

A child tracker comes in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular is a Small GPS Tracker (which has a long battery life). They’re fun for children to wear and look great,  whilst also being water-resistant and enabling you to track or be alerted when your child leaves a safe area you’ve set. They’re especially useful whilst in places where you can’t keep an eye on your kids all the time, like on holiday, in busy areas or when they’re not with you.

 
Tracking People with Medical Conditions
(e.g. those at Risk of Falling / Having Seizures)

Around a third of people aged 65+ and about half of people aged 80+ fall at least once a year. As well as this, a quarter of a million older people in the UK are hospitalised because of a fall each year. Sadly, many people die every year as a result of falling.

GPS trackers can not only help with finding someone when they’ve fallen, but also narrow your response time to a wandering incident to possibly prevent a fall from happening altogether. This way, if a vulnerable person has wandered into a dangerous area, help can be gathered to find them much more quickly before anything bad happens.

Elderly Man fallen over - falls in the elderly
satellite gps tracker
 
 
Tracking Cars or Entire Fleets of Vehicles

Recent DVLA statistics on car theft reveal 56,288 motors were stolen by criminals in 2019 in the UK. This works out to 154 car thefts per day, meaning a car is stolen every nine minutes. The Association of British Insurers estimates the costs of these thefts to be around £376 million per year.

A rugged tracker can help with keeping an eye on expensive objects, like a vehicle, so buying one is often a great investment. After all, the cost of buying a tracker is nothing compared to the cost of losing your whole car!

And there’s many more uses too, such as:

➜ Tracking those with mental health problems or vulnerable individuals (e.g. learning difficulties)

➜ Tracking your pets or animals

➜ Tracking people at risk of abduction or kidnap

➜ Tracking lone workers (Track your employees or equipment / vehicles)

➜ Tracking valuable items (e.g. luggage, golf bag, machinery)

How Does a GPS Tracker Work?

Here’s a very simple explanation of how GPS tracking works:

Step 1

Your GPS tracker sends a request for its location to satellites orbiting earth

Step 2

The satellites beam back down the location information to the GPS tracker device

Step 3

The GPS tracker uses mobile signal to send that location data to a tracking app or website.

Important Consideration when looking for the Best GPS Tracker

It’s a common misconception that all GPS trackers only use satellites, but that’s not entirely true.

Most GPS Trackers also require mobile signal (just like a mobile phone) to transmit the location to you.

Luckily our GPS trackers use either 2G or 3G signal primarily, which are both incredibly widespread and ensure you can get a great connection almost anywhere outdoors!

Bear in mind that if you’re planning to track someone in remote areas or places with no mobile signal, you’ll need a much more advanced device like our Satellite GPS Tracker (that doesn’t need mobile signal).

How Accurate is a GPS Tracker?

The short answer is that, when outdoors, the location shown via GPS is usually accurate to between 3m and 30m of the tracker’s actual location.

However, the accuracy of a GPS tracker can vary depending on a few factors:

How the Location Was Obtained

GPS trackers don’t always use GPS to get their location.

Sometimes, other systems can be used in the background as an alternative when GPS isn’t available:

  • GPS (Global Positioning System): This is the most common and most accurate (usually 3-30m), however a clear view of the sky is needed for GPS.

But when indoors or without a clear view of the sky, GPS trackers often revert to:

  • LBS (Local Base Station): When GPS cannot be obtained, LBS uses nearby mobile masts to obtain a location. This is much less accurate than GPS (between 50-1000m). Trackers also usually tell you when the location has been obtained via LBS.
  • Wi-Fi: Some trackers can tap into local Wi-Fi relay points (not your home Wi-Fi) when indoors to try to gather a location. This can often show locations on local places like shopping centres for instance, or other places which have large WiFi relay spots. However, this can also be very inaccurate.

If the tracker is for someone with dementia and these background systems can’t be blocked, what’s often worth remembering is if they’re safe and at home, then it’s not as important that the location is less accurate.

However, if they’re out and about (outdoors), then it’s of-course far more important that the tracker is reporting accurately, and in this case every tracker will kick in and start working via GPS.

 

Some trackers will also connect to a bluetooth ‘home hub’ of sorts, keeping the tracker asleep whilst indoors (where they won’t track accurately anyway) to conserve battery. Other trackers will go to sleep after a certain amount of time spent stationary.

With this in mind, GPS trackers remain the most effective way to track down something or someone to within a small area, which is usually enough to find them and make sure they’re safe.

Weather & Environment Conditions

Though it’s not too common, weather conditions and changes in the environment can have an affect on the accuracy and consistency of GPS tracking.

However, you won’t any real impact on GPS accuracy on a normal rainy day, or if it’s just a bit cloudy and overcast.

Though weather conditions can affect GPS, they often don’t, as most GPS devices are designed with powerful enough components to combat poor weather. However, on some simpler trackers where battery conservation is an important factor, these components may be weaker in terms of signal power.

Therefore, they will be more affected by changes in weather, but rarely to a great extent. There’s also evidence to show that cold weather can especially affect GPS trackers by reducing the power output of their internal batteries, providing less power to the components and weakening the overall signal.

Source: SparkFun

Satellite Position & Signal Path

GPS trackers need a connection to 3 satellites to pinpoint an accurate location.

If these satellites are very close together in orbit, the location can have issues with accuracy to a minor extent as the distance from the device to each satellite is closer, and therefore harder to differentiate and pinpoint.

Generally, GPS will be more accurate if the satellites the device is connected to are covering a larger area of the sky, and are not too close together.

Similarly, the tracker’s position can have an impact on accuracy due to something called “Multipath Error”. This is caused when the signal between the satellite and the tracker reflects off an object or structure (like a building) nearby. This makes the satellite think the device is further in another direction than it actually is, as the signal path becomes longer.

But how does this apply to you? Well, when indoors, this means that not only will a GPS device likely not track, but if it was near a window you’d almost certainly see some inaccuracy at the very least.

In more built-up areas (like cities or towns), it can mean that certain devices are more likely to encounter tracking inaccuracy. This is because the signals to/from the satellite can bounce off of buildings during their path.

Satellites use time as a factor in determining location, by measuring how long it takes for a signal to be sent and then bounced back by a tracker on the ground. If the signal bounces off a building on a return path, for example, it will lengthen this time, and could skew the location by a small amount.

However, certain trackers or devices have clever ways of dealing with this issue, by tapping into multiple networks of tracking satellites known as “constellations”. 

There are several key satellite constellations which cover the globe and provide all of us with the ability to accurately track, and this group of constellations come together to form the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). This global network includes 5 constellations:

  • GPS (US)
  • QZSS (Japan)
  • BEIDOU (China)
  • GALILEO (EU)
  • GLONASS (Russia)

Each of these constellations operate in slightly different ways, for example Galileo (the EU’s satellite tracking network) operates at a higher altitude that the USA-owned GPS network, meaning it’s more capable of avoiding inaccuracy caused by tall structures/obstacles such as buildings or mountains.

How do I view a Tracker’s Location?

Depending on which GPS tracker you’ve bought, it’s location is usually displayed on a digital map. This can be on a web browser-based tracking portal, where you’d log in and see the location marked by a pin.

Similarly, many gps trackers have an accompanying app (application) for smartphones or tablets, where the tracker’s location is also pinpointed on a map.

With both methods, you can zoom in or out and in some cases, navigate yourself to the tracker’s location through Google or Apple maps.

What Is a Safezone/Geofence and why might I need It?

Unless you are constantly with the person or item you’re tracking, you wouldn’t necessarily know when the tracker or person has disappeared from where they should be.

Many people then ask How can I be alerted when the tracker has left a certain area‘?

A geofence, geozone or safezone is a pre-designated area that you’re notified if the tracker enters or leaves.

It’s usually set from within the tracking smartphone app or on the tracking website.

This can be ideal for dementia wandering (letting you know when they’ve left a safe area). Important as otherwise they could be missing for hours before raising the alarm.

This can also be useful for child tracking, as it can you know when they’re near somewhere or something dangerous (like a lake or railway line for example).

Tracking valuables or vehicles, like cars, can also be made much easier with a geofence, as they narrow the crucial response window and help you to track down stolen or missing items quickly after they go missing.

Depending on the tracker, you can be notified when the tracker has left a certain area by SMS (text message), email or a smartphone push notification.

So Which Are the Best GPS Trackers with Geofence/Safezone Functionality?

How Long Does the Battery Last on a GPS Tracker?

The short answer is… it depends!

The battery life of the best GPS trackers can be anywhere from 24hrs to over 4 months.

For example, your smartphone will drain faster if you use it more often, and your car will run out of fuel more quickly if you drive faster and for longer periods of time. GPS trackers work in a similar way; the more they’re tracking/moving/alerting, the faster the battery will drain.

The battery life of GPS trackers depends on many factors, and on what it’s designed for.

The main factor that affects a GPS tracker’s battery life is how often its location updates itself.

A general rule of thumb is, the more frequent the updates occur, the quicker the battery will be used up.

So, picking the best GPS tracker is essentially a trade-off between frequent updates and a long-lasting battery life.

Examples

Example 1 – A GPS tracker which has a battery that lasts months, but only updates its location every 6 hours:

This might be ideal for checking your caravan is where it should be, but would be awful if your child went missing and you were trying to locate them.

Example 2 – A GPS tracker which updates every 10 seconds:

This would be great for locating a loved one with dementia, but tracking your boat with it would mean recharging every 1-2 days (not ideal).

So How Do the Best GPS Trackers Get Around This Problem?

As this trade-off is clearly not ideal for many users, lots of GPS trackers have a ‘sleep’ function.

This often means when the GPS tracker has not physically moved for a set period (like 10 mins) or has not changed GPS location for a while.

When in a ‘sleeping’ mode, trackers then either don’t update their location, or update at a less frequent rate (set by you).

Our GPS Pendant/Keyring Goes to Sleep Automatically After 20 Minutes Without Movement to Conserve Battery

What Other Features do GPS Trackers Have?

Whilst tracking the whereabouts of a person/object is the main focus of a GPS tracker, many modern trackers will come with helpful additional features too.

 
2-Way Emergency Communication

Some trackers come with 2-way emergency communication, so the user can call or be called by designated contacts in any eventuality.

This is very useful when tracking vulnerable people, so that when they’ve gone missing, you can call and reassure them that everything is ok whilst they’re travelling to their location.

It can also be incredibly helpful in a wandering incident to try to slow the person down, as the sound of a familiar voice may jar them out of their wandering briefly. This could narrow the crucial response window, and ensure their safety more quickly.

Quite often, you can choose between having only outbound calling (using an SOS button), only inbound calling (where family members can call a person’s tracker directly) or, on the very best devices, a mixture of both.

For a great tracker with 2-way emergency calling, take a look at our:

➜ Personal Tracking GPS Pendant/Keyring

➜ Dementia Tracker GPS Watch 

Location History

Location history is another common feature of GPS trackers.

Most will show the tracker’s previous route/s using lines on a map, so you can see where it’s gone within certain dates and times.

This can be very useful for trying to build up a picture of where the wearer is going, for example someone with dementia or a child running away. It can also be handy if you’re looking to spot regular routes they take when wandering, helping to narrow the response window for people searching for them even further down the line.

 
SOS Button

An SOS button or alarm is also a common GPS tracker feature.

This is usually a button which is positioned somewhere easily reachable on the device that, when pressed, sends an SOS message, calls emergency contact numbers (as discussed above) or both.

This is especially useful for people that are at risk of having falls, strokes, or even more likely to encounter a violent crime like kidnapping.

For a great tracker with SOS button functionality, take a look at our:

➜ Personal Tracking GPS Pendant/Keyring

➜ Dementia Tracker GPS Watch

➜ Personal Alarm GPS Tracker

Do GPS Trackers Need Mobile Signal?

To expand on our previous section, the short answer is yes. 

Some GPS devices (like SatNavs) don’t require mobile phone signal to function, because the location does not need to be sent elsewhere after being obtained.

However, most GPS trackers transmit their location to another device that’s displaying them on a map using an app or website for example. They therefore need some way to send that location info to the other device, and mobile signal is the only viable way to do this.

A good way to explain this is that you don’t need need a mobile internet connection to take a picture on your phone, but you do need it to send that photo to your family.

Luckily, our GPS trackers use 2G signal primarily, a widespread signal type that makes it much easier for them to stay connected!

Our trackers will also update as soon as they get a mobile signal, so if your loved one, pet or valuable enters a signal ‘black spot’, as soon as they’re within signal range again they will update right away.

Which Is the Best GPS Tracker, and How Much Does It Cost?

The best GPS tracker depends on the needs of the person doing the tracking and the nature of the person or item being tracked.

The best GPS tracker for you can be decided by looking at particular features, for example,  whether you want to be notified when the tracker leaves (or enters) a certain area or not. If so, then you’ll need a tracker with geofence capabilities. Sometimes known as geozones or safezones, these pre-set areas can usually be as small as 100m² and go up to 2km²+, and are set by the person doing the tracking to help keep the user safe.

For example our GPS tracking insoles are perfect for someone with dementia who may forget a traditional tracker, or our small GPS tracker is ideal for objects like vehicles as it’s compact with a long-lasting battery life.

For a compromise between the two, our GPS Pendant/Keyring Tracker is the best choice, as it combines a lightweight and compact design with great features like geofences, 2-way SOS calling and adjustable tracking intervals.

Often with GPS trackers, the more you pay, the more advanced technology and safety features you’ll have access to. All GPS trackers on the market will also have some kind of ongoing fee. That’s because, just like a mobile phone needs credit, GPS trackers need data to be able to send the location from the tracker to you, and this requires data.

GPS trackers range in price from around £100 to £400 each generally, with monthly fees varying from around £3 to £30.

To save you scrolling back up, here’s our handy comparison of the best GPS trackers again, and their prices for easy reference:

Best All-Round Tracker

GPS Pendant/Keyring

Our most compact and versatile tracker, with accurate locations on a FREE app, long-lasting battery and alerts when they leave a safe area.

Available to be worn as a pendant, key-ring or a jewellery necklace.

  • Safezone Alerts ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • 2-5 Day Battery Life ✓
  • 2-Way Communication ✓
  • Water- Resistant (IP54) ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓

£99.95

Advanced Dementia Tracker Watch & Phone

Dementia GPS Watch

Designed specifically for dementia, this is the best tracking watch on the market.

Can be locked to their wrist, alerts when someone leaves home, 2-way communication + more:

  • House + Safezone Alerts ✓
  • Up to 7 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Water-Resistant ✓
  • Track On Any Device ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓

£349.95

Long-Lasting Basic Tracker

Small GPS Tracker

With its compact design and the longest battery life of all these trackers, this is ideal for checking locations quickly & easily.

It takes moments to set up and can be placed pretty much anywhere. Top up using the app whenever you need data.

  • Water-Resistant ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • 7-14 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓
  • SOS Alarm Button ×
  • 2-Way Communication ×
  • Safezone Alerts ×

£114.95

SOS Button Tracker

Personal Alarm GPS Tracker

This GPS tracker includes an SOS alarm that can notify any number of app users when pressed. It’s easy to set up and nicely designed with an app that’s pleasant to use. 

  • SOS Alarm Button ✓
  • Waterproof (IP55) ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • 3-7 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Network: 2g + 3g ✓
  • Works in UK, EU, US +More ✓
  • Safezone Alerts ×
  • 2-Way Communication ×

£139.95

Discreet Insole Tracker

Dementia Tracker Insoles

Discreetly slipping in to the shoes of the wearer, this GPS tracker is ideal for those that are likely to forget items like a phone or keys. Full waterproof, with advanced and accurate tracking.

  • Safezone Alerts ✓
  • Smartphone Tracking App ✓
  • Monthly Fee ✓
  • 1-2 Day Battery Life ✓
  • Network: 2g ✓
  • 2-Way Communication ×
  • SOS Alarm Button ×

£299.95

Remote Area Tracker

 

Satellite GPS Tracker

This tracker does not require mobile signal (perfect for rural areas) like most trackers do. It works anywhere in the world, and can be tracked on computer or smartphone.

  • Works Globally in Remote Areas ✓
  • Safezone Alerts  ✓
  • Fully Waterproof ✓
  • Up to 4 Month Battery Life ✓
  • Network: Satellites ✓
  • 2-Way Communication ×

£169.95

Looking For Advice on the Best GPS Tracker For Your Needs?

For free expert advice,  you can contact us in any of the following ways:

Give us a call: +44 (0)3300 10 14 18

Send us an emailhello@techsilver.co.uk

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