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GPS locator – what is it, and how does it work?

The locator is a device that uses GPS technology. With its help, you can easily determine the location of the car or one of our family members. The built-in GPS tracker module, i.e., the Global Positioning System, uses the transmitter’s signal, which reaches the receiver. But that’s not all.

The emitted signal from the device is first picked up by the satellite and then transferred to the receiver – a device that displays the exact location.

Remember that the transmitter, like a mobile phone, must have a SIM card for the tracker to work.

How does a GPS tracker work on a mobile phone?

The principle of operation of the locator in a mobile phone is very similar because it is a device that uses the GPS signal for many applications that we use every day. Using a smartphone, we can reach our destination and check where our family member or car is.

The GPS locator in the phone also allows you to track the device itself if it is lost or stolen. However, the phone requires installing the right application, and if we want to track a stranger’s device – the software that treats it. Private detectives often use the latter solution.

How does a car GPS tracker work?

GPS locator for a passenger car is additional vehicle security. Although it will not protect against theft, it can provide the exact location if the car changes position. It is also an opportunity for parents to control young drivers and business owners to control the entire car fleet.

The device mounted in the car also sends a signal to the satellite, which redirects it to the receiver, e.g., an application that can be installed on a smartphone. Advanced solutions for transport companies enable ongoing tracking of many vehicles simultaneously, translating into the optimization of drivers’ work and costs and protecting the company owner from unnecessary expenses.

What are the types of GPS trackers?

Popular car GPSs are divided into those mounted to the car’s installation and those with an external power supply. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Devices connected to the battery are powered by it, so you don’t have to worry about its condition, even if the car has been parked for several days.

What’s more, they are usually completely invisible to the thief. Of course, any tracker can be detected, but this type of GPS increases the chance that the device will be noticed only after some time. Does this solution have disadvantages? It is worth remembering that installing such a GPS transmitter requires appropriate knowledge and practice and is more time-consuming. If we do not have experience, it is worth ordering services specializing in security systems dedicated to vehicles.

An external GPS locator is usually smaller, handier, and easy to install – place it in the desired place inside the car. Its basic limitation is … the battery, the life of which is additionally affected by temperature, especially on colder days.

Manufacturers provide more and more models equipped with good quality batteries with extended life and better parameters, but you should still remember to check their state of charge.

How to use a GPS locator?

The GPS locator can be used to determine the location of a given device or car or for ongoing monitoring. In this way, not only are we able to quickly determine the position we are interested in but in the case of large transport companies:

  • check where cars are located,
  • verify drivers’ routes,

in case of trouble on the road, quickly send help or designate an alternative route.

Advanced locators collect much more than just GPS position. In addition to tracking the car in a dedicated application, you can check its current parameters, such as fuel consumption, etc. This is valuable information for a business that is based on transport.

What are the advantages of using a GPS tracker?

The GPS transmitter for the car is a maintenance-free device that does not need to be activated every time. If it has an efficient power supply, it works both day and night.

The only thing to remember is to pair the device with the receiver, which must be done before the first use. To do this, install a dedicated program or application to display the transmitter’s location.

Modern locators are also very accurate. They send data in real-time and allow you to determine the position with an accuracy of up to several meters. In the event of a car theft, this significantly increases our chances of finding the vehicle before it is sold or dismantled.

What are the disadvantages of using a GPS tracker?

It is worth remembering that cheaper, small car GPS trackerpowered by a replaceable battery may be less accurate than more expensive and advanced devices. The position will then be less precise.

The GPS signal is also affected by weather conditions and terrain, which is why it happens that when tracking a vehicle, we lose its location. In such situations, it is worth saving the last given leads.

The GPS signal can also be disrupted. People who steal vehicles of certain brands, especially premium ones, may have signal-jamming devices, making the car invisible to the receiver, especially as the distance between the devices increases.

Is the GPS tracker safe?

The waves sent by the GPS transmitter are not harmful. When browsing the opinions about trackers available on the Internet, you can often come across the question of whether the tracker is safe. Definitely yes. However, using navigation technology only when you need it is important.

Daily reliance on directions from GPS maps or tracking systems means that we refrain from forcing our brains to work. Many researchers believe that addiction to technology affects the incidence of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

If you are wondering if a GPS tracker is safe for pets, the answer is yes. The devices can be safely attached to the collar to ensure that we quickly determine the position of a lost quadruped. This will be especially appreciated by the owners of dogs who run away from loud fireworks on New Year’s Eve and are afraid to return home.

How to choose the best GPS tracker?

The best tracking devices are those that are tailored to our needs. Of course, technology is of great importance. Still, for example, a fleet owner can only effectively use vehicle location if the transmitters are integrated into one intuitive application.

The locator for a passenger car does not have to have additional functions, such as speed measurement or fuel consumption, because the user tracks these data on the onboard computer.

Safety is more important, which is why a car’s GPS can also be equipped with a motion detector that will inform the owner that he should check what is happening with the car.

GPS for the fleet is a tool for ongoing monitoring. Hence one application or software that the dispatcher can use is recommended to facilitate the work of all drivers.

What are the alternatives to a GPS locator?

For some people, especially those who want to locate a person’s position without their knowledge, the limitation of the tracker is the SIM card, which must always be registered. For fear of breaking the law, larger companies are more likely to use private detectives than track the GPS signal themselves.

There are also transmitters on the market that need a SIM card or the ability to connect to a satellite. They emit a signal received by the paired receiver. However, they have a basic limitation – the distance, which varies depending on the model and its parameters. When buying this device, it is worth getting acquainted with the manufacturer’s instructions.


Today, a GPS locator is one of the basic devices when it comes to security and monitoring issues. It increases the chance of finding a stolen car or determining its last position and gives you greater parental control and cares over your household members.

In the detective profession, it is one of the most important tracking devices, similarly in the transport business, where ongoing vehicle fleet monitoring translates into real savings.

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