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GPS Tracker – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a GPS tracker?

A Global Positioning System or GPS is an electronic device that sends signals to the satellite that are then sent to a receiver. The device works like a transmitter and receiver but on satellite navigation principles. It is developed, funded, and operated by the U.S Department of Defense (DOD).

How does a GPS tracker work?

GPS is a tracking device or system that you can place in cars, on pets, with people, on electronic devices, and a few other types of items. GPS trackers have a transmitter, which is the GPS device that generates the signal, and a receiver, that receives and sends back the signal. The satellites act as a propagation medium between the said two and transfer the single from transmitter to receiver. GPS operates under the constellation of 29 satellites. Anyone in the world can use GPS with the help of Standard Positioning Service. This service allows civilians to use GPS without any restrictions.

Is it legal to use GPS for tracking people?

Yes, it is illegal. Only government-authorized agencies in the US can monitor people under the Fourth Amendment. Apart from that, you cannot monitor, track, or put surveillance on anyone and anything. By doing so, you will be violating the anti-stalking laws and get into trouble. Therefore, it is best to track items that your property.

What is the legal use of GPS trackers?

It is legal for you to track things or pets that you have ownership of such as vehicles, precious objects, etc. The best and most common use of GPS trackers is in vehicles to prevent car thefts.

How can I track my car with the GPS tracker?

Once you have installed a GPS tracker in your car, you can easily monitor the movement of your car. GPS devices are expandable nowadays and come with various options that you can explore to know different ways of GPS vehicle tracking.

How can I find a GPS tracker in my car if there’s any?

With smart ways to hide it today, it has become quite a challenge to find GPS tracking devices in cars. The reason being people hide the GPS trackers most efficiently in places that can hardly be identified. If you hid the GPS tracker yourself and forgot about it, there are tracking options in the GPS that can help you find it. Plus, various GPS detection tools are available in the market that can ease your search.

Is my SIM also a GPS tracker?

Yes, it can be used for circumstantial tracking. The SIM card, in most countries, has golden lines or points that work for GPS tracking. These lines are used for cellular purposes and thus are connected to the Sat-Nav. If these lines are damaged, the SIM will not work, even the slightest dust or carbon settles can cause abruption.

Why do GPS trackers use SIM cards?

SIM cards are best to transmit and receive cellular signals. Since SIMs also use satellites, therefore, GPS trackers come with a SIM card option for more accuracy. Plus, the device positioning and tracking become more feasible as it can be as low as 850 MHz frequency.

What’s the best use of GPS? Indoors or outdoors

GPS tracking devices can work in both scenarios. But it is the question of frequency and accuracy from operating location that limits its use. GPS devices can work indoors but with less-to-low accuracy. However, GPS trackers are outdoor devices that work efficiently because the signals are transferred in the direct line of sight to the satellites.

What is a GPS Server?

All the data that GPS trackers send and receive is stored in a server. The server creates log files with complete initial-to-end sessions. The GPS server is used to host a tracking platform for users where they can monitor, track live via the internet. For each search query, the GPS server generates a log report that contains complete information about GPS requests.

Is the GPS server free? Or What is the monthly fee of a GPS server?

Since the GPS server is hosted online, it comes at an affordable price. The GPS trackers’ pricing accommodates two things: 1) live GPS tracking locations and 2) storing the data on a server that is easily accessible. Since these two are prominent GPS features, therefore, it comes with a very reasonable monthly price.

What is the smallest size of GPS trackers?

Developed by OriginGPS in 2014, the smallest GPS tracker ever designed was of 10x10x5.8mm dimension known as the Micro Hornet GPS Chip. It weighs just 2.5 grams and is wearable. This Nano hornet GPS has an embedded antenna, SNR filters, dedicated radio frequency band, and processing speed of full-sized chips.

How do OBD ports work in GPS trackers?

On-Board Diagnostics ports or OBD is an interface made specifically for vehicles. OBD simply provides access to several sub-systems installed in the car. OBD comes with a portable adapter/scanner (also called an OBD reader) that you can use to see your vehicle’s overall health status. This connector-type detects vehicle faults and notifies the driver. One of the best things about OBD is that you can access data and conduct vehicle diagnostics yourself. Since it’s a connector, you can connect and power the GPS trackers.

How many types are there of GPS?

GPS devices are mainly available in three types:

Hardwired GPS Trackers – A type of GPS device that is wired into your car. This type of GPS must be connected to the vehicle to work.

Battery-Operated GPS Trackers – A type of GPS that is portable and powered by a battery. This type of GPS is mostly used in vehicles, livestock, equipment, and more.

Plug-in GPS Trackers – a type of GPS that provides geographical information only when it is plugged into the vehicle’s electrical system. A hardwired GPS is wired permanently into the car whereas Plug-in GPS can be plugged in and out when needed.

What is a tracking interval in GPS?

Tracking interval or delay is the time that GPS trackers take to update the location, coordinates, or relative information on the receiver’s end. You may have seen a dot that appears on the GPS map that tells you the position, the time that dot takes to change position is called the GPS tracking interval. There are GPS devices where you can set the delay time yourself. Normally, the tracking interval is a minimum of 10-15 seconds.

What is motion activation in GPS and how does it work?

To save cellular power, most upgraded GPS devices come with motion activation circuits. The GPS tracker will only give you an update of the location when it is moved. Therefore, if it is not moving or changing positions, you will not get an update. This GPS option is useful to save battery health.

How does Geofence work with GPS trackers?

Geofence is a virtually created imagery of real locations that are created with the help of GPS trackers. It is a boundary that GPS creates around an area that enables the users to get a notification if any vehicle enters or leaves the Geofence area. It also sends targeted messages/signals to the users who enter or leave the area.

How to power a GPS tracker?

There are three ways to power a GPS tracking device: 1) Wire the GPS device permanently into the vehicle’s electrical (hardwired GPS device), 2) plug in the GPS device whenever you need a location update (Plug-in GPS device), and 3) use rechargeable battery-powered GPS devices.

What is reverse geocoding? Or Why reverse geocoding is important for GPS?

Geocoding provides geographical coordinates (longitude and latitude) of a location to support the found location on the GPS device. It is handy for GPS systems because it confirms the location that the tracker sends back to the GPS receiver. Reverse geocoding is a process to convert the received location to a universally understandable address. It is not the opposite of geocoding but is used to get to an exact location.