Asking the right questions
Above all, a gps tracker is a useful device. It is intended to track the location of an item and relay that information back to the person responsible for monitoring the device. If you were hoping to use your GPS device for something other than this then you may need to look elsewhere for your technological solutions. A GPS device will not be able to relay back sound, video, or any other special data; that sort of technology is limited to television and movies.
Next you have to consider what you want to track. Would you like to use a tracker to monitor a vehicle, a valuable piece of art or an antique, an important laptop or other tech item? A person? Do you want to track more than one object at once? The kind of tracking you wish to do will determine in part what sort of GPS device you shop for.
The basic types of GPS trackers
Trackers are primarily distinguished by their power source. You can choose from battery-powered trackers or those that depend on an outside electrical power source.
- Battery-powered GPS trackers run on rechargeable batteries. These trackers are usually quite small so they can be slipped into a backpack or carrying case without anyone being the wiser. Some of these trackers can be set with magnets so they can stick to any ferrous surface, such as the undercarriage of a vehicle. The length of charge life will vary between models. Some pricier tracker models are motion activated and require only a minimum charge if stationary. However, if you need a tracker that operates continuously then spending the extra money on a motion-activated device may not be worth it.
- Hardwired electrical trackers are usually used in vehicles because of the advanced electrical wiring already present. The tracker is connected directly to the vehicle’s electrical system and uses such a small amount of power that the drain will not be noticed by the operator. Connecting this type of tracker to the electrical system will take a little work. Unless you are comfortable working on automotive power systems yourself you should probably take it to a mechanic to have the tracker installed correctly.
Other points to keep in mind
Almost all trackers are around the size of a cell phone or a little smaller. They can fit in the palm of your hand. With battery-powered trackers the smaller they are, the less energy storage capacity they have; they will require more frequent recharges and may not have the operational life span that larger models do. If the tracker does not power down during periods of inactivity the operational battery life will be somewhat shorter; you will need to be diligent about recharging the tracker between uses.
Ultimately, you want to narrow down your choices to the gps devices that are going to best help you accomplish your specific goals. You will have to realistically think about size, weight, and battery life before making your final selection. Asking the hard questions will help you make sense of the many options available to you.
About the Author
Article courtesy of BrickHouse Security, follow them on Twitter @BrickHousesecur or read the Brickhouse Security Blog for more Industry news and updates on the latest home security and personal surveillance items.