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The Ultimate Guide To Buying GPS Trackers

Are you in need of a GPS tracker for personal or business use, but don’t know where to start? You are not alone; the current market is flooded with thousands of GPS devices, and choosing the best fit for your needs might be a challenge. When it comes to tracking your assets, your loved ones (kids and elderly), personal belonging, or company equipment, there are many GPS tracking devices and vendors out there.

On face value, it may seem like most GPS systems are all the same. However, the GPS devices, their functionality, hardware, software, and features are certainly not created equal, and so are the providers. For this reason—whether you are looking for GPS trackers again, or you are doing it for the first time—this buyer’s guide will give you the much-needed tips and comprehensive guidance to ensure that you are in a perfect position to select the best tracking device and vendor. We will do this by answering some of the most important questions you might be having about trackers.

Let’s start with the basics

1. What’s a GPS? How Does It Work?

Short for Global Positioning System, GPS is a system that uses about 31 active satellites orbiting above the earth to provide geographical coordinates. A GPS tracker receives signals from these satellites to pinpoint the ground position of a device. It goes without saying, the more satellites a GPS tracker “see,” the more accurate it will relay its location. For this reason, you might want to buy a powerful asset tracker from a provider you can trust.

2. What Can You Do with a GPS?

Since a tracking device is designed to locate anything and anyone carrying it in real-time? We’ll break our answers into three categories

(i) You Can Use Asset GPS Trackers to Locate Your Valuable Items

Some trackers have been designed to specifically track assets.

Have you lost your wallet? Do you want to locate your personal car? Do you want to keep tabs on valuable luggage you are expecting, or you’ve sent over to someone? Do you want to keep track of your keys? The list is endless. We all own at least one thing we wish we could have a way of keeping an eye over them or knowing about their location at all time. The good news is that GPS trackers designed to be used with different assets give us the ability to do just that. You can use your smartphone or computer to track any asset you’d wish to have an eye on from the comfort of your sofa.

Key Features of Asset Trackers

  • Drop Alert
  • Inbuilt Magnetics for Fast and Easy Installation on Any Metallic Body
  • Tamper Alert
  • Create Geofences to Send Alerts When an Asset Enters or Leaves a Specific Location
  • Sleek and Compact Designs; For easy and discrete installations into bags, pockets, and clothes.
  • Low Battery Alert
  • Intelligent Power Management (Reduce inefficient power consumption when the tracker stays idle and only activates upon motion)
  • Detect and Send Alerts When an Asset is Switched On or Off
  • Sends Over-Usage Alerts

(ii) GPS Provides the Best Way to Keep Tabs on Your Pets, Kids, and Elderly

Since pets, kids, and elderly are prone to get lost, personal trackers and pet trackers are designed to help monitor, track, and keep them safe whenever you are not around to watch over them.

Whether you are having a busy day at the office or you are in a business flight halfway around the world, you can get instant feedback and peace of mind about the whereabouts of your pets and loved ones.

On the same note, GPS tracking devices can be very helpful for our loved ones with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive conditions by protecting them from the dangers of wandering and mistreatment. It’s proven that the trackers significantly lower stress and bolster the feeling of confidence and independence among caregivers. This is true since the caregivers can have peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are safe and can be heard and found no matter where they are.

Key Features of Kids and Elderly Trackers

  • Tamper-Proof Wearables
  • Safeguard with Geofence Boundaries (alerts family members when loves ones enter or leave the safe zone)
  • 2-Way Calling
  • SOS Buttons for Emergencies
  • Unknown/Unfamiliar Place Call Alert
  • All-Day Monitoring with 24/7 Location Updates
  • Late Departure Warnings
  • Proximity and Speed Alerts
  • Water Proof, Shockproof, and Dustproof Casing
  • Extended Battery Life That Can Last for Several Weeks
  • Stylish Wearables for Convenience and Comfort (such as wrist bracelets, modern-day smartwatches, and necklaces)
  • Intuitive User Interface (for easy monitoring and generating custom reports)

Key Features of Pet Trackers

  • Drop Alarm (If the tracker drops, a drop alarm will be generated)
  • Daily Activity Monitoring of Your Dog
  • Feature for Recording a Voice Command for Your Dog
  • Long-Lasting, Waterproof, Dustproof, And Impact-Proof Sturdy Casing
  • Equipped with LED beacon lights
  • 24/7 Live Tracking with Unlimited Range
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Rechargeable Battery That Can Last for Up to 5 Days
  • Easy to Attach to Your Dog’s Collar

(iii) You Can use GPS Trackers to Monitor and Manage a Fleet of Vehicles.

Whether you are in the business of managing passenger vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, trailers, or even boats, you can use fleet GPS tracking system to;

  • Deter and solve theft challenges,
  • Increase predictability factor, see locations in real-time and provide ETAs to your clients,
  • Monitor the behaviour of your drivers,
  • Use the fleet data to improve productivity
  • Track maintenance needs
  • Reduce operation costs
  • Providing emergency alerts on time
  • Optimize on vehicles resources
  • Increase fuel savings
  • Efficient route planning
  • Enhance safety to both the employees and the fleet, etc.

Key Features of Fleet Trackers

  • Driver Safety Monitoring
  • Remote Fuel Cut-Off
  • Early Detection of Equipment and Vehicle Fatigue
  • Fuel Fraud Monitoring & Fuel Efficiency Monitoring
  • Speed Limit Violation Alerts
  • Vehicle Maintenance Trend Analysis
  • Manage Employee Information on the Go
  • Work Order Automation
  • Fluid Levels and Temperature Monitoring

3. What are the Steps to Buying a GPS Tracker?

The first step towards buying a GPS tracker starts by identifying your needs. Do you need a GPS to monitor and take care of your loved ones, or are you looking forward to managing a fleet of vehicles efficiently, do you want to keep tabs or your pets, or do you want to track a valuable item? After answering these questions, we can now move on to the next question.

4. What Should You Look for in a GPS Company?

Most vendors are out to make some profits. Some may even be unfamiliar with the GPS tracking industry. They will give you generic answers to your questions and throw in a sales pitch killer statement that will entice you to buy their GPS gadgets. Before you give in, ask yourself these three questions;

  • Is this company Australian Owned? Unless it’s a giant company with offices all over the world, including Australia, most people looking for GPS trackers for personal or business use are always searching for reputable and dependable Australian companies.
  • Are they here to really help solve my tracking problem, or they are just after a sale? The easy way to know if the company is committed to help solve your tracking needs is if it shows interest by asking the right questions, answering your questions thoroughly, and are ready to guide you through the features that will work best for you.
  • Are they providing cheap tracking devices and services, or are they committed to providing quality products for good ROI? If the company is more interested in their low prices rather than helping you optimize your ROI, they are there to sell to you and not help you.

5. What Features Do You Need?

The features of a tracking device will largely depend on your situation. A person looking for a pet’s tracker and another one looking for a fleet’s tracker will definitely have different preferences when it comes to key features. However, you’ll all choose a tracker after considering these five factors:

(i) GPS Connection and Real-Time Tracking

Basically, you are about to buy a tracker for real-time or live tracking. So it goes without saying, the tracking device needs to connect to the global positioning system. With that in mind, the connection speed should be first enough to provide accurate information in real-time. A tracker using 4G is faster and more powerful than the one using 3G. Similarly, a tracking device capable of “seeing” the 90 GNSS satellites will be better in terms of speed and quality of data when compared to a tracker that can only link to the 30 GPS satellites. Some devices utilize Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and local cell towers (Location-Based Service) to guarantee coverage and cut down on expenses.

Under The Connectivity and Tracking Feature, You Need to Consider the Following;

  • Some GPS devices only offer the location data at a pre-set interval.
  • A tracking device with short update intervals will drain the battery faster, and the vice versa is true. For example, a tracker that pings and sends location updates in every 5 seconds will drain its power faster than the one that does so once in a day.
  • GPS devices that can link to almost all the satellites are extremely fast and accurate, but this comes at an additional cost.
  • A tracker with a cellular connection and global roaming SIM card can be tracked anywhere on earth.

(ii) Tracking Software and Monitoring Capabilities

Depending with the service provider and the capability of a tracker, the GPS devices may include free or paid GPS software, free or paid smartphone app, or a free or paid web service subscription, that only needs an internet-enabled device to let you see where your GPS tracker is at any time and from anywhere. With either the web service or mobile app, you can receive alerts via email or texts about the route data. If the device has a geo-fence feature, you will be notified every time the device roams passed the virtual fence. 

Obviously with free software options, the customer support is not comparable to a paid subscription. When issues arise, its good to know you can call a reliable provider for advice.

(iii) Availability of Customer Support

GPS tracking is a tech-savvy world, which is not everyone’s area of expertise. A good provider should offer around-the-clock tech support to its customers. Though some vendors may provide email, help-desk ticket system, how-to-videos, or live chat support, direct phone call at any time you need help is a much easier and most preferred option, especially during emergencies.

(iv) Design

Whether you need a tracker for your kids or a fleet of vehicles, you need a device and GPS software that is simple and easy to use. It should be;

  • Sturdy to last for long,
  • Small enough to be concealed in tight spaces,
  • Should have SOS buttons for emergencies,
  • Should be built with reliable batteries that can keep power for many days between charges.
  • Should be water-resistant, shock resistant, and dust proof.
  • Should be equipped with tamper-proof features.

(V) Pricing

Buying a GPS tracker for whatever reason—personal or business—is one of the most important purchasing decision. Remember, this is a device you are going to rely on, and the safety and well-being of your loved ones may depend on how reliable and accurate it is.

GPS tracking service is not a deal you should consider based on price alone. Low prices might mean some features, services, or reliability are being traded for in order to achieve the lowest price point.

The best thing to do is to evaluate your situation and create a checklist of features that will help solve your problem. Then take your time to narrow down the list of the GPS service providers in Australia and the devices they are offering until you settle on one that will maximize your return on investment.

Making the Right Decision

Choosing the right GPS tracker is like choosing a dentist, a pilot, or a surgeon, with the right decision, you will live to be thankful. However, if the opposite happens, the same thing that you’ve invested heavily just to have peace of mind will be the one thing that you’ll be worrying about. That said if you have a clue of what you want, but you are not so sure, worry not. At Simply Trackers, we are here to do more than just sell a GPS device that fits your situation; we are here to help you solve your tracking problems satisfactorily. We know GPS devices and GPS software inside out, and we are always happy to walk you through different devices, explain their features, respond to your queries, and help you find the one that provides an ultimate solution to you tracking needs.

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