BrickHouse offers the best selection of GPS trackers on the web. Here's how to choose the right one for you
What is GPS?
Developed by the U.S. government, the Global Positioning System (GPS for short) consists of 31 active satellites in orbit above the Earth. GPS trackers receive signals from these satellites and use them to pinpoint and track the location of the device, generally within a few yards under optimal conditions. Trackers use multiple satellites to triangulate their position, so the more satellites the device can "see," the more accurate it will be in pinpointing its location.
What Can You Do With a GPS Tracker?
Use GPS to instantly locate anything that matters to you. Get the instant answers and peace of mind you need -- all in real time.
- Know when your 5th-grader leaves his school -- and when he gets home -- automatically and in real time. "Geofence" alerts instantly notify you via text or email when a person, vehicle or object enters or leaves any area you select.
- Get the locations of a single car—or an entire fleet of vehicles. Find out in seconds where a car or truck is right now, where it's been and where it's headed.
- Worried that your teen is driving too fast? Get an instant message when her car exceeds a speed limit you've selected in advance. And if she's in trouble, she can just press the built-in panic button and help will be on the way in seconds.
- Track any object that has personal or professional value to you, from works of art to jewelry to business inventory of all kinds. Any "asset" you need to monitor can be instantly tracked with GPS. Get text or email alerts when an object moves — and follow its path wherever it goes via BrickHouse's powerful GPS monitoring platform.
- Use custom-made GPS tracking solutions to monitor valuable assets in order to cut retail loss. By tracking assets such as jewelry, pharmaceuticals, and large cargo, you're able to apprehend suspects and bring them to justice much more efficiently and effectively.
- Get real-time and historical location information anywhere you have Internet access — including any computer, tablet or mobile device.
How to Choose the Tracker That's Right for You
The type of tracker you choose depends on what you need to do. If you need to track more than one car, or if you want to monitor something else — like a person or an object — you'll need a portable GPS tracker.
Portable, battery powered trackers like our Spark Nano can be easily moved among multiple locations. They're so compact you can use them almost anywhere. Drop one in your pre-schooler's backpack on Monday, carry one with you on a Tuesday hike, place one in your teen's car on Wednesday. Optional magnetic mount cases are also available; they allow you to mount a portable tracker under a vehicle when you don't want the driver to know it's there.
Battery life varies among trackers, and calculating how much time you'll get between charges is something of an inexact science. Most units will work for at least a week without a recharge during what is considered average use (about two hours of driving or walking per day). Some portable, battery powered trackers have a built-in motion sensor, so they use only minimal power when they're not moving. For example, the Spark Nano 5.0 can last up to two weeks without recharging if it's in use for about an hour a day.
For extended battery-powered tracking, consider a device like the Eon GPS Tracker. The Eon functions similarly to the Nano, with easy portability between tracking subjects—except the Eon is uniquely suited for long-term asset and vehicle tracking. With built-in magnetic mounts and an astounding 100-day battery, the Eon was designed to track large assets such as construction equipment and machinery in addition to everyday vehicle monitoring.
If you know you only need to monitor one car, a hardwired vehicle tracking system is your best choice. Hardwired GPS trackers like our Livewire and Livewire Micro GPS Vehicle Trackers get their power from your car's electrical system, so there are no batteries to charge. They require a quick, relatively simple installation and they're completely invisible inside your car; the driver will only know it's there if you choose to tell him.
If you're comfortable with basic automotive electrical work, you should be able to install a hardwired GPS tracker yourself. If not, your local car stereo shop or mechanic can usually do the job in less than a half-hour.
Like hardwired systems, Plug and Play GPS trackers get their power from your vehicle's electrical system, so they don't require batteries either. But there's no need for professional installation. For example, BrickHouse's new TrackPort plugs directly into the diagnostic port located on or below your vehicle's dashboard, and it's compatible with almost any car manufactured after 1996.
Because they're connected to your car's onboard computer, Plug and Play GPS tracking devices also let you access some cool optional features as they become available in the software. For example, you can get engine diagnostics (vehicle speed, distance driven, maintenance reports, etc.) and even immobilize your car remotely if it's been stolen. Real-time GPS trackers like the Spark Nano, the Livewire, and the TrackPort report immediately from almost anywhere. To access their real-time information on your computer or mobile device, a small monthly fee is required. But don't worry; you can pay as you go. There are no annual contracts or long-term commitments to sign. Some people are interested in tracking a specific event that lasts only a short time—a spouse's business trip, for example. That's why BrickHouse offers the convenience of paying monthly without an annual commitment on every GPS tracker we sell.
If you don't need real-time reporting, you can get all the tracking power of real-time GPS without the monthly fee. With a GPS data logger, you'll know exactly where the device has been. You just won't be able to track the action as it happens. GPS loggers like the Flashback deliver the same location, speed, and stop-time information as real-time trackers, but the data is provided as historical information. Just retrieve the logger and plug it into your computer to download the information you need.
Updated November 13, 2017