GPS Tracking Device Buying Guide [A Complete Guide]

Quickly Pick BUYER'S GUIDE GPS Tracking Device Buying Guide [A Complete Guide]
gps tracking device


GPS Tracking Device Buying Guide [A Complete Guide]

Posted By John

Before we jump into the GPS Tracking device Buying Guide, let us try to understand what GPS is.

Do you know what a GPS is?

The term GPS means global positioning system. It is a satellite-based system which uses 24 satellites. It can work 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world with no subscription fee or setup charges. You can use GPS in any weather without any interruption.

Do you need an internet for working on GPS?

No! You don’t need an internet connection for a GPS tracking device to receive satellite messages. You can calculate the position without an active internet connection.

If you have already installed maps on your tracking device then you can use GPS without internet. If you want to use A-GPS then you need an internet connection.

What is an A-GPS?

Assisted GPS (abbreviated as A-GPS) is a system that works with the assistance of internet connection. It requires internet for a quick start. It works on the same principles as a GPS but it takes the information from the satellites Internet.

Comparison Between GPS and A-GPS

Receive signals from SatellitesReceive signals from Satellites and assistance from network stations
More accurateSlightly less accurate
FreeCost money

Now let’s have a look at the history of GPS.

Before GPS Navigation System, different systems were used for navigation but none of them was able to give the same accuracy globally. Compasses using the Earth’s magnetic field, localized systems like LORAN and the Decca Navigator system were some of the main systems used. TACAN system was used by aircraft.

Ground-based navigation systems were limited in range. Magnetic and stellar based systems were global but they were not accurate and convenient. In 1960, the US Navy tested a system named TRANSIT. Five satellites were used by this system.

Do you know why the US government invested a huge amount of investment in GPS?

A huge amount of investment was required for the development of GPS navigation. It could not be justified for domestic or commercial use. Initially, GPS navigation was developed for Military use. During the cold war, there was a threat of nuclear attack.

A credible and efficient system was needed for accurate positioning for the possible launch carriers like vehicles, submarines, and aircraft. The possibility of cruise missiles using a positioning system was also considered.

In 1973 United States started the GPS project to overcome the limitations of previous navigation projects. They started launching first 10 satellites in 1978. In 1993, the 24 satellites system became fully operational.

Why were civilians allowed to use GPS?

In 1983, Korean Airline Flight 007 was shot down by the Russian Authorities with the death of all 269 passengers on the board, when the unfortunate pilot lost its course and was flying over highly sensitive area of Russia. After the incident, President Reagan announced that GPS would be available for civilian use after completion.

How GPS works?

GPS is a system of 31 active satellites covering the earth at an altitude of 20,000 km from the surface of the earth. GPS needs 24 satellites for global coverage. The extra satellites fill the gaps of these 24 satellites when these are out of order or need service. These Satellites revolve around the earth in their orbit and complete 2 rounds per day.

You need at least 4 satellites at any point of the world for the proper functioning of this system. The technology of this system is very complex but the concept is very simple. It works by providing the exact location of human, vehicle or pets having GPS tracking device. These devices can be either fixed or portable.

These satellites broadcast the signals and anyone on the planet earth with a GPS Tracker can receive these signals without any internet connection. The GPS tracking device chip determines how far it is from each satellite. The receiver needs at least 4 satellites to exactly find your position in 3 dimensions.

The position of vehicle, golf rangefinder device or pets having a tracking device is determined from the distance measurement to the satellites. GPS not only tells you about your position but also provides you information like speed, your distance to your destination, your trip distance, your track and sunset and sunrise time of your particular position.

How is GPS making your everyday life Easier?

GPS can help you in making your daily life easier from keeping an eye on your child to monitoring your vehicle. GPS is beneficial for much more than just getting you from one point to another point when you’re traveling. Here are some of the ways GPS technology is changing your everyday life for the better, without you even realizing it.

If you have a cute pup and want to take it with you when you hunt, hike, or just go for a run outside. Then one of the biggest fear which comes to your mind is to lose it. Now GPS gives you peace of mind about not losing your dog. You can use GPS dog collar for better monitoring of your pup.

Is losing your keys or wallet part of your daily routine? You frequently misplace your common items. With the help of key and wallet tracker, it is not a problem anymore. Some airline companies are now using GPS luggage tracker to save your belongings from being lost on an airport.

Are you hungry in a new town and don’t know the location of the restaurant to get some delicious food? Don’t worry, GPS is there to help you find the restaurant of your choice.

Nothing is scarier than realizing you don’t know where your child is? To keep your child all the time with you is one of the most difficult things. Now you can keep your child safe by knowing where exactly he is by the use of GPS tracker for kids.

Do you have an elderly member in your family having diseases like Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Now you can track and follow your seniors by using Personal GPS tracker.

If you are a golfer and want to take your game to another level then you need GPS for golf. Golf is a sport in which position is far important than distance. Therefore different tracking devices are playing an important role in making you a great golfer. There are different Golf Devices which are helpful for playing golf like golf GPS watch and golf rangefinder.

Time is one of the most important factors in our life. GPS is helping you in saving your time by finding shortcut routes and accurate directions to your destination.

If you along with your family and friends are at a crowded place like new year eve celebrations, party, and graduation ceremony then you can easily find the lost member of your family by using the tracking device.

GPS tracker for the car not only saves your car from being theft but also helps you in an emergency. In case of emergency when you send a request for help then you don’t need to tell the location. The rescuer can get information about your location through GPS.

Today we can see that surveyors are getting benefits from this technology during the survey. They use absolute locations to determine property boundaries and it helps them in making maps.

Some of the advantages of this particular technique over traditional surveying techniques are accuracy, fast process, time, labor and cost saving. It can be used in any weather condition because GPS surveying is not affected by weather conditions like rain, high temperature or snow.

Do you like fishing? Are you ready for hours of waiting for a catch during fishing? If not, then you can use one of the Best Fish Finders for catching. You can save your time and enjoy fishing by using this device.

When we experience the history, we find that about 20 years ago hiking was not so easy as it is today. On adventures, hikers used compasses and topographic maps to know their locations. Today, you can use a GPS tracker to find the right direction while on adventures.

In the last 10 years, Hunting is completely changed with new technology. Now GPS for hunting is making your hunting easy. You can use GPS to help you find easy routes to your hunting.

How is GPS helping Military?

As of 2009, military GPS applications include:


Soldiers use GPS to find objectives, even in the dark or in unfamiliar territory, and to coordinate troop and supply movement. In the United States armed forces, commanders use the Commander’s Digital Assistant and lower ranks use the Soldier

Digital Assistant

Target tracking: Various Military Weapons systems use GPS to track potential ground and air targets before flagging them as hostile. These weapon systems pass target coordinates to precision-guided munitions to allow them to engage targets accurately. Military aircraft, particularly in air-to-ground roles, use

Finding targets

Missile and projectile guidance: GPS allows accurate targeting of various military weapons including ICBMs, cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions and artillery shells. Embedded GPS receivers able to withstand accelerations of 12,000 g or about 118 km/s2 have been developed for use in 155-millimeter howitzer shells.


Patrol movement can be managed more closely.

GPS satellites carry a set of nuclear detonation detectors consisting of an optical sensor called a bhangmeter, an X-ray sensor, a dosimeter, and an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) sensor (W-sensor), that form a major portion of the United States Nuclear Detonation Detection System. General William Shelton has stated that future satellites may drop this feature to save money.

GPS type navigation was first used in the war in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, before GPS was fully developed in 1995, to assist Coalition Forces to navigate and perform maneuvers in the war.

The war also demonstrated the vulnerability of GPS to being jammed, when Iraqi forces installed jamming devices on likely targets that emitted radio noise, disrupting reception of the weak GPS signal.

(Courtesy Wiki)

Things to consider while purchasing a GPS Tracker:

When you are going to purchase a GPS tracker, Here you have to consider some essential points before purchasing a GPS tracking device. Firstly, you have to think that for what purpose do you need a Tracker.

Do you need a GPS tracking device for your vehicle, fishing, Hunting, Hiking, for kids or for an elderly family member? So first you have to decide which type of GPS tracker you are looking for. For this reason, you will figure out some most important points while purchasing a tracking device.

You might be interested in Laser Rangefinder Buying Guide

Keep this important thing in mind:

The customer always wants the solution to their problems and when they are satisfied with the functionality of a product then they buy a product. If a particular product of a particular company meets the customer requirements and exceeds their expectations. So then the consumer simply forms an opinion that this brand is trustworthy.


They are many brands on the market. Before buying the GPS tracking device you must have some knowledge about the product and brand. It saves your time and helps you in getting the right product.


What brand means?

A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name and logo.

Companies who manufacture the GPS Tracking Devices

Garmin, Magellan, DeLorme, Lowrance, Mio, TomTom, and Alpine are some of the famous manufacturers of GPS tracking devices. Other brands of GPS trackers include some notable companies like HP, Asus, LG, Pentax, Humminbird, Suunto, and Bushnell.

A list of top GPS tracking device manufacturers is listed below. If you plan to buy the best GPS Tracking device then the best Brands are :

Garmin: It is one of the primary brands, Garmin is producing very high standard products. Garmin manufactures almost all GPS tracking devices like GPS for Marine, Aviation, fishfinder, vehicle GPS devices, and Handheld GPS Units.

DeLorme: DeLorme is now part of the Garmin family. They are working under the logo of Garmin.

Magellan: They are among the top brands in the automotive and off-road navigation product category. They are producing Navigator for vehicles and street GPS Navigator.

Lowrance: Lowrance is one of the top brands of GPS units Manufacturers and it is producing almost all GPS Tracking device for example transducer etc.

Humminbird: Humminbird is the manufacturer of top quality GPS fishfinder.

Mio: The main GPS products of this company are Dash cameras and Navigation. They provide the best product in this category with big screen Design.

TomTom: They are in the business from years. They provide Navigation for your vehicles like cars, motorcycles, scooters, and trucks and they are also manufacturers of sports products like Golf watches, running watches, activity trackers and multi-sports watches.

Alpine: Alpine is very well known for their user-friendly models. They are manufacturing GPS Navigation Devices.

LG: LG produces Wearable GPS Gadgets as Smart Watches.

Bushnell: One big name in the market who produce the best GPS for hunting. Their primary focus is on taking value hunting GPS products on the market.

Why I need a GPS Tracking device?

First of all, you should have a clear idea that for what purpose you need a GPS Tracking device. What are the activities in which you want a GPS device to assist you?

Think about the activities that you want to do with the help of your GPS tracking devices like hunting, vehicle tracking, and fishing. When you have a clear image of your requirements in your mind then you can easily identify the features of your needs in the GPS device.


One of the most important factors which you should keep in your mind while selecting a GPS Tracking Device is Battery. How many hours you can operate that device on a single charge and what is your need.

Different products of the same brand have different batteries. The best strategy to solve this problem is that You should always carry spare batteries.

Your Pocket

How much budget have you put on for this GPS tracking device? How much do you want to spend on buying this device? If your needs are basic then you should buy a simple device with limited functionality, it saves your money.

If your needs are more than basic then you can go for advanced level devices but it costs more than simple devices. First, see your needs and then buy a device.

Display screen

Widescreen is one of the primary features which every user want to have in the device. A Broader view of widescreen devices enables you to read the map easily and you easily enter your destination in the device.

Another important factor is visibility at night, in the sunlight and poor weather conditions like rain, wind, and dust etc.


Another important factor to consider while buying a GPS tracking device is the memory. Firstly, how much built-in memory the device have? Secondly, can you extend its memory by an external source?

Lastly does the memory of this device meets your requirements? After getting answers to the above question you can select a product according to your needs.


A bright screen is essential in case you’re working in the sunlight, at night, and in poor weather conditions. You can likewise control shine with controls. Most Devices additionally have controls for color balance.

Touch Screen

If you decide to buy a touchscreen GPS Tracking device, Consider the following features.

The Smooth Touch as you swipe and check the edges that touch should as smooth on edges as in the center of the screen.


Warranty of GPS products varies differently as manufacturers define their warranties in different ways. Generally, the manufacturer gives a two-year warranty; some gave one year, some give more than that.


It’s worth looking for the longer warranty, especially if you are going to purchase a more expensive Device.


Whether you get small size GPS screen or big, Make sure that it has a decent resolution. To me, the resolution is more important than size. You can easily read Smaller screens with higher resolution than big screens with poor resolution.

The number of pixels the screen has is the resolution of the screen. The more pixels you have on the scale of a given screen, the higher a resolution is.


One more important thing to check before buying is that the product you are going to buy has all the accessories of your need or you have to buy these accessories separately. Some of the accessories are cables, chargers, mounted brackets, and cases.

GPS Tracking Device Accessories types

GPS Carrying Case

You should select a GPS Carrying case with large dimensions, where you can put not only your GPS, but also additional accessories like batteries, USB cables, Brackets, and adapters.

GPS Carrying case provides a safe environment for your GPS Device and it also comes with multiple compartments to accommodate the different type of accessories or even other devices.

Before Buying a case, Please be sure that the case is padded with an extra soft material to ensure that the screen of your GPS won’t be scratched if you accidentally drop it. The different size cases are available in the market according to your need like 5’’ 6” and 7”.

GPS Mounts

It keeps your device secure whenever you drive a car, bike or during fishing. Before buying a mounting bracket please be sure that the design ensures a stronghold with road vibration.

Warranty of the device is another important factor to consider. How much warranty the company offers you for the product.

High-speed Multi-charger

High-speed Multi-charger with 2 USB ports which work on your vehicle’s 12 V outlet without losing the ability to power your compatible device during traveling. You can use each USB port to charge your GPS tracking device that needs power on the go.


If you are using a GPS Watch then you can replace the bands of your watch with new, stylish and sporty bands. Different colors and styles are available. You can choose according to your choice.

Types of GPS Devices

There are many types of GPS Devices, we will discuss the following devices among them.

  • Handheld GPS Devices
  • Gps Tracking Devices for fishing
  • GPS Devices for Vehicles
  • GPS Tracking devices for Hunting
  • GPS for GOLF

Written by John

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