The Best GPS Trackers of 2019

Table of Contents

A GPS tracker can come in many forms: a watch-style child tracker, a large GPS tracker car unit that installs into the vehicle’s power source, or a small GPS unit that can fit snugly in a purse or backpack.

No matter the type you choose, a GPS tracker will provide a live look at the location of a person, place, or thing, which gives you the assurance of knowing whatever you value is safe. Let’s get started with this best GPS trackers review!

Best GPS Trackers

Editor’s Pick
AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

Great for personal tracking, this reliable, lightweight unit provides excellent accuracy and customizable tracking settings.

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker

This rugged, waterproof GPS tracker features a built-in magnet for easy vehicle mounting and provides highly accurate location data on the 4G LTE network.

Doesn't expire

Best GPS Vehicle Tracker
bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker
bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker
bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker

Built specifically for vehicle tracking, this GPS unit runs on the car's power source and provides location tracking as well as diagnostic information.

Doesn't expire

Best GPS Pet Tracker
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

This GPS pet tracker attaches easily to your dog or cat's collar and lets you check their location in real time, without the need for cell service or monthly fees.

Doesn't expire

Best GPS Child Tracker
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

This tiny GPS tracker is perfect for placing in a backpack and getting real-time location updates on your little ones.

Doesn't expire

Editor’s Pick

AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

While other GPS units can get bulky with magnetic mounts, the GL300W is small enough to fit discreetly in a bag or pocket, making it ideal for tracking an elderly relative or a child in addition to a vehicle. With customizable location ping refresh rates, you’re able to maximize battery life while choosing the location tracking settings that work best for you.

Pros: Compact and lightweight, this unobtrusive tracker is ideal for most tracking applications. We were impressed with the uncomplicated activation and relatively low fees, and found the device to have excellent accuracy. For such a small device, its battery life was great, lasting weeks on a single charge.

Cons: Like all cell-based GPS units, if there are obstructed views to the sky, the device could have some accuracy issues.

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AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
AMERICALOC GL300W Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

Great for personal tracking, this reliable, lightweight unit provides excellent accuracy and customizable tracking settings.

Top Contender

LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker

As an all-in-one unit, the LandAirSea 54 is tough to beat for GPS tracking. With an internal battery lasting one to two weeks on a single charge and a durable housing that can handle the elements, this tracker is ideal for personal, vehicle, or asset tracking with unrivaled precision.

Pros: The LandAirSea 54 is great because it doesn’t require extra housings to make it waterproof or magnetic. The highly accurate 4G LTE cellular connectivity lets you pinpoint the device using LandAirSea’s intuitive SilverCloud web-based tracking platform. Basically, it’s an awesome choice for someone on the go!

Cons: While the internal magnet is a great bonus, it’s important that it’s placed firmly or it risks falling off of a vehicle; if you’re looking for a dedicated vehicle tracker, this may not be the one.

Shop Amazon
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker
LandAirSea 54 Real-Time 4G LTE GPS Tracker

This rugged, waterproof GPS tracker features a built-in magnet for easy vehicle mounting and provides highly accurate location data on the 4G LTE network.

Best GPS Vehicle Tracker

bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker

For dedicated vehicle tracking, an OBD tracker is the way to go. The bouncie tracker plugs directly into a car’s on-board diagnostic port (typically located right under the dash), so it requires no external battery. And, because it plugs into the OBD port, it has access to engine diagnostics which allows you to get remote access to a vehicle’s health.

Pros: With fast 15-second updates, this tracker provides super-accurate location history. Set alerts to monitor speed, rapid acceleration and more, so you’re not just monitoring location, but receiving a total picture of vehicle usage. Monthly fees are also some of the lowest in the category.

Cons: While setup is generally easy in terms of device installation, configuring diagnostic information can be a little time consuming to get fully customized data.

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bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker
bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker
bouncie OBD Vehicle Tracker

Built specifically for vehicle tracking, this GPS unit runs on the car's power source and provides location tracking as well as diagnostic information.

Best GPS Pet Tracker

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

Typical GPS trackers rely on cell coverage to function properly. The Findster Duo cleverly eschews this by connecting directly to a separate module the owner controls, providing a three mile-radius (in clear line of sight) of location coverage.

Pros: No monthly fees is a great feature, especially for those looking for a little extra security in keeping an eye on their pets. The device is also waterproof up to three feet and features an activity tracker so you’re not only monitoring location, you can keep tabs on your pet’s health. The device’s dedicated iOS and Android apps are intuitive and easy to use.

Cons: Three miles of range is great for country use, but in dense urban environments range can be much less reliable.

Related: The Best Bluetooth Trackers of 2019

Shop Amazon
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

This GPS pet tracker attaches easily to your dog or cat's collar and lets you check their location in real time, without the need for cell service or monthly fees.

Best GPS Child Tracker

Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

Unlike many watch-style child trackers on the market, this reliable real-time tracker is a serious security tool. Place it in a coat or backpack and always know where your children are. Instant app, text, and email notifications can be triggered the moment a child deviates from where they’re supposed to be.

Pros: The biggest pro here for a child tracker is size; the Tracki packs similar GPS tech in a much smaller device while offering comparable location tracking service. You could even sew the device in the lining of a coat for untethered, discreet tracking. Monthly rates are comparable to other services and its manual ping feature lets you check location on demand rather than 15-minute updates.

Cons: Because it’s a standalone device and not a watch or a dedicated pendant, there is an element of risk that it can be separated from your child.

Related: The Best Child Tracking Watches of 2019

Shop Amazon
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker
Tracki Mini Real-Time GPS Tracker

This tiny GPS tracker is perfect for placing in a backpack and getting real-time location updates on your little ones.

GPS Trackers Methodology

Mimic GO on Window
Mimic GO on Window. Photo provided by Smart Mimic, Inc.

GPS trackers have a lot of common variables no matter what form factor they take. Generally speaking, these devices are basic cellular phones: they use cell towers to triangulate location and allow you to pinpoint a device’s location quickly and easily. That said, not all trackers are created equal. When determining the best tracker, we looked at:

  • Update Frequency: Cellular GPS trackers “ping” a device to locate them. Some have an update frequency of 15 second, while some can be as much as 15 minutes. Devices that ping more frequently can lose battery faster, so for us we were looking for the right balance of update frequency and battery life.
  • Size and Weight: For a car tracker, it doesn’t really matter how much a device weighs. But when you’re tracking a person, it’s important that the device can fit into a bag or backpack without causing too much of a burden.
  • Tracking Platform Interface: When checking a device’s location, it’s important that all the information is easy to understand. We paid close attention to the GPS platform’s ease of use, and if there were dedicated apps to track the device.

Related: Caregiving Essentials: What You Need to Know to Keep Seniors Safe at Home

GPS Trackers Tips

The biggest consideration you’re likely going to make when selecting a tracker is the monthly fee coupled with the device cost. Paying more can sometimes get you a host of additional features, but it’s important that you know what you want before clicking buy. Here are some additional things to consider:

  • SIM Cards and Activation: Seeing as these are cellular devices, they often require SIM cards. Make sure the device you’re purchasing has one pre-installed (unless you intend to get your own elsewhere). Likewise, pay attention to whether or not there are activation fees on the device.
  • Weatherproofing: Not all GPS trackers will be weatherproof. If you need to use the device to track an outdoors object like a vehicle or machinery, make sure you’re selecting something that can withstand the elements.

Best GPS Trackers Recap

Finding the best GPS tracker for your needs can seem like a huge task. Even though they’re relatively simple devices, there are many subtle differences among them that makes them complicated purchases. Hopefully this guide gave you the broad strokes you need to make an informed decision.

FAQs

How can I track a cell phone location?

Cell phone tracking is typically done through apps or by contacting your cell phone carrier. There are a number of apps in the Apple and Google Play stores that can locate a device.

What's the smallest GPS tracking device?

There’s a rumor out there that there’s a GPS tracker the size of a grain of rice. Don’t believe the myth! Because of battery sizes, the smallest GPS trackers are roughly the size of an old-school pager (about three inches long or so).

Is it legal to put a tracking device on someone?

While it is perfectly legal to track your own person or items, there is a gray area when it comes to tracking someone else or their property. Consult local or state laws or contact a local attorney before tracking someone without their consent.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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