5 Tips for Buying Better GPS Tracking Products
While there are a ton of options when it comes to tracking products, a few buyers tips can help you to cut down the number of options to only the cream of the crop. The next time you find yourself shopping for a covert or asset tracking device, consider the following tips to help ensure you find just the right product!
Trial the Device
Many manufacturers and retailers of tracking devices will allow you to trial the device for a period of time to see how it works. Take advantage of this! Since you will be relying on your tracker to provide information that could potential save you a lot of money, mitigate risk or even potentially save lives, you need to know that it will function as you expect before you make the investment. If a manufacturer is unwilling to provide you with a trial, then perhaps it is not confident that their product can speak for itself.
Check that the Device is Still Fully Supported and Updated
Nothing is worse than finding out that your brand new device is old technology and is no longer supported by the manufacturer. When considering a device, ask for a product comparison (these should be readily available) and perform your due diligence by researching the manufacturer’s website for clues regarding possible product abandonment or non-support.
Before buying a tracker, ask yourself where you are planning to place the device. Does it need to be small enough to fit into a pocket or will it require a magnet in order to snap onto the bottom of a vehicle? Is the device shape and overall design/functionality suitable for where it will be deployed? Remember, no tracking device is suitable for all locations or applications.
Battery Life, Battery Life, Battery Life
Real-time map-based tracking is useless if it leaves your device’s battery drained in one hour. When selecting a device, look at its battery capacity (hint: the higher the better) and whether or not the user is capable of determining the reporting intervals in order to tweak power consumption. It’s also worth asking sellers of tracking devices if they have high-efficiency power management firmware built into their devices. Don’t be afraid to ask a device manufacturer for battery life test results, chances are they have run these tests in preparation for the exact question you are asking!
Scrap the Pelican Case
While most GPS trackers have entered the 21st century, there are still some trackers out there that require the user to place the device (often touted as being one of the smallest in the world) into a massive case in order to provide weatherproofing, extended battery life, or both. These trackers, while functional, typically cannot boast any of the advantages offered by self-contained trackers. Instead of using a GPS tracker that has been adapted to meet your needs, opt for a device that has been designed and built to meet those exact needs. Micro-trackers (without their pelican cases) make a great tool for tracking your children on their way home from school or en route to their friend’s houses but are not a real option for any serious professional.