GPS Tracker im Vergleich

Wir haben in verschiedenen Bereichen unterschiedliche GPS Tracker getestet und verglichen. Klicken Sie auf das jeweilige Bild um zum Vergleich zu gelangen

GPS tracker test – comparison of the best GPS trackers

Welcome to our blog about GPS trackers. Our aim is to provide you with the best possible overview and a platform where you can find everything you need to know about GPS trackers, GPS devices and tracking devices. To this end, we have extensively compared the best devices from all areas of application, e.g. for dogs and cats, written explanatory videos and articles on the usual problems and also collected all kinds of other interesting facts.

We hope you enjoy browsing, comparing and tracking.

And how do GPS trackers work?

GPS trackers (also known as tracking devices) are small technical devices, often no bigger than a 5-euro bill. But how do they work? Here we try to explain as simply and clearly as possible what you need to know about how a GPS device and GPS positioning work. If you need more information, there are good blogs on various social media sites that deal with this explicitly.

How does communication with the GPS tracker work?

After you have purchased a tracker, there is a little installation work to do first, but nothing that is impossible. The device requires a standard SIM card for communication. This must now be activated. In addition, the PIN code must be deactivated. We explain exactly how this works here. Once everything has been set up and the SIM card inserted, you’re ready to go. We present the two variants offered by the manufacturers:

SMS variant:

Contact with the GPS tracker is made on request. You contact the device, usually by text message or phone call, and then receive the location by text message.

Mobile radio variant:

The manufacturers of GPS trackers and tracking devices often offer an app or an internet portal for using the finder. Mobile data is used for this purpose. You should therefore also choose your SIM card depending on the usage variant. The advantages of this second variant are gadgets such as route storage, real-time localization and an overview of several GPS devices. The disadvantage is usually the running costs, so we recommend using the SMS variant for occasional use and the mobile variant makes more sense for more intensive use.

What happens in the background? The inner workings of a GPS tracker:

A GPS device usually consists of three central components. The GPS module: As soon as your GPS tracker is prompted to transmit its location, the GPS module gets to work. Such a command can be issued via real-time location (regular transmission of position data) or SMS. We would like to take a closer look at the two variants below. This module now establishes a connection to a GPS satellite. The GPS network can now be used to determine the exact position of the device.the microprocessor: Next comes the turn of the microprocessor. It receives the GPS data and is then responsible for data processing. Received data from the GPS network is processed and prepared for the GSM or GPRS network.the GSM modem (GSM module): The last step is performed by the GSM or GPRS modem. Depending on the transmission type (SMS or online transmission), the modem forwards the processed data to the receiving device. As a user, you can then view the position via a Google Maps link, a mobile app or the Internet browser.

What variants are available for live tracking with a GPS tracker?

Here you have two different options. As mentioned above, one of two networks can be used for location handover. Either you receive a Google Maps location via SMS, i.e. the location is tracked via the usual cell phone network. Alternatively, you can use the GPRS network (mobile data) to display the location in an external app or an Internet portal.

This already provides the decisive advantage of the online method over the SMS method. Position data can be tracked in real time and also retrospectively to the nearest meter. The location via SMS is unique and available at the requested time. The only small disadvantage is the often mentioned running costs. In the case of an SMS query, these only arise selectively, i.e. per query. As a rule, however, the costs for selective queries are quickly covered by a monthly contribution.

Why the online method is recommended:

For us, the much more flexible online option wins in comparison. Although costs are ongoing, they are calculable. You pay a small monthly fee, which for most providers is between €5-10 per month. Here are the decisive advantages:

  • Easier installation: With the SIM card version, the SIM card must first be activated personally and the PIN code query deactivated. This is cumbersome and can quickly lead to problems. The online method, on the other hand, often comes with an integrated SIM card. Individual configuration steps are carried out by the provider before the tracker is dispatched. It is usually sufficient to create an account in the corresponding portal or in the app and the tracking experience can begin within a few minutes.
  • Convenient management: Anyone who buys a GPS tracker wants to use it. Sending complicated SMS commands in the knowledge that each command will incur costs can significantly diminish the GPS tracking experience. Managing commands, alarms and multiple devices simultaneously via app or web browser is also simply more fun.
  • more functions: Those who no longer have to worry about the frequency of position transmission have more freedom. Intermittent queries, real-time location and route storage are functions that are not available with the SMS version.
  • (lower costs overall): This point must be placed in brackets, as the intensity of use with the SMS variant determines how much you pay. However, the 5 euros per month that you should plan to pay in order to use the online location service are quickly reached.

What should I look out for when buying a GPS transmitter?

Are you already one step ahead and want to buy a GPS device? But you don’t yet know exactly which finder it should be? We have prepared a checklist for you with 5 key questions.

  • What would you like to use the little helper for? (area of application)
  • How much are you willing to pay? (price; quality)
  • How intensively do you want to use the device? (battery; handling; functions)
  • How big and how heavy can the tracker be? (height; weight)
  • Who sells the GPS tracker? (Service; Customer experience)

The first question serves as a navigation aid on our site, while the other questions play a central role in the comparison and evaluation.

How does a GPS tracker test work with us?

First of all, we assign a tracker to the appropriate application area. A tracker can often be used in several areas. However, a heavy GPS transmitter with a powerful battery will certainly not fit on your small dog’s collar.

Even if we always try to remain objective, our assessments are subjective. We also make no claim to completeness.

Our 10 criteria

Price: The price range for GPS devices is huge, but most products cost between 29.99-199.99 euros. Here it is important to keep an eye on the quality of the finder. Those who opt for cheap trackers from the Asian market often regret it afterwards. The prices of the various appliances therefore often say something about the quality.

Preis GPS Tracker Vergleich

Size and weight: Depending on where the GPS transmitter is used, this criterion plays a role that should not be neglected. For vehicles, a few grams more or less don’t matter. On your four-legged friend’s collar or in your handbag.

Größe und Gewicht GPS-Tracker Vergleich

Battery: There are also huge differences here. There are GPS devices that can run for a week, a month or half a year without being recharged. For vehicles, it makes sense to use an external power supply. This gives almost unlimited battery life.

Akku GPS-Tracker Vergleich

Precision: This characteristic distinguishes the good trackers from the bad ones. One category that is important regardless of the area of application: How accurately does my tracking device locate?

Präzision GPS-Tracker Vergleich Vorteile

Handling: This includes the instructions, installation and ease of use.

Handhabung GPS-Tracker Vergleich

Functions: A GPS tracker often comes with many different functions. The providers throw technical terms around all the time. We examine in detail which properties make sense in which position and then evaluate them.

Funktionen/Eigenschaften GPS-Tracker Vergleich

SIM card: Not every transmitter is compatible with every SIM card. On the one hand, there are providers who already supply integrated SIM cards. On the other hand, there are devices that only run on the 2G network. You can find out more in our blog post: Finding the right SIM card. Alternatively, most providers offer a tracking portal as a tracking option for smartphones. From time to time, the app is also produced by a third-party provider.

SIM Karte GPS Tracker Vergleich

Service: As with most technical devices, problems can also occur with direction finders. We took a look at which GPS tracker provider has the best customer support.

Service GPS-Tracker Vergleich

Customer experiences: Our test should not be the only experience that plays a role in the comparison. That is why we have also taken a close look at the recessions and problems of other customers.

Erfahrungsberichte GPS-Tracker Vergleich

Basic functions of GPS devices

Location query (location determination): The most frequently used function on a GPS tracker. The number of the inserted SIM card receives a text message or call. The tracker then sends the position data to the responsible end device via GPS. The information is sent to a browser and stored. If you do not want this, you can deactivate the saving of information.

Location transmission at intervals: Here, the finder sends its location at set intervals, also at a set frequency.

SOS button: Does not work the same for all providers and devices. An example of the procedure with the provider PAJ: When the SOS button is pressed, a message is sent to each authorized number with the content “help me” and the coordinates until one of these numbers responds.

Location recording on a micro SD card: This involves storing the position data on a removable medium. The position is saved on the inserted SD card every 60 seconds and can be tracked retrospectively. This function is used as a GPS logger.

Alarm functions

GEO fence alarm/geofence: An area can be marked out on a digital map to form the GEO fence. If the device leaves this range, it sends a silent alarm. (You can set and save this geo-fence on any mobile device)

Radius alarm: If the tracker (tracking device) leaves a predefined radius in meters, it sends a silent alarm via SMS and call.

Shock alarm: Particularly suitable as anti-theft protection. If the tracker is shaken, a message is immediately sent to an authorized number.

Other alarm functions (for cars and motorcycles)

Alarm for speeding: A speed in km/h is set. If the GPS transmitter exceeds this limit, it sends a silent alarm. (To the video)

Power interruption alarm: If the finder is removed from an external power source with this setting, it sends a message with the coordinates every three minutes. This continues until the corresponding function is deactivated.

Low battery alarm: If the battery level of the GPS tracker falls below a certain level, a message is sent to inform you.

Drop Alarm (light sensor technology): If you have attached the GPS transmitter using the magnets, this will cover a light sensor on the underside. If the tracker is now lifted so that light falls on the light sensor, an alarm is sent to the previously authorized telephone number. GPS transmitters for cars can usually be attached using magnets. This covers a light sensor on the underside. If someone removes the tracker without your permission (so that light falls on the sensor), you will be notified immediately. This product is particularly suitable for protecting your car from theft. Most GPS trackers and many tools use the real-time tracking system (live tracking).

The different areas of application for GPS trackers

The small appliances have almost inexhaustible potential and are therefore often price-performance winners. The most important areas of application are large vehicles, smaller vehicles, people, animals and many more. Here is an overview:

GPS tracker for large vehicles

The main area of application for large vehicles is certainly corporate fleet management. A GPS logger can be placed in the truck, van or car. The more convenient long-term option for companies is certainly the permanent installation of a GPS tracker on the car battery. But the investment is also worthwhile for private individuals. For example, a new car, a beloved classic car, a boat/ship or a mobile home can be protected against theft. GPS transmitters are also used to secure agricultural and construction machinery. You can also analyze and evaluate the distance covered. But improvements in fuel consumption can also be achieved.

GPS tracker for small vehicles

While robustness and long battery life are important for large vehicles, size/weight and precision are more important for smaller objects. Vehicles to be protected include motorcycles, scooters, quads and bicycles.

GPS tracker for people

Various scenarios are conceivable for the people. For example, you can track your child or elderly people whose safety you were previously worried about. High precision and exact localization are important in the area of people. Another application is “loyalty tests“. Here, the tracker is attached to a person (e.g. in a jacket pocket), often without informing the person concerned. Caution: This is not legal. Read our article: GPS tracking – when is it legal? (In general, the tracking of other people, also known as live tracking, is a very sensitive issue.

GPS tracker for animals

This is another major area of application for GPS transmitters. Don’t want your cat or dog to get lost anymore? Easy to find again thanks to GPS tracking! You can also find out where your four-legged friend is roaming or be warned when it leaves a certain area. Many customers also use GPS trackers to mark certain livestock. The livestock sector can therefore also be regarded as an area of application. There are a number of different GPS devices, for example GPS trackers for dogs or so-called all-round finders that are available for many different dogs and other animals. If you are interested in a GPS tracker for dogs or cats then enjoy the shopping experience on our website.

GPS tracker for many other things

To give you a rough idea of the wide range of applications for GPS trackers, here are a few more ideas: Bags, instruments, wood, drones, garden tools, kitesurfing, containers, model airplanes. You can locate all these things precisely with a GPS signal and the live tracking function.

What type of GPS device is right for me? GPS logger vs. GPS tracker

In our tests and comparisons, we have so far only looked at GPS trackers and GPS transmitters. But what is the crucial difference to GPS loggers? A GPS logger can record position data on an internal memory. However, the GPS trackers and transmitters can still forward this data to a cell phone via the mobile network. The internal storage function that characterizes GPS loggers can also be transferred to a GPS tracker. Some devices have the option of being fitted with an SD memory card on which position data can be saved.

What sets us apart from other comparison sites?

You will often find tests that only include price, functions and a final evaluation. Unfortunately, a reason for the test result is often missing. We have also hardly seen any differentiation across different categories. As we have held most of the trackers in our hands and put them into operation ourselves, we feel justified in making an honest recommendation for you to buy. Of course, we make no claim to the completeness or absolute objectivity of this GPS tracker test. Our assessments are based on our subjective impressions. Furthermore, we were not paid by any GPS tracker manufacturer for advertising (we would have indicated any paid advertising). If you have any further questions about GPS trackers, please feel free to send us an e-mail.

Size and weight: Depending on where the GPS tracker is used, this criterion plays a not insignificant role. For vehicles, a few grams more or less don’t matter. On your four-legged friend’s collar or in your handbag.

Battery: There are also huge differences here. There are GPS trackers that can run for a week, a month or half a year without being recharged. For the vehicle sector, it makes sense to rely on an external power supply. This gives almost unlimited battery life. Most GPS trackers have a runtime of 3-7 days.

Precision: This characteristic distinguishes the good trackers from the bad ones. One category that is important regardless of the area of application: How accurately does my tracking device locate? Is there the possibility of real-time tracking? Does the GPS tracker have an SOS button?

Handling: This includes the instructions, installation and user-friendliness of the various tools. But it is also important to us that the manufacturer of the device helps the customer with a problem.

Functions: A GPS tracker or GPS tracking device often comes with many different functions. The providers throw technical terms around all the time. We examine in detail which properties make sense in which position and then evaluate them.

SIM card: Not every transmitter is compatible with every SIM card. On the one hand, there are providers who already supply integrated SIM cards. On the other hand, there are devices that only run on the 2G network. You can find out more in our blog post: Finding the right SIM card. Alternatively, most providers offer a tracking portal as a tracking option. Read more about this: What are the benefits of tracking portals?

Service: As with most technical devices, problems can also occur with direction finders. We took a look at which GPS tracker provider has the best customer support. These additional services set a good GPS tracker manufacturer apart from a bad one.

Customer experiences: Our test should not be the only experience that plays a role in the comparison. That is why we have also taken a close look at the recessions and problems of other customers.