What do jammers or GPS jammers do?

GPS jammer vs. GPS tracker

Unfortunately, there is an antidote for almost every type of theft protection. The jammer on the GPS tracker has a similar effect to the bolt cutter on a bicycle lock. But does that make GPS trackers pointless and useless? We say “no” and explain why.

About the technology

As is well known, positioning via GPS signals works via satellites that move approx. 20,000 km above the earth(see article: “How GPS works”). The signals are correspondingly weak when they reach the tracker and are easily disturbed. Tracking via the mobile network is somewhat less susceptible to interference. But if you invest enough, you will also find the right antidote. GPS jammers, for example, are easily available on the Internet, but can cost over 200 euros and even their sale in Germany is actually prohibited. This is probably why they are not part of the “standard equipment” of thieves.

Another accessory for the “car thieves of the future” are small jammers. The small handheld jammers fit in any trouser pocket. Their aim is usually to block the car remote control. For example, the aim is to prevent you from locking your car so that you can get inside unnoticed. These are already available for less than 100 euros.

How do you defend yourself?

Some manufacturers advertise with supposed miracle cures for GPS jammers. A direct notification when the GPS signal is interrupted? Sounds like a simple solution to the problem. Too simple, unfortunately. Quite apart from the fact that there can be constant interruptions (e.g. due to a tunnel) and these cause a notification every time, the idea doesn’t really seem well thought out. Because even if the jammer does not interfere with the cell phone signal, the information alone that the GPS signal is interrupted without transmitting a current location is of little use to the thief.
In fact, it is already known what really helps against the use of illegal jammers. For years, the military and airlines have been equipped with GPS transmitters that have special directional antennas. They only allow signals from the direction of the satellite. Unfortunately, the technology is complicated and cannot (yet) be applied to an individual, small product.

Conclusion

So should you do without GPS trackers? No. After all, you don’t refrain from locking the door or your bike. There will always be opportunities for professional thieves to steal your belongings. However, we doubt that every bike thief can afford an expensive jammer. So your car is always safer with a GPS tracker than without one.

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