One of the most important technologies of the past few decades, GPS is now easily available to anyone who wants to know where something is at any point in time. If you’ve got that desire, the best way to track your stuff is with a real-time GPS tracker; they’re easily available online and come with a lot of great features. One caveat, though: most GPS trackers have exorbitant monthly fees, which can add up surprisingly quick.
That’s why we’ve taken the time to assemble a list of some of the best Real Time GPS Trackers without monthly fees. To make it easier for you to do your own research, we’ve divided up the trackers according to price range. Each range comes with a short explanation of what to expect when you buy within it. In addition, we’ve listed some specs for each tracker to make it easier for you to distinguish between them. Here’s a breakdown of the specs:
Power source: This is incredibly important. The better the power source, the longer the GPS unit can stay out without needing to be recharged. The best real time GPS trackers come with rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, which save you money by never needing to be replaced.
Weight: This can be important depending on what you’re trying to track. If you’re planning on stowing the unit in your car, it’s not a big deal. However, if you want to keep it in a purse or backpack, you might want to pay attention to this spec.
Antenna: Another important spec, considering it’s what transmits all the tracking data to a server, which allows you to access it. The more expensive models generally have the better antennas (and better ranges), but that’s not always the case.
Low-cost (under $140)
It’s pretty rare to find a GPS Tracker with no monthly fee under $140. If you do find one, it probably won’t have the battery life or range of costlier models, but you’ll be surprised at how good it can be, especially for the price. Also, it probably won’t have nearly as many features as a more expensive model.
iTrail GPS Logger
Power source: Built-in rechargeable 750mAh Li-ion battery
The iTrail GPS Logger is a great tool for anyone to have. It’s technically not a GPS tracker, but rather a “logger”, meaning that it logs everywhere it’s been, but you have to retrieve it and plug it into your computer to get the information. It lasts up to 120 hours on a full charge, but comes with a motion-activated feature.
That means that it only records data when it moves, which saves the battery and makes it much easier to find useful information from the data you’ll get back. There are no additional service fees with this device. It’s incredibly small; at only an inch and a half wide and half an inch thick, it’s quite easy to stash wherever you want. It’s also colored black to be extra inconspicuous.
The software the device comes with can be used in combination with Google Maps, allowing for easy tracking. The data is also accurate within two feet, meaning you’ll be able to find exactly where it was before. If you’re looking for a great deal, this could be the tracker for you!
Mid Range ($150-350)
You’ll begin to see some really cool features in this range, such as longer ranges, better batteries, and all around improvement in every aspect of service. If you’re willing to invest just a little more than $140, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth at the end of the day.
Spark Nano International GPS Tracker
Power source: 1300mAh, 3.7V Li-Polymer Backup Battery
Weight: 2.03 oz.
Antenna: MMCX RF Connector for External GPS Antenna
This is one of the best real time GPS trackers on the market and it comes at a shockingly good price. So much so, in fact, that you might not want to look further down the list! (kidding) With your computer or smartphone, you can access all the data this little device will send you; no extra app needed!
The battery is fully rechargeable, and can last up to three weeks on a full charge. What’s especially cool is that the tracking is motion-activated, meaning the battery life won’t get used up when whatever you’re tracking isn’t on the move. The body is also designed to be resistant to the elements, a very useful feature if you’re planning on keeping outside at any point.
The software the tracker comes with is great. One cool feature is the automatic alerts you’ll get on your phone or email if a vehicle the tracker is in is going too fast. Also, you have the capability to create a “geofence”, which is the border of a virtual walled-off area that you create. It’ll send you an alert when the “fence” is breached. If you’re looking to get a bang for your buck, this tracker will not disappoint!
High-End (above $250)
These are the best of the best. The extra money will buy you extra features, extra sensitivity, and the assuredness that you’re getting the best GPS tracker currently on the market. If you’re willing to pay top dollar, you won’t be disappointed.
Flashback GPS Logger
Power source: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Weight: 1.4 oz.
Antenna: 360-degree GPS antenna
This little thing is a GPS logger that’s about the size of a palm. It’s also a USB stick. If you’re wondering why it has a USB built in, that’s so it’s much easier for you to upload the information to your computer.
The device should last about two weeks on a single charge, which is thanks in part to the motion control feature built in. It detects when the device is moving; when it does, it begins recording data. The feature ensures that the battery lasts a while and makes it easier to find the important info in all of the data that it’ll collect. Installing the software is very easy, and it only takes a couple of minutes to get set up.
The main reason this tracker is expensive is because of its super-increased sensitivity. It comes with a 160 dBm GPS receiver, which is around seven times more sensitive than any of the other models! In addition, it comes with a receiver frequency of 1575.42 MHz that has 32 receiving channels, a temperature recorder, and can record up to 16,000 different waypoints! If you want to splurge on the best, this is the tracker for you.