written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 5/31/2011
Real time GPS tracking helps you locate your car or even your teenager. But, the fees are often extremely expensive. Are systems available where you don't have to pay monthly fees? Learn about this topic here.
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GPS Without Monthly Fees: Possible?
Certain professions need GPS tracking to keep track of vehicles, people or equipment. But, parents may also want to use this device to see where their children have gone with the car. It is, however, illegal to track the location of someone without their knowledge. So, you shouldn’t use GPS tracking to see where an ex is going.
The problem with GPS tracking is that many places charge a monthly fee for the service. This can get expensive, and you may not even use it all of the time. So, where can you get real time GPS tracking without monthly fee?
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GPS Tracking Devices
The most common way to do this is with a GPS tracking device. You install the devices in your vehicle, boat, construction equipment, etc. Then, you usually download software to your computer. The device records the GPS data at various intervals, usually every few minutes or so.
When the object that you are tracking returns, you simply take out the device, and plug it into your computer via a USB cord. Then, you download all of the data.
Different devices record different amounts of data. Certain types can only hold a few days worth of data while others can hold up to 30 days. You could run into a problem with this device. For example, if you are tracking a trucker on a long run, it may take more than the device’s allotted time to finish the route.
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Overall, however, these devices are pretty accurate if the signal isn’t blocked. Satellites are located more than 12,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. GPS blocking devices simply interfere with the communication between the GPS tracking device and the satellite signal.
These blockers are so powerful that they can jam the signal inside the vehicle in which the person is using. But, it can also block nearby signals. So, if you have a driver that took an unauthorized route, he simply needs to block the signal the whole time that he is going down the forbidden route.
The other issue with the blockers is that the criminals know how to effectively use these devices. They simply block the tracking device inside a vehicle. You don’t know that your car is stolen. And, even if you do, you won’t know where it’s at.
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Then, there’s the major problem: the GPS tracking devices are not permanent. You can remove the devices. Certain ones do send out an alert when someone attempts to remove the device. But, you can only get this information if you get the vehicle back, and you can download the information. If you back to the car theft scenario, the criminals will probably have the device out and the car flipped before you are even aware that there is a problem.
Real time GPS tracking without monthly fee is a cheap way to keep track of your vehicle. But, the devices are far from perfect. And, others can block the signal or even remove the device. If you want something a little more secure, you can get the GPS tracking devices that are hardwired to the vehicle. These are a little harder to remove from the vehicle. You must, however, pay a monthly fee, and they are also not immune to jammers.