Getting Started With GPS Tracking
If you are new to GPS tracking it can be daunting at first. But it really is easy and this short page will tell you exactly what you need to know. Let’s get started!
If you are sitting in your house, thinking you would like to have a GPS tracker to, lets say, maybe watch you car and keep it safe. You will need three main components to get started.
First you will need a GPS tracker:
Of course you will need a GPS tracker. You can buy hundreds and hundreds of different trackers. All shapes, prices and sizes are available. Some vehicle trackers have lots of features, some are just a simple GPS tracker. You will have to decide what is right for you. Unless you are a large delivery business with a large fleet of vehicles, you probably just need a basic tracker.
There are wired and battery operated trackers. Most wired GPS trackers come with a small backup battery. You will have to decide if you want a wired, or battery operated one. It really depends on your comfort level with the installation required, and how long you need it to be installed.
The very affordable trackers, like some of the ones we sell here at Elements GPS, usually use 2G. No, 2G is not turned off in the US. It is alive and well. Phones might not use it, but the IoT market is exploding and 2G is a large part of that. That being said, you will need a 2G SIM for you tracker. Just make sure you pay attention to 2G/3G/4G information when purchasing a tracker. You will need that information later. You can get 3G/4G trackers, but they will cost a bit more and they are not really necessary right now.
Second you will need a SIM card:
If you bought a 3G tracker then you will need a 3G SIM card. If you bought a 2G tracker then you need a 2G SIM card. It is that simple.
You also need to make sure that your SIM card has SMS enabled and that you also have a phone number for it. This is because there is two ways to set up your tracker. One is to use SMS text commands that you send to it. You need to send text messages to your GPS tracker in order to do things like, set the password, set the upload interval and other items. The second option is to use GPRS. This uses data and can be done through a decent GPS mapping service, like Elements GPS. The free or really cheap GPS mapping services probably won’t provide that.
You also need to make sure that your SIM card has a data plan. The way it works is that after your GPS tracker has obtained it’s location by looking at satellites, it will then send that information over cellular data back to your chosen GPS mapping service. Your mapping service then puts all the information together on a nice display for you, hopefully using something like Google Maps.
Last but not least, you will need a good GPS mapping service:
A GPS mapping service takes your tracking device code strings, and decodes them. It then places your vehicle tracking device information into your mapping account. Some trackers provide more information than others.
Some send battery status, moving status and speed. It all depends on what tracker you buy and what sensors it has on it. The tracking platform here at Elements GPS can integrate with almost any sensor your device might have. Basically if it send the data, we can show it to you.
You probably will not find a mapping service that has this many features at our great prices. Make sure you watch out for the one company devices. They lock them and you cannot change the settings of the GPS trackers they sell. You will then have pay a large monthly fee to use their tracker. Our trackers available for purchase are always unlocked. Heck, we even give you the command codes to change any settings you want!
Basically you only need three things to get started; a GPS tracker, a compatible SIM card and a good mapping service. That’s it!