Buying a GPS tracker is as convenient as it gets. There are innumerable options available on the market. However, deciding on a GPS tracker can be confusing because of the plethora of choices available. Depending on your requirements, you will have to finalize a GPS that suits you best. Every GPS brand has its features, pros, and cons. But before dwelling on those aspects, you must decide between the two main types of GPS tracking devices in the market- the hardwired GPS and the portable GPS car trackers.
Do you want a GPS for personal tracking, or is it for your business? Depending on your answer, you should choose a tracker that works best for you. This article should help you decide between the two types and give you a better understanding of the same.
Hardwired GPS trackers are just what the name suggests. You connect the tracker to your vehicle through a three-wire connection. It is attached to the car’s engine. On the other hand, we have portable or magnetic trackers, also known as plug-and-play trackers. You can connect it to your vehicle through a magnetic case or attach it to the OBDII port. They require a stable internet or WiFi connection to use them. Keep reading to learn more about both trackers!
Hardwired GPS trackers for vehicles and fleets
As the name suggests, hardwired trackers are directly wired to your vehicle. The tracker is connected to the vehicle’s engine. They are placed below the hood or bonnet so they cannot be seen. A three-wire connection is required. These trackers are perfect for fleets and vehicle tracking.
What are the advantages of a Hardwired Tracker?
- Secure Installation- With a three-wire connection of power, ignition, and ground wiring, a hardwired tracker is as safe as it gets. You will have to get them installed by a professional, as they cannot be installed without prior expertise. Additionally, they also come with a tamper seal on them. If the seal breaks, you know someone has tried to fidget with the device. The location of the tracker is out of sight of the passengers, so the chances of that happening are unlikely.
- Vehicle Data- Hardwired solutions have many options you can use to improve your tracking experience. These include being able to optimize route planning and solemnly track fleet driving. These advantages greatly benefit fleet managers.
- Additional Features- Hardwired GPS solutions have many features which enrich your overall driving experience. For example, by using a wiring harness, you can use your tracker to lock or unlock the vehicle’s doors, switch on or off the motor, monitor the beacon light, or enable or disable the vehicle starter.
- Reliable Connectivity- Since the device is connected to the engine, you will never have to worry about changing batteries or recharging them.
These are some of the pros of a hardwired GPS tracker. However, if you wish to use a tracker to track multiple vehicles, a portable tracker is recommended. Since it is a complex, wired connection that cannot be self-installed, you cannot switch it between cars. This tracker is also not the right tracker to choose if you want to track personal belongings or pets.
Portable GPS Trackers
These trackers are attached to vehicles using strong industrial magnets, which are proven to withstand vehicle impacts. They require a 4G or WiFi internet connection for smooth and continual functioning. The companion app facilitates tracking of your vehicles or goods by downloading the app to your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Some of their advantages are listed below.
- Track many things- A portable GPS tracker is easy to install and detach. So, you can use it to track multiple objects and loved ones. You can use it for your vehicle, attach it to your pet’s collar, and keep an eye on your kid’s bike, and so on! The possibilities are never-ending.
- Vehicle diagnostics- This is an important feature of these trackers. They can download vehicular information through the OBDII port and update you on the engine’s health. It is a standard feature, not an add-on, making it even more convenient.
- Geofencing- This is a one-of-a-kind feature that portable trackers possess. Geofences are virtual boundaries that you can preset on a map. You can customize them for whatever it is you wish to track. You will receive an immediate notification every time the tracker enters or exits it.
- Safety features- Since it is connected to the OBDII port, the tracker will also detect unsafe driving habits like overspeeding and harsh braking. It ensures that you are always on your best behavior!
However, these trackers are not as secure as hardwired devices. So, if you wish to choose a tracker for a singular vehicle, this is not for you.
So, how do you know which tracker suits your needs best?
You should opt for a hardwired GPS tracker if:
- You want a GPS solution for your fleet, not personal tracking.
- You do not plan on using it for more than one vehicle.
- You wish to go for a long-term solution.
- Anti-theft functions and vehicle control are useful factors.
- Theft recovery is a huge concern and priority for you.
- You do not wish to depend on batteries.
- You require strong data storage.
If you relate to any of the following statements, you should go for a portable GPS tracker:
- You need a tracker for multiple vehicles.
- You also wish to use it for personal reasons, like luggage, pets, toddlers, etc.
- You do not want to make a long-term commitment.
- You want a tracker that can be easily attached to almost anything.
- Features like vehicle diagnostics and detecting harsh driving appeal to you.
At the end of the day, both types of trackers have their pros and cons and offer distinct safety features. Vehicle tracking has become of supreme importance, so the industry has various provisions and add-ons available as well. Cost is an important determinant as well. Your budget will also determine the tracker you choose. Some trackers have a monthly subscription, while some have a one-time payment policy. Others come with a hefty installation cost. Keep in mind all these factors before you finally choose a tracker.
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