Most people’s belongings fall into the relatively inexpensive range. For example, your average midrange laptop runs in the $500 to $1000 range. It’s not chump change, but it’s a reasonably achievable amount.
Yet, some people own much more expensive toys. For example, around 14.5 million households own boats. That’s to say nothing of vintage cars, jetskis, and other high-dollar equipment.
These are possessions that you’ll want to keep track of, if at all possible. Fortunately, GPS tracking makes that comparatively easy these days. That does beg the question of how to choose GPS tracking providers.
If you’re looking to keep a closer eye on your property and equipment, keep reading for some key tips on picking a GPS tracking provider.
GPS Tracker Budget
While big businesses might have seemingly endless piles of cash for things like GPS tracking, private citizens are often more constrained. As such, you must consider what you can reasonably afford for a GPS tracker budget.
Bear in mind that the cost isn’t just the physical device. Most trackers also need a subscription service that lets you access an app or dashboard on a desktop computer to conduct your tracking.
Some GPS trackers may include an initial subscription with the device for six months or a year. After that, though, you’ll need to keep paying so you can access that app or desktop dashboard.
You should select a service provider that offers both devices and subscriptions that are within a budget you can maintain in the long-term.
Types of GPS Trackers
Something else you must consider is the types of GPS trackers out there, as well as your tracking needs. For example, there are solar-powered GPS trackers that you might put on a trailer.
On the other hand, you can get trackers specifically designed for vehicles. Some GPS trackers operate on basic AAA batteries, while you must wire in other GPS trackers to a relatively stable power source.
When picking a tracking provider, you should make sure that they either offer the kind of tracker you want or at least support the kind of tracker you plan on buying.
In most cases, though, you’re better off getting your tracker through the actual service that provides the tracking app or dashboard. Otherwise, you run the risk of problems syncing data or the company discontinuing support for a tracker they don’t supply.
GPS Tracker Features
Another facet you should consider is what kinds of features you can get with your tracker. For example, some trackers offer very bare-bones features. Essentially, the tracker will tell you where it is and not much else.
More sophisticated trackers will provide you with a range of features that might include:
- Ignition lockout
- Driver behavior information
- Internal battery backup
For property that doesn’t move that often, you may find that a bare-bones tracker does everything you need. If multiple people will use your vehicle or boat, you may want something more sophisticated on board to help you understand where and how others use your property.
It doesn’t always occur to people, but you’ll probably interface with the tracking through a dedicated app or desktop portal of some kind. Make sure you at least try out the dashboard or desktop portal to see how it works.
Most interfaces will focus on location data, typically on a map. Unfortunately, some interface designs pay less attention to making your access to the other features as seamless.
A poorly designed interface can make the process of tracking your property almost agonizing. While the interface or dashboard isn’t the only concern, it’s something you should keep in mind.
The more often you expect that you’ll use the tracking feature, the more comfortable you’ll want to feel with the interface.
Another factor you must consider is whether you’ll have real-time tracking available. Bear in mind that this isn’t just a matter of what the service provider offers, but also of the device you selected.
Some devices, for example, only confirm their location once a day, while others will send out a fresh signal every few minutes. If you want real-time tracking, you need a service that offers or supports devices that send out frequent signals.
Beyond that, the service itself must support real-time tracking in the app or dashboard. While not a concern for every customer, it will matter if you plan on keeping a close eye on your jet ski, boat, or vehicle.
As with most service providers, you’ll want a GPS tracking service that offers good customer service. You can get a sense of their customer service with your interactions with the company before you sign up.
For example, did they answer your questions promptly? A business that doesn’t answer questions from potential customers quickly probably won’t answer support questions quickly either.
Did their answers provide the information you needed? Good answers provide you with salient information. If you got good answers to your questions, odds are good that you’ll get good answers if you call in for customer support.
Online Customer Reviews
You can also look at online customer reviews to get a handle on what other customers think of the service. Don’t get too caught up in any one good or bad review. Check the reviews for trends.
Does the company consistently take a hit for something specific? If so, it’s probably a problem you’ll face. If they consistently get high marks for something specific, you can probably expect the same.
How to Choose GPS Tracking Providers?
There are some unique factors that can influence how to choose GPS tracking providers. You must consider the hardware features of the trackers themselves. You must also consider whether a provider offers the kind of GPS hardware that you want.
You should give some thought to whether you like the user interface that the provider offers, as well as their support or lack of real-time tracking. Customer reviews can also help steer you toward services with good customer service.
Lonestar Tracking offers GPS hardware and tracking. For more information about our hardware and tracking services, contact Lonestar tracking today.