GPS and Bluetooth trackers are both considered as smart trackers. How does a smart tracker work? A smart tracker is attached to a person’s belongings like his/her wallet, keys and more. They normally function by connecting them to an app on the owner’s mobile device.
Although smart trackers have one ultimate purpose—which is to track where a person’s important things are— using Bluetooth technology in tracking is entirely different from using GPS technology. This article will give you a comparison between these technologies and highlight their basic features to let you decide which one is best for your daily activities.
1. How do GPS and Bluetooth Trackers differ in operation?
The difference in how these two work and operate is one of the biggest distinctions of GPS and Bluetooth trackers. The GPS tracker depends on the satellites’ system placed outside the Earth. These satellites are continuously sending identification reports. It works this way—the tracker detects the satellite signal, and by the use of triangulation, it tracks down the location of the thing that you are trying to find out anywhere on Earth. With that said, it means that a GPS tracker works by itself (without any other unnecessary tool) and can always offer a connection that’s unbreakable to the thing that you want to find.
On the other hand, Bluetooth trackers work by utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy technology and can only work as soon as these trackers are connected to a smartphone or any mobile device with Bluetooth. This is beneficial for those who are looking for things within 200 feet–which is the normal signal range. Bluetooth trackers can also give you information on the last location where it was detected before the connection breaks from the mobile phone to the belonging, with the help of your phone’s location services, of course. BLE technology-empowered trackers cannot function on their own (since it needs a mobile phone for it to work) and a limitation is imposed because of the range of the Bluetooth signal.
Another distinction in the way they operate is that BLE trackers play a sound alert when the connection gets lost or when a thing has been found after it was misplaced. GPS trackers don’t have the said feature.
2. How often do you need to charge the batteries of a GPS and a Bluetooth tracker?
The battery life of these two trackers is also a huge difference when comparing them with each other. A GPS tracker normally consumes a substantial amount of the battery life, which normally lasts up to one to three days before recharging it again.
On the other hand, keyfinding Bluetooth trackers consume too little of its battery percentage. Normally, it also comes with a replaceable battery, and the old battery typically wears out after a year.
3. How to both trackers differ in price?
Even if it’s given that the price varies from one brand and model to another, it is still undeniable that GPS trackers are way more costly compared to Bluetooth trackers. On top of that, GPS trackers have additional fees since the said trackers require a continuous mobile plan for them to work. The amount of these fees varies on what you need and the plan that you’re planning to subscribe to.
Bluetooth speakers are undeniably cheaper when compared to GPS trackers. They are as cheap as $10-50 with no monthly fees, making it a wise choice for people who are on a tight budget.
4. How do GPS trackers and Bluetooth trackers differ in size?
GPS trackers are known to be bulky and heavy smart trackers since they need a lot of space for the technology the said trackers kind of tracker is using to make it work.
Bluetooth trackers, on the contrary, are designed and built small for it not to add more weight to some of a person’s most important belongings, especially those that you carry all the time. These belongings may include your keys, your laptop, and you can even insert this small thing to the pocket of your wallet.
5. How can the community help you when you lost your item?
Although Bluetooth trackers can no longer detect your things if they are beyond the 200 feet signal radius, it has its way of compensating for that lack. Did you know that you can ask other Bluetooth users to help locate your belongings without revealing your identity? Since Bluetooth trackers are known for their long battery life, there’s a high chance that you can still find your lost items.
Since GPS trackers are always connected to your items, they don’t provide the feature mentioned above. Although you can only have a day or three to track down your lost item since it’s battery life is not as long as the Bluetooth’s.
With all that was mentioned in this article, how will you know what to choose between the two?
The answer is very straightforward. It depends on how you will use it.
Because GPS trackers are not limited by a signal range, this tracker is ideal for large places. As what we said, you can track your things anywhere as long as the tracker is still on. It gives a real-time location on where it is, and you can go and retrieve it right away. If you’re planning to get this for things lost within your house, this may not be the perfect option. Also, take note that this device’s battery life is so short that finding your things that were lost for days can be unattainable.
On the other hand, Bluetooth trackers are best for people who tend to misplace their things unintentionally. Since it has a two-way separation alert feature, the tracker rings an alarm to let you know when your belongings are no longer within the signal range. In addition, this type of tracker can aid you in looking for your lost items by using the Locations service of your phone to find out where it was when the connection was cut.
Here’s an example, when you go to your room to change your clothes and head to the door, you left your wallet. If you placed a Bluetooth tracker to your wallet, your phone would ring notifying you of your wallet. Therefore, you can go and fetch it where you left it. Easy peasy.
Tyler Pack is a real estate consultant and journalist, with a passion for smart homes technology. He is keen on writing about home and property security, and cybersecurity.
Information security specialist, currently working as risk infrastructure specialist & investigator.
15 years of experience in risk and control process, security audit support, business continuity design and support, workgroup management and information security standards.