Track Your Kids and Stop Worrying with These GPS Trackers
One of the toughest decisions a parent can make in the digital world is whether to track their young children using GPS devices.
There are plenty of products already on the market which serve this purpose. Which are best? That depends on many factors including distance, compatibility, durability, and price.
By definition, a GPS device needs to work beyond a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. Be very careful as there are a few trackers on the market that don’t offer this type of protection, including the BeLuvv, which is primarily for keeping track of babies using Bluetooth only.
Most parents carry smartphones; because of this, we’ve searched for kid trackers that are compatible with both iOS and Android-based devices.
Trackers should be light and able to survive the occasional fall. Being waterproof is also an important feature, although not a must have. We also think parents should keep in mind the coolness factor too. You’re expecting your child to carry around a GPS tracker. Particularly for older children, this device should either look great to carry or be small enough to conceal.
Each tracker mentioned here requires the purchase of a monthly service plan. These fees vary significantly but for good reason. Some of the devices work only as a GPS tracker while others also include features such as calling and texting. Knowing the options available is important.
These four trackers offer real-time protection, alerts, and calling features.
French-based Weenect offers a full line of GPS trackers. In addition to its child tracker, the company offers products for the elderly, cats, and dogs. The Weenect for Kids product offers robust features including an SOS button and a telephone function. For older children, Weenect provides a “zone entry/exit” function that alerts the parent when the child has returned home.Weenect
What sets Weenect apart is the ability to track a child using a live map, compass with a distance countdown, and radar. A full battery recharge takes four hours and lasts up to seven days under regular use.
Priced at €99 (about $113), Weenect offers monthly service plans starting as low as €3.50 (about $4). Though relatively new to the market, Weenect works in many countries, including the United States.
Pros: Lots of tracking features for a reasonable monthly cost; broad availability.
Cons: Some might not like the design or color choices.
The Amber Alert Child Location & GPS Tracker features a lithium battery that runs up to 40 hours on a single charge. Measuring just 7cm, the Amber Alert is made to slip into your child’s pocket. Like other products on our list, the Amber Alert offers real-time GPS, two-way communication, an SOS button, and safe zones. It also sends a parent or guardian a text or email alert if the child comes within 500 feet of a registered pedophile’s home.
This tracker is priced at $129.99 and is available in multiple colors. The service fees begin at $15 per month.
Pros: With Amber, you’ll know where registered sex offenders live; impressive battery life.
Cons: The child can only contact one designated person with the device.
The Filip 2, which looks like a smartwatch, allows parents to locate their children through a blend of GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi. It allows you to store up to five phone numbers that the child can call with a touch of a button.
In the event of an emergency, the child can press a red button which activates after four seconds. When initiated, this alerts the primary account holder and begins recording the call and background noises. Like Weenect, Filip 2 offers the ability to create safe zones, so you know when your child arrives at a location.
Filip’s battery is designed to last a full day between charges.
Currently available only in the United States, the Filip 2 is $149.99 with service through AT&T priced at $10 per month.
Pros: Children will love the look.
Cons: Limited availability and battery life isn’t ideal.
Designed in Sweden, Tinitell originally launched as a successful Kickstarter project. The product features a water-resistant GPS tracker with live map monitoring and voice-recognition. Two-way communication allows the child to talk with up to 12 different people, Star-Trek style.
Tinitell is available in multiple colors and priced at $149.99. Monthly fees vary by location.
Pros: Incredible design and easy dialing.
Cons: New to the market, which could mean early adopter issues; battery life hasn’t been announced.
We like these choices as well, although they lack certain features that some parents may require.
The newest product on our list, the SAFE Kids Paxie Band combines function with style. Available with different fashion bands, this product is the ultimate tracker. It monitors location, ambient temperature, daily activity, heart rate, and more. The Paxie Band lasts for up to three days before needing a charge. On the downside, the Paxie Band does not offer communication tools such as voice and text.
The device costs $175 and includes two fashion bands and three months of data service. After that, the service costs $9.99 per month.
Pros: Awesome feature set, major points are scored for the look.
Cons: It doesn’t offer communication tools, and it’s pricey.
Like Weenect, PocketFinder offers a range of GPS trackers, including ones for children, pets, seniors, and vehicles. Unlike other products on our list, the PocketFinder is designed to fit easily into your child’s pocket or backpack.
With PocketFinder, the location of a child is updated every two minutes via a smartphone app. Alerts are sent in real-time whenever the tracker is out of user-specified zones.
This product is $129.95, plus $12.95 per month.
Pros: It works in various countries, which is perfect for travelers. Includes a Lithium-ion battery.
Cons: It looks pedestrian, at best.
Called the “first GPS watch designed for kids,” the HereO launches later this year. It features real-time pin-point tracking, breadcrumb trail logging, and smart location alerts. A panic alert system is also included.
HereO is priced at $199 with a monthly service fee of $5. It will launch in various colors.
Pros: The HereO is water-resistant and durable.
Cons: Battery life is only 48 hours and it doesn’t feature two-way calling.
For something completely different, say hello to FlashMe Sydney. This product isn’t a GPS tracker, nor does it offer communication tools. Nonetheless, it does provide a valuable service.
FlashMe Sydney is a colorful silicone wristband with a printed QR code that contains contact information for your child. This product is ideal for children under the age of 4 who don’t yet know their address or telephone number. Another selling point: FlashMe Sydney is available for only €5 ($5.70).
Cons: Remember, this is not a GPS tracker.
There are many child trackers already available, with many more expected to launch in coming months. When deciding on which tracker to buy, consider the features that are most important to you as a parent.
What tracker do you use for your child?
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