Losing your most valuable item can be troublesome, and we might spend days finding them. Many of us keep our keys or wallets someplace but forget where we kept them, and if your phone or laptop gets stolen, you don’t know how to recover it. But today, technology can help you find missing or stolen items using tracking devices and give you the necessary peace of mind.
A tracking gadget is a small device that you can attach to your valuables and use your phone to find them by tracking their location. While various tracking devices are available, two of the most common gadgets are GPS key trackers and Bluetooth trackers.
Here’s a detailed guide to help you understand the difference between GPS and Bluetooth trackers.
Bluetooth trackers are tiny devices that sync with your phone and can be attached to objects such as a keychain to allow you to track it in close range. Bluetooth trackers are a boon for people who tend to forget their keys or wallet on the table every time they go out, but these devices have limited use.
If you are out of the 30 – 40 meters range, there’s no other way to find the tagged object unless you start walking around, playing “Hot and Cold,” hoping your phone detects the tag’s signal so you can locate it.
But they can be ideal for someone who worries about leaving their purse or umbrella behind. These devices assist in locating close proximity possessions and valuable items in some scenarios. People often mistake them for devices that can be tracked from anywhere on the planet, but Bluetooth trackers are basically key locators.. or many of these products are sold specifically for finding lost keys.
Bluetooth trackers consist of a battery, antenna, and chip.
Chip: The chip is the main part of the tracker as it takes care of most of its functionality. It manages location details, rings with alerts, and helps you set customizable features.
Antenna: The antenna helps to transfer data from the chip to the mobile device using radio waves.
Battery: Bluetooth trackers operate with the help of a small lithium-ion battery. The best part of these batteries is that they are rechargeable, saving time and money by replacing them often. Typically, these batteries are coin-shaped; however, they can differ in size and shape depending on the manufacturer.
Since the Bluetooth tracker functions through radio waves, it helps to increase the battery life and range of the tracker.
Pros of Bluetooth Tracker
- Long battery life with rechargeable capability.
- Relatively affordable
- Consumes less power
- Small in size and can be attached to small objects like keys, wallets, etc.
Cons of Bluetooth Tracker
- Minimal range
- Requires a mobile phone that has Bluetooth.
GPS Key Tracker
GPS Trackers, on the other hand, have unlimited range and can track an object’s location anywhere on the planet where GPS signals are available. GPS tracking devices link with at least 4 different satellites to calculate the real-time location of an object, upload the location data via cellular signals (GSM) and display the location to the user via an app or software.
To calculate the location of an object, GPS devices require a clear view of the sky to communicate with the GPS satellites. If you’re worried about losing your car or motorcycle or want to see an object’s location in real-time, you need a GPS Tracker. GPS tags for keys can display an object’s real-time location on demand.
Pros of a GPS Key Finder
- Worldwide reach and unlimited range.
- Get real-time location details.
- Accurate and precise information.
- No need for a base station
- GPS trackers can work on car power sources.
- Get other features like geofence, historical data, etc.
Cons of a GPS Key Locator
- A GPS Key tracker cannot transmit signals through surfaces like metal.
- Requires a mobile cellular network.
- Bulkier than a Bluetooth tracker.
- Consumes more power.
Bluetooth Trackers and Key Locators are often labeled “GPS trackers,” but don’t use GPS at all!
Bluetooth trackers such as; Tile, TrackR, and Chipolo have been around for the past few years, and they are ideal for forgetful people who often lose their keys. These little devices are often mistaken for GPS tracking devices, but they do not use GPS at all. If you are out of range or your dog chases a squirrel into town, you are out of luck with Bluetooth trackers.
Bluetooth trackers communicate both ways, and the system becomes more powerful if you have more than one tag. As long as you have access to one tag, you can use that tag to find the primary device (your phone) and use it to locate the other tags. It’s unusual to lose your keys, sunglasses, and phone at the same time. The most useful feature of a Bluetooth tracker is that it warns you with a notification on your phone if you leave a tagged object behind.
GPS tracking devices do not require you to play Marco Polo because the tracker knows its geo-location and can point to the location on a map. GPS is an ideal solution if you’re worried about your cat escaping or your motorbike being stolen or if you want to know the location of your car whenever you should.
Tracking devices link up with several satellites to calculate their coordinates and then upload them to a cloud-based GPS Tracking software allowing the users to access the location using a PC or a smartphone. Tracking devices need to be able to communicate with at least 4 satellites to calculate their location, so it needs a clear view of the sky and therefore does not work inside buildings.
Bad weather, thick metal containers, and tall buildings often cut off GPS signals. To calculate the location accurately, the tracker has to be outside. So they are not the ideal solution to find your wallet behind the couch.
Which Tracker Should I Buy?
The kind of tracker you wish to buy depends on your needs. If you tend to lose your belongings often, then a Bluetooth tracker is the best for you. The tracker will notify you about the object’s location when you pass by it.
On the other hand, if you want to safeguard your car, pets, or other valuable items, you should buy a GPS tracker. If thieves steal your car, you can locate it with the help of real-time location tracking and try to recover it as soon as possible. Similarly, if your pet wanders off somewhere far, you can locate its whereabouts and return them to your house.
Additionally, if you’re managing a facility or running delivery, mobile service, or fleet business, you should use a GPS tracker, monitor drivers, and get precise ETAs.
There you have it all. The next time you consider buying a “GPS tracker,” keep these in mind. A Bluetooth tracker might be the right choice if your main goal is keeping track of your keys or wallet.
If you want to track objects over long distances, you should look for a GPS tracker that combines GPS+GLONASS+GALILEO satellite systems, so you get the most accurate location (up to 1-2 meters) of an object anywhere in the world. GPS covers the USA, GLONASS covers Russia, and GALILEO Covers Europe.
The Spytrack Nano from Rewire Security weighs only 68 grams and features; 10 days of standby, multiple satellite connectivity, an SOS button, and worldwide coverage and comes with an app. It’s an ideal solution for tracking and locating; vehicles, pets, people, and valuable assets. The Spytrack Nano can instantly notify you on your smartphone whenever the tracker leaves a pre-set area, exceeds the speed limit, or if the SOS button is pressed. Check out this Spytrack activation and user guide.
How far can a GPS tracker for keys work?
Unlike Bluetooth trackers, there is no distance limit for GPS trackers. The tracker determines the object’s position using GPS satellites and transmits this data to the GPS software integrated with a cellular SIM card. So, you can track the location of your object from anywhere in the world.
However, it is essential to note that an active mobile network connection is critical for seamless data communication. Additionally, high-altitude geographical areas might disrupt a satellite’s data transmission, and accuracy is affected if fewer satellites are present than 4.
How do Bluetooth tracking devices work?
Bluetooth tracker uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to connect with your smartphone wirelessly and shares data about the missing item. You need to sync the tracker with your phone by downloading the tracker app on the phone. The tracker will stay connected as long as it is in the specified range, and only the owner of the tracker can know its unique signature.
After the sync, both devices can communicate and share location details electronically by creating a personal network connection. Turn on the alert function in the app and find your missing item easily.
How do Key Trackers Work?
Key trackers can help you find your keys using Bluetooth, radio frequency (RF) transmissions, or RFID technologies. However, modern key trackers leverage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to help you find keys using your smartphone, eliminating the need to buy a different tracking device.
Once you have connected your phone with the tracker, Bluetooth technology transmits a unique ID to your smartphone to help you know the location of the keys.