The Best GPS Trackers of 2019

Now that your kids are back at school, you can go back to worrying about where they are, whether they’ve forgotten their backpack somewhere, and whether you need to send out a search party when your teenager breaks curfew. Again.

Don’t stress. Deploy technological watchdogs to keep an eye on who (or what) matters to you most.

A quick disclaimer—everything on this list uses active GPS tracking and sends the location of the user or tracked item. Be respectful of your child’s privacy and let them know about any trackers you’re using to keep an eye on them. Also, if they’re over 18, it may be illegal to track them without their permission.

Here are some of the best GPS trackers:

For years, Tile has been my favorite “where could I possibly have left my keys/wallet/backpack” tracker. It’s literally saved me hundreds of dollars—I miss the days of non-coded car keys—and saved me more lost minutes searching than I can count. Tile has a sleek product, with best-in-class engineering, one of the most user-friendly companion apps and a robust community of “finders” to help when your Tiles go missing. Their latest Tile Pro trackers have user-replaceable batteries, are ridiculously loud and can endure the worst you can throw at it (Tile put their trackers through 1,000 tumble-dry cycles just to make sure). Grab a multipack and stick them on anything you lose often, anything you need to be able find in a hurry or just anything you want to keep track of. Trust me, the minor upfront investment will pay for itself in no time at all.

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Automatic is one of the best things you can get for your car. Not only does it automatically log your trips, it keeps tabs on your vehicle’s health and can help you out in case of an accident. The device plugs into your OBD adapter and sends real-time location data to the connected app. If your Check Engine light pops on, Automatic is watching. Not only will it give you the exact meaning of the code, but offer recommendations on what could be causing it. It will even let you reset the light (so that you can verify that it really was a loose gas cap causing the problem). If you’re in an accident, Automatic sends a message to your emergency contacts. And if you have a premium subscription, you’ll also get roadside assistance, parking tracking and more. It’s a great way to not only see where your teen drivers are, but also check out where they’ve been.

This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think you’ll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.

Now that your kids are back at school, you can go back to worrying about where they are, whether they’ve forgotten their backpack somewhere, and whether you need to send out a search party when your teenager breaks curfew. Again.

Don’t stress. Deploy technological watchdogs to keep an eye on who (or what) matters to you most.

A quick disclaimer—everything on this list uses active GPS tracking and sends the location of the user or tracked item. Be respectful of your child’s privacy and let them know about any trackers you’re using to keep an eye on them. Also, if they’re over 18, it may be illegal to track them without their permission.

Here are some of the best GPS trackers:

For years, Tile has been my favorite “where could I possibly have left my keys/wallet/backpack” tracker. It’s literally saved me hundreds of dollars—I miss the days of non-coded car keys—and saved me more lost minutes searching than I can count. Tile has a sleek product, with best-in-class engineering, one of the most user-friendly companion apps and a robust community of “finders” to help when your Tiles go missing. Their latest Tile Pro trackers have user-replaceable batteries, are ridiculously loud and can endure the worst you can throw at it (Tile put their trackers through 1,000 tumble-dry cycles just to make sure). Grab a multipack and stick them on anything you lose often, anything you need to be able find in a hurry or just anything you want to keep track of. Trust me, the minor upfront investment will pay for itself in no time at all.

Shop Now

Automatic is one of the best things you can get for your car. Not only does it automatically log your trips, it keeps tabs on your vehicle’s health and can help you out in case of an accident. The device plugs into your OBD adapter and sends real-time location data to the connected app. If your Check Engine light pops on, Automatic is watching. Not only will it give you the exact meaning of the code, but offer recommendations on what could be causing it. It will even let you reset the light (so that you can verify that it really was a loose gas cap causing the problem). If you’re in an accident, Automatic sends a message to your emergency contacts. And if you have a premium subscription, you’ll also get roadside assistance, parking tracking and more. It’s a great way to not only see where your teen drivers are, but also check out where they’ve been.

Shop Now

If you have Vivint, then you should seriously look into getting Car Guard for your vehicles. This dongle plugs into your vehicle’s OBD port and alerts you if you car is bumped, towed or otherwise messed with. It also offers GPS tracking so that you know when your vehicle leaves or arrives from a geofenced location (or just closes your garage door when you drive off and forget to close it—again). It’s completely integrated with the Vivint app as well. If Car Guard detects an event, and your outdoor camera hasnt already picked up on the fact that somethings awry, the camera will activate and send you an alert. In addition, Car Guard will help you diagnose engine lights and send you maintenance reminders. It also has a full suite of tracking tools: logging the date and time a trip starts, where your vehicle started from and where it stopped, the route it took, not to mention rapid accelerations, harsh braking and time spent idling. It’s a great way to streamline your tracking and home security.

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Apple has one of the best trackers on the market built right in to every iPhone device. With iOS 13, the Find My app will help you keep track of every phone on your account, as well as the people they belong to. You can set alerts so that you know when someone leaves their current location (and, yes, they’ll be notified that you’re doing so). And if a device is misplaced you can secure it, or even completely wipe it, remotely. What I particularly like is that iPhones now send one “last gasp” location update to iCloud when they’re about to run out of battery. So even if you’re searching for a completely dead iPhone, you’ll have a solid idea of where to start looking. With the rumors of a Tile-like Apple tracking product coming to market soon, this app is going to get even more powerful.

All Rights Reserved for Anthony Karcz

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