Is Free Cell Phone Tracking Really Free?

by Joe Mueller on August 6, 2009

We are all aware of the many different free GPS tracking software applications that are available for cell phones. The different developers and tracking companies who provide this software have done so out of the goodness of their hearts and the hope that the advertising in the application or the up sell market is going to make them some money. Even if they do not monetize these tracking systems they are at least hoping that the reputation they establish will benefit them in some other way in the future.

Either way, you have a market today where there are dozens of 100% free to use cell phone GPS tracking systems. But the question is, are these free cell phone tracking systems really free?

I think that as we look deeper into this issue we are going to find that the answer is that it depends on a person’s particular circumstances. But in order for any of the discussion of cost to make sense to us we first need to establish a basic understanding of how free cell phone tracking actually works.

How Free Cell Phone Tracking Works

When coming to this question we need to divide our understanding into two distinct parts. The first is how does the cell phone determine where it is in the world. The second is how does the cell phone communicate that information to outside parties. Once we understand these things we will see just how free free GPS tracking really is.

For the first part we need to look at the principle of trilateration. This geometric rule says that if you know your distance from three or more known points you can determine your exact location. Cell phones that can be tracked tap into this geometric principle via GPS. The way this works is like this:

iPhone GPS Tracking

iPhones are extremely popular and can be used as GPS tracking devices.

Certain phones (iPhones, Blackberries, and other smartphones) have a GPS receiver installed in them when they are made. Once the phone is bought and activated by a user the full functionality of the GPS can come alive, all it needs is for the cell phone to be turned on (some GPS functionality, like GPS tracking, will also require that the cell phone be receiving a signal, but more on that later). If you do not have a GPS-enabled cell phone then you cannot take advantage of the free cell phone tracking available for download on the Internet.

The second part we need to understand about GPS tracking with cell phones is how these devices transmit the position information that they gather from the GPS. For this, cell phones are going to need to have access to one of two things: the Internet or GPRS. Once the cell phone has its location from the GPS receiver it will then process filter it through the free cell phone tracking software. This software will package the information in such a way that it can be made available online for the for the users friends or family to view.

If the free online GPS cell phone tracking software is a real time tracker, this information is going to be sent in a nearly continuous basis for as long as the program is running on the phone and the phone is receiving a signal from a cell phone tower. If either of these items is lost, so is the real time tracking ability of the software.


So now that we have a cursory understanding of how free cell phone tracking services work I hope that it is fairly clear how this can be less than free for some people. The main points of cost are in the cell phone itself and in the data plan that you must have in order to make use of the tracking software.

The Costs: GPS Enabled Cell Phones

The free, online GPS cell phone tracking software ceases to be free when you have to upgrade your phone to one that is compatible with the software and that has GPS installed in it. Some of these phones can be pretty pricey. An iPhone 3G will run you $99 and a Blackberry Curve can run you $129. This is certainly not free. Now if you already owned one of these mobile phones then downloading the free GPS tracking software onto your mobile phone isn’t going to cost you anything extra.

This is why up above I mentioned that the answer to the question posed in the title of this article was, “It depends.”

The Costs: The Data Plan

The second cost that is going to be associated with GPS cell phone tracking is going to be that data plan on your phone. I recently looked to see if this was something that my wife and I should get on our cell phone plan. She was about to get a free upgrade for her old phone and some Blackberries were available. But in looking at the data plans her carrier offered it would cost an additional $30 a month. Since we wouldn’t have gotten the data plan otherwise this seemed like a lot of money to us.

As a result, she went with another phone instead (the LG Envy) because there was no use in getting the Blackberry since we weren’t going to pony up the cash for the data plan. Paying $30 a month will quickly turn into $360 over the course of one year. That is a lot to be paying for a “free” GPS cell phone tracking service.

Can GPS Tracking Truly Be Free

But this leads us to another important point – GPS tracking is probably never going to be free in my lifetime. There are too many powers that be that have a vested interest in making me pay for this type of information. If it is not the GPS manufacturers, it is going to be the cell phone companies that I would be using to send my position information wireless to my wife who would be sitting at a computer, checking out where I am online. At almost every point in the system there is someone to pay. So, if you are already paying all those people then you can say that your cell phone tracking is free – but it is not truly free.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 adel September 26, 2009 at 3:08 am

Dear sir

i would like to buy the small chip tracking and the monitor to track the
cel phone or the labtoob ? how ?

best regards

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2 Joe September 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Hello Adel,

I think that the best way to get a small tracking chip for your laptop or cell phone is to buy a laptop or a cell phone that already has one in it. This can be done very easily with a cell phone, but it might take a little more effort with a laptop.

If you don’t go that route, you are going to run into all sorts issues if you try and install your own tracking chip in a cell phone or laptop. If you can handle that, then that is fine. But for most people doing this themselves would be too much,

-Joe

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3 elaine October 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

If my blackberry has a tracking system can i leave it in my husband car to track his where about? I know he is cheating, but i can’t afford a private investigator .

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4 Joe October 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Hi Elaine,

I am so sorry to hear about your husband! That is seriously lame and I hope it isn’t not the case that he is cheating on, but if he is you certainly have a right know.

To answer your question – yes, if you have some GPS tracking software on your Blackberry you can track it if you leave it inside your husbands car. You just need to make sure that the cell phone is turned on and that the tracking software is turned on as well.

There is one thing that you want to be careful about and that is the battery life. I don’t know how long a Blackberry will hold its charge while running a GPS tracking application so you want to make sure that you test it out a little before you rely upon it too much. The best way to test it is to fully charge the battery on your phone and then turn it on, turn on your tracking software, and then wait and see how long it takes for the battery to run out. If it only lasts for an hour, you might have a hard time using the Blackberry to track your husband.

One thing that might help is plugging the phone in inside the car using a cell phone adapter, but that might mess things up unless you have a habit of leaving your cell phone in husbands car plugged in. If not, you might to find another option to track your husband since an hour isn’t very much time for him to do something that would let you know if he is cheating on you..

-Joe

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5 Shrea October 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

I have been doing research because I want to know if my husband is cheating also. Best things I have found is on ebay and it is a gps tracker. One is a real time tracker that you put under the seat and you can track him on your computer and the battery last 2 days and it comes with 2 batteries. The other and one I got goes under the seat and last up to 7 days, you take it out and download everything to your computer. It tells you where, when and how long they are anywhere. I chose this one because it is hunting season and my husband goes to the hunting camp sometimes days at a time. I came into this site because I was hoping to be able to track him on his cell also, but he doesn’t have a blackberry. Hope this helps

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6 Joe October 24, 2009 at 7:20 am

Hi Shrea,

I am so sorry that your husband might be cheating on you. That seriously sucks and I hope that his cheating stops immediately and that your marriage can be restored.

Your comment does help a lot. It will help people see that there are really two avenues that people can use to track someone – a real time GPS tracker and a data logger GPS tracker. The real time device will have a shorter battery life than a data logger but it will be able to give you information on where the person is right now. The later is also generally cheaper than the former, making it much more cost effective for those that don’t have a lot of money to spend tracking a spouse.

Your comment also highlighted some of the key issues that people need to consider when thinking about tracking someone. You had to think about when and where your husband goes and how long it will take you to get the tracker out of his vehicle. You also had to think of how much information you might have to go through in order to find out the truth of whether or not your husband is cheating. Both are important things.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

-Joe

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7 Joe M November 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

Yes, with the number of children that go missing each year, every parent should use a personal GPS tracking device, but you dont have to be a parent to need or benefit from owning one of these devices. Motorcycles, skis, musical instruments, laptop computers, purses & luggage, even the family dog: EVERYBODY has SOMETHING they want to protect!!!

When considering the purchase of a tracking device, do your homework because not all GPS systems are alike. Aside from features such as Geofencing, speed-alerts and so on, the one thing you really need to look into is the COST. Most GPS devices I’ve looked into have HIDDEN costs such as monthly/annual renewal fees or charge you per track ontop of the purchase price. For instance, when I called Best-Buy to get more info on the “Little Buddy” they couldn’t even tell what the OTHER costs of thier system were.

I ended up buying a system called “The GPS Guadian” at thegpsguardian.com . Not only did I get the device for FREE by purchasing 3 years of service up front, but I got the 4th and 5th year of service for FREE as well.

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8 Joe November 4, 2009 at 4:27 am

Hi Joe M,

You are right on – many real time GPS tracking devices do have a service plan that ends up costing a lot of money. I have not read much about the GPS Guardian and I don’t know how reliable their service is. As such, I don’t think I would recommend them to anyone just yet. I would need to find out more information about their service and how well they deliver on their promise of reliable, useful, and consistent GPS tracking service.

-Joe

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9 Wally November 3, 2009 at 10:30 am

MMM. . . which is the greater betrayal, banging some broad on the side, or surreptitiously sneaking a high tech digital tracking device on your spouse, without his knowledge.

One thing, as a husband who cheated on his wife and is now on his second marriage (with whom he was cheating, and who herself was cheating on her hubby), I can tell you what the problem is.

YOU. For you it is easier to get a gadget, catch him in “ultimate betrayal” and make it all his fault and turn him into your puppy, than it is to work on the real problem. Are you fat, uninteresting, do you nag, did you give up that whole “makeup” thing years ago for a comfy flannel nightshirt and sweat pants. More interested in the latest gossip from your neighbor than hitting the gym, and wearing something sexy with candles and a surprise dinner when hubby gets home? Did you stop doing that “other” stuff, except on birthdays.

Of course, he could have turned into a complete slob that you are no longer interested in. . . but then, ask yourself, if he is so disgusting you don’t want to do him, why do you care if he is doing someone else?

Skip the gizmo, go to marriage counseling.

P.S. Most hunters I know would NEVER give up hunting time [to commit adultery]. After all, with hunting, you have a bag limit, and a short season. On the other, its always open season. . . and if you don’t bag your game, you can buy it for about $100 an hour. Just check craigs list.

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10 ReRe November 10, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Just a thought. . . .
If you put the device in the car, you are only tracking the car. Sooo if he parks at the gym and walks 1 block to the hotel, what have you learned? Only where the car is parked, so guess who should get an iPhone for Christmas?

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11 Joe November 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Hi ReRe,

That is definitely an issue that you have to think about when making a decision track a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Just tracking their car only tells you where the car has been. But if you can track a cell phone you are much more likely to be able to tell where they themselves have been because people are much more likely to take their cell phone with them wherever they go.

While a stand-alone GPS tracking data logger will be cheaper in the long run, using a GPS cell phone tracking system will generally provide superior tracking results and features. And if you are already paying for all the stuff that you need (data plan, cell phone, etc) then there is no reason not to go the cell phone route in my opinion.

-Joe

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12 Nell November 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

Hello, I have a few questions for you. I got my Nokia cell phone lost a few days ago, I went to tech.com and eastmobiles.com and asked them to track my cell phone without any reply, can you track my cell phone? If yes I will send you my IMEI code, thanks.

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13 Joe November 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hi Nell,

I cannot track your cell phone for you. Sorry, I hope that you find it thought!

-Joe

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14 Stressted January 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

I need help please. i have a 10 year old son who i have custody off. He went to his mum for the summer vacation and she does not want to return him. His phone is switched off, and she has two cell phone numbers on two different networks (SA). Is there any way i cal track her location? PLEASE HELP!!!

Distressted Dad

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15 Joe January 6, 2010 at 11:54 am

Hi Distressed Dad,

I really think that you should talk with the police about this. If you have custody of your son and your son’s mother is holding him against your will then you need to contact the police to get your son back. I’m not sure which country you live in, but if you live in the United States this is called kidnapping and is a very serious crime. What she is doing is illegal and she needs to be caught.

As to whether or not you can track her the answer is going to be no. You simply don’t have the capability right now to do that – but the police do. There is an interesting news story that I found that will give you a basic understanding of how the police might be able to use her cell phones to find her position: GPS Tracking In Cell Phone Recovers Missing Child

I really hope that you can get your son back, but you need to call the police to do so. They are the only ones who can help you now.

-Joe

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16 jr January 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

my bf has the envy celphone and it be nice to tack him threw his phone so i know where he is incase he gets in an accident and i know where to send help ect

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17 Joe January 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

Hi jr,

You are in luck, the LG enV cell phone is GPS-enabled. This means that if you have a data plan on the phone and you can find some free cell phone tracking software that is compatible with his device then you will be able to turn his phone into a tracking device. That is pretty sweet, no?

-Joe

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18 Tyler Xian January 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I was wondering if you really do need a data plan to take advantage of the free GPS cell phone tracking available, after all most smart phones these days like the iPhone, HTC Hero, Samsung Behold II, and the new Nexus One all have Wi-Fi enabled. Just a thought that perhaps instead of paying costly data plan fees every month, just use the Wi-Fi in the area. I am well aware that sometimes there may not be Wi-Fi in that specific area all the time, but who needs to track where their phone is every few seconds every day with unlimited data, it just wastes battery life on the phone. I also had an idea of having a website that can track where the phone is via GPS and give the choice of sendibg back the coordinates with either Wi-Fi or with an available data plan. It would be nice for a website to lock down a phone with a password lock remotely should the phone ever get stolen, but that is another matter and may even cost $5-10 a month. I wonder if there any free applications of any of the ones I mentioned above or if there will ever be something like that.

Just my two cents.

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19 Joe January 9, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Hi Tyler,

Thanks for the comment. I think that you are right – all these phones are Wi-Fi enabled. But I am also pretty sure that you can only really buy one of these phones at the discounted rate – which is still a lot of money, like $100-$200 – if you have to signed up for a 2 year contract that includes a data plan. Otherwise the phone costs something like $700 or some ridiculous crap like that. Cell phone companies really know how to screw consumers over…

If it wasn’t for that then your idea would be pretty spot on for those who just want to casually share their position information with their friends. A service like Google Latitude would probably work perfect for them. But if you wanted to do any type of continuous GPS tracking for the cell phone you most certainly need a data plan that is going to cover it for you.

As to your “remotely lock” feature, the closest thing I have seen is MobileMe application on the iPhone. It lets you track your phone if it gets stolen, wipe your contacts list, and even display a custom message on the phone. Its pretty sweet and costs something like $99 for a year – but you get a lot more than that with the service. One person even used it to catch the criminal that mugged him:

http://www.gpsfortoday.com/gps-cell-phone-tracking-finds-stolen-cell-phone-catches-criminals/

Thanks for stopping by.

-Joe

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20 Moni January 21, 2010 at 9:41 am

I have the Samsung Behold and was wondering if there is a tracking device on it that I can be tracked in case of emergency. I can’t seem to find it on my phone.
I would appreciate any help
Moni

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21 Joe January 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hi Moni,

It is my understanding that the Samsung Behold does have a GPS on it. What this means is that your phone has the capability to be tracked via GPS, and that is all. It is really important that you understand that there probably is not a program on your phone that is going to allow you to track your phone right now, but that your phone DOES have everything that it needs for you to be able to install your own program and have it run properly.

If you are looking for a program to install, you can check out Google Latitude or another program that has found its way onto our Free GPS Tracking Software and Application list. Once you have it installed, you should be able to track your phone as long as the phone is on and the program that you installed is running.

-Joe

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22 ashik February 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

hi i would like to track the mobile number of my boy friend i have doubt on him he may cheat me

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23 Joe February 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Hi Ashik,

Tracking someone’s phone secretly is definitely a lot more difficult than tracking someone who wants to be tracked. There are some paid programs that are out there that you can install on your boyfriend’s phone that might be able to help you track them secretly, but you also have to do some sneaking around to get his cell phone long enough to install the program.

You might be able to do it for free with some of the free cell phone tracking programs available if you play your cards right. Something like Google Latitude could be pretty useful here, since it is a social GPS tracking application that could be useful for a lot of different things other than making sure your boyfriend is being faithful.

I really hope your boyfriend isn’t cheating, but if he is I hope you find out and find out soon.

-Joe

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24 Kevin April 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Wally, wow…your my hero. You hit the nail on the head, perfectly stated. My ex did exactly what you described. Gained weight, flanney or sweats, no make up, no more being sweet, or surprise sex, no sex at all for that matter. You know, all that best behavior crap that they do when your dating. If you are a little put off my this, the shoe must fit, oh and denial doesn’t help your situation either. Some knows that this fits them and just refuses to change, stubbord, fine -lose him. Oh and by the way, I didn’t cheat, I just left her, trader her in for another pretender. Hey, new relationship, best behavior mode is the best…lol. Now to be fair to the others on this site. There are those who are uncontrollable cheaters, even when you are good to them! Now to the bottom line. Most people are looking for a service that has the ability to have customers log in, type in a number and track without the cheating so of a b%$ch knowing…lol . There isn’t anything available yet. The real point is to do it without your significant other knowing. You can’t do it without them knowing on thier personal cell phone. You can however by a seperate cell to track them. For example “AccuTracking.com” can provide assistance to install a Motorola iDEN GPS-enabled Java cell phone from Nextel or Boost Mobile, with the proper network plan you will be in business. Again, you will need to borrow the car..lol Apologies if I sounded a little harsh earlier. It’s just a shame that we rope each other in under false pretenses, fit, funny, humping like rabbits, romance and spoiling. You know, back rubs and breakfest in bed. I love you doesn’t mean, now I got you. I hope nobody is cheating, just talk, work it out, work out and jump start the romance, “Don’t wait for them” You kick it in to gear, somebody has got to start it. Good Luck.

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25 dakota April 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

is there any way i can check my wife’s where abouts free of charge just knowing her cell phone number? I’m not sure if she is sneaking around but I am the only dude she has ever been faithful too and her hanging out with her ex’s in hugging them really does bother me. I need to know if she spends time with them behind my back.
And if it could be possible for me to see who she is textin in calling for free I would really appreciate it if someone told me how.

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26 Billngs May 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Hi i am a Detective in Nigeria Africa. I need a phone tracker to track criminals as a lot of crimes are been perpetrated with cell phones. How can you be of assistant to me?

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27 LJ May 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Hello there i need help, i was robbed of my purse with my phone in it and need to track it, is there a website i can type the number into and find the location of my phone? please help :(

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28 curious May 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

how do you find out if a cell phone tracking system has been installed on your iPhone without your knowledge?

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29 larita May 27, 2010 at 4:32 am

I need a cps tracker, and a listening device. help

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30 bright July 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

i have about five hundred
fleets of cars i use for mass transit so pls how can i track them free or low cost.I don’t need any tracking company for that what will do
urgent…….

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31 Joe July 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Hi Bright,

I would go with a cell phone. A lot of these have GPS already built in and you can use one of the free GPS tracking applications that are out there. This can be free because if your drivers already have cell phones that already have data plans on them. If you have to supply the cell phone that will make this much more expensive, but at least that way all your drivers will have a cell phone and you will have access to lots of important tracking data as well as a way to get into contact with them whenever you need them.

I hope that helps.

-Joe

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32 will July 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Hi my mom lost her new iphone 4. I just wanted to know how i can track the number to the location of the phone.

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33 Joe July 21, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Hi Will,

If you have the iPhone app called MobileMe you can use it to find out the location of your phone. If all you have is the phone number then you are out of luck. Hopefully you bought the insurance that protects against theft or loss so that at the very least you can get another phone.

The only people who might be able to help by using the phone number itself are the police, but I doubt that they are going to mobilize their resources to find a $200 phone. Sorry.

-Joe

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34 Rhyno August 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

i have a motorola tundra cell phone, my service is with AT&T. my girlfriend has a iphone, she also has service through AT&T. how can i track or spy on her through her iphone?

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35 Rhyno August 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm

what is the most economical user friendly way to track a person or their vehicle

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36 Bob Howard September 26, 2010 at 10:30 am

This Company Is CRAZY!

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37 Jasper November 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Looking for a way to track my teen’s whearabouts via their cell phone without their knowing–something inexpensive and easy to use. What would you suggest?

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38 Joe November 12, 2010 at 6:24 am

Hi Jasper,

It is really hard to track your teen without them knowing on their cell phone, but it can be done. Most cell phone providers have a tracking application that you can use. For example, Verizon has a product called Family Locator that will let parents track a phone on a plan for $9.99 a month. I don’t think that you have to download anything for this to work and it starts working right away.

This isn’t cheap ($120 a year), but at least it works!

-Joe

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39 steve November 15, 2010 at 12:41 am

hi Joe i just ordered acer liquid cells for my family and im wondering if they can be tracked. also these cell phone spy downloads do they really work to listen in and read texts without the person knowing about it thanks also enjoyed visiting your site and will keep returning

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40 Joe November 19, 2010 at 6:57 am

Hi Steve,

It does look like the Acer Liquid can be tracked. It runs the Android OS and has a built in GPS. You can just download one of the many GPS tracking apps available on the Android market.

As to your second question, I have no experience with any of those cell phone spy apps. I am sure they work though since they operate off of the same principle as computer recovery software. So I know it works in principle, just don’t know which ones are best.

- Joe

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41 dolores December 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

how do I secretly track a chololate cell phone from verizon (vx8575) that has been converted to a cricket pre paid phone? what gps tracking web site can help?

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42 Joe December 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Hi Dolores,

I am pretty sure that the LG Chocolate has a built in GPS, but tracking a pre paid phone secretly is going to be a really tough thing. The reason for this is that you will have to get a hold of the phone (you won’t be able to use Verizon’s Family Locator anymore because it is no longer using Verizon’s network). You also have to worry about what type of prepaid plan they have. If they don’t pay for unlimited data then every time you track them you are costing them money and running through their prepaid service faster than if it wasn’t on there. This means that after a short while they may figure out what is going on and trace it back to you.

Why are you wanting to track this phone? Do you have a legitimate reason to do so? If you do, then you might have to find some other way to track them since this cell phone would be hard to track incognito. You might want to consider another type of GPS tracking device.

- Joe

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43 ?? December 6, 2010 at 11:58 am

how can I find out if someone has activated a gps tracking secretly on my iphone

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44 Joe December 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Hi ??,

I am not exactly sure about the way that the iPhone’s operating system works, but I am sure it has to have some way to see all the programs that are running on in a list form (at least Droid phones have this ability). After you pull up this list see if there are any programs on there that you have no idea what they are. Close all programs that you think look funny and that should put a cabosh on any secret GPS tracking of your iPhone.

If you want to make sure that this program is a GPS tracker for the iPhone just Google the name of the program to find out what Google knows about it. Or you can take it into the Apple Store and ask a Nerd about it. They will be more than happy to help.

-Joe

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45 Shannon December 11, 2010 at 10:42 am

I am wanting to know if I have a cell number can I locate them to see where they. Are at. Even though they r not on my plan?

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46 Joe December 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Hi Shannon,

There is no way that you can track a cell phone by its number. Most of the things that claim to be able to do this for you are semi-scams. They just give you the home address of the phone as registered with the carrier – but this is often information that you already know!

I would avoid these and choose some other way to track the phone if you can.

-Joe

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47 Terry December 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Hi…I am looking for a gps tracker for a cell phone & car but I want it to be very small to the point where he doesnt notice it. My only problem is I only go home once a week so I need it to have a long batterie life…so do you have any suggestions?

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48 Joe December 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Hi Terry,

Most cell phone trackers area actually programs that you install onto the cell phone itself and they are not pieces of equipment that you place on the phone.

Car trackers are very different. If you want a data logging tracking device you should be able to find one that will run anywhere from $100 to $200 that will track his position, but it won’t be in real time. The battery life should last at least a week on a device like this so you won’t run into any problems. I have tried using the iGot-U GPS Tracker and it works pretty well. Its the only one I have really tried so I can’t vouch for any other device one way or the other.

-Joe

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49 rosa February 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Hi, I wanna track my bf and be able to know were he goes when I’m not around. He has an iphone and I have a adroid phone, how can I track him without him knowing?

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50 Joe February 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Hi Rosa,

I know the temptation to track someone you are close to is extremely high, especially when we think they are doing something that is detrimental to the relationship. However, I don’t you can legally track him without his consent. If you are caught you could be charged with stalking and that just isn’t worth it.

Have you tried talking to him? If you can’t trust him enough to not want to keep tabs on him then you might want to consider finding a new boyfriend. You do deserve better than that.

However, if you won’t listen to reason you could get his consent to be tracked without him really knowing what he is doing. Just ask him to download an app that will let you share your location with each other. It is called Google Latitude and it works on both the iPhone and Android phones. You can position it this way to him – you would just feel safer if he knew where you are when you are apart. You should not go overboard here. Simply ask him to download the program so that he can keep track of you and be able to come to the rescue if you have a flat tire or need a pick up after a night out with the girls.

If he accepts then this tracking program will let you know where he is too. If he blocks you from tracking him then you are kind of out of luck, but chances are he is not going to go into the settings and turn it off. Most people just don’t think that way. This way you will be legal by getting his consent and you will be able to track him without him thinking about it (which is slightly different than “without him knowing,” just not very much different in practice).

Hope that helps.

-Joe

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51 Ali March 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I lost my cell phone and I need it for a client call. Is there any way we can track a phone down free I really just need to know it is somewhere within reach. Thanks

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52 Joe March 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Hi Ali,

Yes, there is a way for you to track it down. You just need to have a GPS tracking program installed in it. Do you already have one in there?

- Joe

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53 Nik March 3, 2011 at 1:08 am

which GPS tracking system do you recommend? my 10 year old has a samsung phone and i have an iphone.
thanks,
nik

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54 Joe March 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Hi Nik,

It depends on what type of Samsung phone he has and what exactly you want to do with it. If it is an Android Samsung phone then you should really get Lookout Mobile Security if you want to use it to find a lost cell phone (but it also has antivirus and backs up the device). If you just want something to be able to tell where he is then you should get Google Latitude. It is a really good social tracking app that will let parents and kids keep tabs on each other.

If he doesn’t have an Android based phone I’m not sure what else you might be able to use. You may want to look at out post about free GPS tracking applications and software for more options.

-Joe

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55 ja March 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

Is there any way to find the GPS location with out installing software on the target phone, I have purchased 3 fake ones already. Help

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56 Joe March 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hi ja,

Only if you are the police, the Feds, or the cell phone company. Everyone else is out of luck.

- Joe

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57 rrooxx September 8, 2011 at 5:25 am

Hi,

Is there any software to send the data plan by sms in predefined intervals?( for example each 20 minutes). I want to use it to track my truck’s location.

Best Wishes

Reply

58 Joe October 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Hi rrooxx,

Yes there is. InstaMapper is one that immediately comes to mind. Its free and keeps an online log of the data, but that log is limited.

I talk a little bit about it on this post: Free GPS Tracking Applications and Software

- Joe

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59 carolyn February 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

hi,
i lost my cell about a month ago and i lokked literally everywhere. To make it even worse i can’t track it. all i know is that it is my house….
please help,
Carolyn

Reply

60 Joe February 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hi Carolyn,

I wish there was something that I could do to help. Chances are any battery life that was left on your phone is now gone, so a tool like a GPS tracking app or cell phone recovery app are not going to work anymore. Instead you are going to have to just find it wherever it is inside your home – and that sounds like it will be hard since you already looked for it.

- Joe

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61 Rose April 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

I need to know if we can get a custom dlsdeibe that is 8 feet long and 46 -47 inches wide. We own a dlsdeibe for this vehicle at this time but it is beyond repair. Please call me at (redacted) to let me know if you can do this (on a relatively short time basis). I am working with Jim at Bedslides.com if that will help.

Reply

62 Joe April 13, 2012 at 4:30 am

Hi Rose,

I can’t make a dlsdeibe. I don’t even know what a dlsdeibe is. Sorry about that. I hope Jim can help.

- Joe

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