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Types of Location Tracking

Geolocation is not a scary term from spy movies about James Bond already. It is a reality we live in, and it is something many of us use, even without knowing about it. Simply by opening Google Maps on your phone to build the shortest route to your favorite restaurant, you can contact the GPS satellite and share your current location with it.

Another thing many people use is a cell phone tracker. Although, for many, it sounds like something forbidden and illegal, there is nothing bad about phone tracking as it helps you ensure that your close people are safe at the moment or that they do not have any problems.

The most popular type of location tracking is definitely via GPS. GPS modules are installed on all modern phones, map applications are something many people cannot imagine their life without even in their own town, and parents often use GPS tracking to check whether their children are at their classes or home when they are supposed to. However, there are other ways to define one’s location, and we will discuss all of them here.

GPS Location Tracking

The main thing you must know about GPS is that it uses a satellite from orbit to get the geolocation data. GPS technology is accessible all over the world and can help you determine one’s location wherever you are. The only exception might be if a person is underground and the GPS signal cannot reach them.

However, there is also a requirement to have a GPS module installed on your device (or simply stored in your pocket) to be visible to the satellite. As this module needs to be powered by something, the most common way is using it on cell phones, where it uses the devise battery. The easiest way to trick GPS is simply to leave your phone at home or work and do whatever you want, being sure you are untracked.

GPS tracking is mostly used by regular people for their everyday needs:

  • build a route somewhere;
  • check the location of their spouse/child;
  • locate a shop/building/organization they need.

IP Tracking

Millennials may remember the threats of “finding someone by IP” from online games at the dawn of the Internet age. It is often said that you can track a person via IP, but it is not completely true; you can only track the device that is connected to the internet. Whenever a technology is invented to connect people to the internet directly – the first notion will be true, though.

With the help of IP tracking, you can get the following information:

  • country;
  • region;
  • city;
  • geographical coordinates;
  • Internet service provider;
  • a lot of other technical details an ordinary user usually does not care about.

The main limitation of IP tracking is that it actually tracks a device. Basically, if a person uses a desktop, you can track where their computer is, but not where they go. To track the mobile device, you must be sure that it is connected to the internet. And even in that case, there are dynamic IPs and VPN services that may give you wrong geolocation info.

WiFi Tracking

It is not a secret that the WiFi network is huge and growing bigger day by day. If you live in a big modern city and leave your flat to go to work/bar/restaurant, you can immediately find yourself at the intersection of dozens of WiFi networks from cafes, coffee shops, and even bus stops. The idea of WiFi tracking is to use all those hot spots to locate the desired device and the distance from it to the hot spot.

It works fine in cities with big WiFi density, but if you appear to live in a small town or village – it may be quite a challenge up to not being able to track anything at all if there is no WiFi hotspot around you. It may sound weird or even impossible, but such a scenario is quite popular in small American towns, for instance, where all life is concentrated around the church and school, and there is even no Starbucks in the area.

Other Types of Location Tracking

There are many other types of location tracking, such as Bluetooth beacons, cell tower triangulation, magnetic positioning, etc., but they are, first of all, not always available to ordinary people (usually not), and secondly, there is not much sense in using, say, Bluetooth beacons, if you have access to GPS or IP tracking.


Geofencing is a more or less fresh technology that definitely makes a lot of sense for parents. It is closely connected to location tracking, as this feature allows you to create digital “fences” on the map, which will mark a territory where your child is not allowed to enter. This feature uses GPS technology, which is why it is already planned to be added to their feature list by many phone trackers like uMobix.

The idea is that the device you track shares its live location data with you permanently, and if you start getting reports from a restricted area – you are alarmed and can start working on a solution for this situation. It may be of great use, for instance, if there is a dangerous area in your town and you do not want your child to go there. Parents physically cannot check their kid’s location every single minute, so getting an alarm when it happens drastically simplifies things.


There are many technologies for location tracking, but only some of them are accessible to ordinary people and are actually reasonable to use. GPS tracking uses satellite information to get precise location data, IP tracking tunnels the internet connection to locate the device, and WiFi tracking uses surrounding WiFi hotspots to follow the device with an active WiFi connection. All three make sense, depending on the situation. If you are a young parent, try using geofencing to restrict your child from some locations; it may work greatly for you.

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