GPS Tracker for Kids: Best GPS Tracker for Kids in 2022
With the next school year, now is a great time to think about outfitting your children with GPS trackers. You can ensure your children’s safety on their way to and from school when they return. In the event of an emergency, some gadgets can even send you a distress signal.
The finest GPS trackers for kids can in helpful throughout the year, though – not just at school time. If your kid gets separated from you in a large group, you can find them again by using your phone’s map. Trackers also enable your children the freedom to roam freely, while giving parents a method to check on their whereabouts for that extra peace of mind.
You may easily equip your kids with a tracker by attaching it to their backpack or wrist. (Many of the top-rated child-tracking GPS devices we evaluated also function as watches.) Whatever form you decide on, a top-tier GPS tracker should be simple to use, with some models even allowing your children to send out notifications to you and other caretakers in the event of an emergency.
We evaluate GPS trackers based on their ease of use, comfort while worn, and the data they provide to parents in order to determine our top picks. We consider the tracker’s initial price as well as the ongoing costs, such as the monthly fee for network connectivity.
We focused on finding the finest GPS trackers for youngsters, but many of the options are also suitable for keeping tabs on the elderly. (You may need to use a variant of the tracker to find one with an adequate layout for the target demographic.) Here is what we discovered while looking for reliable monitoring software.
What is the best GPS tracker for kids?
Jiobit’s kid-proof and weather-resistant design has made it the greatest GPS tracker for children, and while the firm has begun accepting pre-orders for a new model, it remains the current market leader. If you rely on a nanny or babysitter and want to check in on how everyone is doing, the original Jiobit worked flawlessly with the smartphones you or they might carry around, so you not only knew where your child was but also who they were with.
The Lil Tracker is a cheap alternative to clip-on trackers, and its watch design makes it more pleasant for youngsters to wear; nevertheless, the software can be difficult to navigate. Although the Apple Watch SE isn’t a traditional kid tracker, the Family Setup feature on LTE-enabled Apple Watches makes it an interesting choice for monitoring a child’s whereabouts. However, due to its high price, we only recommend it for older children or elderly parents, unless you can find it on sale through one of the greatest Apple Watch discounts.
You may be considering alternatives, such as a regular GPS tracker rather than one made especially for children, but we strongly advise against this. The finest GPS trackers for kids are made to be worn by youngsters and even controlled by them. Young people may struggle with the complexity of dedicated GPS trackers like the Spot Gen3(opens in new tab), which provides pinpoint accuracy.
Similarly, we don’t recommend using Apple’s AirTag to monitor human behaviour. Ultra Wideband may entice you to use that tracker with your kids or pets, but it doesn’t have nearly the range of a tracker designed just for people, and Apple actively discourages this application.
The best GPS trackers for kids you can buy today
The Jiobit(opens in new tab) is our top selection for the best GPS tracker to keep tabs on children, pets, and the elderly (2 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches, 0.6 ounces). We discovered that the tracker only needed to be charged around once every five days, and its loop made it easy to connect it to a bag, shoe, belt loop, keychain, or necklace.
The developers of Jiobit have brought out a new version, the $129 Jiobit Next which claims greater battery life and more accurate tracking, thanks to a new antenna design. The Jiobit Next should function better in areas with poor cellular coverage thanks to its support for low-power wide area networks. We’re going to put the gadget through its paces soon.
As for the original Jiobit, with no screen, microphone or speaker, it feels incredibly sturdy. This device has an IPX8 rating, making it resistant to dust and water, thus I highly doubt my 6-year-old will be able to break it without a concerted attempt. We dropped it, stepped on it, and even left it out in the rain on the driveway, and it remained on functioning.
allow you to know not only where your child is, but also who she is with. Whenever a caretaker within the Bluetooth range of your child’s tracker is within range of your child’s tracker, the two will automatically connect. This is especially useful if your child is being looked after by more than one person. If you use the app to track your child’s location after school, you may verify that he was picked up by his parent(s), stepparent(s), babysitter(s), etc. at the designated time of 3 p.m.
In addition, you won’t be alerted when your child enters or exits a safe location you’ve designated as such. After all, a notification wouldn’t be necessary to inform you that you just picked up your kid from school. Still, you’d like to know if she leaves school with a friend or on her own. Setting up Trusted Places in the app is simple, and you can opt to get notifications upon the tracker’s arrival, departure, or both.
Caretakers are added to your Care Team by entering their phone numbers. They’ll get a text message with a link to the Jiobit app download, and during account creation, they’ll use their own phone number. A Jiobit’s Care Team may track its whereabouts on a map and see which caregiver is within range, as well as receive push notifications when it enters or exits predefined trusted locations. Neither can they alter Jiobit’s current settings nor add new trusted locations.
The Jiobit had no trouble connecting to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS/GLONASS networks, and it was always detected quickly after the app was launched. To activate tracking, tap the top of your smartphone’s screen. The map will then show your location in real-time as you walk, creating a trail between two spots. As live tracking can be draining on the Jiobit’s battery life, the app prompts you to choose between pausing tracking and returning to the map after 2 minutes; the map will still refresh every few seconds if the tracker is in motion, but it won’t leave a trace.
The Jiobit app is attractive, but it lacks some key functionality. It would be helpful to see the tracker’s daily history, but there isn’t one. The original Jiobit didn’t have an SOS button so your kid could call for help, but the updated version does.
There is no augmented reality view available to help you find the Jiobit. However, when you’re attached through Bluetooth, a small bar appears in the app, linking your picture (representing your phone) to your kid’s picture (representing the Jiobit). You can zero in on the device with the help of this bar, which stretches or contracts depending on your proximity. Then, if you misplace your Jiobit and think you may have put it under the bed, you can tap the little bell icon to have it make a noise and flash its LED.
It will set you back $149 for the original Jiobit, with a $14 monthly subscription plan. If you commit to a minimum of two years of service, your monthly rate drops to just $9. (In both cases, your first month is on the house.) Both plans allow you to add more Jiobit trackers for $6 per month, at the same $90 purchase price. GPS data is transmitted from the tracker via AT&T and T-networks. Mobile’s
With its extended battery life and user-friendly software, the original Jiobit was the best GPS tracker for kids. We’re crossing our fingers that the next instalment is just as good as this one. Make sure to return for the revised evaluation.
2. Lil Tracker 2G Kids’ GPS Tracker Watch
Let’s speak about accessibility before we get into why the Lil Tracker is one of the finest GPS trackers for kids. If you decide the Lil Tracker is the GPS tracker for you, you may buy it from the company directly if you have trouble locating it on sites like Amazon. There is now a 4G version of the Lil Tracker available for $129; we tested the 2G version.
The Lil Tracker, in either of its two versions, is a fully featured GPS watch designed for children, although the accompanying app may prove to be overkill. The GPS tracking, two-way phone calls, messages, and one-way calls where you can merely listen to what’s going on at your child’s location are all made possible by the SIM card you provide (more on that in a moment).
The watch has a soft silicone band and a durable metal buckle, and it barely weighs 1.5 ounces. The time is displayed alongside an animated monkey on the device’s 1.2-inch colour touch screen. It’s tough and water-resistant, and for an extra twenty dollars, you can get one that’s totally waterproof. The Lil Tracker has a 12-hour battery life (which will vary depending on how often you use it), but I had to recharge mine every night because of my heavy usage.
With its ability to make and receive calls in both directions, the Lil Tracker stands out among other trackers. The app on your phone makes calls to the watch, and the watch will only answer calls from people you’ve added to its contact list. The parentally-approved contacts can also be called by the child using the touch screen. To summon help, simply press and hold the watch’s SOS button, and the device will dial up to three emergency contacts in order until someone picks up. (We tested the standard Lil Tracker, but for an extra $20, you can get one that’s waterproof. Additionally, a $99 version of the watch in subdued tones is designed specifically for the elderly.
In my testing, phone calls between the watch and the app established a connection promptly. The call quality was mediocre at best, but adequate for a fast status update. While my 6-year-old kid had no trouble understanding me via the watch’s speaker, I occasionally had trouble understanding what he was saying while we were outside. The call quality was much higher while he was inside and speaking directly into the watch.
The “Sound Guardian” feature in the app’s menu is similar to the “Drop-In” option on Amazon Echo devices. The software allows parents to call the watch and listen in, but the watch itself does not make any noise or indicate that it is being monitored. The watch on my son’s wrist phoned me immediately away, and I knew he was at school since he didn’t answer the call, but he didn’t realise I was calling because he didn’t know I was calling. The audio quality was mediocre at best and often fluctuated with environmental factors.
For some reason, the iOS(opens in new tab) and Android(opens in new tab) versions of the programme are titled SeTracker2, not Lil Tracker. Obviously, some are way more crucial than others. Ability to set multiple geofences, view route histories, and disable detection alerts are all handy features (though mine went off when my son took off the watch because his wrist was getting sweaty). The watch can keep tabs on how far your kid has walked, how many calories she has expended, and even how many times she rolled over in her sleep. (However, the watch is somewhat cumbersome to wear at night, and it must be charged while you sleep.) Even if your youngster can’t read yet, you can still communicate with them through the watch by sending them text messages or emoticons. However, they will be unable to reply to your texts.
There are numerous typos and incomprehensible texts throughout the programme. When selecting the “Make Friends” option, a notice appears reading: “Note: app delete function only for friends to pay a single friend device; devices can cross multiple friends need to device the end delete.” Huh?) Choosing a time zone might be complicated since you have to figure out how far away you are from Greenwich Mean Time. In addition, there is a beautiful banner above the map on the main screen that cycles through five photos that don’t contribute anything to the programme and are instead just a distraction. Even if you open the app through a notification, you may still see a full-screen ad the first time you use it.
The Lil Tracker we looked at did not come with a SIM card or service when purchased as a package. This necessitates either looking for a new, more affordable service provider or contacting your existing one about adding a linked device to your existing wireless plan. That allows you some manoeuvrability, but it also shifts the onus of responsibility on you.
The Lil Tracker watch is adequate, especially considering its low price, but the app is a letdown that ruins the experience. It’s really unfortunate because the Lil Tracker could easily compete with the best GPS trackers for kids if a new software were developed for it. For parents who desire more information than just their child’s location, a one-way calling feature is an intriguing option.
3. Apple Watch SE
It’s likely that Apple will release the Apple Watch 8 next month, as the company has been steadily updating its Apple Watch portfolio. The current model, the Apple Watch 7, was released in September. Even though the Apple Watch SE hasn’t been updated in a while, it’s still a great option for parents with older kids who want a device that keeps everyone connected. (Though the Apple Watch SE 2’s impending release in the fall could alter that.)
An Apple Watch might serve as a GPS tracker thanks to the company’s Family Setup function, which allows one person to control an Apple Watch on behalf of another (a child, for example, or an elderly relative). Even with a more modest investment in a device like the Apple Watch SE, you can keep tabs on multiple locations without being obtrusive. If you have experience with Apple devices, this is a fantastic option.
The Apple Watch SE has a 40mm or a 44mm aluminium case, and it is available in silver, gold, or space grey. As with the Series 6 Apple Watch, the SE model includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter. You receive features like fall detection, noise monitoring, international emergency calling, and emergency SOS, unlike the, even more, budget-friendly Apple Watch 3. Those who are interested in using the Apple Watch SE as a tracking device may like the latter function. (The incompatibility of the Apple Watch 3 with watchOS 9, Apple’s upcoming smartwatch operating system, is just another reason to hold off on purchasing an Apple Watch 3)
In order to use the Apple Watch as a location tracker, you’ll need to spring for the LTE version, which will set you back $329 for the 40mm model or $359 for the 44mm one (as well as the additional monthly fee from your phone carrier). Using Family Setup, you can monitor the whereabouts of anyone sporting an Apple Watch SE with LTE connectivity. Family Setup also allows you to assign homework, assign chores, and assign allowances.
The Apple Watch SE’s battery life of only 18 hours is significantly shorter than that of competing GPS trackers for children. The Apple Watch SE requires charging every night. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, exceeds the capabilities of the average kid tracker by providing features like activity tracking, a Fitness app, and a hand-washing guide.
Guidelines for picking a reliable GPS device to keep tabs on your little ones
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How to Choose the Best GPS Tracker for Kids
Many GPS systems have additional functions beyond just tracking the position, such as one- and two-way calling and the ability to set up geofenced zones that send you an alert when your child leaves a certain region. We analyse which gadgets included advanced functionality and how it was implemented.
You need a GPS tracker that precisely shows where the subject is at all times and provides regular updates if the subject is in motion. We made a note of how well each gadget could locate us. In our testing, we discovered that trackers provided the most reliable results in open areas while providing less reliable results in more densely populated urban areas.
We thought about how convenient it would be for a kid to carry around the GPS tracker. We also checked the gadget’s durability to see if it could withstand trips to the playground.
The comfort of use:
We looked for gadgets that were simple enough for a kid to use, but also wouldn’t cause too much trouble for mom and dad during the initial setup and activation. In general, consider this advice: Activate your GPS tracker in a broad open area, away from any buildings. Trackers, especially novice ones, dislike being confined.
A GPS tracker requires not only an initial investment but also ongoing maintenance costs. We looked at the monthly costs of each GPS tracker and whether or not they require a service contract. When GPS trackers provide perks like a free first year of service or a discount on subsequent years of service, we take note.
Find out what kind of safety measures your GPS tracker takes. Remember to alter the device’s default user name and password during setup.
How We Test GPS Trackers for Kids
Six different child-oriented GPS trackers have been put through their paces over the previous few years, with an additional three standard trackers used for comparison. (Since AT&T’s 2G network is no longer in use, we had to delete reviews of several of the kid trackers we had previously tested from this list for the best GPS tracker for kids since they were no longer available.) We used trackers to observe small toddlers from afar and locate them amid a throng in both New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area.
We activate all push notifications and test all voice options (excluding those that would automatically dial 911) to see what each tracker has to offer. As we move from place to place, we also monitor how well the devices’ batteries are holding up.
We examine the corresponding mobile apps for each GPS tracker, making a list of the accessible functions and verifying their compatibility with the respective devices. We also investigate how much each tracker we evaluate costs each month to use the service.
Do These GPS Trackers for Kids Also Work for Seniors and Pets?
Of course, children aren’t the only family members you might want to keep an eye on. Seniors and pets can benefit from trackers as well, as they can keep their owners informed of their whereabouts. The best GPS trackers for kids come from the same firms that produce similar products for elder relatives and wandering pets.
Both the original Jiobit and the updated Jiobit Next have a design that is unobtrusive enough for children or grandparents to wear, therefore the company markets and sells the same tracker to customers of all ages. The tracker and service package is the same price for both humans and animals, but the Jiobit comes with a fabric pouch attachment that can connect to a pet collar.
As was mentioned above, the 2G version of the Lil Tracker watch for seniors is a more sober black in colour and costs a little more than the one for youngsters. Both seniors and kids can afford the $129 price tag on the 4G Lil Tracker watches. The pet-friendly version of the company’s tracker appears to be out of stock as of this writing.
The Apple Watch SE’s sleek appearance makes it a hit with the elderly population, and the LTE model of this smartwatch has the same retail price for all customers.
PetsRadar, our sister site, examines pet-specific items like the best pet trackers(opens in new tab) for cats and dogs.