How GPS Trackers Work A Comprehensive Guide

How GPS Trackers Work A Comprehensive Guide

In recent years, GPS trackers have become popular for various uses, including asset, person, pet, and vehicle tracking. These gadgets use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to quickly and precisely establish an object's or person's location.


In recent years, GPS trackers have become popular for various uses, including asset, person, pet, and vehicle tracking. These gadgets use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to quickly and precisely establish an object's or person's location. 

But first, let's try to figure out this riddle. I am a feature of GPS tracking that allows you to view the recorded route taken by a tracked object or person.

What am I? Hint: I will help you retrace the steps.

Read till the end for the answer. 

This comprehensive guide aims to provide a detailed understanding of how GPS trackers work and their various applications. 

Table of Contents 

What is a GPS Tracker? 

Components of a GPS Tracker 

How GPS Trackers Work 

Types of GPS Trackers 

Applications of GPS Trackers 

Choosing the Right GPS Tracker 

Installing and Using GPS Trackers 

Benefits and Limitations of GPS Trackers 

Maintaining and Troubleshooting GPS Trackers 

GPS Tracker FAQs 

What is a GPS Tracker? 

A GPS tracker uses satellite navigation technologies to pinpoint the exact location of a person or thing. It works by receiving signals from multiple satellites and calculating the distance between the device and each satellite to triangulate its position on the Earth's surface. GPS trackers can provide real-time location updates, historical location data, and other useful information depending on the device's capabilities. 

Components of a GPS Tracker 

A GPS tracker typically consists of the following components: 

  • GPS Receiver: This component receives signals from GPS satellites and calculates the device's location. 
  • GSM or CDMA Module: The GPS tracker can transmit data over cellular networks. 
  • Microcontroller: Controls the overall functioning of the device and manages data processing. 
  • Power Source: Provides the necessary power to operate the GPS tracker, which can be a rechargeable battery or a direct power source. 
  • Antenna: Receives GPS signals and ensures a strong connection with satellites. 
  • Sensors: Some GPS trackers include additional accelerometers, temperature sensors, or motion detectors to provide more detailed information. 

How GPS Trackers Work 

The functioning of GPS trackers involves a series of steps: 

Signal Reception: The GPS tracker receives signals from at least four GPS satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites continuously transmit signals containing information about their location and the current time. 

Triangulation: The GPS receiver in the tracker analyses the signals received from multiple satellites. By calculating the time difference between signal transmission and reception, the device can determine the distance to each satellite. 

Location Calculation: Using the distances obtained from the satellite signals, the GPS tracker employs a process known as trilateration to calculate its exact location on the Earth's surface. Trilateration involves intersecting spheres around each satellite to pinpoint the device's position. 

Data Transmission: GPS trackers with cellular capabilities send the calculated location data to a remote server or a connected device via cellular networks. This data can be accessed in real-time or stored for later retrieval. 

Data Processing: The received location data can be further processed to generate additional information such as speed, direction, and altitude. This information can be displayed on a connected device, like a smartphone or computer. 

Types of GPS Trackers 

There are various types of GPS trackers available, each designed for specific purposes: 

Personal GPS Trackers: These are small and portable, allowing individuals to keep track of their loved ones, pets, or valuable personal belongings. 

Vehicle GPS Trackers: Designed for monitoring and tracking vehicles, these trackers can provide real-time location updates, vehicle speed, and other vehicle-related data. 

Asset GPS Trackers: Asset trackers monitor and protect valuable assets such as construction equipment, cargo containers, or high-value goods during transportation. 

Fleet GPS Trackers: Fleet tracking systems involve multiple GPS trackers to efficiently monitor and manage a fleet of vehicles. 

Applications of GPS Trackers 

GPS trackers have various applications in various industries and personal use cases: 

  • Vehicle Tracking and Management: GPS trackers help monitor vehicles for fleet management, stolen vehicle recovery, and improved driver behaviour. 
  • Personal Safety and Security: Personal GPS trackers are used for tracking children, elderly family members, or individuals with special needs to ensure their safety and provide peace of mind. 
  • Sports and Fitness: GPS-enabled fitness trackers and smartwatches allow athletes and fitness enthusiasts to track their activities, monitor progress, and analyse performance metrics. 
  • Outdoor Adventures: GPS trackers are essential for hikers, mountaineers, and outdoor enthusiasts to navigate unfamiliar terrains and ensure their safety in remote areas. 
  • Asset and Equipment Tracking: Businesses can utilise GPS trackers to monitor and protect valuable assets, track inventory, and optimise logistics operations. 

Choosing the Right GPS Tracker 

When selecting a GPS tracker, consider the following factors: 

  • Intended Use: Determine your specific purpose for a GPS tracker and choose a device tailored to that use case. 
  • Battery Life: Assess the battery life of the GPS tracker to ensure it meets your requirements, especially if you need extended tracking periods. 
  • Coverage: Ensure the GPS tracker operates on reliable, extensive cellular networks to provide accurate, uninterrupted tracking data. 
  • Data Access: Consider the ease of accessing and managing the data generated by the GPS tracker, whether it requires a dedicated mobile app or a web-based platform. 
  • Additional Features: Some GPS trackers offer extra features such as geofencing, SOS alerts, or two-way communication, which may be beneficial depending on your needs. 

Installing and Using GPS Trackers 

Installing and using GPS trackers generally involves the following steps: 

Choose an Ideal Location: Select a suitable location for the object or person you wish to track for installing the GPS tracker. Ensure it remains discreet and well-protected. 

Activate the GPS Tracker: Power on the device and follow the manufacturer's instructions to activate and configure it. This typically involves inserting a SIM card, setting up a data plan, and connecting to a mobile or web-based tracking platform. 

Mount or Attach the Tracker: Securely attach the GPS tracker to the desired object using appropriate mounting accessories or adhesive options. Ensure the antenna has a clear line of sight to the sky. 

Test the Tracker: Confirm that the GPS tracker functions correctly by monitoring the location data and ensuring accurate positioning. 

Monitor and Analyse Data: Access the tracking platform or mobile app associated with the GPS tracker to view real-time location updates and other relevant information. 

Benefits and Limitations of GPS Trackers 

GPS trackers offer numerous benefits, including: 

  • Enhanced Security: GPS trackers provide real-time location updates, allowing quick recovery in case of theft or loss. 
  • Improved Efficiency: For businesses, GPS trackers aid in optimizing routes, reducing fuel consumption, and improving overall fleet management. 
  • Peace of Mind: Personal GPS trackers offer reassurance by allowing individuals to keep track of their loved ones and valuable belongings. 

However, GPS trackers also have some limitations to consider: 

  • Limited Battery Life: GPS trackers may require frequent recharging or connection to a power source depending on the device and usage. 
  • Reliance on Cellular Networks: GPS trackers with cellular capabilities require a strong network signal for accurate and consistent data transmission. 
  • Signal Interference: GPS signals can be affected by physical obstructions like buildings, tunnels, or dense foliage, leading to temporary signal loss or inaccurate positioning. 

Maintaining and Troubleshooting GPS Trackers 

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of GPS trackers, follow these maintenance tips: 

  • Regular Charging or Power Source Check: Ensure the GPS tracker's battery is adequately charged or connected to a power source, especially for long-duration tracking. 
  • Firmware and Software Updates: Keep the GPS tracker's firmware and associated software up to date to benefit from bug fixes, improvements, and new features. 
  • Signal Strength Evaluation: Monitor the signal strength of the GPS tracker periodically to identify any potential signal interference or connectivity issues. 
  • Device Cleaning and Protection: Clean the GPS tracker regularly, following the manufacturer's guidelines, and protect it from moisture, dust, or extreme temperatures. 

If you encounter any issues with your GPS tracker, consult the manufacturer's documentation or contact their customer support for troubleshooting assistance. 

GPS Tracker FAQs 

How does a GPS tracker work on a vehicle? 

GPS trackers installed in vehicles receive signals from GPS satellites, calculate the vehicle's location, and transmit the data to a remote server or connected device via cellular networks. 

How do GPS trackers send data? 

GPS trackers with cellular capabilities send data using GSM or CDMA technology over cellular networks. Some trackers may also utilise Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for data transmission. 

How do GPS trackers communicate? 

GPS trackers communicate by receiving signals from GPS satellites and transmitting data through cellular networks or other communication protocols such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. 

What are the objectives of GPS trackers? 

GPS trackers aim to accurately determine the location of an object or person, provide real-time tracking information, enhance security, and optimise operational efficiency. 

How far can a GPS tracker work? 

The range of a GPS tracker depends on the device's capabilities, but it can work globally as long as it has access to GPS satellites and a reliable cellular network. 

How does GPS tracking work without the Internet? 

GPS tracking itself does not require an internet connection. However, GPS trackers with cellular capabilities need an active internet connection to access real-time tracking data remotely. 


GPS trackers have transformed how we monitor and track objects and individuals, offering real-time location updates and valuable data.  

NutTAG provides a range of cutting-edge GPS trackers to meet your tracking requirements. Their product lineup includes the NEW 4G SEEK GPS PRO for kids, ensuring their safety and peace of mind. For the elderly, nutTAG offers the NEW 4G SEEK PRO SAFETY DEVICE, designed to enhance their security and well-being.

Pet owners can rely on the NEW - Spot 4G GPS Pet Tracker to keep their furry friends safe and easily traceable. Additionally, NutTAG™ B2 offers an excellent vehicle tracking and management solution, among other applications. 

With nutTAG's ready-to-use GPS trackers, you can enjoy the convenience of local support, free shipping, and risk-free returns. Whether you need to monitor your children, elderly family members, pets, or vehicles, NutTAG's reliable and feature-rich products will meet your tracking needs effectively. Embrace the benefits of precise and hassle-free tracking with NutTAG's exceptional GPS trackers. 

Answer to the riddle: The answer is a GPS track or GPS tracking history. 

Customer service

We are available from monday to friday to answer your questions.