I’m curious about how tracking a phone works and how it’s done. How could I use it?
simply watch this video if u want to track ur phone :
note : u'll need a phone with gps capability
There are various methods to track a phone and it depends on the technology within the phone (e.g. GSM/UMTS, CDMA, A-GPS, GPS).
Whenever your phone is in range of a cell tower it identifies itself. They more cell tower(s) are in range the better the phone can be pinned down via the estimated overlapping coverage area of each tower (triangulation).
This method is independent from the provider since your phone "connects" to the tower before it can even start searching for your providers network.
When your phone connects and identifies itself with the providers network the position obtained will be more accurate because signal data, round-trip-time and other data can be used to calculate the position.
In general tracking is done using hybrid methods using the once above, Wireless and Bluetooth detection and GPS data [if supported by the device].
For example there could be Bluetooth and/or Wireless receivers built into the traffic lights used to scan for your devices Bluetooth and Wireless MAC-Address. Together with the cell towers the phones position can be tracked very accurately.
The methods mentioned above are restricted to law enforcement and similar.
In general you don't have access to track a phone which isn't in "seizable distance". You usually have to install some sort of application or service to track the phone via Internet or GPS to get it's position.
Some manufacturer offer tracking services for your own personal device [in case it gets stolen or lost] e.g. Apple and Blackberry. But those require your phone being connected via Internet ~ this can be EDGE, 3G or WiFi. If it's running on GSM only duo to bad coverage you are out of luck.
Here are tools that we covered in the past. They all allow you to track cell phones, and most are free.
MUO review: http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/puntalo-track-lost-stolen-phone/
MUO review: http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/buddyway-free-gps-cell-phone-tracking-application/
MUO review: http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/childpulse-know-where-your-kids-are/
MUO review: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/track-down-recover-stolen-laptop-the-thief-with-prey/
If you own an Android, Windows Mobile or Blackberry you should give Lookout a try. https://www.mylookout.com/
Following features are offered for Free:
- Find your phone if it is lost or stolen
- Protect against viruses, malware and spyware
- Backup and restore your contacts
I was able to test all features before they started offering payed accounts and they are worth paying for. If you set the backup to run regularily you can access (almost) your entire phone online via the website in Time Machine style ~ all your SMS, full call history, etc.
There was also an article about Google Latitude.
How To Trace a Mobile Phone Location with Google Latitude
as far as I know it works by measuring the distance your phone is from mobile transmittors. they must have some sort of area i.d or similar thing. I don't know if you could do it yourself, I think only the government/police can. I doubt the phone companies would give out the information to just anyone asking for it.