It’s one of the most sought after mobile phone applications of them all – the ability to silently track the location and condition of a mobile phone. Many people would like to track a phone that doesn’t have GPS, using just cellphone tower triangulation. This is possible when you install apps like Latitude on the target phone. The thing is, now that I’ve purchased an expensive Motorola Droid, if I ever lose this baby, I’d really like to know exactly where it is so that I can quickly find it.
I took a look at some of the offerings described earlier at MakeUseOf like Mobiwee, which Grant covered. That app was pretty close to what I wanted. I decided to poke around a little more before making a decision, and I’m glad I did.
The security solution that I’m going to focus on in this article is an application I discovered on the Android market while looking for one of the highest rated free mobile phone tracking systems available. Mobile Defense by Neevo, LLC is currently a beta app, easily recognizable on the market by being one of the few applications with five full stars on average from all users. Installation is fast and easy, with the plenty of customization options and a few features that simply blew my socks off.
Install A Free Mobile Phone Tracking System as Your Mobile LoJack Device
The cool thing about Mobile Defense is that you can install it and forget it. It acts like a little built-in safety feature that’s always there whenever you need it. Yes, it’ll tell you exactly where your phone is if someone steals it. However, in the much more likely scenario where you drop it somewhere, or you forget it someplace – all you have to do is fire up the Mobile Defense website, log into your account, establish a connection with your phone and you’ll immediately know where it is within just a few feet – along with a wide range of other active information about your phone, like battery power, what Wi-Fi network it’s connected to, and speed and direction. Like I said – it’s impressive.
When you first install Mobile Defense, this is the screen you’ll see. In order for the service to establish a connection with your phone, it sends your phone an SMS message in conjunction with your registration. Once you enter your number, the software will ask if you’re registered yet. If not, you can fill out the info right on your phone, or go to the website and do it there. Once you register, the Mobile Defense system will send a confirmation email to the email address you registered with. After you click the link in your email, the system sends the activation to your phone – that activation is reflected in the online status for your phone on your Mobile Defense account.
The moment your phone receives the activation signal, the Mobile Defense icon is no longer active – and the app starts running in the background and the icon no longer works (see pic below). For advanced users, you can install the application as a system app for true invisibility, however you need root access and the ability to understand and step through the configuration for system setup. Personally, I’m cool with taking my chances set up as a regular app that runs in the background.
Connect to Your Phone to Find It – No Matter Where It Is
Now that my phone has the software installed and running in the background, I was curious how well it would actually work. Testing this free mobile phone tracking system, I was sitting in my house with GPS turned off and on my Wi-Fi network – no cellular signal. In order to connect to the phone, the phone tracking system needs a data connection, either cellular or Wi-Fi. When you go to the Mobile Defense website and log in, right on your home page, you can select “Connect to Phone.”
The interesting thing is that as the system was trying to connect, I had the phone next to me on my coffee table. I read some of the reviews that said the app can’t enable GPS without root access. I installed the app without root access and as I watched, the GPS receiver started up automatically just fine, and within seconds the mobile phone tracking system had my exact location.
As though this isn’t enough information, you can click on “Details” and get even more. If your curious about how the phone tracking system is able to get such an exact location – don’t forget to check out Guy’s great article on GPS tracking technology.
The potential for being able to access this level of information about the phone just blew my mind. It also made me decide that when my kids are old enough to have a mobile phone, this software is going to be running on it. Just imagine, you can connect at any time and know right away not only exactly where they are by Latitude and Longitude, but also how fast they’re driving, whether or not they’re using any data connection and what connection they’re using, and even how much battery power is left in their phone.
Now, you probably noticed in the mobile phone connection screen, next to “Details” there was an “Alert” link. When you click on that link, you’ll see the following screen.
What this does is it allows you to make your phone start playing an alert sound, and it’ll flash the message you type on the screen. While it would be fun to scare a mobile phone thief, the sound alert feature is actually better for when you might have dropped your phone while you were running or biking, and need to find it in the bushes or if it’s hidden under the cushions of your couch! The last link labeled “Lock” lets you force the security pattern screen so that even if the thief has your phone, they’ll never be able to use it without the security pattern. This feature assumes, of course, that you’ve already enabled and configured the pattern (if you haven’t, you really should!) When I tested this feature, I immediately saw my security pattern screen, which locked out the phone.
Even though I was only planning on installing and testing this application to write this article, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to keep something running on my phone that could track me my every move. However, after seeing all of the features, and knowing deep down, based on my past history, that at some point I’m going to misplace or otherwise lose my phone – this software, running in the background, gives me the peace of mind and the security of knowing that no matter where my phone ends up, I’ll always be able to find it.
Have you ever used any kind of mobile phone tracking software? Have you ever tried Mobile Defense? Share your feedback in the comments section below.
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