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One of the toughest decisions Why Tracking Your Significant Other's Location Isn't Always Evil Why Tracking Your Significant Other's Location Isn't Always Evil But is it really so wrong to track your partner's movements, assuming it's consensual? Read More a parent can make in the digital world is whether to track their young children using GPS devices What Are The Best Child Tracking Tools? What Are The Best Child Tracking Tools? Every parent worries about their children's safety. Whether its the nervousness when your young one is home late from school, or the fear that your teenage driver isn't actually going where they say they are;... Read More .

There are plenty of products already on the market which serve this purpose. Which are best? That depends on many factors including distance, compatibility, durability, and price.

Our Criteria

Distance

By definition, a GPS device needs to work beyond a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. Be very careful as there are a few trackers on the market that don’t offer this type of protection, including the BeLuvv, which is primarily for keeping track of babies using Bluetooth only.

Compatibility

Most parents carry smartphones It's Time to Stop Disabling GPS on Your iPhone It's Time to Stop Disabling GPS on Your iPhone Whether it's to conserve battery life or to stop the NSA tracking your every move, it's likely your reasons for crippling your iPhone's ability to locate you aren't justified. Read More ; because of this, we’ve searched for kid trackers that are compatible with both iOS and Android-based devices.

Durability

Trackers should be light and able to survive the occasional fall. Being waterproof is also an important feature, although not a must have. We also think parents should keep in mind the coolness factor too. You’re expecting your child to carry around a GPS tracker. Particularly for older children, this device should either look great to carry or be small enough to conceal.

Price

Each tracker mentioned here requires the purchase of a monthly service plan. These fees vary significantly but for good reason. Some of the devices work only as a GPS tracker while others also include features such as calling and texting. Knowing the options available is important.

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The Best All-In-One Trackers on the Market

These four trackers offer real-time protection, alerts, and calling features.

Weenect

French-based Weenect offers a full line of GPS trackers. In addition to its child tracker, the company offers products for the elderly, cats, and dogs. The Weenect for Kids product offers robust features including an SOS button and a telephone function. For older children, Weenect provides a “zone entry/exit” function that alerts the parent when the child has returned home.

Weenect
Weenect

What sets Weenect apart is the ability to track a child using a live map, compass with a distance countdown, and radar. A full battery recharge takes four hours and lasts up to seven days under regular use.

Priced at €99 (about $113), Weenect offers monthly service plans starting as low as €3.50 (about $4). Though relatively new to the market, Weenect works in many countries, including the United States.

Pros: Lots of tracking features for a reasonable monthly cost; broad availability.
Cons: Some might not like the design or color choices.

Amber Alert

The Amber Alert Child Location & GPS Tracker features a lithium battery that runs up to 40 hours on a single charge. Measuring just 7cm, the Amber Alert is made to slip into your child’s pocket. Like other products on our list, the Amber Alert offers real-time GPS, two-way communication, an SOS button, and safe zones. It also sends a parent or guardian a text or email alert if the child comes within 500 feet of a registered pedophile’s home.

amber-alert-gps

This tracker is priced at $129.99 and is available in multiple colors. The service fees begin at $15 per month.

Pros: With Amber, you’ll know where registered sex offenders live; impressive battery life.
Cons: The child can only contact one designated person with the device.

Filip 2

The Filip 2, which looks like a smartwatch, allows parents to locate their children through a blend of GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi. It allows you to store up to five phone numbers that the child can call with a touch of a button.

Filip

In the event of an emergency, the child can press a red button which activates after four seconds. When initiated, this alerts the primary account holder and begins recording the call and background noises. Like Weenect, Filip 2 offers the ability to create safe zones, so you know when your child arrives at a location.

Filip’s battery is designed to last a full day between charges. 

Currently available only in the United States, the Filip 2 is $149.99 with service through AT&T priced at $10 per month.

Pros: Children will love the look.
Cons: Limited availability and battery life isn’t ideal.

Tinitell

Designed in Sweden, Tinitell originally launched as a successful Kickstarter project. The product features a water-resistant GPS tracker with live map monitoring and voice-recognition. Two-way communication allows the child to talk with up to 12 different people, Star-Trek style 3 James Bond Gadgets You Can Make From an Old Smartphone 3 James Bond Gadgets You Can Make From an Old Smartphone The smartphone is the most sophisticated gadget we carry with us everyday. And while we don’t have our own Q Branch working for us in a secret lab, thanks to a few intrepid DIY-ers and... Read More .

Tinitell-Indigo

Tinitell is available in multiple colors and priced at $149.99. Monthly fees vary by location.

Pros: Incredible design and easy dialing.
Cons: New to the market, which could mean early adopter issues; battery life hasn’t been announced.

Products Also Worth Considering

We like these choices as well, although they lack certain features that some parents may require.

SAFE Kids Paxie Band

The newest product on our list, the SAFE Kids Paxie Band combines function with style. Available with different fashion bands, this product is the ultimate tracker. It monitors location, ambient temperature, daily activity, heart rate, and more. The Paxie Band lasts for up to three days before needing a charge. On the downside, the Paxie Band does not offer communication tools such as voice and text.

pixie-band

The device costs $175 and includes two fashion bands and three months of data service. After that, the service costs $9.99 per month.

Pros: Awesome feature set, major points are scored for the look.
Cons: It doesn’t offer communication tools, and it’s pricey.

PocketFinder

Like Weenect, PocketFinder offers a range of GPS trackers, including ones for children, pets, seniors, and vehicles. Unlike other products on our list, the PocketFinder is designed to fit easily into your child’s pocket or backpack.

pocket finder

With PocketFinder, the location of a child is updated every two minutes via a smartphone app. Alerts are sent in real-time whenever the tracker is out of user-specified zones.

This product is $129.95, plus $12.95 per month.

Pros: It works in various countries, which is perfect for travelers. Includes a Lithium-ion battery.
Cons: It looks pedestrian, at best.

HereO

Called the “first GPS watch designed for kids,” the HereO launches later this year. It features real-time pin-point tracking, breadcrumb trail logging, and smart location alerts. A panic alert system is also included.

here0

HereO is priced at $199 with a monthly service fee of $5. It will launch in various colors.

Pros: The HereO is water-resistant and durable.
Cons: Battery life is only 48 hours and it doesn’t feature two-way calling.

FlashMe Sydney

For something completely different, say hello to FlashMe Sydney. This product isn’t a GPS tracker, nor does it offer communication tools. Nonetheless, it does provide a valuable service.

flashme-sydney

FlashMe Sydney is a colorful silicone wristband with a printed QR code that contains contact information for your child. This product is ideal for children under the age of 4 who don’t yet know their address or telephone number. Another selling point: FlashMe Sydney is available for only €5 ($5.70).

Pros: Some peace of mind for a small price; no battery required.
Cons: Remember, this is not a GPS tracker.

There are many child trackers already available, with many more expected to launch in coming months. When deciding on which tracker to buy, consider the features that are most important to you as a parent.

What tracker do you use for your child?

Image Credit: city map by koya979 via Shutterstock

  1. mo
    August 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    So if you care enough to "helicopter" you're a bad parent and the kid loses all their possible independence, but if you don't, you're accused of the "where were the parents?" stuff and the "they should be watching their kids at all times." You're not going to win. In today's world, it doesn't hurt to be more aware of the larger world and the new dangers in it. When I was a kid, you didn't have to worry about getting shot at school because it didn't happen. Today, that is not the case. To think it can't happen is sticking your head in the sand. Schools should be more equipped with alarms and monitored entry points and not left vulnerable. I don't think kids care if they're tracked, unless they are doing something or going somewhere they shouldn't. Trackers can be removed but you can hide them and Angel Sense has a special key so the kid can't remove it (though clothing/backpack can be discarded). Precious seconds matter in these instances, though. Even if you get some information it could mean all the difference. People SHOULD be more afraid out there. They walk around with a false sense of security and don't know what to do in the event of an emergency.

  2. Henry
    May 23, 2016 at 2:33 am

    It might be good for a parent's peace of mind, but what do these products do a child's peace of mind? Your child doesn't know how often you check their whereabouts. I know I'm glad I didn't grow up feeling as if I were constantly under surveillance.

    • fcd76218
      May 23, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      To play devil's advocate - What about the child's peace of mind if they get lost, get in trouble or get abducted?!

      My peace of mind overrides the kid's. I told my kids when they were growing up "You check in or don't bother going out."

      • Henry
        May 23, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        You already point out in another comment that if a child gets abducted, the abductor would just remove the advice. If a child gets lost or in trouble, they can be resourceful and figure it out and end up learning some independence.

        This makes think of when I got separated from my 7 year old at a zoo. He found another parent (as he was taught) and called my wife's cell number (as he was taught) and she called me. He wasn't far. The separation lasted 5 minutes or so.

        I think kids should check in. They should be taught what to do in emergencies. And as you can see, I'm not against using technology as a tool. Cell phones were helpful in this zoo case, and a GPS tracker would have saved both of us 5 minutes of anxiousness. But I can't get behind the idea of continuously monitoring a child. I think it will make them fearful of the larger world. They will have difficulty developing independence. When older, teenagers would certainly resent their parents who make them wear GPSs and who put their own peace of mind above anything else.

        Besides, the whole idea just seems creepy to me.

        • Bryan Wolfe
          May 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

          I think in many of these cases, these would be good for preschool-age children. I don't think someone that is 10-12 would be all that thrilled about having a tracker on them.

  3. fcd76218
    May 22, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    The problem with all these devices is that they are readily removable. Either the child or an abductor can remove the device, obviating the tracking function. Also they rely on the child to activate the alarm. If the child is prevented from activating the alarm and the device is removed and discarded, the parents will be none the wiser.

  4. Henry
    May 21, 2016 at 2:19 am

    One of the toughest decisions a parent can make in the digital world is whether to helicopter over their kids 25 hours a day and effectively treat them as if they're under house arrest.

    • Bryan Wolfe
      May 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      You can look at this a number of ways. I think having the ability to track your child is different than hovering over them. As a parent, I want the peace of mind. Still, I'm not going to look at my iPhone 24/7 to see where they are if that makes sense.

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