Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

A number of weeks ago, we took a first look at the GL200 Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker. This small unit allows you to keep tabs on people, vehicles, or other key “assets.” The tracker is easy to use, offers detailed information, and it has a rechargeable battery that gets up to two weeks of tracking per charge. Accessories help you extend that range significantly.

Checking the Spy Tec website shows that the current offering is actually the GL 300. It’s an upgraded model that has a few firmware tweaks as compared to the one I have in hand. The overall system is the same. Lets take a closer look at what this gadget makes possible, and why this might be a good option for anyone needing to keep tabs on something … or someone.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

A quick look at the product page reveals the rationale for a device like this. It states,

If you ever worry about where your teen is taking your new car, a creek running away with your purse or anybody going where they shouldn’t – now is the time to discover spy tech’s incredible new GPS tracking solution. Powered by our proprietary tracking software and the cutting edge GL300 real-time GPS tracking device, spy tech leads the charge for all your consumer or Pro grade GPS tracking needs.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker
GL300 Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

Again, it’s worth noting that while this description focuses on the GL300 the unit I’ve been using has been the GL200. Same exact monitoring approach and same proprietary tracking software, but the one currently offered is the upgraded model.

Inside the GPS receiver is a quad band GPRS/GM Sam radio that covers the 850/900/1200/and 1900 MHz frequencies. Simply charge up the unit, turn it on, and place it with whatever it is you are looking to track. The system does the rest.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

A GPS tracking system is only as good as the platform that interprets and then presents the data collected and that’s really where this device stands out. That’s important since you can, for example, use “find my phone” to locate a teenager with an iPhone but that simply tells you where the individual or vehicle is at that moment. It does not tell you where they have been, what the taken route has been etc.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker
The Spy Tec GPS tracking platform gathers all that information. It tracks locations and then sends periodic updates that can be accessed through any web browser. These updates can be set to report as often as every five seconds. In addition you are able to get the data sent straight to your computer, tablet or even your smart phone so that you can track the device from anywhere at anytime.

As previously mentioned the unit gets up to two weeks of use per charge. A built-in accelerometer detects motion and adjusts the trackers on off status based upon whether or not the device is moving.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

Another feature that is important to note is the geo-fence functionality of the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker. It lets you set up a range within which movement is permitted. With a few clicks of your mouse you can take a small area like the one pictured above and enlarge it significantly.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

As soon as the device enters or leaves that area – it depends what setting you use – the device will send notification to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. For example, as they note on the website –

Want to make sure nobody’s driving your car onto the highway? Geo-fence off your neighborhood and you receive an alert the moment it leaves those boundaries

Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker Features Include:
  • Top-class accuracy: GPS satellite technology ensures a tight fix on the tracker’s location for unsurpassed accuracy. In addition, the 3-axis accelerometer improves accuracy with motion detection.
  • Perfectly discreet: The pocket-friendly device is only a little larger than a matchbox and can be discreetly placed nearly anywhere. The waterproof magnetic case (not included) allows for the tracker to be placed (or hidden) underneath vehicles.
  • High-tech tracking at your fingertips: The information from the tracker can be followed on any device from computers (including both Mac and PCs) to tablets or mobile phones via the Spy Tec GPS platform. The service also tracks activity records for up to a year, delivering customizable reports What can track speed, time, and position across Google Maps. You can also set up several alerts, which can be delivered via text message or email, alerting you when the device breaks a certain speed, starts or stops moving, is low on battery, or even enters or leaves certain areas.

 

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

The unit’s battery that lasts two weeks with continuous use or longer if only used periodically. As previously mentioned there are also add ons you can purchase.The battery pack pictures above is regularly $249.95 but is on sale for under $200. They increase the battery life to six months per charge! That’s what I call “Set it and forget it.”

You can also pick up a waterproof magnetic case that will let you use the tracker in more locations. It has an MSRP of $39.95 but is currently under $30.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

I used the system for two weeks to track my motion, and it was incredibly accurate. In fact, about a week into using it I forgot about it and, when I remembered what I was doing I fired up my browser, went to the tracking page, logged in, and saw that it had followed me pretty much every where I went in my car. On the one hand it’s a little bit disturbing that you can be tracked that accurately. On the other hand, if you need to track a teen or your vehicle (or something along those lines), it’s great that there is a consumer friendly, accessible product like this.

GearDiary Keep Track of Anyone or Anything with the Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker

I especially love the fact that you can define the timeframe and the information you want to see and have it all served to you within seconds.

The biggest downside that I find with this product is not the product or functionality itself but rather the required service plan. The company is offering four different subscription levels. The basic plan is $25 a month and that goes all the way up to $45 a month for the elite plan. The only difference that I noticed between the plans is the frequency of updating that takes place. The basic plan updates every minute, the plus plan updates every 30 seconds, the pro-plan updates every 10 seconds and the elite plan updates every five seconds. Obviously for most uses, the basic plan and its one minute update is going to be more than sufficient. Still, that means you not only have to buy the product itself, but you have to pay an additional $300 a year to use it. That’s not an insignificant added expense, but may be well worth it if you need to keep tabs on a delivery truck used by your company. It certainly is a small expense to pay for helping to keep your teen safe. You can learn more here.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

MSRP: $299.99 but currently $149.95

What I Like: Does an excellent job tracking the desired person or object; Two week battery life per charge; Ability to create a custom-sized geofence; Web access anywhere, any time

What Needs Improvement: The Spy Tec Real-Time GPS Tracker requires yet another monthly service plan; If you want more than two weeks of tracking it quickly becomes priceyUnit only waterproof and magnetized when you buy an add-on case


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.