Passive and Active GPS

When you find yourself interested in purchasing a GPS tracker, you may come across the terms passive GPS and active GPS. To help you decide which one to get, you need to know the purpose of each type and how this will be beneficial for you.

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Passive GPS Trackers versus Active GPS Trackers

Passive GPS and active GPS are equally beneficial and have both helped users in more ways than one, but the way they work differs. Here’s your guide to distinguishing passive GPS trackers from active GPS trackers.

Passive GPS trackers

The main difference between passive and active GPS trackers is time. If you purchase a passive GPS tracker, also known as a data logger, you do not get real-time updates unlike an active tracker. Data loggers store their information through an internal memory, memory card, or a USB stick. These pieces of information include reports such as distance traveled, time and date, active driving time, and sudden speed or acceleration.

Who can take advantage of passive GPS trackers?

  • Fitness and outdoor enthusiasts. Joggers or mountaineers use data loggers to calculate the distance they covered.
  • Parents of teenagers. Parents may use this to monitor their teenager’s driving habits.
  • Fleet managers. Fleet managers can use the data gathered by passive GPS trackers to monitor their employees’ and drivers’ behavior.

Most passive trackers do not need a monthly fee, so expect this to be a more economical option compared to active trackers.

Active GPS Trackers

Active GPS trackers can process and deliver data in real time, meaning dispatchers may receive notifications and alerts anywhere, giving them a hawk’s-eye view of every movement that their subject does.

Who can take advantage of active GPS trackers?

  • Caregivers. Caregivers are better off with active GPS technology to track the elderly and make sure that they are within a safe perimeter. Using the device, they can also track them down easily in case they wander off.
  • Parents of children. Nearly 90% of missing children simply misunderstood directions or miscommunicated their plans, are lost or have run away. Active GPS trackers can greatly help parents monitor their kids’ whereabouts, especially during emergencies.
  • Parents of teenage drivers. Active GPS trackers notify parents on any distress signals sent by teenage drivers using an active GPS tracker.
  • Pet owners. A missing pet is every owner’s worst nightmare. More and more dog owners have started to invest in active GPS trackers to locate their wandering pets.
  • Drone enthusiasts. Drones fly away unexpectedly for various reasons. To eliminate this worry, drone enthusiasts mount real-time GPS trackers on their prized drones to easily track them.
  • Fleet managers. To better increase productivity and profit, fleet managers opt for the precision provided by real-time data.

Another difference between passive GPS trackers and active GPS trackers lies in their price. Understandably, active GPS trackers cost more than the passive ones, but the price is justified by the reliable software application that comes along with them and the convenience of being able to access real-time data.

To summarize, passive GPS trackers focus more on recording and storing tracking information, which can be downloaded from a computer at a later time, while active GPS trackers transmit the same kind of tracking information, but in real time.

Why Active GPS Trackers Are Better

One of the many important advancements of today is the development of real-time GPS trackers. While these trackers are more expensive than trackers that don’t operate in real time, active GPS trackers are the best option for tracking loved ones and business assets as they provide tracking information with high accuracy and instant, continuous location monitoring.

There are several advantages associated with choosing an active/real-time GPS tracker. The main reasons that most people prefer real-time GPS trackers are security and convenience. Instead of waiting to download the data to a computer (as in the case with passive trackers), a real-time GPS tracker does not require any waiting. Since real-time GPS trackers come with an app and/or software that allows a user to track a loved one or asset in real time, monitoring their location is simply a matter of sitting in front of a computer or with your phone in hand. Real-time GPS trackers, most importantly, allow you to act immediately in times of need. Whether (God forbid) your luggage gets misplaced, your loved ones go missing, or your vehicle gets stolen, real-time GPS trackers can alert you instantly and provide you their exact location.


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Call us now: 646-626-6116
Or read about our GPS tracking system to learn more.
Amanda Thomas