Many people do ask this question that whether they have to buy phone tracking service separately or it is available for free and a simple answer is that it depends. Most of the times you have to buy a phone tracking service and sometimes a free mobile phone application tracks your phone. Below are described the cases when you have to buy a phone tracking service and when it is completely free.
Paid Mobile Network Based Phone Tracking:
Paid phone tracking is usually performed through mobile network provider or company against some subscription charges. These charges vary from region to region and company to company.
How Paid Phone Tracking works?
You pay your SIM card company or mobile network provider to track your phone or your friends and family phone tracking.
Whenever you move with your phone from one location to another, it continuously searches for the cellular network tower operating at a frequency that is specified by your Mobile SIM card. In this way, each time you change your physical location you are connected to the nearest network tower. A network tower holds information of all the cell phones that are connected to it.
Your cellular network determines with which tower your cell phone is currently connected? And in this way, it determines the location of your cell phone.
Advantages of Paid Tracking:
- Your phone is tracked by your mobile cellular network, therefore, it does not need you to turn on your mobile data connection.
- Works even on 2G or low band signals. In other words, it does not need 3G, 4G or LTE coverage.
- Battery efficient because it does not require mobile data connection that drains your battery.
Disadvantages of Paid Tracking:
- Paid cellular network tracking is not precise because a single mobile network tower covers 2 to 3 km usually (maximum 2 to 50 km ideal case). Therefore, it becomes a difficult task to find out a person within 3 km area.
- Cellular network tracking highly depends on the SIM card of your phone. So, if someone steals your phone and throw out the SIM card then it would be impossible to track it.
GPS Application Based Phone Tracking:
You can install phone tracking application on your mobile phone that uses mobile data connection of Wi-Fi in order to connect to GPS. Such applications are programmed with strong algorithms in order to obtain precise location with 5m precision level. In this way, your mobile phone works as GPS receiver to interpret the details received from the satellite and share its geological location. Some application softwares are available on Google Play and Apple Store that provide free phone tracking facilities. Moreover, many phone manufacturers provide built-in phone tracking features such as Apple’s Find My iPhone etc.
Advantages of GPS Phone Tracking:
- It is application based GPS tracking so it depends on the application whether it is free or not. Some applications provide extra features against some licensing charges.
- Precise Tracking with less than 5m accuracy. Just because phone directly appears as the device being tracked in front of satellite rather than network tower.
Disadvantages of GPS Phone Tracking Applications:
- It does not work if Application is turned off by the phone user.
- It depends on the Wi-Fi or mobile data, therefore, it will not work if your mobile phone is not connected to the internet.