Understanding Passive, Semi-Passive, and Active Tracking Devices

Selecting the right type of GPS tracker could be more difficult than it sounds and is especially crucial if you want to achieve specific tracking goals. Whether it’s monitoring wildlife, managing a fleet of vehicles for your business, or ensuring personal safety for you and your family, there are different tracks to take (or, in this case, “tracker to use”).

tracking fox device

The Stealthy Option (Passive Trackers)

Passive trackers are the stealth aircrafts in the GPS-tracking sky. These intelligent devices do not actively emit signals (as most other trackers do) but go the completly other way – they reflect the signals from GPS satellites. This might sound small, but actually, it is a unique feature that makes passive trackers extremely challenging to detect for the third parties involved. And as a result, these trackers can offer a significant advantage where stealth and anonymity are vital.

However, when it comes to GPS tracking – no single solution fits all the needs, and passive trackers also have limitations and some cons. Their reliance on satellite signals means that their tracking capabilities can be compromised in areas with poor satellite coverage. Despite this, they are highly effective for situations like wildlife tracking and where the tracker needs to remain concealed.

The Middle Ground (Semi-Passive Trackers)

Semi-passive trackers are probably the most balanced solution when it comes to GPS tracking solutions. Constantly emitting a weak signal, they are more easily trackable and provide better accuracy. Being in the middle between passive and real-time – they also offer a longer battery life compared to active trackers. This balance makes them more suitable for long-term tracking in cases where regular location updates are necessary, but real time tracking is not.

This type of tracking device has proven invaluable in logistics and supply chain management. Tracking cargo and assets over extended periods of time. They strike an efficient balance between tracking capability and battery longevity.

Real-Time Monitoring (Active Trackers)

For those who want real-time updates and high accuracy – active trackers are the answer. They emit strong signals detectable by satellites from long distances, providing real-time location and other additional data. They are often used in a vehicle or entire fleet tracking because they can provide speed data, help calculate fuel consumption, and so on.

On the downside to their high performance, we could mention battery life, but there is a catch. OBDII trackers are also considered active ones, and as the name suggests – these are always connected to the OBD port, so there is no need for a battery. These trackers are often used for fleet management, law enforcement, and personal safety.

Knowing the differences between these types of trackers is key to selecting the most effective GPS tracking solution. Remember that here at TrackingFOX, we ensure efficient and effective monitoring for various applications, from wildlife and asset tracking to fleet management and personal safety.