Cell Phone Locator

We’ve all seen this on our favorite prime time crime drama. The fugitive is on the lamb and running relentlessly from Johnny Law. What’s the first thing they do? They call some super geek who is working in their office surrounded by dozens of super computers and ask for a trace on the cellphone.

Inevitably, within seconds, the report the location of the mobile phone is an abandoned warehouse by the wharf. In the next screen, mobs of police storm the place, there’s lots of gunfire (or in Chuck Norris shows, lots of kicking), and the bad guy goes down.

How cool would it if we could do that ourselves? Wonder where your daughter is with her new motorcycle riding boyfriend at 11:00 pm on a Saturday night? Simply jump on the computer and track her down.

Can you really do this? Well, the answer is yes, AND no. A cell phone locator service is just what is needed.

GPS Tracking Systems for Mobile Phone Locating

Another, more modern and accurate way a mobile phone locator service works is through GPS (Global Position System). This service is also available to emergency services. In addition to emergency personnel being able to locate a cellular phone with this service, it is available to private individuals.

There are still a lot of limitations to a GPS cell phone locator service.

  • The user must subscribe to a service and pay a fee to both the service company and your cell phone carrier.
  • The user must have a cellphone that supports the service.
  • The user must have a cellphone provider that supports the servic.
  • The user must have special software installed on their phone.
  • The users phone must be turned on AND the software must be running.
  • The service only works when when your phone is in your network coverage area.

As you can see there are quite a few limitations to a GPS cell phone locator service. It’s not expensive but it’s not fool proof either.

Triangulation For Cell-Phone Locating

Traditionally, a mobile phone locator technician would use triangulation. Whenever someone has their phone turned on, it sends intermittent “pings” to the mobile phone towers around it. This is the phones way of knowing whether it is in a roaming area, how strong of signal it has, and what towers to use when you need to either receive to make a phone call.

Triangulation as a phone locator is only an estimate of where the phone is the last time it was “pinged”. Law enforcement can send a ping to the phone only in an emergency. Any other time, your cell phone location is considered part of your private information. They would need a warrant to ping the phone for non emergency reasons.

A worried parent certainly can’t ping the phone to find out where there child is. This is really your only option if you have a Trackfone prepaid phone.

What’s The Verdict?

Well, for the time being it looks like cell phone locating a mixture of both science fiction and science fact. It is possible to some degree. Depending on the circumstances, it may work perfect one time and not at all another.

I expect the technology of cell phone locating to evolve quite rapidly. In the meantime there is a device called a GPS vehicle tracking device that will give you instant and real-time tracking data.

Is Big Brother Watching You?

I don’t know how we can ever really know that answer to that one. It’s entirely possible that the cell phone locator technology is much more sophisticated than we are currently aware of. When GPS technology was first made available to the general public, the government felt that for reasons of national security, civilian units should be restricted in their level of accuracy.

In time, we’re bound to see better results from a cell phone locator service. There is some question about whether or not running programs that allow mobile phone tracking will have an affect on the cell phone battery’s charge time. Time will tell and as cell phone batteries become more advanced, this won’t be as much as an issue.

Free mobile Phone Locator Service

There are many fee based cell phone locator services to choose from but there is also a free service offered by Google. Who would have thought that Google of all companies would offer this service. Well, it actually makes a lot of sense because their software, Google Latitude, works hand in hand with Google maps.

Related Posts