GPS Tracking
Frequently Asked Questions

What is GPS and how does it work?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of satellites that orbit the earth twice a day, transmitting precise time and position (latitude and longitude) information. With a GPS receiver, users can determine their location anywhere on Earth. Detailed mapping and navigational programs can be used in conjunction with GPS technology to track the movement and location of vehicles and assets.

The system consists of 24 satellites orbiting about 12,000 miles above the Earth and five ground stations to monitor and manage the satellite constellation. These satellites provide 24-hour-a-day coverage. A GPS receiver on or above the Earth’s surface picks up at least three satellite signals simultaneously and uses these signals to determine exactly how far your GPS receiver is from the GPS satellites in space. It is then possible to pinpoint its exact location on earth. This is known as Triangulation.

GPS vehicle tracking systems use the Internet as an interface to allow you to control your GPS system, while wireless & cellular technologies are utilized to send and receive GPS requests and location information to and from the vehicle.

What is the difference between a "Real-time" GPS tracking system and a "Passive" GPS tracking system?

A “Real-Time” system generally utilizes wireless networks to allow you to receive the information and view the location of your asset in “real-time”. In most cases, response time and location information can result in delays up to 30-second to 1-minute. Real-Time tracking is becoming the industry standard for vehicle and asset tracking. Features include, on-demand location, speed, and direction.

A “Passive” system generally is limited to vehicle tracking applications only. With a “Passive” system, the location data is stored and downloaded from the vehicle at the end of the day, or when the vehicle returns. Passive systems are used when companies do not need to view their fleet in real-time or have the need to receive alert notifications for speed violations, zones and other features that real-time systems offer.

Why should I purchase a tracking system when I can use my GPS enabled cell phone?

CELL PHONE BATTERY LIFE: With GPS enabled on the phone, the battery life decreases by 50%. This means the GPS phone will not last the entire day without at least one recharge.

TAMPERING: With a GPS cell phone, you must rely on the person who is responsible for carrying the phone. The phone can become lost or turned off entirely, the java applet running the GPS software on the phone can be turned off or the cell phone can be placed in a metal box which will appear as if the phone has a “lost signal” when the person does not want to be located.

COST: GPS enabled phones require a minimum monthly voice plan, a data plan plus monthly tracking services.

GPS Tracking systems or Trackers are in-vehicle or embedded solutions that require no responsibility from the driver. If installed properly, our GPS covert systems make it difficult for anyone, including criminals to tamper with. GPS Trackers can also save you money, many automobile insurance companies provide 5-25% discount on premiums if your car is GPS-equipped.

You have several products, how do I know which one I need?

Go to our Product Advisor, if you still are not sure, contact us at or call us at (850) 878-3239 or Toll Free (877) 777-TRAX (8729) and our staff will be happy to assist you.

What is your product warranty?

All products provided by DirectTrax have a one year unlimited warranty.

What Type of Internet Connection do I need?

A high speed Internet connection (DSL, Cable) is recommended but a simple dial-up connection can be used. Note with dial-up, the user will notice slower response when locating your car or when navigating within the mapping system.

Will I need a professional installer?

Some of our trackers require minimum installation, such as, an ODB2 connection for 12-volt constant source and a covert GPS antenna that can be hidden and installed very easy. However, we provide detailed installation guides with our products. If you have basic vehicle electrical knowledge, you should be able to install the device. Contact us for an installer in your area or you can choose to go to a stereo installation shop and they will most likely be able to install your GPS Tracker.

How do I access my account?

You will be provided with an online account and given a personal login and password of your choice. You will also be given the website address of your GPS tracking website. Any computer with a working standard Internet browser is required to login and locate your vehicle.

If I run out of Locates, what should I do?

You can order additional Locate Requests (or Pings) or Application Credits at anytime on your tracking website application or give us a call at (877) 777-TRAX (8729)

How do I locate my vehicle?

Visit your GPS tracking website. Login using your personal login and password. Select the car and press the “Locate” button. The system will send the request to the vehicle and in most cases, within 30-60 seconds, a map will display showing the location, time, speed and direction of your vehicle.

What if the system does not locate my vehicle?

There are no GPS systems of this type that give 100% coverage, the vehicle could be out of cellular range or parked in a garage impacting GPS signals. Climate and atmospheric conditions can also impact GPS requests and responses. Wait a few minutes or wait till climate conditions are better and try again. Also consider, the driver may be temporarily residing in a low-cellular signal area and their return may not occur till 1-7 days. You may need to attempt to locate the car over a period of 5-10 days to obtain a successful location response. Note, you will not be charged unless a map is displayed with the location of your vehicle.

Can I transfer my GPS Unit to another vehicle?

Absolutely, there are no charges for this but you may want to purchase another wiring harness instead of removing the old harness. This would be least time consuming and by keeping the wiring harness in the other vehicle you may want to transfer the unit back and forth between vehicles.

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