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Vectu GPS Locators and Trackers Review

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Monday, 18 January 2016

Vectu GPS Locators and Trackers Review

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If you have ever taken a look at the 3Gstore logo you’ll see the words ‘Helping You Stay Connected’ printed below. Everything that we sell has to meet that criteria. We carry and support everything from cellular backup solutions, to mobile routers, cellular antennas and amplifiers, WiFi APs and controllers, easy to use IP cameras, and more.

 

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Now available at 3Gstore the new Vectu line of personal and vehicle GPS trackers couldn’t be a better fit. For a long time our customers have been asking us for a true GPS tracking device that is not only easy to use, but also affordable. We’ve been testing all of the new Vectu trackers over the last month to make sure these lived up to our high standards, and we’re happy to report our results below.

 

 

The first type of Vectu tracker is meant for ‘Locating People.’ With both a Personal Emergency GPS Locator and an On-demand Personal GPS locator, there are options for many use cases. The Personal Emergency Locator is designed for those who are in need of an effective, easy to use way to keep track of family or loved ones. The Personal Emergency Locator is small enough to fit in a pocket or purse without being a burden. The device will never transmit or keep track of its location unless the help button is pushed - it then sends out alerts to specified contacts and will update its location once a minute until the onboard battery is depleted or the device is turned off. When the help button is pushed, the main contact plus up to 4 additional contacts will receive email, text, and application alerts on their mobile devices within seconds.

 

 

The second Personal tracker is the On-Demand Personal GPS Locator. This device is slightly larger than the Personal Emergency Locator, but has some additional functionality. While the Emergency locator only reports its location when the help button is pressed, the Personal On-demand locator will tell you its location when requested. Through the web portal or with the mobile application, clicking ‘Locate’ will report back the current device location and battery level. This is a great way to quickly check in on loved ones as needed. There is still a help button on the On-demand unit as well, and will work in the same way to provide alerts to predefined contacts and provide location tracking. The On-demand locator is also an excellent way to track valuable possessions. Place the locator in a laptop or camera case, luggage, or in an important package, and at any time you can locate the item. The On-Demand Personal Emergency Locator will last several days between charges if left powered on. Battery life would be shorter if the unit was constantly searching for a GPS or GSM signal, for example inside a building, or if you are frequently requesting its location via the application or web tool. In our testing we have had this unit last up to five days.

 


Vectu also has devices meant for ‘Locating Vehicles.’ These vehicle trackers provide the same easy setup and functionality of the Personal trackers, but add vehicle specific features as well. The Portable Vehicle GPS Tracker is a battery powered device without any installation requirements. Simply power on the tracker and place it in the vehicle of your choice. The Portable Vehicle Tracker will reports its location every 60 seconds while your vehicle is in motion. The web portal and mobile application will provide a historical view of vehicle location and automatically organize these locations into set trips you can view. Through the web portal or in the mobile app, you can see the real time device location and history. As a vehicle tracker, you are also given the power of creating speed alerts. As one example, if you are managing a fleet of vehicles you’ll set the tracker configuration to 60MPH. As soon as that speed is exceeded, you’ll be immediately alerted. You can also create a Geofence, which is an area the tracker is meant to function in. As long as the tracker remains in this Geofence, there aren’t any location alerts. However if the Geofence is broken, you’ll be immediately notified to the device's current location.

 

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Geofencing and speed alerts make the Portable Vehicle tracker ideal for both personal and business use where a more permanent installation isn’t desired or isn’t possible. An Arm feature lets you create a ‘Safe Spot’ for the device, and you’ll be immediately notified if the device moves. Delivery vehicles where a driver has to leave the vehicle have a simple safeguard against theft with real time alerting on movement and simple tracking. We tested the Portable Vehicle Tracker to see just how long the battery could last. The tracker was kept in a vehicle full time, and it stayed on for just over five days. The vehicle had at least two 9 mile trips each day, with a couple of days having multiple hour car rides. This is an extreme case and would be considered the extent of the battery life as more movement would drain the battery, but without question the device will last at least 24 hours in a full time use environment without needing to be plugged in.

 

Vectu also has two Installed Vehicle GPS Trackers, one with internal antennas, and one with external antennas. With a footprint less than the size of a credit card, the Installed Vehicle tracker can be completely invisible once positioned inside a vehicle. With a hardwire harness to the vehicle's battery you have a permanent power source, and a tamper proof way to monitor a vehicle's location at all times. The Installed Vehicle Tracker has the same functions as the Portable tracker, with Geofences, speed alerts, an Arm feature, and location updates every 60 seconds while the vehicle is in motion. The installed vehicle tracker uses an extremely low 0.2mAh of current while in its standby mode. Many new vehicles have a constant 20-400mAh of drain on the battery with the vehicle off, so this installed tracker is almost insignificant to the normal vehicle battery drain, and will remain powered on for weeks at a time without any measurable effect on the battery. This ensures that even if the vehicle is stolen you’ll have location info. What if the vehicle battery is disconnected? The installed trackers have internal batteries that will also stay powered on for days at a time providing real time location updates. Because of the extremely small size and power draw of the Installed Tracker with Internal Antennas, this makes the perfect tracker for a motorcycle as well. Easily connected to a free accessory harness and tucked under the fairings of a sport bike or attached to the frame, it has never been easier to add location tracking to a motorcycle.


Instead of built in antennas, the Installed Vehicle Tracker with External Antennas includes dual SMA connectors. The included cellular antenna would mount to the unit, and the included GPS antenna has a length of cable so it can be mounted under a windshield or on the roof depending on the vehicle. This is a magnetic mount GPS antenna so it is simple to install, but can be easily moved or tampered with. 3Gstore carriers a number of cell/GPS antenna options with more permanent mounting hardware as well. Large vehicles like box trucks or 18 wheelers that have trouble picking up a GPS signal inside the cab can still be easily and accurately tracked by installing a roof mounted cell/GPS antenna.

 

In our hands on experience with the devices, we were quickly impressed with how simple the setup process was and how easy each tracker was to manage. We spent the most time testing the Portable Vehicle Tracker and the Installed Tracker with Internal Antennas. We’ve built up a lot of location history and trips, and have successfully tested every feature including the Speed Alerts, Geofence, and Arming. If we have one criticism, it is that the Geofence only lets you create a circle around the area you want to set for alerts. It would be nice to have the ability to draw a box around an area instead to create more controlled zones, but this is minor when compared to the overall features and performance of the device.

 

 

(Histotrack as seen through the web interface)

 

(Histotrack through the mobile application)

 

All of the Vectu GPS Locators and Trackers are accessible via a web administration portal as well as through a mobile application. You can create an account and add devices, manage contacts, view location history for the last 90 days, view tracking, set a Geofence or speed alert, and more. Vectu trackers all include the first year of service when ordered through 3Gstore, and require just a low yearly fee for use after that: the Personal Emergency tracker costs $24/year, while the On-Demand and Vehicle trackers cost $36/year. Setup of all devices is simple. Just download the mobile app or login to the web interface, create an account if you don’t have one already, and add the Vectu using the serial number on the device or bluetooth pairing (specific models). You can even share the Vectu with other users so multiple accounts can access and track the same devices. What about international use? The Vectu works in every country with the exception of Japan and North/South Korea. All of this puts the Vectu beyond any other solution we have seen or tested at 3Gstore.

For more information visit 3Gstore.com/vectu or visit the links below.




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 February 2016 )
 
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