Drones, while fun, are expensive investments. The flying devices can bring a lot of joy to your life, but losing or crashing one will hurt your wallet. That is why you need to keep yours protected at all costs. There are many ways to do that, but a good GPS tracker is one of the best ways to ensure your drone never gets lost.
There are several GPS trackers out in the current market, but only a few of them have the right specs, usability, and weight for drones. This article will cover the best to use with your flying machines by breaking down their characteristics and analyzing their most useful traits.
- The Tracki 2020 is perfect for users with long-range drones. This lightweight device works over an incredibly wide area and comes with a long-lasting battery.
- Equipped with smart alerts, the Trackimo 3G GPS Tracker is good for those who fly in tricky areas. This device is easy to set up and uses “fences” to make sure your drone never travels too far.
- While not made specifically for drones, the Optimus 2.0 is a lightweight model with many useful features. The battery lasts a long time, and the tracker provides real-time updates.
Who Should Get This?
Every drone pilot can make use of a good GPS tracker. These models do a good job of ensuring your drone never strays too far or gets lost. The real-time updates make them especially useful for those who like to fly in tough weather or harsh elements. Also, be aware that these trackers can be used for numerous items. If you need to keep tabs on something else in your life, such as a car or an important product, they work for that as well.
Best GPS Tracker for Drone: What to Consider?
Your GPS tracker should never be too heavy. While it may be tempting to get one solely based on its specs, purchasing a heavy device may affect your drone’s ability to fly. Avoid models that weigh more than a few ounces and know that lighter is always better. However, it’s also important to know you can get something a bit heftier if you own a larger drone made to fly in rough conditions.
Most high-quality GPS trackers come with some sort of app that you’ll use to follow your drone as it flies. While you never want to get a tracker solely based on its app’s functionality, a smooth, easy-to-use program goes a long way. Get something with a clean interface that you can quickly navigate. Any additional features built into the software are good to look for as well.
Remember that GPS trackers don’t exist in a vacuum, You need to actually get the device onto your drone. Search for models that come with special attachments or magnets that enable them to easily stick onto your drone. Bands or ties work as well.
Best GPS Tracker for Drone: Our Picks
1. Tracki 2020
This small device from Tracki is a great drone-finding machine. This model comes with a built-in SIM card alongside a Worldwide GPS Tracker that enables you to follow your drone just about anywhere. It’s incredibly accurate and provides you with extra real-time updates so you’re never out of the loop. You can also get those through text, email, or the handy Tracki app that works for both Android and iOS.
Another reason to pick this for all of your drone tracking needs is the low monthly fee. While paying for something is never fun, the upfront cost is quite low depending on what package you want. There are no roaming or cancellation fees either. This model also updates every five seconds and the battery lasts for days with no issue.
What We Like:
- Low monthly fee
- Nearly unlimited range
- Excellent customer service
- Multi-day battery life
- Small size
- Weighs around one ounce
- Battery can be replaced
- Strong magnet
What We Don’t Like:
- Not easy to start and stop subscription
The Trackimo 3G GPS Tracker is a strong utility device that enables you to find anything anywhere in the world. As long as you have cell coverage, this will give you great results. As such, it’s perfect for all types of drones. This stands out due to the multiple smart alerts, which give you quick, real-time updates on location changes and sudden movements through the medium of your choice.
This model also excels through the intuitive app and the virtual fence feature. That allows you to define different “fences” around any area on the map. If the tracker (and thus your drone) ever goes beyond that set range, you get an alert. That can be incredibly useful for pilots who like to fly in windy or rough conditions. Add on the micro-USB cable, strong magnetic stripe, and weatherproof case, and you have a multi-purpose tracker great for all conditions.
What We Like:
- Worldwide coverage
- Great smart alerts
- Easy to activate
- Can be used from multiple devices
- Micro-USB charging cable
- Strong magnetic stripe attachment
- Weatherproof silicone case
- Virtual fences
What We Don’t Like:
- A bit heavier than similar models
3. Optimus 2.0
While many trackers have good specs, they are too heavy for a drone. The Optimus 2.0 has no such issues. This tracker is one of the lightest around. It’s also extremely small and portable. That is a great combination because it means you can attach it to any drone and not worry about it affecting the machine’s flight. It does that through an incredibly powerful twin magnet case that will not come off in any situation.
This comes with an internal motion sensor that maximizes the battery’s charge while it’s not in use to give you more juice over a longer period of time. It also gives you minute-by-minute updates through Google Maps, as well as live alerts to either your number or email address. The device will even tell you if your drone exits a predefined area and will let you know when the two-week battery life starts to get low.
What We Like:
- Easy to use
- Durable shell
- Long battery life
- Lightweight and portable
- Strong twin magnet case
- Custom instant alerts
- Excellent companion app
What We Don’t Like:
- Twin magnet case sold separately
Useful Tips and Information
Once you’ve ensured you’ll always know your drone’s location, you can next focus on flying it to your full potential. While many people will just be happy getting it into the air, there’s nothing wrong with learning some advanced tricks to get the best possible footage.
Nothing can replace a solid GPS tracker. However, there are other ways to find your drone if it gets lost or dies during flight. This article covers some ways to get your flying machine back when a tracker won’t cut it.
A drone is something you never want to lose. However, even if you’re careful, you never know what might happen while you’re taking awesome footage of remote locations. The GPS trackers here alleviate that worry and ensure you’ll always be able to find your device no matter where the winds shift.
What do you use to track your drone? Have you ever lost it? Let us know in the comments below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.