Hardwired vs Portable GPS Trackers – Which Is Better?

Written By Alla Levin
March 30, 2023
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Vehicle purchases are increasing yearly with the continued popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT). Businesses and individuals with vehicles need to control their cars at any time and from any location. Many people wonder when buying vehicle GPS tracking devices because they are unsure which type of wired GPS device is better.

Choosing a GPS vehicle tracking provider can be challenging and complex, with numerous suppliers providing various packages. Based on their needs, they must select the finest GPS for them. Every GPS brand has its features, advantages, and disadvantages. Nevertheless, before delving into that, it is necessary to distinguish between the two primary types of GPS monitoring devices.

These are the hardwired GPS trackers and portable GPS vehicle trackers. Read on to learn more about the two types and which is suitable for a company.

Hardwired vs. Portable GPS Trackers: What are Hardwired GPS Trackers?

Hardwired GPS is more “wired” than portable GPS since it connects the vehicle’s power and ACC lines. The vehicle provides the working power for wired GPS. A built-in micro battery typically can make the device run for 1.5 hours to 2 hours after a power outage, preventing the device line from being cut off maliciously and unable to continue operating.

Advantages Of Hardwired Trackers

  • Installation is secure. A hardwired tracker is as secure as it gets, with a three-wire connection of power, ignition, and ground wiring. This device needs to be installed by a professional since it cannot be done without prior knowledge. They also have a tamper-evident seal on them. If the seal breaks, the firm will know the gadget has been tampered with. The tracker’s location is out of sight of the passengers, thus, that is unlikely to happen.
  • Reliable connectivity. Since the device is linked to the engine, the owner will never have to think about charging or recharging the batteries.
  • Data of the vehicle. Hardwired solutions provide several choices for improving a company’s tracking experience. These capabilities include the ability to optimize route planning and only track fleet driving. These features are highly beneficial to fleet management.
  • Additional features. Hardwired solutions provide several choices for improving a company’s tracking experience. These features include optimizing route planning and tracking fleet driving, which are highly beneficial for fleet management.

Disadvantages Of Hardwired Trackers

Hardwired GPS must be linked to the vehicle power line; the installation position is not flexible and can only be put where there is a power line, making it easily damaged by offenders and losing its usefulness.

Furthermore, the hardwired GPS device is always in the signal receiving/sending state due to the real-time positioning feature, and wrongdoers can utilize the signal shield/detector to interfere with the device’s operating condition or identify the device’s installation site.

Hardwired vs Portable GPS Trackers: What are portable GPS Trackers?

The portable GPS locator’s entire device has no external wiring. Thus, it cannot receive an external power source, and the built-in power supply limits the device’s operating duration. The positioning frequency selected by the owner determines the battery life of a portable GPS tracker, and the greater the positioning frequency, the shorter the battery life. As a result, most portable GPS locators have an ultra-long standby time and may be used for 3-4 years without battery replacement or charging.

Advantages of portable GPS TrackersAdvantages of portable GPS Trackers

  • Installation is easy. The automobile owner can easily install a portable tracker. It is normally mounted to the vehicle’s dashboard. They are tiny and compact, so they do not take up much space. They are also simple to use.
  • Safety features. The tracker will identify risky driving patterns such as overspeeding and forceful braking because it is attached to the OBDII port. It keeps drivers on their best behavior at all times!
  • Geofencing. This is a unique characteristic that portable trackers have. Geofences are virtual barriers that a business may define on a map. The firm may modify them to track whatever they want. Every time the tracker enters or quits it, the company will receive an immediate notification.
  • Track multiple things. A portable GPS tracker is simple to attach and remove. As a result, companies may use it to track various things. They can use it to monitor their vehicle and the drivers, among other things! The options are limitless.
  • Diagnostic of vehicle. This is a key characteristic of these trackers. They may download vehicle information via the OBDII connector and keep the owner up to date on the engine’s health. It is a regular feature rather than an add-on, which makes it even more convenient.

Disadvantages of portable GPS Trackers

In contrast to hardwired GPS locators, portable GPS locators have a single function and cannot be positioned in real-time. The location information shown by portable devices is the location information of the previous positioning, not the current location information. Therefore, real-time positioning is not available until the automobile is stolen or other problems arise.

How to Choose the Right GPS Tracker?

With the above-mentioned points, one can understand the advantages and disadvantages of both devices. Next is to choose the right one. Listed below are some of the reasons why some should pick the respective GPS tracker.

Choose a hardwired GPS tracker if

  • If someone is running a fleet and needs a GPS solution for it.
  • Not using it for more than one vehicle.
  • Use as a long-term solution. 
  • Anti-theft features and vehicle control are advantageous.
  • If theft recovery is the main reason and a priority. 
  • Don’t plan to depend on batteries.
  • If in need of solid data storage.

Choose a portable GPS tracker if:

  • If tracking is needed for multiple vehicles.
  • Need for personal use.
  • Don’t plan to make a long-term commitment.
  • A tracker that can be easily attached to anything.
  • If features like vehicle diagnostic and detection of harsh driving are needed.

Hardwired vs Portable GPS Trackers: Conclusion

Both types of trackers have advantages and disadvantages and provide unique safety features. Vehicle monitoring has become quite important, thus the business has various facilities and add-ons accessible. Cost is also an essential consideration. The GPS tracker a vehicle owner picks will also be determined by the vehicle owner’s budget.

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