We cannot undermine the importance of GPS trackers in today’s fast-paced and technologically advanced world. GPS trackers are essential security systems that play a significant role in ensuring the safety of our assets and vehicles. However, they are not without their shortcomings. They may go offline, leaving you frustrated and unable to track your assets. This article will go over six potential reasons why your GPS tracker may be offline and how to fix them.
Internet Data Balance
One possible reason why your GPS tracker is offline is a lack of internet data balance. Most car GPS trackers use cellular data networks to transmit their location information to a central server. If the SIM card in your GPS tracker does not have enough data, the device will not be able to transmit GPS location information to the server, rendering it offline.
To prevent this from happening, it is essential to ensure that your GPS tracker’s SIM card always has enough data balance to transmit location information to the server. The best way to guarantee your sim always has data is to use a post-paid data sim. Prepaid sims which are common, use voice and data and can run out of their data allocation. Post-paid sim cards on the other hand, have constant data allocated to them and the user is billed at the end of a usage period-typically a month.
Network Connectivity Issues
Network connectivity issues are one of the most common reasons why a GPS tracker appears to be offline or not functioning correctly.
The device’s GPS data is presented on the tracking platform’s web or mobile interface, which is highly reliant on network connectivity. Any network provider problems, such as signal interference caused by poor weather, downtime, or maintenance, can have an impact on the GPS tracker. Furthermore, its performance can be affected by the distance and direction of the closest mobile phone tower. This is because the strength of a GSM transmission signal is affected by range. When a GPS device is not in close proximity to a cell tower, the signal transmitted by the tracker may be lost.
Network congestion can also affect GPS tracker uptime. Cellular towers have a finite capacity of devices that can be connected simultaneously, and depending on the load, the device can experience a weak signal, which can cause it to go offline.
The last issue in relation to network connectivity is a poor contact between the sim card and the sim tray. The SIM tray is a component of a GPS device that holds the SIM card. The SIM card contains the mobile network information that the GPS device uses to connect to the cellular network and transmit data to the GPS server. The SIM card is required to provide data to the tracker and enable communication with the GPS server.
If the sim card is not properly fitted in the tray, it may cause the SIM card to wiggle, which can result in a loss of network connectivity. Additionally, if the SIM tray is not designed to fit the SIM card properly, it may cause the SIM card to malfunction or not make a proper connection with the device’s hardware, leading to issues with connectivity.
To prevent network connectivity issues from affecting your GPS trackers, it is essential to ensure that you choose a robust GPS tracker with a reliable cellular network and regularly. Finally, you must work with a professional automotive electrician that would place the sim card properly in the sim tray of the device and verify its compatibility before the installation is complete.
Obstructions such as underground parking, tunnels, and mountains can also cause your GPS tracker to go offline. GPS signals are transmitted from satellites orbiting the earth and can be blocked or weakened by obstructions. If the GPS tracker is unable to receive a strong signal from the satellites, it may not be able to determine its position accurately or transmit GPS location data to the server. Lastly, if the transmitting end of the GPS is enclosed or blocked by a metallic surface, your GPS tracker may also lose the signal.
To address this issue, you must use a GPS tracking service with multiple positioning systems, such as GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, to ensure that the tracker can determine the vehicle’s location accurately even in areas with obstructions. You should verify that the GPS tracker is installed in a position where the transmitter is not enclosed by metallic surfaces. We also recommend using an A-GPS device, as it is capable of using both GPS and GSM technology to locate assets. Aside standard GPS tracking, it uses the network resources of the mobile carrier to estimate position of a vehicle even under difficult signal conditions.
Tracking Platform unable to establish connection to GPS Server
Another possible explanation for why your GPS tracker is offline is that the tracking platform is unable to establish a connection to the GPS server. GPS trackers transmit location data to the server via the internet. If the tracking platform is unable to connect to the GPS server, it may not be able to receive location data from the GPS tracker.
Server maintenance is the main cause of this. During maintenance, the server may be down or have reduced capacity, which may make it difficult for the tracking platform to establish a connection. In such cases, users may need to wait until the maintenance is complete or contact the GPS service provider for assistance.
The next reason is server overload. When a GPS server is overloaded with requests from an unusually high number of users, it will be unable to respond to new connections. In such cases, users may need to wait for some time before attempting to connect again.
Lastly, if a user enters incorrect login details, the tracking platform may fail to establish a connection to the GPS server. This may occur when the user changes their password or when they have forgotten their login details. In such cases, users may need to reset their login details or contact the GPS service provider for assistance.
The build quality of a GPS tracker significantly impacts its performance. The most important component is the antenna in the device. The quality of the antenna used in the GPS tracker plays an important role in determining its signal strength and reliability. If it is designed poorly or not integrated into the device properly, it will affect the transmitting ability of the tracker, causing it to lose the GPS signal and go offline.
Another flaw in the build quality of a device is low battery capacity. GPS trackers rely on a battery to power their operations. If the battery is of low quality or has a limited capacity, it may run out of power quickly, causing the tracker to go offline.
Poor power management is another factor that affects the tracker negatively. GPS trackers usually switch into standby mode to conserve power in situations where the position of the asset isn’t changing-when a vehicle is parked, for example. If this feature is not working properly or not turned on, your device will run out of power quickly, causing it to go offline.
GPS trackers consist of several components, including the exterior case, circuit board, processor, and other hardware components. The build quality of the GPS tracker can affect its durability and resistance to environmental factors such as water, dust, and shock. If the device’s casing is of low quality or not properly sealed, it may allow moisture, dust, or other elements to enter the device and damage its internal components, causing it to go offline. Alternatively, if the internal components of the device have manufacturing defects, they may also cause the tracker to malfunction.
Lastly, the GPS tracker firmware may be outdated and may require an update for it to function properly. The firmware is the software that controls the operations of the GPS tracker. It is responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date location information to the GPS server, which in turn allows the tracking platform to display the position of the device in real-time. It also manages the device’s power consumption, ensuring that the battery is used efficiently and that the device can remain operational for an extended period. It also allows users to remotely shut down the engine in case of theft. If the firmware is outdated, it may cause the tracker to malfunction and go offline.
No Battery Power
Finally, one of the most common reasons why GPS trackers go offline is due to a lack of battery power. Normally, when the battery in the vehicle is removed, the GPS tracker switches to the backup battery in it. Once the power in the backup battery is depleted the GPS tracker will not be able to transmit location data to the server.
To address this issue, you should ensure that the external power (main battery) in the vehicle is connected. You may also consider using a GPS tracker with a larger battery capacity or a GPS tracker that has a power-saving mode to extend the battery life. Usually if your vehicle goes for maintenance and the battery is taken out, the GPS tracker may eventually go offline, once the battery is reconnected the GPS tracker will come online. Do not be alarmed, but take the necessary steps to understand the situation.
GPS trackers can be incredibly useful tools for businesses and individuals to monitor the location of vehicles, assets, and people. However, there may be times when your GPS tracker goes offline, and it is crucial to understand the possible reasons and how to resolve them. The six possible explanations for GPS trackers going offline include internet data balance, network connectivity issues, obstructions, the tracking platform unable to establish a connection to the GPS server, build quality and no battery power.
By understanding these issues and taking appropriate steps to address them, you can ensure that your GPS tracker will remain online and operate as intended. If you’re looking to buy a GPS tracker soon, make sure to read this guide first.