Although almost all new models have an integrated anti-theft system and many insurances push to adopt a black box with GPS control, it can be very useful to further increase the security on our new vehicle by secretly adding a portable anti-theft device, where you can insert a SIM and track the vehicle’s position in real-time via GPS and A-GPS.
In this guide, we will show you what they are the best portable anti-theft devices (which do not cost more than 40 Euros) and how we can configure them to be able to track down a stolen car immediately so that we can report the case to the Carabinieri or the State Police.READ ALSO: Bluetooth keychain to find lost keys
Best portable anti-theft devices for cars and motorcycles
Before showing you the products that you can buy on Amazon, we will show you what features these small anti-theft devices must have in order to be used effectively on our cars or large-displacement motorcycles.
Features of a portable anti-theft device
In order to be useful as portable anti-theft devices for cars and motorcycles, surveillance devices must have the following characteristics:
- GPS system: to be able to triangulate the real-time position of the vehicle, both stationary and in motion, there must be support for the GPS system and the A-GPS system (i.e. assisted GPS with the mobile data network).
- Cellular data connection: to speed up the connection of the satellites via A-GPS, a module is required for connection to the cellular data network (even only GPRS or 2G), so you can insert one SIM with dedicated offer inside. The connection to the cellular network will provide triangulation even in the absence of a GPS signal and will allow you to remotely manage the functions of the portable device via the app.
- Remote control via SMS: by sending precise commands via SMS to the SIM present in the device, we will be able to control its functions and obtain, always via SMS, the vehicle coordinates and other useful information.
- Motion and vibration sensors: to save battery and to react appropriately to every movement of the car, the portable anti-theft device must have an accelerometer, a compass, and a gyroscope, so that it can be activated quickly as soon as the vehicle moves and can enter “stand-by” mode when the vehicle is parked or stopped for more than 10 minutes.
- Geo-fencing system: the most advanced anti-theft models allow you to create virtual “fences” on a GPS map so that every time the vehicle enters or exits them, it will activate an acoustic signal and a notification on the app or via SMS, so as to be promptly notified of any successful theft attempt.
- Track the route: another function that must not be missing on an anti-theft device of this type is the trace of the route taken daily with the vehicle, so as to be able to reconstruct all the movements and stops made.
- Magnetic hooking system: in order to effectively hide it inside the car or in a metal point of the body, the anti-theft device must have a powerful magnetic plate, so that it cannot fall or move during the vehicle’s travel.
- Supply: we can find on the market models with cables that can be connected directly to the battery (more practical but also more conspicuous) and models with integrated lithium battery (which must be periodically recharged).
Obviously these devices can also be used to track a person’s movements, as seen in our guide to the Secret agent app for Android to spy, track locations, messages, and more.
Best portable anti-theft devices
After seeing together some of the features that portable anti-theft devices for cars and motorcycles must have, let’s see together some of the models that we can buy on Amazon, always saving something compared to physical stores (even if this type of products are rare enough to find in the shop, being very specific for surveillance and espionage activities).
The first model that we recommend is the XCSOURCE GPS Tracker Plotter (€ 23).
This device connects to the car battery and allows you to track every movement via GPS and GPRS, using both the dedicated app and the control system via SMS.
It does not have an internal battery so it remains in operation as long as charging the car battery allows you to power the device circuits.
Another similar device is the TKSTAR Mini GPS Tracker (39 €).
It is currently one of the most compact and easy to hide anti-theft devices, also thanks to the built-in 450 mAh battery, the powerful magnet at the bottom of the product, and the support for localization via GPS and via a cellular data network. It can be used as an SOS button function and allows you to listen to environmental recordings thanks to the built-in microphone. The battery does not guarantee great autonomy, but it can be connected to a USB socket so that it can always be charged with a device such as the AUKEY Car Charger, Ultra-Compact (10 €).
The best product that we can buy as a satellite anti-theft system is without a doubt the Winnes GPS Locator (48 €).
This device, the size of a hand, has a 5000 mAh lithium-ion battery, an A-GPS and LBS system for localization via the cellular network, a remote control system via SMS and the possibility of creating geo-fencing and to review all the progress made (through the dedicated app available for Android and iPhone).
The lower magnetic plate allows you to safely hook it under the body or on any metal part of the car or motorcycle and the large battery requires on average a recharge every 30 days (also depends on use).
How to configure a portable anti-theft device
To configure one of the devices indicated above, we will have to follow the user manuals (also in Italian) supplied with the package, even if in the end the steps to follow are practically the same on any type of device:
- Insert the SIM card in the appropriate slot, so as to be able to send configuration messages and obtain tracking via SMS;
- Once the SIM card is inserted into the device, we send a configuration SMS from our smartphone, containing the administration number to which to send data and tracking via SMS;
- After setting the administration number, we send via SMS the data relating to the SIM APN inserted in the device, so as to enable the data connection;
- Now that your data connection is up, we send an SMS to track the GPS position (the command is different for each device, we always check the user manual);
- As soon as we get the right GPS coordinates, we install the dedicated app for smartphones and use the device serial number and the default password to access the advanced functions of the device.
- As soon as we have access to the app options, immediately change the default password to a more secure one and set additional functions (geofencing, motion alert, shift alert, or low battery alert).
Some of these steps may be missing, so we strongly advise you to always read the user manual to find out the commands that we can launch via SMS and which app we need to download on our Android smartphone or iPhone.
If we live in an area subject to theft of cars or motorcycles, use a “smart” and easily concealable satellite device to be able to monitor the position of our vehicle at any time and receive a notification and an alarm when it leaves a specific area, when it moves at a certain speed or receives a significant impact.
As alternatives to these satellite anti-theft systems, we can also use an old, disused smartphone, to be combined with the apps seen in our guides Anti-theft app for Android to control and lock your mobile phone remotely from your PC is Mobile phone anti-theft device that blocks, locates and deletes the mobile phone via SMS.