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Home > How To > How to differentiate real-time and passive GPS tracking
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How to differentiate real-time and passive GPS tracking

How to differentiate real-time and passive GPS tracking

By  GB Blog Official 2018-07-03 7363 2

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS is used for tracking something like location, people and so on. GPS devices or trackers can be divided into two types - real time GPS devices and passive GPS devices.

Real-time GPS tracker

Real time trackers are also called active trackers because they instantly show where the vehicle is located.

Real-time GPS tracker

In real time GPS devices, user can view the speed, location, and other tracking details. GPRS module is built-in, which allows the device to transmit the data to the server.


This is the best choice for businesses interested in improving the efficiency of their deliveries and monitoring their employees.


An active tracker is usually provided with geo-fence services which can help to prevent theft and recover stolen vehicles.



1. Accurate, live data updates

2. Monitor from anywhere

3. No chance of running out of memory

4. Save time and money


1. Monthly subscription fee required

2. May require regular fleet management software updates

3. Requires more oversight for most applications

Passive GPS tracker

Passive trackers store the information on the device and then download it to a computer. Therefore, Passive GPS tracker you can only identify issues after they have occurred.


These systems are good for people tracking their mileage for work purposes as well as businesses interested in reducing the misuse of their vehicles. They could check the trackers on a monthly basis and compile reports on each employee using this information.


Because passive tracking devices are much smaller and easier to conceal, they are often chosen for monitoring spouses. This is perfect for people who do not need immediate feedback and plan to regularly check the device.



1. Low cost, no subscription fee

2. Convenient, no need to monitor vehicle data

3. Simple, limited requirements to update asset tracking software


1. No real-time fleet tracking capability

2. Requires on-site data download

3. Limited memory storage

When selecting a GPS device, one must consider the present and future needs. After you make the decision between real time and passive trackers, your GPS shopping will be much simpler.

 You may also want to read:
 GPS Tracker FAQ - shipping, LBS location, mileage data problem
 GPS and GPRS tracking: what is the difference?


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