The Best Digital Trackers For Keeping Tabs On Your Kids

GPS watches, tracking tags and other safety devices for children, pets or the elderly so you can have some peace of mind.
The Jiobit is the smallest digital GPS tracker that gives you real time location updates, arrival and departure alerts and lets you know who your child is with.
The Jiobit is the smallest digital GPS tracker that gives you real time location updates, arrival and departure alerts and lets you know who your child is with.

The world can be a terrifying place. And for those of us who are already inclined toward anxiety, it’s easy to envision nightmare scenarios of at-risk loved ones getting lost or a runaway pet or child caught in a risky circumstance. Whether the danger is real or perceived, some caregivers, parents and guardians are using digital safety trackers to keep up with the location of their children and avoid potential peril, all while getting some major peace of mind in the process.

These trackers come in the form of small plastic implements or tiles that can be worn on the body or kept inside a pocket, and usually have embedded GPS technology that provides real-time location information to an app on your phone. Devices like the Jiobit have been gaining a lot of traction on the internet, thanks to the maker’s claim that it’s “the smallest and number one kid tracker” and can also be useful for pets, luggage or at-risk individuals. This wearable and waterproof device pairs with an app to keep track of the wearer’s location in real time, even when there is no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth available, while also offering a number of different safety features such as first responder emergency services, location sharing and custom geo-fencing.

Many digital trackers like the Jiobit use a combination of connection methods, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular data towers, to provide minute-by-minute tracking. Most of these devices, the Jiobit included, are operated via app and require a subscription plan to operate. (We’ve included a few watch-style options that even allow for basic communication in the form of calling and messaging.)

Ahead, you can find out what actual users had to say about the Jiobit, plus some information on other digital tracking options on the market.

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The Jiobit GPS tracker
The Jiobit works by using a patented progressive beaconing technology paired with multiple connection methods such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cell towers to provide minute-by-minute location tracking. There is also a built-in alert button that, when double clicked by the wearer, instantly notifies you and the Jiobit care team along with a 911 dispatcher who will contact you immediately. Additionally, a wander feature automatically detects if a child has wandered off too far and sets off an alarm so you can find them by following the sound –– a very useful thing in crowded spaces or large gatherings. You can also be notified if the tracker, which has a 10-day battery life per charge, has exited or entered predetermined locations that have been set as trusted zones.

Promising reviews:
"I bought this tracker to be able to track down my son, in case he should suddenly run away from us, when we are out. We have used this tracker now for a month in three different countries with very good results and we have had a very long battery life between charges, at least a week. I am extremely impressed by the Jiobit, the free app and the battery life. If the child is suddenly missing in a crowded place, you can go to the app and remotely activate a siren on the tracker, so you can hear where your child is. There is also an indicator in the app telling you how close you are to the child. This is efficient for indoor places where gps signals won't work and in also crowded places outdoors. If the child is too far away from you or any other member of the care team, the Jiobit automatically switches to the more power consuming cell phone data/GPS system, where you can track the child all over the world, no matter how far away from the child you are." — Preben Andersen

"We live in a small town in South Dakota. My son has Down syndrome and has a tendency to wander. I got the Jiobit specifically because we are headed to Dallas for a convention and was terrified he would wander off in the crowds and be lost. I felt so much better and was much more relaxed knowing I would be able to track him. We now use it everyday so I can track to make sure he gets on and off the bus and to daycare after school. I don't have to worry that he's not getting to where he needs to be. Recently we needed to use customer service and what a great group these people are. Quick, responsive, helpful. Some of the best online customer service I've ever had." — Sarah

"We actually got this for our dog that we adopted back in February. We wanted to get this for our newest family member so we could have peace of mind. The setup was VERY easy and fast. Also, their customer team even showed me some tips to get better battery life with my setup. They were really friendly and knowledgeable!
This tracker is smaller than you think, I was shocked when I opened the box! It’s easy to attach and the app is very easy to use. You can tell they put a lot of time into the design of the product and app." — Amazon customer
A kids GPS watch outfitted with Google Maps and messaging
This Bluetooth-compatible touchscreen watch uses the same 4G network as many well-known phone carriers to provide reliable tracking, messaging and calling. The GPS tracking system, which is powered by Google Maps, connects with an app to instantly inform you of the wearer's location, while also sending you alerts when the watch has gone out of a predefined safe zone. The wearer can also make and receive calls or messages only to and from a predetermined contact list set by you, and has access to an SOS button in case of an emergency. They can even use the watch to take photos or track fitness stats. This watch requires a SIM card and pairing with an existing phone and data plan to operate.

Promising review: "We have been very pleased with the features on this watch and the call quality. It's great to have the peace of mind that our son can call us if he ever needs us without the need for a phone. Overall, this is one of the best options I have found for a kids smart watch. The peace of mind is definitely worth the money." — Ryon
A 4G-powered tracker with geo-fencing alerts
Get accurate real-time tracking and receive high-speed updates every five seconds for up to two weeks per charge with this compact 4G-powered tracker that can be placed in cars, luggage, purses and on persons. The tracker and accompanying app allows you to create custom geo-fencing parameters that notify you when the tracker has entered or exited a restricted zone. You also have access to useful information such as low battery and miles per hour. This tracker requires a subscription to operate, which starts out at $13.95 per month.

Promising review: "My son recently started middle school and he insisted that he will bike to school. As a parent it was important for me to know when he reaches or leaves the school. As I didn't want to give him a phone yet, it was a dilemma for it. while searching Amazon, I found this little tracker. Its pretty small, a little bigger than the D size battery and fits perfectly inside my son's backpack pocket. Once inside the school, it does stop working, as my son puts his bag inside the locker and its hard for the tracker to communicate with satellite (or something like that), but it picks up the signal promptly when he start moving. On top of that the customer service is awesome. I've e-mailed them twice and have got a response within the first hour. If you want to track your loved one without an expensive phone, go for this tracker, you will not be disappointed." — Brajendra Bhujabal
A GPS tracker with anti-theft alerts and a one-year subscription
Great for anti-theft protection and personal tracking, this discreet GPS tracker connects with an app to provide four months' worth of tracking per charge when stationary and 120 hours' worth of tracking when moving. It offers instant anti-theft alerts if it detects suspicious movement, has geo-fencing capabilities and runs on a 4G network to provide real-time data all across the country. This package comes with a year's subscription, after which it costs $2.49 a month to keep active.

Promising review: "I researched GPS trackers for a whole month after someone tried to steal my scooter out of the back alley of my apartment building. I needed one with a battery life that would allow me to leave it on the scooter for weeks at a time, and with anti-theft alarms (notifications that would alert me if anyone started touching or moving it so that I could intervene right away). It had to also be small enough to hide somewhere on the scooter so that if someone *did* make off with the bike authorities could catch up to them before they realized there was a tracker and tried to ditch it. The Invoxia checks ALL the boxes and more. It comes with a SIM card and a one year subscription to boot. It was super easy to set up and charge and as soon as it was ready I hid it on my scooter. I get an alert on my phone every time I am unlocking it to go to work, so I know it will let me know if anyone else tries to move it too." — M.W.
An affordable and best-selling worldwide GPS tracker
Get unlimited worldwide coverage with this mountable tracker that has an international SIM card and uses combined 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks to provide the most optimal coverage available. It also utilizes Wi-Fi as secondary backup tracking. When providing real-time updates every 1-5 minutes, the rechargeable battery lasts up to five days, or up to 10 months worth of battery life per charge when receiving updates once per day. A subscription is required, which starts out at $9.95 per month.

Promising review: "We initially got a GPS tracking device to be able to track our special needs son in the event he would go missing. We pin it to his pocket when he goes to school, when we are out and about on the weekends, and when we go out of town or on vacation. The device has some nice features. It has a power button so you can turn the device off at night. Others don't have this. It has three buttons, one is an SOS button in case your child runs into problems, it will notify the app on the phone and let you know the SOS button was pressed. It has two other buttons as well that you can use for whatever you want to be notified for. It comes with a clip that you can put on, so a child can clip it to their pants. It has a little ring loop that you can put a key ring on. We put a small cable tie with a safety pin so that we could pin it to our sons pockets to make it harder to take off." — Stephanie R.
A two-way auto-answer tracking device with speakerphone
Initially designed to help with neurodivergent individuals or elderly loved ones, the AngelSense personal tracker provides accurate and reliable continuous tracking that intuitively learns the daily routine of the wearer in order to send alerts to a guardian if routine deviation has occurred. It also sends safe riding monitoring to inform a caregiver or guardian about things like delayed bus routes, expected ETAs and more. There is also a set of emergency search tools that allow you to talk to the wearer through a built-in speakerphone or initiate an alarm that can help you find them in a crowd. The AngelSense is free for the first month, then the subscription costs $39.99 a month for unlimited tracking anywhere in the country.

Promising review: "My child is autistic, and an eloper. Now more than ever with the closing of schools and no 1:1 therapy he desperately needs, he elopes more often. This device is a GODSEND as I'm able to find him if/when he runs off within minutes. Love the notifications and that I can call him, have it pick up automatically and I can tell my little one to stand still mom's coming! My neighbors also know he's a runner, and the fact that in an emergency they can have immediate temporary access to the app and his surroundings is fantastic to help me find him. I cannot say enough about how this device has proved so necessary to our lives, and as he grows we can give him hopefully some more independence!!! (BTW their customer care is wonderful.)" — Jean P McEnvoy
A GPS tracking watch with calling and texting capabilities
This SmartWatch phone alternative for kids uses a pre-installed SIM card and flexible data plans (starting at $14.99 a month) to provide two-way calling, custom text messaging, three-point verification GPS tracking and other safety features between the wearer and caregiver. The GPS functionality is also equipped with customizable safe zone settings that send alerts when the watch has entered or exited designated areas.

Promising review: "Some of his friends have phones or will be getting phones and while it sounded like a great idea in theory, my child is nowhere near responsible enough to have and carry around a $500+ phone. After many hours of research, I stumbled upon this GPS watch for kids! Not only is it very affordable compared to a phone but it’s also the most affordable in the gps watch category. The watch does exactly what I need it to! I can see exactly where he is at all times, I can get I touch with him and he can get in touch with me! At first I was a little concerned that having this watch on at school would be cause for a distraction but I was sold as soon as I found out the watch had no access to any social media and I controlled everything that was on the watch, and who he could and could not contact as well! This was the perfect solution and has proven to be the perfect solution. He actually loves the watch and feels pretty cool rocking it around his friends this summer." — AllyEmi

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