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GPS Navigation vs. GPS Tracker: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It’s a global navigation satellite system that provides location, velocity and time synchronization.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) was originally developed for use by the United States military, but in the 1980s, the US government allowed the system to be used for civilian purposes. The GPS is provided free of cost by satellite everywhere and is always available and works anywhere in the world.

The common people tend to confuse between GPS navigator and GPS tracker. Often, we heard about why is there a need to install GPS tracking device which cost money, when there are “free downloadable” GPS apps at the Google play store, e.g. the Waze and the Apple Maps available on the App store in our smartphones. It effectively makes our smartphones work exactly like a standalone GPS.

The Differences between GPS Navigation & GPS Tracker are as follows:-

GPS Navigation

  • Never get lost – Always know where you are. For instance, when you make a trip to a new city or state.

  • Get detailed directions – Typing in your exact destination address, will ensure you reaching your destination quickly and timely.

  • Traffic information – Real-time traffic updates. If there is any type of traffic accident, road closure or hazard, the app will alert you and offer automatic re-routing to avoid stuck in traffic.

  • Show estimated time of arrival – If you want to go from point A to point B, it will show the estimated time of arrival based on traffic condition. So you can plan your trip.

  • Data Usage – GPS in smartphone uses mobile internet data. If you often use it, then you need a larger data plan to ensure it functions properly.

  • The Similarity: GPS Navigation System and GPS Tracker both receive data from the satellites.

GPS Tracker

  • Live tracking - Show you where someone else is – e.g. your van driver & where he has been. Unlike a navigation system, the GPS tracker is meant to display info to third party, like the fleet manager, who is hundreds of mile away able to keep track of the movement of his fleet.

  • Use Sim Card - Provided by the cellular network provider, e.g. Maxis. This Sim card is inserted in the GPS tracker which sends satellite data via the 3G network to the cloud server. GPS Tracker/Receiver forwards the positional data info to computer for use on a web page or mobile phone app.

  • Trip logs History - Details of a trip are available. Other key data such as the idling time, distance travelled, etc., are also available at any point in time.

  • Alarm alerts - For geo fencing, power cut off and speeding. Geo fencing enables you to create a boundary from which if the vehicle were to deviate in its route. Power cut off for an attempted car theft. If a driver had indulged in over speeding, the fleet manager will get an alert and record the driving habits of every driver in his fleet management.

  • Fuel & temperature monitoring – Use fuel sensor to track fuel pilferage in a truck and trailers. Alert when abnormal fuel plunge happened. Temperature control is being monitored during transport to make sure that the goods like medicine, meat, flowers, etc., are fresh and in usable condition when arrived at the designated company.


It all depends on your needs and requirements. If it is for security or tracking real-time location and convenience purposes, for instance, in the case your car is being stolen, or you have bought a car for your children and you want to know where they are in case of an emergency. You need to install GPS tracking device Malaysia, real time tracking system Malaysia or GPS tracker software Malaysia to trace where the last location, date is & time that your car is being moved away by a theft. The chance of recovering a stolen car/vehicle rate is much higher than that car/vehicle without a GPS car tracking Malaysia or Malaysia tracker GPS installed in their cars/vehicles.

Beside from anti-theft purposes, businesses such as car rental companies, distribution or delivery services, and logistic companies whom running a fleet management system Malaysia or fleet monitoring system Malaysia utmost importance & require to install GPS tracking system Malaysia, smart tracker GPS Malaysia and GPS system app Malaysia to monitor the behavior of their drivers, fuel usage using fuel level sensor system Malaysia and routes taken. They also can opt for GPS device with live mobile CCTV Malaysia for better efficiency operation of the fleet management system Malaysia as well as fleet monitoring system Malaysia.

By hkl_6038 16.04.2021

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