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A GPS pet tracker can keep your cat’s or dog’s life if it ever escapes home. After spending a lot more than 25 hours researching and testing four trackers, including having Wirecutter staffers take them all on a holiday around Manhattan and a 35-mile bike ride, we’ve found the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor to be the most effective tracker for many pet owners. Not only is the Whistle 3 as quick and accurate at tracking as some other model we tested, but it addittionally gets the longest-lasting battery by far.
Who this really is for
A GPS pet tracker, like the majority of emergency gear, is something you hope there is a constant need to use. The unit uses an embedded GPS transponder in addition to cellular data signals to communicate your pet’s location at a given time Gps dog collar. The idea is when your pet escapes, you’ll receive a notice via an application, have the capacity to track its location in real-time, and be safely reunited.
Exactly how we picked and tested
A great pet tracker should really be easy to setup and must stay on your pet, so we started by evaluating the hardware itself. We looked at each tracker’s size and how securely it attaches to a collar. We also examined any power controls present on the collars and tested battery life in both “safe zone” and in the actual world. In the safe zone, the collar’s GPS radio is deactivated, significantly saving battery life. The safe zone is set by maintaining a link with a particular Wi-Fi network or base station, or by staying in just a defined area.
To track accuracy, we sent the trackers on a 35-mile bike ride in upstate New York, periodically checking the trackers’status and reported location. We also visited five locations in Manhattan to test both how accurate each tracker’s reported locations were and how quickly each tracker’s companion smartphone app updated. To read more about our test procedures, please see our full guide.
If you’re concerned about your pet getting away and you want a tool to help you easier think it is, the most effective option is the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor. This tracker is as accurate as any model we tested, quickly transmitting its GPS signal back to our phone. It lasts longer on a demand than the other contenders we tried, its hardware design is the better undoubtedly, and its smartphone software is equally well-thought-out.
Throughout our tests, we were able to obtain the Whistle 3’s location in a matter of seconds, and that reported location was always close enough to the actual location that we’d manage to find our pet easily. We like that the Whistle 3’s smartphone app shows you not just where the tracker is but also where you stand in terms of it, which is handy if you’re looking for your pet in a unfamiliar area. The app also features a button to refresh the positioning manually, something other trackers’apps lack.
Where the Whistle 3 most sets itself apart from other models is in battery life. When left undisturbed in a very home Wi-Fi safe zone, it didn’t just last longer than some other tracker—it even surpassed the quantity of time we allotted for the test. Thirteen days to the test, and six days following the next-longest battery gave out, the Whistle 3’s battery was still at 69 percent.
The Whistle 3 won’t come off if you hold down a spring-loaded button and twist a quarter turn, an action your opposable-thumb-lacking companion is unlikely to purposefully or accidentally take. The Whistle 3 can be rated IP67, meaning it’s dust-tight and can survive being immersed in up to and including meter of water.
Similar to competing trackers, the Whistle 3 requires a 3G service plan. You are able to choose to pay for $10 per month without any commitment, or save by spending money on annually ($100) as well as two ($170) in advance.