The rapid advances in technology, and the high assimilation of Smartphones in our daily lives has resulted in the tracking of cell phones a very easy affair. Considered both a bane and a boon, the benefits of mobile phone tracking however, cannot be denied. From the retrieval of stolen cell phones, to parents being able to deduce and trace the positions of their kids, the benefits associated with mobile phone tracking are numerous. GPS tracking is used by the emergency authorities to pinpoint the exact location of the caller in case of a crisis. Moreover, modern Smartphones come with built in GPS feature which provide detailed maps of the user's vicinity, enabling the user to map out their routes precisely.
However, as is the case with all forms of technology, there are pitfalls associated with mobile tracking as well. A vast majority feels that the tracking of their cell phones is a crude violation of their privacy and freedom. The fear of identity theft and privacy invasion is ever prevalent, with many believing that this technology can easily be abused to intrude on the general population's privacy. It must be noted that such intrusions are considered highly illegal and are subject to very strict legal ramifications.
Here, it is crucial to mention that you can now find an "online phone tracker" to locate someone with ease. Actually, the term "Mobile Phone Tracking" is used to define the process of receiving and pinpointing the current position of a cell phone. A cell phone can be considered as a two-way radio, communication with a network of cells comprising towers and base stations. Cell phones, with their inbuilt transmitters communicate with the nearest towers. The signals are transferred from one tower to the next as the user moves to the edge of one cell and near the start of the next one. A decrease in the signal strength occurs when this happens, however, in urban areas where the density of towers is very high this loss in signal strength is not easily discernible. In rural areas, where the distances between base stations can stretch to many miles, the diminishment in signal strength is very discernible. Following are the methods in which cell phones can be tracked:
Network Based Location: Network based location uses the network of cells to locate the position of the mobile phone. In urban areas the service providers can pinpoint the location of a mobile phone by up to 50m. However, in rural areas, due to the lack of towers, the accuracy of this method of mobile phone tracking is reduced vastly. The accuracy of cell identification is the least accurate, with "Forward Link" method providing the highest accuracy. The accuracy of Triangulation lies between the two.
Handset Based Location: Handset based location uses various features integrated into the mobile phone to carry out the tracking. Features such as in built GPS and tracking software installed in the handset are utilized in this method.