Losing a cell phone, though a very regular incident, sends a shiver down our spine for sure. Thanks to technology, however, locating a lost or misplaced cell phone is quite easy now. Cell phone tracking helps us ascertain the location of our phone whether it is moving or is stationary. The positioning system involves location based services to disclose the exact location of the phone. Tracking a cell phone is made possible either through the radio signals between the towers of the network and the cell phone. An easier way is simply through GPS(Global Positioning System).
Different tracking methods
Based on the network: A cell phone always coordinates wirelessly with nearby network towers. The network is often received from the closest tower. So locating the tower proving network to the lost phone helps us find the rough area the phone could be in. However, it is not very accurate.
Based on the handset: Client software installed on the handset helps us locate the phone. This technique uses cell identification and signal strengths of the home and neighboring cells. However, a handset equipped with cell phone GPS tracking can be more accurately located. An Android phone can easily be tracked through the Android Device Manager app from another phone or the web browser.
SIM-based: Obtain raw radio measurements from the handset through SIM(Subscriber Identify Module) in GSMs. This is possible even if transmitting radio signals though the handset is not possible.
Wi-Fi: One can also use crowdsourced wi-fi data to locate a lost phone even in cases of the poor cell phone network.
Hybrid: The Hybrid Positioning System combines network-based tracking and handset based tracking to locate a lost phone. Both types of data make the location more accurate. The utilization of the GPS and the information provided by the network to locate a phone is an example of hybrid cellphone tracking.
How to track a cellphone with GPS