Frequently Asked Questions

Why use Device Locator?
Device Locator is a service that is one part of a device recovery strategy. It will tell you the current Internet address and/or GPS location of your device. If it's stolen, just sign in and check its current location, and report the matter to the police.

Do I need to install anything?
For Desktop, Notebook, and tablets, you don't need to install anything to track your device. theDeviceLocator works with your browser (IE 7, IE8, Firefox, Safari). The browser sends messages to theDeviceLocator when it's running.

How does theDeviceLocator work with Smartphones?
We now supply a BlackBerry™ app that supports GPS tracking. More apps for other phones are coming.

Non BlackBerry Smartphones that have RSS readers can also be used with theDeviceLocator. However, mobile devices may be able to connect to the internet in many ways. Sometimes, there won't be enough information to track the device. theDeviceLocator's RSS mode will be able to give the most useful IP Address when the device uses WiFi to connect to the internet.

Does theDeviceLocator increase smartphone data usage?

Check-ins from a Smartphone will increase your data usage. We set the check-ins to occur once per hour to keep data usage reasonable.

Does theDeviceLocator work with tablets?

If you can set up an RSS feed for your tablet, you will normally be able to get the IP of the tablet. However, some RSS readers use proxies that make the IP information meaningless. For example, the BlackBerry NewsApp for PlayBook gets the RSS feeds using a server, and then forwards the feeds to your tablet. The IP address that theDeviceLocator will see is that of the RIM News Feed server.

Can I check that it's working?
We recommend that you check that your computers are checking in properly by viewing your account here at theDeviceLocator. Each computer or smartphone should show an hourly check-in and a useful IP address. Each BlackBerry (with app configured) should display GPS locations and a map.

What if my IP address does not locate to my area?
theDeviceLocator stores the requesting computer's IP address. If your computer connects to the internet via a cable or a wireless connection, law enforcement and your service provider should be able to determine the actual subscriber location.

If your IP address, when clicked, does not show that your device is located in the city you are in, it's possible that you have subscribed using a "Feed aggregator"- a service located inside another computer. You must subscribe to the RSS feed using your own computer.

Another possibility is that you are connecting to the internet via the cell phone network. In this case, the IP address may not supply enough information to track your phone. You'll need a different tracking solution than theDeviceLocator.

How do I track down my stolen device using the Internet (IP) Address?
IP Addresses are assigned by an Internet Service Provider to subscribers. The IP Address may locate a device geographically within a city. You need the cooperation of Law Enforcement and the Internet Service Provider to locate the Internet Address to the house level.

Can you disable a computer remotely?
No.

Can you wipe my smartphone remotely?
No.

Will you use my data for other purposes?
We won't sell your information, ever. Only the last 10 check-ins are kept on file - previous data is deleted.

How can I stop tracking my computer?
Go to your browser and locate theDeviceLocator RSS 'feed'. Delete it. This stops your browser from checking in. Note: A thief might do this too. You might want to bury the RSS feed deep in your favorites so it's not obvious right away.

If you are using our BlackBerry app, delete the app and restart. A thief might do this, so you might want to hide the app icon, or bury the icon in a sub-folder where it's not obvious right away.

After you stop your device from checking in, you can then delete the device from your account in theDeviceLocator.

What (Windows/Mac/Linux) browsers are supported?
Device Locator currently works with Internet Explorer 7 and above, Firefox 3 and above, and Apple Safari. It will work on mobile devices that include an integrated RSS Reader.

I want to track more than 10 devices. What are my options?
Device Locator is free for individuals and families with up to 10 devices. We will create corporate and subscription versions if there's enough interest. Note that we allow a single account per user and reserve the right to remove violators.
Contact us for more information about subscription options.

Can I purchase and install the Device Locator server on a internal computer to track all my company's devices?
Device Locator Server is written in C# for Microsoft ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server/MySQL. It's available to install on your own company's server if you wish to have complete control over your data or to customize the system.
Contact us for more information.