Question: I am new to the Internet and the online world, but I understand that it is possible to track any lost or stolen mobile phone using free tools, etc. With the advancement in technology I was wondering if it is possible to tell me what are the ways we can use to find our lost or stolen mobile phone for free?
The “for free” part makes the answer difficult to answer. This is because there are very little free methods that lets you track a mobile phone. Our mobile tracking guide covers most of the techniques where we have mentioned both free and paid solutions for cellular tracking.
The first technique, and a one that is very popular, is to get in touch with the cops. Registering a complaint at your nearest police station should help you in many ways. Note that some stations require you to pay money to file a complaint (depends on your country). Once you have filed a complaint for your missing or stolen phone, all you need to do is wait.
The police officers will get in touch with the network carrier. For example, if you lost a Vodafone iPhone then police officers will talk to Vodafone representative for more details. They will try to track the current location of the phone, given that the device is not switched OFF and the SIM card (if it’s a GSM phone) is not thrown away.
The second technique is only for smartphones. Many smartphones like Apple iPhone and Android-based phones have a marketplace from where they can download apps by connecting to the Internet. These “third-party” apps are available in the form of both free and paid apps. For iPhones, we have covered substantial amount of apps in our iPhone Tracking Apps & Software section.
The third technique, one that is again available only for smartphones, is to use built-in app trackers. iOS devices like Apple iPhone and Android phones have built-in tracking application where you can remotely track the location of the device from your computer. All the GPS-enabled phones can be tracked using this technique.
More Ways to Use Technology to Find Lost or Stolen Phones:
While the methods shared below may not be entirely free, but they are worth mentioning.
Satellite Tracking: Thanks to our fast-paced technology, it is now easier to track a phone using satellite tracking system. All the mobile phones, vehicles, and hundreds of operations are monitored and tracked through a satellite. The technique is not easily accessible to a common people.
GPS Tracking: There are many GPS tracking units which will help you to find the location of any person or any asset like vehicle, truck, cell phone, etc. The coordinates are calculated to obtain the current location. There are even GPS tracking devices called GPS Logger which logs the data and remotely sends them. This is similar to what you see in detective films, although the size of the device is a little big. GPS tracking is also possible through smartphones, given the app is installed prior to losing the device. Note that most of the physical GPS tracking devices are for devices on GSM network and have GPRS support.
SIM Card tracking: This is similar to the first technique we have mentioned, although more effort is required here. First, you have to get in touch with the SIM card provider and ask them to locate the phone’s location. More often than not, the request is often ignored if you have no solid internal connection. This is why it is important to get in touch with police and let them handle the situation. There are even more sophisticated SIM card tracking methods that are rarely talked about in public.
Although we have a section titled IMEI tracking but you won’t be able to track the location of the device. Using the 15-digit IMEI number of the phone it is, however, possible to block access to your phone’s contacts, photos, etc.