Have you ever lost your phone and did not know where to look for it? Or have you ever forgotten your phone in your public commute and had no idea how to get it back? Are you a worried parent of a rebellious teenager and feel the need to keep track of their location?
If you have, at least once in your life, faced a situation like this, then you will be happy to know that there is a way to get your device back or keep track of your child’s location for safety purposes. This method is called ‘Pinging a phone.’
What Does ‘Pinging A Phone’ Mean?
Pinging a cell phone means determining a device’s location with reasonable accuracy by utilizing the GPS installed on the phone. First, a message or signal is sent to the device via the signal towers. Then the signal is returned with the device’s GPS location information.
How Pinging a Phone Technology Works
There are two ways the cellular network provider can locate a cell phone location: Pinging and Triangulation. Pinging a cell phone is a digital process, whereas triangulation is an analog process of finding a phone location.
To “ping” in this context means to send a signal to a particular cell phone and have it respond with the requested data.
When a new digital cell phone is pinged, it determines its latitude and longitude via GPS and sends these coordinates back via the SMS system.
Why Ping a Phone?
The reason why this technology is used is to help locate lost devices. In addition to it, this technique can also be beneficial in tracking live locations of people with criminal records.
Other than that, parents of young kids can keep a check on their kids’ last location for safety purposes. Last but not least, pinging a device also helps find the location of unknown callers or harassers who make prank calls.
Under normal circumstances, tracking someone else phone is illegal. However, if you have been vested exclusive rights by the person to do so, you may proceed with your acts.
Methods of Pinging a Phone
There are many methods to ping an android or iPhone device, but in this post, we discuss some methods to ping a phone to locate the device’s location.
Location Tracking Software
The first method to find a lost device or keep track of someone’s location is by pinging them via location tracking software. Though there are plenty of them in the market, Google Maps is one of the best location tracking software. Other than this, Life 360 is also a good option. However, if you have not enabled GPS on your device or are using a fake GPS location on it, it would be difficult for the software to trace your phone. You can also use Google’s location history to track your device.
Default Phone Mechanisms
If the phone’s GPS location is turned off, you can use the phone’s default mechanism to ping the phone to locate the device’s location. By default, the android devices come with an inbuilt feature called “Find My Device,” Similarly, iPhone devices also come with this inbuilt feature called Find My iPhone that lets you track your phone’s location.
Steps to Ping phone using ‘Find My Device’
- On the first visit to android.com/find
- Next, sign in to your Google Account through Gmail details.
- Then, On the map, you’ll see the live location of the lost phone.
- Furthermore, you can remotely play a ringtone, erase the data, or can lock your device.
Steps to Ping an iPhone using ‘Find My iPhone’
- In Find My iPhone on iCloud.com, click All Devices. Next, select the device you want to locate. The name of the device appears in the center of the toolbar.
- If the device can be located: It appears on the map so you can see where it is.
- If the device can’t be located: You see Offline under the device’s name. The last known location is displayed for up to 24 hours. Select “Notify me when found” to get an email when it’s located again.
- To locate another device, click the name of the current device in the center of the toolbar to access the Devices list, then select a new device.
Tracing the Phone Number Details
The third method is tracing the SIM number inserted in the device rather than the device itself. Apps like truecaller help people find out the last number called, the owner of the phone number and where the number is registered location-wise, etc. This method will specifically help people deal with unknown number calls.
Ping From Computer
With the help of your computer, you can ping your phone to locate its location.
Follow the below-given steps to ping your phone using a computer
- Open the “Settings.” on the Android device.
- Then Tap on “About Phone”
- Next, Tap on “Status.” and get your IP address.
- Then turn on your computer and search for Windows Command Prompt.
- Following open CMD as “Run as Administrator.”
- Then type “ping” followed by your Android device’s IP address and press “Enter.”
Using the Phone’s Carrier’s help
If all of the options above fail, use the help of your device’s carrier. Mobile phone carrier companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile help their customers locate their lost devices or find out the location of their loved one’s device.
They do so by a method different from pinging, called Triangulation. While pining is a digital process, triangulation is an analog process and works by forming triangles to the multiple signals generated by the device.
In simple words, triangulation covers more than one signal given out by the device and tries to approximate the device’s location by forming triangles and closing in on the gaps. This method is legal and cheaper as well.
How Can I Prevent My Location From Being Tracked?
After mentioning all the details about pinging a device and tracing its location, let’s get down to the fact that some people out there still might not want to have either their device’s location traced. So the query they might have in their mind is: how can I avoid being tracked? The most straightforward answer is that you can do so in three ways.
Turn Off Your GPS Location
Turn off your mobile’s live location, and you have successfully vanished from live tracing software’s reach.
Turn On The Airplane Mode
The second trick to avoid being tracked is turning on the Airplane mood. This will prevent the device from sending signals to the closest GPS towers.
Turn Off Your Phone Completely
The third tip is to switch off your phone and take out its battery. In this way, no software or tracking device will be able to track its location.
Turn Off Location Services In Phone Settings
Go to your phone’s location settings and turn them off, whether iOS powered or Android.
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