The Findster Duo+ is one of the only GPS pet trackers on the market that requires no monthly fee. The best part about that? You can use up to 3 different devices on a single app without a monthly fee. Unlike many other trackers on the market, the GPS is real-time and doesn’t cost more! Follow along with us as we dig into all of the good (and bad) things about the Findster Duo+.
A Pet Tracker with No Monthly Fee
In 2017, we reviewed the Nuzzle GPS tracker that also had no monthly fee. At the time, it was the main choice for frugal pet-owners looking to track their pets at an affordable price. However, the Nuzzle had average reviews and the device is a bit harder to find nowadays.
Here at Findable Goods, we are generally skeptical about GPS devices with no monthly fee. After all, the technology that’s required to power many GPS devices includes the same type of SIM card data that your phone uses. Many devices don’t only require a monthly fee but charge even more for real-time tracking capability. Instead, these devices allow you to pay less for tracking that updates less frequently. This is where the Findster’s MAZE technology comes into play.
MAZE GPS Technology
To understand the MAZE technology, you first need to know that the Findster Duo+ does indeed include two devices – one for you and one for your pet (called the Pet Module and the Guardian Module). These two devices communicate with wireless technology within a range of about 3 miles (4.8km).
Put simply, the Findster Duo+ works by having two devices communicate back-and-forth versus a cellphone data tower. Findster calls this their MAZE technology, but there are some downsides in getting a GPS tracker that doesn’t rely on a SIM card.
Findster Duo+ Range
When it comest to range, this is where we think the Findster loses some points for a few reasons. Let’s go through these below
1. The range is greatly affected by the environment
Like many Bluetooth and GPS trackers, the device’s accuracy depends on there being a clear signal between the two devices. If your pet were to get lost in a heavily wooded area or a relatively crowded neighborhood, there’s a chance the device won’t be that accurate. It might not even pick up a signal at all!
2. Three miles maximum isn’t that far
Dogs can travel for miles when they get lost – especially if something has them spooked or if they are in an unfamiliar location. Your dog could easily go three miles in less than half-a-day.
For cats, the maximum range isn’t a big deal. One study revealed that outdoor cats travel between 0.2 and 0.6 miles away from home. Think about your neighborhood, though, could it be affected by the barriers within your neighborhood?
Findster says that crowded cities can expect about 0.5 miles of range and 3 miles within an open field. All other places are a toss-up between these two ranges that are still affected by the barriers stopping signal between the two devices.
3. If your pet is stolen, the device pretty much becomes useless
If someone steals your pet and lives three miles away from your house, there’s no chance that you will immediately know your pet’s location. Instead you would have to drive around waiting on a signal to show, which isn’t guaranteed because of the potential barriers that also might affect the range of the device.
Findster Duo+ Durability and Specs
Each device weights under 1oz and is waterproof up to 3ft (1m) in depth. There’s a light that can turn on at night and it is shockproof. The GPS has an average error range of 5-10ft. It tracks by using its own app, which is available for iPhone and Android devices. The device also works in every country. Let’s dig further into some of these additional features and see how they work within the app.
Like the Whistle 3 and some other pet trackers on the market, the Findster can monitor your pet’s activity. It can show you their walking time, distance, resting time, steps, and estimated burned calories – all from the app! Think of it like a FitBit for your pet.
You can set up a geofence within the app to get alerts when your pet leaves a certain area. This is great for open areas like parks and large yards where interference with the device’s range is at its lowest.
The app also has leaderboards that record fun statistics about pets using the app – like their speed and steps. Check out the screenshots below to see more about how the Findster app works.
The battery is rechargeable and advertised to last up to 7 days. Like the range, there are several variables that might affect this. This is another area where the Findster gets some points taken off.
The battery life is primarily affected by the Live Tracking capability. Check out our table below that shows how long the battery usually lasts based on activity:
|Tracking on all the time||About 12 hours|
|Tracking on 1 hour a day||About 3 days|
|Tracking never turned on||About 7 days|
Bottom line: if you’re using the device as intended, it’s probably going to last much less than 7 days.
Wrapping it up..
Who is the Findster for? In our opinion, it’s best used for people who live in large open spaces that don’t leave their dog outside all day. Sure – that’s really specific – but look back at the range and battery life. It’s simply not a device designed to thrive in a suburban community and definitely not a city.
While the lack of a monthly fee is appealing, the Findster once again proves the reasons why it’s worth paying a bit more per month to get better functionality and peace of mind.
Interested in seeing more GPS dog collars? Check out our updated GPS dog collar buyer’s guide that ranks the Findster Duo+ against many other GPS collars currently on the market. Or, you can just buy the Findster Duo+ on Amazon. Thanks for reading!