You need to track a phone, but you only have its number and you don’t know how to do it?
You have come to the right place!
In this guide, I will show you exactly how track a phone by number.
You will see it’s very simple, just follow me !
Track your own phone
First of all, let’s start with a case of frequent use: finding your own phone.
This unfortunately happens very often with the increase in the number of mobile phones correlated to the dramatic increase in prices of the latest generation smartphones.
Yes, your brand new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy for over 1000 euros, you better be careful if you don’t want it to end up in hands that are not your own!
Let’s detail together the different solutions available to you to recover your precious lost or stolen device.
iPhone / iPad : Locate my iPhone
Apple offers a free application called “Locate My iPhone”, which allows you to locate and recover your lost or stolen iPhone/iPad.
In the latter case, you can activate the “Activation Lock” feature to protect your information and other personal data, as well as to block your phone to prevent its use and resale.
Be careful though, it is necessary to have activated this option (Locate my iPhone) beforehand on the device you want to geolocate, otherwise it will not work. If this is not done, I advise you to do it right away: apple documentation.
Then, you just have to either:
- log in to iCloud.com
- install the “Locate my iPhone” application
In both cases, you can then view the position of your lost device on a map, ring it to help you find it, etc…
You can also use the “Lost” mode which allows you to lock it and track its position, or simply delete all your personal data if you think your mobile phone is lost forever -> :'(
Finding your Android phone
For Android, the principle is the same for finding your phone.
The only difference is that you are much more free to choose the application, as always in the android vs iOS battle.
The easiest way is to install the application directly proposed by Google (Android system editor) which is called “Locate my device” (or “Find my device” in English). This application works for all devices running Android 4.0 or higher (i.e. 99% of the current market).
To install the “Locate my device” application, simply:
- Open the Google Play Store from your main menu
- Find the application “Localize my device” via the search bar
- Press on the 3 small points of the first result and click on Install
Once you have installed the application, you need to sign in to one of your Google accounts associated with your phone. If you have several, you can choose it from the drop-down list that will be offered to you.
You can connect more devices to a single account. You will then see them all displayed geolocated on the map. If your device is not found, it is most likely because it does not have GPS tracking enabled. If this is not the case, remember to activate GPS location on your phone.
You can similarly make your Android device ring, lock it and delete your data in case of permanent loss.
There are also other applications available that provide the same functionality, such as “Finding my phone“.
For Samsung devices, there is even a dedicated service that allows you to easily find your Samsung phone (in case you are connected to your Samsung account on your phone) by visiting the site “Find my Mobile Samsung“.
How does geolocation work?
Here we will focus a little bit on the “how it works” of mobile phone localization. If you are not trying to understand how to locate a mobile phone, go directly to the next section for the practical guide !
One of the technologies used to locate a phone is based on power measurements and radiation patterns (antennas). Indeed, the basic principle of mobile communication is used: mobile phones must always communicate remotely with the nearest base station.
Since the locations of the base stations are known and fixed, and since we know that the mobile phone is necessarily close to it, we can simply cross-reference the uncertainties of these bases: the point of contact is the location of the mobile phone!
And this invention is not new: the patent was filed in 1997 !
Another technology that can be used is satellite tracking. Indeed, today’s phones are actually smartphones (samsung android, iphone…), which communicate regularly with satellites through GPS technology.
In the same way, we can then cross-reference the data according to a triangulation principle (same principle as for finding the epicentre of an earthquake for example) and manage to track a phone by satellite.
Why track a phone?
Lost mobile phone, stolen mobile phone, different legitimate reasons can lead you to want to locate a mobile phone.
And yes, a little gem of technology, your smartphone attracts the lust of thieves. Your phone is also your most valuable companion whether for work, communication or even nowadays for entertainment, GPS in the car and all the other features you use daily on your phone.
All this can lead you to want to locate your mobile phone.
But don’t forget to reserve this tool for legitimate uses.
There are also other possible motivations.
For example, if you are a parent, to track your child’s phone. Make sure they are always safe, and that they are always where you expect them to be, at all times. Be alerted as soon as they move away from the area where they should be.
Track a phone by number
But let’s stop talking, here’s the section you’ve been waiting for: the guide to find a mobile phone for free thanks to its number!
Note: since we only use the phone number, it works regardless of the phone brand whether it is an android samsung or the latest iphone!
In order to make these theoretical aspects more concrete, I developed a small platform to locate a lost phone for free.
And to make geolocation even easier, simply follow this step-by-step video:
Video summary :
Click here to access the tool
Guide to track a phone in 2 minutes:
- Go to this page
- Choose the country of geolocation (you must know beforehand at least the country where the mobile phone is located)
- Enter the phone number to locate
- Click on “Locate phone”
This is where human verification appears. This check is necessary to ensure that you are a human.
To do this, we use a platform specialized in human verification: Human-Verify.
Their method consists in filling out an offer by credit card, as this is the only element that is not easily falsifiable. Once you have verified yourself, you unlock access to all sites protected by this platform, including eSpy.
Warning, this service is not free.
BUT there is a trial period. When you complete an offer, you are on a trial period for 3 days. If you cancel during these 3 days, you will not have to pay. Of course, during these 3 days of trial you unlock access to the platform (it’s the goal to try after all).
In short, if you don’t want to pay to locate a mobile phone, don’t forget to cancel your subscription within 3 days so you don’t have to pay!
To do this, nothing could be easier: you will receive a confirmation email after entering your email and bank details. Go to your mailbox. At the bottom of the email, in the usual little lines, you will have a link to unsubscribe, click on it, confirm. You have terminated!
Lost? Watch the video to follow the step-by-step process;)
Alert-note]For more technically experienced people: If you think that a simple “captcha” would have been enough to perform this human verification, try searching for “anti captcha” on Google and you will be surprised… ;)[/alert-note]
Only once the offer is completed, you will then have access to the exact location of the mobile phone on a Google Maps. Easy, isn’t it?)
Geolocating a phone using spyware
A second possible method to locate a friend’s phone remotely is to use spyware.
Install software on your phone that will run in the background and send the GPS geolocation of the device to a web server at regular intervals. Then, all you have to do is connect to the panel/user interface of the spyware you have chosen (often the panel is a website) and look at the last position of the phone you want.
This method has several advantages over the tool in the previous section, but also several disadvantages. Let’s detail together these differences and the different spyware programs you can use.
Benefits of GPS spyware
First of all, spyware has several important advantages when you want to locate a phone. Of course, depending on your use cases, these advantages may be more or less interesting. So don’t forget to define precisely what you need before you make your decision.
The main advantage of spyware over the remote location tool presented in the previous section is the persistence of tracking.
Thus, once the spyware is installed, you can track and trace a mobile phone number at any time and over time.
This means that instead of simply looking at the position of the phone at a time T, you can trace its path over any period of time.
This is especially interesting when you are more interested in the person’s movements than in their precise location at a certain time.
For example, to track your child’s or partner’s journey and make sure they didn’t lie to you when they said they were going to a particular place.
In this regard, spyware often offers a feature complementary to GPS location which is geofencing.
This consists in defining an area or areas in which you want to be alerted when the person you are watching enters and/or leaves.
For example, you can define to monitor your child around the school area during school hours: as soon as he or she moves too far from the school when he or she is supposed to be in class, you are alerted immediately. This allows you to react quickly in case of kidnapping or running away. More details on this feature when comparing different spyware programs;)
Disadvantages of GPS spyware
We have just seen some of the advantages of spyware, but you have to be aware that it has specific limitations that make it not necessarily your situation.
A first limitation is the price: from 20 euros per month for the cheapest, up to 60 euros per month for the most advanced. For this price, you don’t only have the GPS location feature of course, but it’s still very expensive if you only want to locate a single mobile phone with its number.
Moreover, software means installation: before starting to trace a device, you must install software (application) on it. This is done very easily and quickly (and software publishers usually provide very clear manuals to guide you on how to do it), however this does not take away from the fact that you must have physical access to the device for at least 2 minutes to perform the manipulation.
And this is not always possible….
In these cases, favour the remote location.Click here to access the online tool
Comparison of the different spyware programs to track a phone
|Monthly price||30-40€ depending on the version and platform||from 25€ (1 phone) to 150€ (25 spyable phones)||27€ (Basic)|
|Annual price||90-100€ selon la version (Premium ou Ultime) et la plateforme (Android ou iOS)||de 100€ (1 portable) à 500€ (25 portables espionnables)||168 € (Premium)||53€ (Basique)|
If you have determined that you need spyware to track a phone, I suggest you look at the table above to help you in your choice of software.
Personally I recommend using Spyzie or Hoverwatch: both are affordable, have the essential features to locate a phone remotely, and have a clear and intuitive interface.
This allows you to quickly learn the software even if you are a beginner in this field or in IT in general.
Frequently asked questions
Is the geolocation accurate?
The accuracy of the geolocation of a phone obviously depends on the method used. If you use our free remote location, the location is extremely accurate due to the multiplicity of access points. Count a few centimetres in urban areas and up to a few metres if you are in the countryside where the access points are further apart.
If you use spyware that uses GPS or satellite tracking, count a few meters on average. On the other hand, the more measurements you make, the more accurate the location will be. Thus, if the phone remains stationary for a while, the accuracy will get closer and closer to the actual position. On the other hand, if the phone is constantly moving (e. g. by car) the accuracy will remain within a few meters.
Does geolocation work abroad?
Of course! Of course! By nature, GPS/satellite phone tracking works wherever you are on the planet. On the other hand, for more precise location using GSM access points, the phone must be located in a country that has the phone: the more the better. This will give you a better chance of locating your phone precisely in the middle of Tokyo than in the middle of the Amazon, but it seems a little obvious;)
With technological advances and the strong growth of the telecommunications sector all over the world, you should never a priori encounter a case where you cannot locate a mobile phone through its number, except in really extreme situations.
What are the compatible devices?
Our system of remote location does not depend on the phone model you want to geolocate: so it works whether the phone is an Android device like a Samsung/Huawei, an iPhone, a blackberry or any other phone brand.
For spyware, it depends on the spyware used: I invite you to check the website of the software publisher on which you will find the compatible models. If this is not displayed on the site (it is on most of them), feel free to contact customer service to make sure that the software is compatible with your model. However, you should know that given the current market for phones, the vast majority of spyware works perfectly on Android and iOS.
How much does it cost to geolocate a phone?
If you want to locate a phone for free in a unique way, I invite you to use our free online tool.On the other hand, if you want to track a phone several times or continuously (e.g. for a month, 3 months, or more) or if you want to locate several phones at once, then you should switch to spyware. In this case, you should expect about 30 euros per month if you take a monthly subscription, or about a hundred euros for an annual license.
But it really works?
No no no, but I’m doing an article on it… :’)
The answer is yes, of course it works! I understand that you may be sceptical if you do not have a technological background: this is completely normal. But rest assured, with the technological advances of recent years and the multiplication of the number of satellites, locating a mobile phone using its number has never been so easy! The easiest way is to use our online tool to do it quickly and free of charge.
It’s legal to track a phone?
Yes, if no illegal or abusive use of the location is made (e.g. harassment) then it is perfectly legal to locate a mobile phone remotely. In fact, it is even used daily by marketing agencies who can send you promotional offers by SMS when you are in an area near a store, for example, to encourage you to go there. In addition, our online geolocation service complies with the DGPS and CNIL regulations concerning the processing of personal data.
You now know everything about how you can locate a mobile phone remotely, whether it is yours or not, and (a little) how it works behind all this technology.
If you want to spy on sms in addition to having the localization, I wrote a guide here to know how to read sms remotely.