How to Track the Location of a Cell Phone Without GPS

By David Sarokin

Cell phones can come equipped with global positioning system (GPS) gear that lets you identify your precise location and map routes to your destination. But even without GPS installed, most cell phones can provide some geographical capabilities by triangulating their position between cell-phone towers. They do this based on the relative strength of the signal between the phone and the towers. You can enable this capability on your cell phone by contacting your service provider.

Step 1

Enable the Family Locator service on your Verizon Wireless plan. You can track the location of another phone on your family plan through your own phone or on a computer using the Family Locator features. As of August 2010, the cost for this service is $9.99 per phone.

Step 2

Activate the FamilyMap service on your AT&T Wireless plan. FamilyMap is similar in price and features to Verizon's Family Locator. AT&T offers a 30-day free trial for the service.

Step 3

Sign up for Sprint Family Locator if Sprint provides your wireless service. Sprint's service is $5 a month (with a 15-day free trial) and tracks up to four phones.

Tips & Warnings

  • Triangulation locator services can track the position of a lost or stolen cell phone if the phone is turned on and the service is enabled.