AT&T Secure Family location feature review

Posted by Alex Zaah filed under Cell phone tracking

Every American mobile operator has its own location based family tracking service (Verizon Wireless Smart Family, Sprint Family Locator), and AT&T is not an exception. But unlike other carriers, it’s not called Family Locator, in fact, it’s named ATT secure Family.

AT&T secure FamilyMap lets you track any cell phone location in real-time that is part of your family plan, and you can view its location on a web-based map or receive Emails or text messages with location information, but the person being tracked will receive a few alerts informing he/she is under watch.

Zones and schedules can also be set up so that the parents can receive automatic Emails or short messages when their kids reach or leave the zone (like home, school), this helps the parents get peace of mind.

It should be noted that you need to install their companion app on your children cell phone if you need accurate locations and other features like content filter. According to their website, it uses cell towers to find the location of your children if companion is not being installed which is less accurate. I think that is acceptable as without the app you won’t be able to turn GPS on.

As a mobile operator, AT&T FamilyMap uses cell tower triangulation to locate a phone, it requires readings from three cell towers to triangulate the location of a phone, the accuracy is not that good. But if the cell phone is GPS enabled, the accuracy improves a lot. If you use a combination of GPS tracking and GSM tracking, the accuracy could be within a few meters which is remarkable, and it always works great. Since AT&T used to be the sole iPhone carrier in US, it would be interesting to make a comparison with Find My iPhone.

But when it comes to price, ATT FamilyMap has no advantages over others; $7.99/mo. to monitor up to 10 lines with the first month free of charge. Considering this, Sprint Nextel user would be happy about their $5/month plan.

ATT secure Family App is available on both Apple’s App Store and Google play store. I found out from one review that cell phone towers are used when the companion app is absent, and the accuracy could be some within a few yards to half a mile.

However deleting the app does not mean you are unsubscribed, you need to call their customer care or follow this link http://www.att.com/directbill and further instructions.

By the way, their app really sucks.

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