HomeGadgets11 Best External GPS Receivers for iPad, Android & Laptops

11 Best External GPS Receivers for iPad, Android & Laptops

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External GPS devices are used for logging coordinates. You can use these external GPS antennas with Dashcams, iPads, and Android Tablets. You can use this external GPS device as a Vehicle GPS unit to track the location with more accuracy. With this external GPS Antenna and Offline or Online Map, you can convert an iPad or Laptop to a standalone GPS device. These GPS sensors are coming with a USB cable or Bluetooth to communicate with the base unit. The external GPS receivers can help extend your smart device’s life.

Here we present the best external GPS receivers that can connect to wired or Bluetooth. Always look into detailed specifications to find the right GPS receiver that matches your devices.

Dual Electronics XGPS150A

The Dual Electronics XGPS150A Bluetooth GPS Receiver is a wide area augmentation system. The XGPS150A is a portable attachment device that you can place on the dashboard. This highly-rated system allows you to catch up with several satellites simultaneously. This Bluetooth GPS Receiver will provide you with reliable and more accurate coordinates. With a recharge time of 2.5 hours, it can continuously work for 8.5 hours.

Dual Electronics XGPS150A

GPS standards are within limits of +/- 2.5m. Available in sleek black and deep white, XGPS can give you quick results via Bluetooth connections. XGPS150A also proves to be one of the best when it comes to altitude, it can be used from a height of  59,000 ft.

The external receiver can work as an iPad GPS receiver and has access to thousands of applications that will help you in the long run. Dual Electronics Bluetooth GPS Receiver comes along with a car charger to recharge the internal battery.

Device Support: Android, iOS | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Life: 8.5 hours | Buy from Amazon

Dual Electronics XGPS150A Multipurpose Portable Universal Bluetooth GPS Receiver | Wide…
  • Add Gps Wirelessly Via Bluetooth – You Can Greatly Strengthen Your Gps Signal On Any Device By…

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Garmin GLO 2 GPS and GLONASS Receiver

The Garmin GLO 2 GPS receiver is a Bluetooth GPS Receiver known for quality products. They can connect simultaneously with multiple satellites, up to 24 satellites. Also, the connection rate is found to be 20% faster than the generic connections.

Garmin Portable Bluetooth GPS

This Bluetooth GPS Receiver has a rough battery life of 12 hours of use. The packaging can come with or without the vehicle power cable. The packaging without the cable has proven to be ten times faster than the mobile GPS receivers.

Via Bluetooth technology, wireless connection to devices is made possible. The Bluetooth GPS Receiver will work perfectly with Android tablets, iPad, and iPhones. This makes it an excellent external GPS for Android as well as iPhones.

This portable Bluetooth GPS receiver is geared with optional friction. This friction pad helps not to slide away from the car dashboard, giving it self-protection. This also provides a direct view of the contact for the satellites for the ultimate data transmission. The USB GPS dongle can charge in two ways. One is via the USB cable, and the other is an optional 12/24 volt cigarette lighter adapter.

Device Support: Android, iOS | Connectivity: USB/Bluetooth |  Battery Life: 12 hours |Buy from Amazon

Garmin GLO 2 GPS and GLONASS Receiver for Precise Position Information on Mobile Devices,…
  • Connects wirelessly to your mobile device: iPad, iPhone and other Bluetooth enabled smartphones,…

Dual Electronics XGPS160 GPS Receiver

The compact size SkyPro is the attention-seeking feature of this portable GPS. XGPS160 shows the goodness of both Bluetooth GPS receiver as well as GLONASS satellite reception. It can show at most 10 samples per second. This means that it can obtain multiple satellite receptions at a time.

The SkyPro product can be used at the highest altitude of  65,600 ft. XGPS160 can also be at its peak potential at a maximum speed of 1,150 mph. GPS standards are on limits of +/- 2.5m CEP. The device can be used as an external GPS for iPad and can be connected via Bluetooth to up to 5 devices at a time. No lag time is noticed during the connection of devices.

Dual Electronics XGPS160 Receiver

The Bluetooth GPS Receiver is a direct successor and a better transformation of the SkyPro XGPS150. XGPS160 also has a highly sensitive WAAS GPS receiver, good to use as an external GPS for iPad. The SkyPro GPS Receiver comes with a one-year warranty. With an ability to multi-task, the receiver can also run multiple applications at a time, including social networks.

A few iOS-related apps still do not work with SkyPro portable products. This includes Foreflight and FlyQ. The product is recharged using a 12-28 DC cigarette lighter adapter.

Device Support: Android, iOS | Connectivity: Bluetooth |  Battery Life: 10 hours | Buy from Amazon

Dual Electronics XGPS160 Multipurpose Universal 5 Device Bluetooth GPS Receiver with Wide…
  • WIDE AREA AUGMENTATION SYSTEM – this highly sensitive system allows your device to connect to…

Garmin 18x USB GPS Navigator

The external USB GPS Dongle from Garmin is designed to use with vehicles and electronic devices. The GPS dongle is small and highly accurate to use on moving vehicles. The WAAS enabled UUDB GPS dongle has 12 parallel channels. You can get the serial port or USB 2.0 version for this device. You can fix the unit on a vehicle with the attached magnetic base. The sensor unit is small 2.4 inches in diameter and weighs just ounces.

Garmin 18x USB GPS Navigator

The GPS 18x cable can configure in three modes, A style USB, DB 9 pin serial with 12 Volt cigarette lighter adapter /PC, or bare wire /LVC. The PC and LVC can output data in NMEA 0183 data format. The configuration can save in non-volatile memory and have a built-in real-time clock. The USB 2.0 version is backward compatible with USB 1.1 hosts.

Device Support: Laptop, Garmin GPS | Connectivity: USB | Battery Life: NA | Buy from Amazon

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Garmin 18x LVC GPS Navigator Unit
  • High Sensitivity LVC Sensor with Bare Wire Connection

GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver

GlobalStat USB GPS Receiver is an early bird product. This sleek black device has a classic fashioned built-in GPS antenna. This ensures that the USB GPS Dongle accurately coordinates the required position.

GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver

This GlobalStat GPS device is highly sensitive and built with a low-power consumption chipset. BU-353-S4 is an added advantage of this USB GPS Dongle. The BU-353-S4 GPS Receiver has a rooftop magnet, which helps to hold the device firm in its position.

This external GPS for Android has equipped with SiRF CGEE (Client Generated Extended Ephemeris) technology. This technology helps the device to boot up within 15 seconds of switching it on. With the WAAS/EGNOS support, this USB GPS dongle has a 48 channel in view tracking criterion. With a SiRF GPS chipset, the device can detect three days in advance from satellite readings.

Device Support: Android, iOS | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Life: N/A | Buy from Amazon

Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro

Bad Elf 2200 is a Bluetooth GPS receiver that can connect up to five iOS devices simultaneously. This external GPS for iPad can work with most of GPS apps. It has a built-in LCD screen to display the device status in addition to the iPhone App screen.

This external GPS for iPad can display the location information, power level, trip data storage, and Bluetooth connectivity status. The portable PS receiver can record up to 100 hours of trip data. You can save this trip data and share it if you wish.

Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro

The built-in battery can support up to 16 hours of Bluetooth connectivity or up to 35 hours of just data logging. The portable external GPS for iPad is built to work outdoors with a rugged and splash-proof IPX4 enclosure that can use as an external GPS for iPad. The pack includes 3FT Mini-USB cable for charging, a 12-24VDC vehicle USB charger in addition to the BE-GPS-2200 GPS Pro device.

Device Support: iOS | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery Life: 35 hours | Buy from Amazon

Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (Black/Silver)
  • Connect up to 5 devices at a time via Bluetooth technology. Now also compatible with the iPhone 5,…

GlobalSat ND-105C Micro USB GPS Receiver

The micro USB version of the GlobalStat GPS receiver is an all-rounder product. ND-105C has a MediaTek GPS Chipset, which proves to provide high-tech performance.  The device has built-in GPS Antenna and backup battery.

Globalsat Micro USB GPS Receiver

This micro USB GPS Dongle is one of the smallest receivers. The receiver requires an android application called “PL2303 GPSInfo” for its efficient functioning. The Android device must also have a “USB Host.” 

The external GPS for Android is known for its extremely high TTF. The External GPS takes a minimal amount of time for a fast fix at a low signal level. The GlobalStat micro USB GPS receiver is also called an NMEA GPS receiver. This means that it is compatible with NMEA entwined technology.

With the compact size and portable design of GlobalSalt, it’s easier to use for portable applications. It supports NMEA as well as SBAS. The GlobalSat receiver supports up to 210 PRN channels and includes 66 search and 22 tracking channels.

Device Support: Android, iOS, Linux | Connectivity: USB/Bluetooth | Battery Life: N/A | Buy from Amazon

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GlobalSat ND-105C Micro USB GPS Receiver
  • MediaTek high performance GPS Chipset Very high sensitivity (Chip Tracking Sensitivity: -165 dBm)….

Bad Elf GPS for Lightning Connector

Bad Elf is an external USB GPS Dongle that you can buy if you are looking for more accuracy and battery life for the phone. This portable GPS can plug directly into the lightning connector of an iPhone or iPad. Apple iPad doesn’t have a built-in GPS. If you have an iPad, this GPS can be used as an external GPS for iPad.

Bad Elf GPS for Lightning Connector

This external GPS for iPad can provide accuracy up to 2.5m (9 feet), up to 1000 MPH, and 60,000 feet. The device is coming with a 3feet Micro-USB cable for charging your iOS device. The USB GPS Dongle is built with a 66-channel WAAS / SBAS / EGNOS / MSAS chipset.

Device Support: iOS | Connectivity: Lightning Port | Battery Life: N/A | Buy from Amazon

Bad Elf GPS for Lightning Connector
  • Directly plugs into any Lightning Connector equipped Apple device

Qstarz BT-Q818 66-Channel External GPS for Android

The Qstarz has an undying ability to last long. The Qstarz GPS grabs attention with key features like the long battery life and the sleek design. BT-Q818 has a 66 channel all in view tracking set up which leads to quick attainment and reacquisition.

The setting can be adjusted to 10 Hz high-speed mode or 1 Hz normal speed mode, depending on the use. If the power is used in low power consumption, the battery life can be extended to up to 42 hours. The Bluetooth GPS Receiver is considered to be wired and wireless at the same time. The model is built in a sleek black outer case with minimal buttons to provide the maximum advantage for the user interface.

QStarz adopts an MTK chipset at a high sensitivity of -158dBm. This 66 Channel GPS also shows a lower power consumption, which leads to longer battery life. This Bluetooth GPS receiver supported the best features of both WAAS and EGNOS systems simultaneously. This BT-Q818 GPS Reciever also has a setup for smart power control in the long run.

Device Support: Android | Connectivity: USB/Bluetooth |  Battery Life: 32 hours | Buy from Amazon

GlobalSat BT-821 External GPS for Android

The sleek black product is made to maximize output. The GlobalSat Bluetooth GPS receiver is made in such a way that its weight does not disturb the user interface. The size of the BT-821 is small, almost the same as the user’s palm. This Bluetooth GPS receiver comes along with a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. For the efficient working of the GlobalSat external GPS for Android, it requires an Android application called “BT GPSInfo.” This helps in the smooth flow of data.

GlobalSat Bluetooth GPS Receiver

Like any other GlobalSat product, this external GPS for Android also has 210 PRN channels. This, it includes 66 search channels and 22 tracking channels. The product has a 110VAC wall charger, and the charger is sold separately. The BT-821 will slow down and automatically hibernates after ten minutes of inactivity. This helps to reduce power consumption.

Device Support: Android, Mac, Linux | Connectivity: USB/Bluetooth |  Battery Life: 23 hours | Buy from Amazon

GlobalSat BT-821C Bluetooth GPS Receiver
  • Package Dimensions: 14.478 cms (L) x 18.541 cms (W) x 14.478 cms (H)

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QGP GPS Receiver for Laptop

This USB GPS Receiver works flawlessly well to pinpoint your accurate location. It uses the U- Bloc protocol to configure the device over a serial interface. The device as such, is minimalistic in nature and draws very less power. The high-sensitivity USB GPS dongle offers exceptional anti-jamming features. Also, it is multi-banded, meaning it could work via the GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, and SBAS.

A thing to note is that the initial setup is configured with the GPS. You could very well re-configure it with the required satellite positioning protocol of your choice. Compatibility is where this USB GPS Dongle triumphs. It works with almost all Windows PC and the Linux OS. One more thing, its rugged build quality makes it stand out among other USB GPS Receivers out there.

Device Support: Windows, Linux | Connectivity: USB A |  Battery Life: 20 hours | Buy from Amazon

These GPS devices listed here have wired or Bluetooth connectivity options. You can turn off your device’s internal GPS to save battery while using this external GPS. Since these external devices are highly portable, you can place them in a convenient location on the vehicle to grab more accurate signals.

The accuracy of these external receivers is far more than the built-in GPS of smartphones. These GPS receivers are built to work in extreme weather conditions and offer more accuracy than built-in phone  GPS.

Types of external GPS sensors

There are several types of external GPS sensors for tablets, including:

USB GPS receivers: These devices connect to a tablet’s USB port and provide GPS data to the tablet. They are typically small and portable, making them easy to use on the go.
Bluetooth GPS receivers: These devices connect to a tablet via Bluetooth and provide GPS data wirelessly. They are also small and portable and can be used in conjunction with a variety of navigation apps.

GPS-enabled cases: Some cases are available with a built-in GPS sensor, which can be connected to a tablet to provide GPS functionality.

External GPS Antenna: Some tablets, like rugged ones, have a port to connect an external GPS antenna to get a better signal.

The external GPS sensors for tablets are devices that can enhance the location-based functionality of a tablet by providing accurate GPS data, they come in different form factors like USB, Bluetooth, built-in cases, and external antenna.

FAQ: External GPS Receivers

What is an external GPS receiver?

An external Bluetooth GPS receiver is an inexpensive way to ensure that you always have reliable, accurate GPS data for your moving map apps.

How is an External GPS Receiver useful?

A GPS antenna is a device that receives radio signals from GPS satellites at varying frequencies. Once connected, the antenna expands the signals and converts them into electronic signals so that they can be interpreted by a GPS receiver.

What’s the optimum Singal Update rate preferred?

The update rate of a GPS or GNSS module is basically how often it recalculates and reports its position. The standard for most devices is 1Hz (Only once per second).

What’s the minimum number of Channels required?

The number of channels that your module runs will affect your time to first fix. Since the module doesn’t know which satellites are in view, the more frequencies that you can check at once, the faster you’ll find a fix. If you don’t mind waiting a little longer for a lock, 12 or 14 channels will work just fine for tracking.

What types of inputs does an External GPS Receiver come with?

Most of the External GPS Receivers come with Bluetooth, which by the way, is good. But there are quite a lot of external GPS receivers that offer the USB Lightning port mode of input.

Is it essential to keep an eye on the compatibility of the device?

Compatibility is something that should be given prior importance. if you own an iPad, which lacks inbuilt GPS, you should go for an exclusive iOS/iPad compatible external GPS Reciever. There are also quite a lot of cross-compatible as well as exclusive GPS modules available.



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