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3 GPS Wednesdays

GPS Wednesdays: November 25th

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Tips on Buying a Useful Car Navigation GPS

Knowing exactly what you need in a GPS device is very important before making the leap to buying one. There are car navigation versions, mobile versions, marine plus GPS add-ons for PDA and computers. All can be used or adapted for use in the car but none are suited specifically for use in the car like a true car navigation GPS.

TIPS When Buying:

  • Buy one that has voice navigation. This will help you to avoid prolonged viewing of the GPS screen while driving.
  • Buy one with an external antenna to ensure the clearest reception. Most comes with a magnetic or suction cup mount to avoid damage to the car or for mounting outside the car. A clear reception means better accuracy and a faster response to changes. Antenna should be waterproof and design for cold weather if mounted outside.
  • Good clear screen.
  • Hands free voice operation. Touch screens are cool but encourages you to use the GPS while driving which increases the chance of an accident.
  • Point A to pont B auto route mapping with alternate suggestions. It is always a pain to have a route mapped out to suddenly find out you have to deal with construction or an accident that brings traffic to a crawl. The ability to have an alternate route selected for you is crucial.
  • A good database of important locations and points of interest if you frequently travel on business.
  • Operates on both battery and AC Adapter for emergency use outsde of the car.
  • Comes with a simple mounting system that is secure and does not require damage to the automobile.
  • Ability to update the software via a computer with minimal work and at a reasonable cost for new maps.

TIPS When Using.

  • Do not enter your exact home address or mark it as HOME to prevent burglars from figuring out where you  live if your car is ever stolen.
  • Clear out the memory often if the GPS automatically records your routes. This is important again if you routinely travel to the same location. It only reduces the available memory but also gives burglars added information on where you live and when you will not be at home.
  • Place the unit where you have a good view of the screen without losing vision of the road.
  • Record routes of unfamiliar or rural destinations to allow for easy navigation back home later.
  • Determine the distance traveled to schedule breaks and gas fill ups for long trips.
  • Avoid adjusting the GPS when driving, stopped at a stop sign or red light to avoid unnecessary accidents.

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