How Does Marco Polo Compare to Tagg the Pet Tracker Advanced Dog GPS Tracking System?

The Tagg Pet Tracker is a cellular/GPS system that works with internet connected smart phones and computers to allow you to track a missing pet. The Tagg Pet Tracker is fundamentally different from Marco Polo in that you only own and control one piece of the system. To continue to use the product you purchased you must pay a monthly fee so that the manufacturer will continue to provide the cellular and internet services required to make the product work. These services currently costs about $100 per year, but (according to Tagg’s terms of service) the service fees may be increased or the service discontinued at any time without notice. With Marco Polo purchase the system and that’s it! Since you own it, you can use it anywhere as long as you want, just like a two-way radio, television receiver or most other consumer electronics products.

In terms of operation and performance, Marco Polo has a number of important advantages over Tagg:

  1. With the Tagg system the minimum size safety zone you can select is a 225 foot radius. This is over 3.5 acres of area and likely includes busy streets and other dangers to your pet. If your pet is anywhere within this area you will never be notified the pet has wandered. Marco Polo allows for a safety zone as small as a 50 foot radius to better protect your pet.
  2. The Tagg system only updates once every 3 minutes and the actual update rate may be longer due to delays in the cellular network – delays of 10 to 15 minutes are commonly reported. This means that not only does your pet need to be further away from your home than the minimum 225 feet, it must be outside that area for at least 3 minutes – maybe much longer – before you are notified. With Marco Polo the average notification time is 60 seconds and the absolute maximum time is 80 seconds.
  3. When tracking a lost pet the Tagg system only updates at a maximum rate of once every 3 minutes. Updates can also be delayed by the cellular network. A pet may run a significant distance in 3 minutes so you may be playing catch-up with your dog for a long time. Marco Polo updates once every 5 seconds to give you real-time feedback on your pet’s movement.
  4. Assuming your pet is lost within an area covered by a cell tower (now always the case!), the Tagg system gives your dog’s approximate location on a map. In the absence of streets or other landmarks it can be difficult or impossible to find the exact location being reported. Many users have reported losing their Tagg Pet Tracker device and never being able to find it. If your dog is injured or hiding, particularly at night, you need to be able to find their exact location. Marco Polo “homes-in” on the exact location of your pet, if you don’t watch where you are going you will literally step on them.
  5. When near the docking station device that signals the Tagg to stay inactive, the battery life in the Tagg will be about 10 days. Most users report less than a week of battery life in actual use. If your dog is away from its docking station the battery in the Tagg Pet Tracker drains quickly. This happens when you are walking your dog, traveling with your pet, or when they have wandered on their own. The maximum time the Tagg’s battery will last away from the docking station is a day or two. If the battery in the Tagg unit has not been charged for several days then the device may go dead within hours of leaving the vicinity of the docking station. Either way, when your pet leaves the home area, it is only a matter of time before the battery is depleted and you can no longer track your pet. With Marco Polo the battery charge will last up to 3 months when the pet is home being continuously monitored, and up to a full month when away from home. This is especially important in times of electrical outages such as when super storm Sandy decimated areas of the East Coast, disrupting power and cellular service for many days. In those circumstances the batteries in the Tagg units would all be depleted long before the cellular network was restored. During Sandy, hundreds of pets were reported permanently separated from their owners. During Sandy, Tagg owners would have received no assistance in locating their lost pets.
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