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Monthly Archives: December 2015

  • What Are The Differences Between Thatcham CAT 5, CAT 6 & CAT 7 Trackers?

    Thatcham CategoriesIf you’re a motorist, you’ll have no doubt heard of Thatcham before. They test and certify vehicle security products such as car alarms and trackers. If a product carries the Thatcham Quality Assurance (TQA) trademark – recognised by the insurance industry - then basically, that means you can put your trust in it.

    When it comes to the vehicle trackers you’ll find here at Vehicle Tracking Tech, each of them are Thatcham approved, according to Category 5, Category 6 and Category 7. In case you’re wondering what the differences are between the categories and more specifically, what those differences mean in terms of the actual trackers themselves, this article aims to explain.

    Thatcham Category 5 Trackers

    Thatcham CAT 5 is the highest level of accreditation possible. Trackers that are certified as CAT 5 are deemed to provide the very best level of security and so they are particularly ideal for high value and luxury vehicles. With that said, they can be fitted to any vehicle.

    CAT 5 vehicle trackers must meet a number of specifications and criteria as set out by Thatcham Research, in order to be certified as such. They must offer remote engine immobilisation, motion sensors, automatic driver recognition (ADR), GPS and GSM technology and full police support (level 1 response).

    Examples of our CAT 5 vehicle trackers include CobraTrak 5 and Tracker CAT 5 Plus.

    Thatcham Category 6 Trackers

    A vehicle tracker accredited to Thatcham CAT 6, the next level of accreditation, is still considered to offer an excellent level of security. A CAT 6 tracker will have many of the same features as those that are certified as CAT 5, but without level 1 police response and remote engine immobilisation.

    Many CAT 6 vehicle trackers will include features like GSM, GPS and VHF technology, motion sensors and police support to aid the speedy recovery of your vehicle in the case that it is stolen.

    Examples of our CAT 6 vehicle trackers include CobraTrak Plus and Tracker Locate.

    Thatcham Category 7 Trackers

    CAT 7 trackers are ideal for motorists who are looking for a good security product that also delivers on value for money. They offer an excellent level of security, but they don’t quite meet the specifications needed for CAT 5 or CAT 6 Thatcham accreditation.

    Security features for CAT 7 vehicle trackers often include VHF technology, motion sensors and police assistance. For example, our CAT 7 vehicle tracker – Tracker Monitor – is supported by the police force. Many police vehicles have Tracker detection systems already fitted.

    Please take a look around our website for our full range of vehicle trackers. Our Thatcham approved engineers will install your chosen tracker within the price you see for each model. If you need any help or advice in choosing the right tracker for your requirements, please get in touch.

  • Keyless Go Vehicle Theft – What Is It and How Can You Avoid It?

    Keyless Car Theft“Keyless Go” vehicles have been around for a number of years already and are still proving to be very popular. Many drivers appreciate the comfort and luxury of being able to get into their car and start the engine without having to dig around for their keys.

    And they’re not the only ones. There are plenty of car thieves who also like the convenience of passive keyless entry systems – because if they have certain sophisticated equipment, they can electronically hack into them and drive away in someone else’s prized possession within just a few minutes.

    Vehicle theft is becoming so advanced that thousands of “Keyless Go” vehicles (including Audis, BMWs, Porches and Fords) are at risk of being stolen each year through electronic hacking or key cloning. It’s an industry-wide problem that major car manufacturers and the metropolitan police in the UK are trying to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

    How keyless entry and ignition systems work

    In “Keyless Go” vehicles, the driver has a smart key or key fob which they keep with them on their person. It communicates with the vehicle wirelessly once the key fob is within range of the vehicle to allow the driver to unlock the vehicle by simply pulling the door handles.

    The driver doesn’t need to touch the car key itself. The driver can then start the vehicle by pressing a start button inside, as long as the key fob is also inside the car (or in some cases, slotted into the dashboard).

    So how do thieves break into “Keyless Go” vehicles?

    In the event of the driver losing their key fob, many keyless vehicle systems include a feature that allows replacement key fobs to be programmed from data held in the vehicle’s electronics. This feature is protected by security software but unfortunately car theft is becoming so advanced that some hackers have managed to crack security codes and develop devices that can access the vehicle’s data and effectively “clone” a key. The process of key cloning can be done in a just a couple of minutes or less.

    The most determined of car thieves can disable vehicle alarms, smash a window, plug their device into the dashboard of a “Keyless Go” car and drive away in it before the owner has chance to call the police. Another way that car thieves break into passive keyless entry vehicles is to use a device to block the wireless signal when a driver is attempting to lock their car.

    Luckily, there are some things that you can do to protect your vehicle from this type of theft.

    Install a CAT 5 vehicle tracker

    A top of the range vehicle tracker such as the CobraTrak 5 will help put a stop to even the most advanced type of car theft. This particular vehicle tracker is equipped with Automatic Driver Recognition (ADR) – a small pocket-sized card that you’ll keep with you with driving. When you and the card leave the vehicle, CobraTrak 5 activates itself, meaning that if the car is driven away (or towed away) without you being present, you’ll be alerted.

    Then, if you confirm that a theft has taken place, a location and recovery exercise will take place by Cobra’s HQ and the police, to give you the best chance of your vehicle being delivered back to you as quickly as possible. This process uses the very latest GSM and GPS technology to be able to pinpoint accurately the location of the stolen vehicle.

    In addition, the CobraTrak 5 has a very handy advanced technology remote engine immobilisation feature. When your stolen vehicle comes to a standstill, it can be immobilised remotely to stop vehicle thieves in their tracks.

    See our other CAT 5 vehicle trackers here.

    Use Next Generation Vehicle Pin Protection

    The VTT PIN Lock is a device that connects to the vehicle’s CAN data network. It secures the vehicle by ensuring that it can only be started by inputting the correct personalised pin code (set by the owner) using buttons on the dash or steering wheel.

    It puts a stop to key cloning because a thief won’t be able to just add a new key or bypass the ECU to start the vehicle. The VTT PIN lock is undetectable in terms of diagnostics; it has no circuit cuts or radio frequency signals and is silent when in operation.

    The VTT PIN lock has been tested as compatible for use in many different vehicles including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Nissan and more.

    Disable your “Keyless Go” vehicle’s OBD Port

    Our VTT OBD Port Lock provides a simple yet extremely effective solution to combatting “Keyless Go” vehicle theft. It allows you to disable your vehicle’s OBD port when not in use. This helps to prevent vehicle theft and key cloning in particular via the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics port. Car thieves will simply not be able to use the OBP port and therefore cannot create a cloned key.

    Although many modern cars are fitted with some excellent security features as standard, not all offer the protection that your vehicle needs. Car thieves are unfortunately getting smarter and it’s definitely worth thinking about installing more advanced vehicle security systems so that you can be one step ahead of them just in case.

    If you need any advice on any of the vehicle trackers on our website, our vehicle pin protection or OBD port lock products, please get in touch.

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