How Far Can You Track An Apple AirTag?


apple air tag lost somewhere

Although they’ve only been around since about a year ago, many Apple users are relying on Air Tags to keep track of their belongings. It’s a pretty good idea, but exactly how far can you track an Apple Air Tag?

You can track an Apple Air Tag using the built-in Bluetooth functionality for about 100 feet, without obstructions, before you lose its signal. If reported lost, the Air Tag relays its location to nearby Apple devices registered to the Find My network, and then you’re notified of its whereabouts.

To find out more about the technology behind the Air Tag and how it can help you locate your items, keep reading!

Or if you are a pet lover, Can you use Apple AirTag To Track You Dog?

How Does The Air Tag Work?

According to Apple, the Air Tag works by sending out a continuous Bluetooth signal that any device on the Find My network can detect.

The Apple device sends the location of the Air Tag to the iCloud, which feeds it to the Air Tag owner’s device once they access the Find My app.

This process is encrypted to protect the privacy of anyone whose device detects an Air Tag. So, although you’ll be notified of where your Air Tag was last seen, you won’t know whose device detected it.

For users of iPhone 11 and above, there’s also the feature called Precision Finding. This relies on a U1 chip located in the Air Tag and the iPhone, which accurately detects the location of the Air Tag and guides you toward it.

How Far Can You Track an Apple Air Tag?

Using just the Bluetooth signal, you can detect the Air Tag using your phone for about 100 feet. However, this distance is measured outdoors, where no walls or structures are obstructing the signal.

Once you move indoors, the range drops to about 80 feet, and when you add a wooden or drywall, it becomes 50. Once concrete walls are introduced, the range becomes less than 10 feet, eventually fading completely if behind a concrete column.

As for Precision Finding, it uses Ultra-Wideband technology that enables devices that have the U1 chip to find each other.

This is helpful if the Air Tag device is out of sight, like under a pillow or behind a piece of furniture. Your iPhone will simply guide you toward the Air Tag’s precise location until you find it.

The Precision Finding feature is supported by models iPhone 11 to iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Older iPhone models can use the directions option, where the Find My app pulls up a map and shows you the location of the Air Tag. This can be done with a simple “Siri, find my (wallet, keys, backpack…etc.)” command.

For distances larger than 100 feet, the Air Tag uses any nearby Apple devices connected to the Find My network. The Air Tag sends out a continuous signal that’s picked up by any device in the vicinity, and the GPS location of that device is sent to the iCloud.

You can access that item’s location by going to the Find My app and looking for it on the map.

If the device is currently nowhere near another Apple device, you’ll see a “Last seen” time and location. This feature can work anywhere regardless of the distance between your phone and the Air Tag.

How Can You Find a Lost Item With an AirTag?

When you go to the Find My app, and tap on “New Items,” you’ll find the Air Tag on that list. If you select the Air Tag attached to the item, you can activate “Lost Mode.”

This mode allows you to add a phone number or contact information that comes up when the Air Tag is scanned with an NFC-compatible device, not just Apple devices. The person who finds the item/Air Tag then contacts you using that information to return the item.

An Air Tag separated from its paired device will beep between 8–24 hours until scanned with an NFC device. This is done to minimize any risk of using Air Tags for stalking.

Can AirTags Be Used to Track People?

A major concern many people share is the possibility of using Air Tags as a stalking device by slipping one into someone’s belongings. This is a valid fear and Apple took some measures to prevent that.

Thanks to the “Item Safety Alert” option on the “Me” tab on the Find My app, if you’re near an Air Tag separated from the iPhone it’s paired with, you’re notified of its presence nearby.

This works automatically on any device running iOS 14.5 or above. You can make the Air Tag play a sound so you know its exact location.

For Android users wary of the same stalking danger, Apple has released an app called Tracker Detect on the Play Store that helps you find any nearby Air Tags separated from their owners.

This app works by turning on Bluetooth and scanning for Air Tags until one is found. Once detected, you can tap on it and make it play a sound so you can find its location.

You can then choose to know more information about the Air Tag, like the owner’s name, serial number, and whether or not the owner put it in “Lost Mode.” If it’s not in Lost Mode, you’ll know it was planted by someone following you.

An Air Tag following you can be disabled by simply popping out the battery. This can be done by pushing down the back then twisting clockwise, then pulling out the back and removing the battery.

However,  the owner of the Air Tag will be able to see its last location, as mentioned earlier.

To Wrap Up

Apple’s new Air Tag is a nifty piece of technology that can make day-to-day life a little easier. Thanks to the ease of installation and wide network of supported devices, finding your wallet or keys has never been easier.

However, it can be used for malicious purposes as well, so best be careful and keep an eye out for trackers in your vicinity.

This can be done by relying on your iPhone to detect any nearby trackers, or by downloading the Android app on your phone.

Jason

This is the site where I share all of the information about home security. I have been working in this industry from last 10 years and therefore, sharing all my experiences and learnings.

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