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Fake GPS

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Definition:

As more mobile devices add location-based services, more ways of determining users' locations are being introduced. "Fake GPS" simulates the power of the satellite-based global positioning system by other means.

Fake GPS is a general term describing the use of signals from cell phone towers or Wi-Fi hotspots to triangulate and display the position of a user of a mobile electronic device.

Fake GPS may be the only means of determining position that is built into a device, or it may be a secondary or backup source of position data used only when a true GPS satellite signal is unable to reach the user's position due to tall buildings, thick indoor walls, or other obstructions.

Limitations: Fake GPS does not work outside of cellular tower range, or if Wi-Fi signals are used, out of Wi-Fi range. Also, in order for Wi-Fi hotspots to serve as fixed location points, they must be accurately identified and their coordinates accurately recorded in a database, and not all Wi-Fi hotspots are databased.

Users will still receive the most accurate (within 3 meters with WAAS) and reliable location data from true GPS, but fake GPS is a viable option and a good backup, especially in major metro areas.

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