The Findster Duo+ is a great option for pet owners who want to keep track of a runaway dog or wandering kitty without paying for a monthly subscription. Once you pay for the device, you’re done.
The Findster app is free and there are no monthly fees or contracts to contend with. It starts at a higher up front price than many other pet trackers, but the Findster Duo+ comes out cheaper than most after you add in the cost of one year of service.
We were bummed by some of the Findster’s limitations, though. Our tester, Kyla, hoped she could check in on her pup, Harlow, when she was away from home. She wanted to see if her roommates were letting him out as needed and giving him walks as promised. But the Findster Duo+ works only when both devices and your phone are in close proximity to one another. Depending on your needs, the lack of remote tracking could make a monthly subscription seem worth the cost.
We found the Findster Duo+ easy to use and our tester’s dog, Harlow, didn’t even notice it was there. We love that there are no monthly fees, and because it doesn’t rely on cell coverage, you can use it in remote areas. But tracking was spotty in the mountains and there was significant lag time for location updates. Here’s our breakdown of what the Findster does best and where it could improve.
Quick, easy setup
No cell coverage required
No monthly fees
Ability to track in no-service areas
No way to monitor remotely
Shorter range than advertised
Lag time to update location
“In a no-service area, Harlow would be coming up on me but the positioner in my app wouldn’t move until he was within a certain proximity. It was like in real time I can’t see where he is.”
Kyla B., dog mom and product tester
What Sets it Apart
The Findster Duo+ doesn’t use cellular service, which sets it apart from other pet trackers. Instead of relying on cell towers to pinpoint your pet’s location, it uses proprietary MAZE technology that communicates wirelessly within a three-mile radius.
The technology communicates between the pet module your dog wears and the guardian module that you keep with you. That data is uploaded to the app to keep you in the loop. The upside to this technology is that you don’t need to be near a cell tower. That means that even in a no-service area you can track your buddy if she wanders off. It’s also the reason you can get the Findster without monthly service fees.
The downside is that you have to keep the guardian module near your phone—otherwise, it won’t be able to update and send you notifications. You get real-time text alerts in the Findster app that let you know about your pet’s movements and the status of the device (if it loses connection or the battery is running low). The app also keeps track of routes you’ve walked with your pup, but Kyla found that the history got erased pretty quickly, which is a letdown if you wanted to keep a record of a favorite new hike so you could do it again.
The MAZE technology also limits your ability to check in on your pet remotely. If you want activity updates when you’re at work or on vacation, you can’t see what’s happening with your pet. The solution the company offers is to have your pet sitter or dog walker install the app and keep the guardian module with them when they’re with your pet. That way the app will be updated and you can check in to see if they got their nightly walk.
Tech and Specs
Up to 3 miles in open space
0.5 miles in urban areas
Immersion up to 3 feet
Up to 12 hours of live tracking
Up to 3 days of regular walks
Up to 7 days with live tracking off
iOS 9 or higher
Android 5.0 or higher
Pro Tip: For us, the battery life didn’t meet the advertised specs. If you need more battery life, some users recommend picking up a two-pack (for just $50 more). That way you’ll have a backup tracker ready to go if you run out of juice.
What You Need
Findster Duo+ equipment
USB outlet adapter
Nearly everything you need to get the Findster Duo + up and running is in the box. All you need to provide is your smartphone and a wall adapter to plug in the charger.
Kyla had an easy time setting up the Findster Duo+, but she found the setup materials in the box (and the app) lacking. The Quick Start Guide is primarily visual, so if you’re someone who needs more direction than pictures provide, we recommend checking out Findster’s online video tutorial.
Insider Tips for a Smooth Setup
To help make your setup as smooth as possible, here are some things we learned in the process of setting up our Findster:
Charge the modules first—if they’re not fully charged you can’t pair them with your phone.
Make sure you validate your Findster account after you create it in the app. Check your inbox and complete that step before moving on.
If you want to track your pet’s activity level, you need to complete the pet profile, which includes things like weight, gender, and your best friend’s birthday.
Once everything is paired, use the rubber belt to attach the pet module to your animal’s collar and go outside so the device can obtain your GPS coordinates.
Pro Tip: Kyla recommends fastening the belt on the tightest loop possible, to make sure it’s secure during an active romp.
Findster Duo+ FAQs
How do I contact Findster customer service?
You can find help for technical issues, including bugs in the app and setup questions, in Findster’s online Help Center. If you don’t find what you need there, you should use the app to send a report of your problem. The company recommends this course of action over sending an email. Here’s what you need to do to send a report:
In the app, go to the Menu.
Select Feedback, then Report a Problem.
Explain the issue and attach any screenshots or other supportive information that can help them understand what’s going on.
Press the forward triangle button (▷) at the top of your screen to submit the report.
Does Findster Duo+ work only in the US?
No. Because of the proprietary wireless MAZE communication technology that Findster uses, it works anywhere in the world.
How does the Findster Duo+ track up to three pets?
If you buy the three-piece kit, you’ll receive one guardian module and three pet modules. That means that you (or whoever has the guardian module) can keep on eye on three different furry friends at the same time. Each guardian module can pair to three pet modules, but each pet module can pair only to one guardian module. That means you can’t have two people in the same household track one pet simultaneously.
Can I use the Findster Duo+ to track my cat?
Yes. Because the Findster Duo+ is a standalone unit that attaches to the collar of your pet, it can work with either dogs or cats (or any other animal you put a collar on). Our tester did think it would be bulky and uncomfortable for a cat, but we’ve found many happy kitty owners online who love using it. If you’re not sure, consider taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it works for your feline friend.
Not Sure? Here Are Some Other Pet Trackers to Consider
We sent the Findster Duo+ home with one of our staffers, Kyla. She and her pooch Harlow put the Findster through its paces to see if it performed as expected. She also looked for what was amazing and what missed the mark. While they were romping through the wilds of the Wasatch Front, the rest of us pored over all the information we could find about the Findster Duo+. We looked at pricing, technical specifications, customer reviews, and other expert reviews. We also compared the Findster Duo+ to other pet trackers on the market. And when Kyla was finished, I took it home to try for a couple of days with my new buddy, the Wee Puppy Seamus. For more details about how we review products, check out our methodology page.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more