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The best key finders of 2023: Locate your lost stuff!


"WHERE. ARE. MY. KEYS?!" Few things in life are more aggravating than lost stuff. Car keys, phones, wallets, purses, luggage.... when items like these go missing, a good day can turn sour in a hurry. Technology to the rescue! With inexpensive trackers attached to your possessions, you can minimize the hair-pulling. These little battery-powered gizmos link to your phone via Bluetooth; a tap is all it takes to make one beep if a lost item is in range. And if it's not — it's currently making its way around town in that Uber, for example — you may be able to leverage a network of other users to help retrieve it. Below I've rounded up the best key finders of 2023.

From left to right: The Apple AirTag, Eufy SmartTrack Link, Tile Pro, Pebblebee Clip and Chipolo One Spot are all roughly the same size. (Photo: Rick Broida/Yahoo)
From left to right: The Apple AirTag, Eufy SmartTrack Link, Tile Pro, Pebblebee Clip and Chipolo One Spot are all roughly the same size. (Photo: Rick Broida/Yahoo)

Here's more good news: Most of these gadgets are quite affordable, with prices ranging from $20 to $35, sometimes with discounts if you buy multiples. (Apple AirTags, for example, cost $29 individually but $99 in a pack of four.) It's a small price to pay for a pretty huge convenience, to say nothing of peace of mind avoiding lost keys.

What kind of range do key finders have?

Bluetooth is the primary wireless technology employed for key trackers, and its finding capabilities have an effective range of only about 33 feet. Walls, doors and floors can greatly reduce that range, as can electromagnetic interference. A purse, bag or other valuable left in your car, for example, might not be trackable (or audible) from inside the house. Therefore, each tracker's rated range needs to be taken with a big grain of salt.

Quick Overview

But, wait, you've probably heard stories of Apple AirTag users locating lost luggage, stolen bicycles and so on. How is that possible given Bluetooth's range limitations? Simple: AirTags also rely on Apple's Find My network, and that network is powered by nearly every iPhone user — all 1.2 billion of them worldwide. In other words, if I'm home in Detroit and my AirTag-equipped suitcase is in Nashville, I might be able to pinpoint the location of your keys if there's another iPhone user standing close to it (and those odds are pretty good).

Yes, there are some privacy and security concerns that go with this, though I think the benefits far outweigh the risks. An AirTag offers arguably the single best method of tracking that's currently available, which is why it's a top pick for iPhone users.

If you want to learn more about all this, including differences between bluetooth key finders and how I tested them, there's a longer, more detailed version of this story over at Yahoo (with complete reviews of each product).

A short summation: Key finders, while effective in some respects, aren't foolproof. But they're definitely better than nothing, and very affordable to boot. Here are my thoughts on the five I tested.

If it's within 30 feet, your phone will find it — right down to the centimeter. If it's lost somewhere in the world, Apple's Find My network should help you pinpoint it. Alas, it's one-way only and comes without a case or clip.
$29 at Amazon
It's just like an AirTag, except louder and with a keyring hole. It doesn't work with Android, though, and it lacks Apple's ultra-wideband capability for precision locating.
$28 at Amazon
It's a bargain, no question, and it supports Apple's venerable Find My network. But setup was challenging and certain features aren't implemented well. What's more, Eufy doesn't seem certain as to whether its own product works with Android.
$20 at Amazon
With its rechargeable battery, flashing LEDs and varied selection of "here I am!" sounds, the Clip is one of the most versatile trackers you can get. It's also one of the most user-friendly.
$30 at Amazon

Equally well-suited to Android and iPhone users, the Tile Pro offers great range, useful two-way communication, loud ringer and a fairly robust user network. It's a few bucks more than the competition, but multi-pack discounts are available.

$35 at Amazon