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No, an actual GPS device isn’t free, but the global positioning system that you’re using with the device is.
The global positioning system (most commonly known as GPS) works with with a network of satellites. When you’re down on planet earth your device sends a signal to a satellite which sends information back down, and then your system deciphers where you are and how to get to where you need to go.
So, you buy a device, and then use this system from thereon out. The devices themselves have improved a lot in recent years. They function better, the designs are prettier and easier to use, and the price has improved a great deal making better features much more affordable. You can get a touch screen, a variety of sizes and ways to hook the system into your vehicle, a variety of styles, and/or a large number of other features.
So how does all of this actually work? Well, above it was mentioned how the satellites find you, but that doesn’t really tell you how to use your device and what it can do for you. All most people really need in a device is for it to tell them how to get from point a to point b, and this is something every device can do for you, and that’s great news. It means it’s really going to be hard for you to go wrong when choosing a system. They can do so much more for you, however, and pretty soon you’ll wonder how you ever got around without one.
The primary feature that gets talked about most often is the ability to put in a point of interest and have it find it for you. So if you need gas now, or a hospital, you simply put that in and your system will find the nearest one. You can also choose how you want to get to your destination–do you want to avoid highways or toll roads? Do you want to take the shortest or the fastest route? You can tell your system this and have them navigate you there accordingly.
Other than the initial payment for the GPS device itself all of these features are part of the global positioning system and can be used freely.