How Long Does It Take To Trace a Call?

We’ve seen it a million times by now in popular TV shows and movies. The team of detectives decides to track down the bad guys by tracking suspect calls. However, the problem is that whatever we’ve witnessed on our screens is far from reality.

How Long Does It Take To Trace a Call

How Much Time Need to Trace A Call?

One popular notion in the early days of cop shows was that it took more than three minutes to trace a call. It often resulted in hilarious circumstances where the cops had to find ways to keep the suspects engaged in crossing that 3-minute mark.

Tracing A Phone Call

It can’t be further from the truth today, where it takes some mere seconds to trace a call.

It is fundamental since telecom companies had shifted to electronics long back, which drastically reduced the trace time.

The best example of this process can be found in our caller-ID phones that adopt the same piece of technology. How you can view who’s calling at any given time is the same way that government officials utilize this technology to trace suspect phone calls.

Just as Government officials can use this technology, so can you as well!

All you need to do is to dial 57, which will redirect you to the phone company.

The phone company typically keeps a dynamic record of each of the incoming and outgoing calls that it witnesses. You can register a request with them to trace a phone call, which should take about a day to execute.

You can also call up your phone company in case of harassment complaints and other nuisances.

Now let’s look at device wise phone tracing systems-

Tracing a Call on Land Line, Cell Phones, Harassment Calls, & Searching Internet Databases

1) Land Line

It is arguably the quickest to trace a landline. The phone call can be traced as soon as the request is made. It is where discrepancies with Hollywood arise.

The Mid 1980s onwards phone companies switched to electronic switching systems, which allows for such accelerated tracing systems.

2) Cell Phones

Two major technologies have vastly simplified cell phone tracking systems. These are-

  1. a) Cell Towers
  2. b) Satellites

Most phones today are equipped with something known as “Global Positioning System” or GPS in short. It is a subsidiary of satellite communication and enables telecom companies to trace your call in the blink of an eye.

The fundamental idea behind GPS is the time taken by a radio signal to travel from the phone to a satellite and vice-versa. This time is in seconds so much so that the process is almost instantaneous.

This signal sent off by the phone to the moon is what is used to trace calls, and it works flawlessly.

3) Harassment Calls

It’s possible to trace calls that have been bothering you for a while.

All you need to do is dial 57 after you cut the call or stop ringing. Then you’ll receive a message with details of the traced call. You won’t be provided with personal information about the caller but will be able to recognize if it’s a harassment call.

You can contact your local police station to register a complaint against the caller, and strict action will be taken against the same.

4) Searching Internet Databases

Another way to trace a call is to search in internet databases.

This process isn’t the most efficient, but it does get the job done. This process is known as “Reverse Lookup”. You can get every possible detail of the caller using this process such as name, address, phone calls made from the number, and even the address of the telecom provider.

However, one problem is that different databases have varying levels of accuracy, which causes discrepancies. The best databases are the ones used by Government agencies such as the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Bottom Line!

Whether it is for personal reasons or for professional, knowing how to trace a phone call can be of imminent help in distressing periods.

It is conclusively the easiest to get in touch with your local law enforcement agencies after analyzing various modes of tracing.

The technologies they have at their disposal can trace calls almost instantaneously and are incredibly effective. Tracing a call today isn’t the same as it used to be in 80s Hollywood, it’s a lot better.

How significant do you find this information in tracing calls?

Do you have some other instances of using such technologies for tracing the call?  Share your views and experiences with us in the comment section below.

Avatar for Pramod Yadav

I'm Pramod Yadav, the person who owns and leads PCMobitech. I really love technology, and I know a lot about the digital world. This passion pushes me to create interesting content. I mainly write about Windows, Android, iOS, VPNs, and keeping things secure online. I make helpful articles, guides, and share tips & tricks to help you understand and use these things better.

Leave a Comment