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Suggestions/help for a portable GPS car navigator?

Well, I'm trying to do some research on the different GPS systems out there but there are so many brands and models that I do not know where to begin.

Basically what I'm looking for is something portable to use while driving. Something that will keep me up to date on maybe an accident or congestion up ahead during my commute that might help me find an alternate route but still get me to my final destination. It will be on my dashboard and since I live in Miami, FL it will by sunny so this may be a factor with the screen.

As a college student, I can't be spending an insane amount of money on this thing so something affordable.

Something that is quick and easy to put in information, such as begin and start locations. Rather than going menu after menu after menu...

Something that will tell me straight forward where I need to go and turn. Telling me street names or numbers coming up that will tell me where to turn would help rather than having to guess how much 20 kilometers is while I'm driving on a busy road and then turn at that point. Not sure if there's something out there like this but if so please tell me.

Also I'm not too familiar with this but I'm guessing that you need to pay for a service in order to get this to work for you? How does this work? What services are out there? Are they fairly cheap or expensive? What do they offer?

As many may know, not only are there different brands out there but tons of model versions as well. Which one would be right for me?

Any information that you can give me then please feel free to let me know since I'm new at this whole GPS thing. Thank you so much for any help.

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read forums

In reply to: Suggestions/help for a portable GPS car navigator?

read other forums. There are plenty of people asking for help and some pretty good explanations. Also, look on www.craiglist.org to see if you can find a used one. Some people would be getting one as a gift or just upgrading. They would want to get rid of their old ones.

But for a specific model/brand. Garmin and TOMTOM are a couple of the popular ones.

They key is that the software can be pretty pricey as well. They come with a basic application but if you want the real-time traffic updates, you may need to go with a more expensive software version.

Take into account the monthly or annual service fee.

Your cell phone should do this too. I use verizon and it's free with my wife's text messaging plan that costs $10 or $15 per month. If I want to use the navigator, it's $3.00 for one day or $10.00 for one month.

Nobody can tell you what model is perfect for you. You should go into a store and look at them. Best Buy or Circuit City should have display models that will give you a good idea.

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GPS with traffic reporting

In reply to: Suggestions/help for a portable GPS car navigator?

Traffic reporting is a somewhat advanced feature for GPS, which might make the unit cost a little more than your rock-bottom device. Here's a round-up we did of GPS with traffic reporting that will narrow down your choices considerably: http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-3430_7-6562611.html

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