How Do Apple AirTags Work?
Despite being about the same size as a quarter, an Apple AirTag is actually a clever electronic device that helps simplify your life and reduce the risk of losing your valuables and other essentials.
Apple AirTags are designed to help you keep track of commonly lost or misplaced items like car keys, purses, luggage, etc. They’re small, discrete, and customizable, and they work in collaboration with the “Find My” tool on your iPhone or iPad.
To put it simply, an Apple AirTag is a small, round, trackable electronic device that kind of looks like a coin. You can insert this device into a keychain holder and attach it to a key ring or bag, or you can simply place it into the pocket of your purse or luggage. Once you connect the AirTag to your Apple “Find My” network using Bluetooth, you will always be able to find your AirTag and whatever item it’s attached to.
Features & Benefits of Apple AirTag
- Bluetooth enabled (precision trackable within about 15 to 30 feet*)
- Water and dust resistant
- Coin cell battery operated (replaceable, lasts about 1 year)
- Customizable (have it engraved with your initials or an emoji)
*If you are more than 30 feet away from your AirTag, the Find My network on your iPhone should still be able to tell you the general location of your device. However, you will not be able to see its exact location until you are within Bluetooth proximity (closer than about 30 feet).
You can read more about the AirTag’s technical specifications here.
Unfortunately, AirTags do not come with key chain holders or key rings. You can shop for AirTag accessories, including keychains and carabiners, on Apple.com here.
Are AirTags Safe & Secure?
One thing many people wonder about AirTags is whether they’re safe. After all, if you can use an AirTag to track your own belongings, can other people use AirTags to track you?
Technically, yes–but it would be pretty hard to do. If you are the owner of an AirTag, you will receive alerts if someone else’s AirTag ends up in your stuff. That said, these alerts are only sent out if the owner of the other AirTag is not in the area. This is designed to discourage unwanted tracking without unnecessarily pinging people every time they’re in the presence of someone else’s AirTag.
Individual AirTags are only trackable if they have been configured with a specific device such as an iPhone. Someone else should not be able to track your AirTag using Apple Find My technology.
Unfortunately, this does not address the issue of hacking. As this article from LifeHacker.com details, Apple AirTags are absolutely susceptible to hacking.
How To Set Up Your Apple AirTag
First, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 14.5 or later. You’ll also need to have two-factor authentication turned on. (AirTags are not compatible with MacBooks or non-Apple devices.)
In your iPhone or iPad settings, turn on location services, Bluetooth, and the Find My feature. Make sure location services are enabled within the Find My tool as well. Also, make sure you are connected to a strong Wi-Fi or data network.
From within your Find My settings, turn on “Precise location.”
Next, grab your new AirTag and pull out the tab from the battery compartment to activate the device. You should hear a sound play when you do this.
Hold your AirTag near your phone and tap “Connect” when it appears on your screen. (Only attempt to set up one AirTag at a time, otherwise multiple devices will show up on your screen.)
If you would like to choose a custom name or emoji for your AirTag, you will be given that option at this time. Then tap continue.
Next, you can register your AirTag with your Apple ID. Once you’ve done that, click “Done.”
Whenever you need to track your AirTag, you should be able to open the Find My app and tap the name or symbol of your AirTag to be shown a map of your device’s location.
To learn more about how to set up your new AirTag, check out this article from Apple Support.
How Much Do Apple AirTags Cost At Costco?
You can buy a four pack of Apple AirTags at Costco right for $89.99, which means each AirTag costs about $22. When shopping directly through Apple, AirTags generally cost $29 each, so Costco is definitely offering a good deal.
As far as we can tell, you cannot buy individual AirTags from Costco at this time.
To purchase AirTags from Costco, simply click here to order online or visit your local Costco Warehouse in person. Not all stores are guaranteed to have AirTags in stock.
Should You Buy AirTags From Costco?
If you’re set on buying a pack of AirTags this travel season, there’s really no reason not to buy them at Costco.
Buying AirTags at Costco guarantees you the lowest possible price from an authorized Apple reseller. The four-pack of AirTags currently for sale at Costco is a full $10 cheaper than when you buy directly from Apple. And if you bought four AirTags individually through Apple, you’d be paying a full $26 more than the Costco deal.
The only downside to buying AirTags at Costco is that you need a Costco membership to access the deal in person. That said, anyone can purchase AirTags on Costco.com regardless of membership status.
Buying Apple products from Costco is honestly even better than buying directly through Apple in most cases. Apple only offers a 14-day return window on most items, whereas Costco offers a full 90 days for returns of electronics.
To put it simply, buying AirTags from Costco is a great idea!
Can you share a 4-pack of AirTags?
Yes. Each AirTag can be configured with a different device, so you could split a four pack between four people with different devices.
Are AirTags allowed in luggage?
Yes. Despite containing lithium, AirTags have been ruled permissible by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to CNN.
Does Costco discount Apple products?
Yes. Even when they’re being sold at full price, Apple products are almost always less expensive when you shop at Costco. On top of that, Costco also offers additional sales on Apple products from time to time.
No. Costco does not accept returns on personalized items.