GPS tracker without SIM – does it even work?

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The problem-free use of GPS trackers requires a few conditions. Among other things, a SIM card is essential for most devices. Products that work with the GPS system have become an integral part of everyday life and make it easier in many areas. Most GPS devices require a SIM card, which offers many advantages, but requires the user to pay an additional subscription and incurs monthly costs . Trackers without a SIM card are available, but do not offer the user as much convenience. Most trackers offer the ability to record data even without a SIM and cellular service .

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GPS tracker without SIM

There are GPS devices that can be used without an additional SIM card.

Bluetooth-Tracker ohne SIM

Small Bluetooth trackers work without a SIM card, but offer only limited options for use. These small devices can, for example, be attached to the key and found with the connected smartphone, but they do not offer a long range , just like radio trackers .


GPS loggers are small GPS devices that can be used on hikes and bike tours. The distance traveled is saved selectively on the device; this is done manually, so the required information must then be read out by an external device. The data read from the GPS logger can then be converted and prepared as a digital map on the computer. GPS loggers usually do not have their own user interface and are therefore dependent on an additional device.

Satellite phone

Satellite telephony enables a connection without a SIM card ; most network providers for these devices use the signal from the Iridium satellites. In addition to pure telephony, these products enable you to write and send text messages and determine your location . Although these devices do not require a SIM card, the cost of purchasing and maintaining these phones is many times higher. They are usually only used in remote areas, for example on the high seas, where hardly any other networks are available.

Direction finder

In terms of application, tracking devices are very similar to the GPS logger, but two devices are required for location, a transmitter and a receiving device. When the receiving device approaches the transmitter, an acoustic signal sounds, which guides the user in the right direction, but the range of these products is only between 100 and 200 meters. Tracking transmitters are not as convenient to use as conventional GPS trackers, but they do not require a SIM card at all .

Definition GPS-Tracker

In contrast to tracking devices without a SIM card, a GPS tracker offers the user other convenient advantages in addition to positioning . In addition to tracking, the user is able to manage multiple trackers in a single app and with one access. A variety of alarms can also be individually set and adjusted, and it is also possible to save all the information that the device records over a longer period of time and retrieve it when necessary. Depending on the provider, the data is stored for up to a year and can be accessed at any time.

How does GPS work?

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GPS trackers use signals from satellites as part of the Global Position System. This worldwide network enables tracking across the globe in any country. The system’s satellites send out a signal at regular intervals; the tracker requires the signal from at least four satellites at the same time for correct location. Based on the time required for this transmission, the GPS tracker determines the current position and speed; the provider’s app can use this data to provide further information. The GPS tracker sends the position data to the paired device via the mobile network using the integrated SIM card .

Different GPS trackers

The market offers a variety of products , depending on the use and intention of the user.

Mini GPS-Tracker

Particularly small GPS trackers are ideal for attaching to objects, so you can secure your own set of keys or your bicycle, for example. These devices do not offer as much convenience as larger models because the battery life is often limited; it is advisable to have a replacement battery ready. The GPS tracker’s power supply is essential for constant data transmission .

Mini GPS trackers help the user to quickly find lost and stolen items and thus offer theft protection . In the event of theft, real-time tracking supports the search and can help locate the item.


Conventional GPS trackers come in different forms, but modern devices are particularly handy and small, making them easy to store and carry with you.

They fundamentally differ in the power supply; in addition to the devices with rechargeable batteries, the manufacturers also offer models that are permanently connected to the power supply. Such a permanent installation is particularly advisable if the GPS tracker is to be installed inside a vehicle. Permanently installed GPS trackers offer the advantage that they do not need to be charged regularly, making them particularly reliable.

Setting up GPS tracker

To set up a GPS tracker with a SIM card , the user hardly needs any technical knowledge; commissioning is intuitive and the app guides you through all the important steps.

It is important in advance that the tracker is supplied with sufficient power so that it can be attached to the desired location. The user then has to register with the provider using their email address, which is usually done via the manufacturer’s associated app. After successful verification, the GPS tracker can be connected to the smartphone or tablet.

The final step offers numerous options for creating alarms, virtual fences or setting a specific radius . If one of the limits is exceeded or one of the alarms is triggered, the user receives a corresponding message via the app on their device.

SIM card to use all functions

In contrast to GPS trackers without SIM, these models offer special advantages when using them. The user receives all relevant data directly on his device; no external device is necessary for data transmission. The fast transmission also makes live tracking possible. This is particularly important if tracking is used to protect against theft , so the owner can act particularly quickly and specifically.

The cards are already included in most GPS trackers with SIM cards and no longer have to be laboriously purchased and activated; this also prevents the misuse of SIM cards. If no SIM is included, it must be purchased in order to fully use all the functions offered.

It is important that the SIM cards used always have enough credit to send the desired data.

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Use GPS tracker

The large number of alarms and the processing of the data offer the user many options for using GPS trackers. All GPS trackers that are used for live tracking require a SIM card to function .

Locating objects

Small GPS transmitters can easily be stored in the frame of the motorcycle or in the laptop bag, providing additional protection against loss and theft. If something is stolen, the owner can always call up the current location using live tracking and, if necessary, report it to the police.

GPS-Tracker Auto

GPS trackers can also be used in cars or trucks to protect against theft and can also be used for navigation. These items are usually permanently attached to the vehicle and do not require additional charging. Drivers not only benefit from the theft protection service, they can also set alarms that trigger a report when certain actions occur. The speed alarm informs the user when a certain speed is exceeded, the vibration alarm causes a message when the GPS tracker is moved. The owner also receives a notification when the power supply is interrupted, as well as when leaving a certain, predetermined area. These trackers can be easily installed or hidden inside the car . Companies with their own fleet and trucks benefit from the digital logbook and can use the data collected to optimize utilization and routes, which saves time and money. In addition, several vehicles can be monitored in one program, which offers particular convenience and a perfect overview of all connected cars .

GPS tracker for pet

Particularly small, lightweight GPS trackers can be easily attached to the collar of a cat or dog , so they can be located and found at any time. The cat is particularly popular with many owners because of its own will, but this often causes restless evenings when the cat is out and about for longer than usual. In this case, the animal’s current position can be queried at any time. Dogs also often follow their instincts and are easily distracted, regardless of whether they are young animals or well-trained dogs. Loud noises, new surroundings or unpredictable events can cause the animal to escape; a GPS tracker on the dog’s collar helps with the search. In addition to dogs and cats, horses can also be equipped and monitored with such trackers. Most GPS trackers are particularly robust and protected from water , making them perfect for tracking your own pet .

People tracking using GPS trackers

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GPS tracking of people makes sense in many cases, but it is important that the person being tracked gives their consent. People suffering from dementia in particular gain more freedom and privacy through GPS tracking. This monitoring offers the person and their relatives additional security, including through the integrated emergency button. If this is pressed, a saved contact receives a corresponding message as well as the current position and can come to help . GPS trackers can also be used for small children; they are usually worn around the wrist like a watch. Thanks to such a GPS tracker, parents can always keep an eye on their child’s first activities and give them additional freedom to explore and develop themselves.

Your own tracking is also possible with these devices; athletes in particular benefit from the data that the outdoor tracker collects, so goals can be defined and their implementation tracked. The emergency button can also be used to protect yourself; it allows the user to call for help at any time if it is needed.

Advantages of using with SIM card

Compared to a GPS tracker without a SIM card, models with a SIM offer the user more advantages and ensure faster data transfer. The user always receives corresponding messages from their GPS trackers immediately and does not have to read them out in a complicated manner using an external device. GPS trackers without a SIM card do not incur any additional costs from a network operator, but they offer significantly less convenience and usually have a smaller range, depending on the model.

Mobile network for live tracking

The use of a SIM card is essential, especially for live tracking . SIM cards within GPS trackers ensure the transfer of data within seconds, which makes such real-time location possible.

Requirements for problem-free use

In order to use such a product smoothly, certain requirements must be met. In addition to the SIM card for transferring the data, the battery life is also an important factor; depending on the area of ​​use, the user must find out which model is best for their project before purchasing.

The respective app must be installed on the connected device; this processes the data received and makes it accessible to the user. The app is always updated by the manufacturer, and it also saves the data for the user and makes it accessible to him, which is why an additional subscription is usually necessary. Here the user must expect additional monthly costs for the subscription ; this fee grants him access to all stored data and the data preparation service . A clear signal from at least four GPS satellites is also necessary to carry out an accurate location. The user of a GPS tracker has the best reception outdoors; thick walls and mountains can shield or distort the signal.

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