GPS tracker without SIM card – How useful is it anyway?

In order to use a GPS tracker successfully, certain requirements must be met. Real-time localization is only possible if the device meets all requirements. Most GPS trackers include a SIM card or require its use. This is always associated with a subscription and additional costs for the user, so if you want to avoid this, look specifically for a model without a built-in SIM card. This allows users to avoid a possible subscription and save monthly costs, but sacrifice convenience depending on usage and application.

How a GPS tracker works

GPS trackers use signals from satellites to determine locations. The GPS satellites transmit their individual signal at regular intervals, the direction finder receives the required data and converts it. Based on the GPS data and the time required for the calculation, the GPS device can then determine your own position very accurately. The result is then sent to a connected device via the mobile network and displayed for the user via an app. This location query is carried out using SIM cards; if you want to avoid this option, you can alternatively use gadgets that allow tracking via Bluetooth , for example.

Wide range of uses for a GPS device: from vehicles and people to bicycles

In principle, these gadgets are suitable for a number of different purposes, and the market offers many different GPS trackers that are suitable for tracking. Basically, they differ in two ways: a model that requires an integrated SIM card or one that does not. As well as models that have their own rechargeable battery and those that the user has to charge regularly. In addition to actual navigation and tracking , a small GPS tracker can do much more. The owner has the option of setting up their mini GPS device in the corresponding app and can make individual configurations. This makes it easy to customize, switch on and off a specific alarm .

Better theft protection through the use of GPS trackers

As the tracker can determine its position in real time and inform the user of its current location within 2 to 3 seconds, this device is ideal for improving theft protection. GPS trackers are ideal for protecting vehicles or valuables from thieves and provide important information in an emergency. If an item of value goes missing, a GPS tracker helps to find its location.

The GPS devices notify the user immediately by SMS or push message in the event of theft. The prerequisite for this is that a corresponding alarm has been set in advance.

  • Motion and vibration alarm

This alarm warns the owner if the GPS tracker is moved, removed or shaken. He immediately receives a message in the app, as a push message or via SMS and can locate the device.

GPS tracker without SIM card

  • Radius alarm

The user receives a message on their smartphone when they leave a specific, defined area. If the tracker moves outside the fixed radius, the owner is informed and can act immediately to locate their valuable item or vehicle.

  • Live tracking

In the live location function, the location can always be queried in real time , it is updated at regular intervals and reliably informs the user. If your bike or car is stolen, you can easily locate the device.

To use these functions conveniently, however, the device requires its own SIM card, as GPS trackers do not work as reliably without a SIM. Thanks to the use of the mobile phone network, the GPS system offers unlimited range and positioning is possible worldwide.

GPS tracker for dogs and other pets

A GPS tracker with a SIM card also works without any problems when used with your own pets. The small devices are simply attached to the animal’s collar. This way, cat owners always know where their cat is. GPS devices also offer many advantages for dogs, which can escape on a walk in a matter of seconds and often take a long time to find. However, a GPS tracker quickly provides information about the pet’s whereabouts and even shows the owner the distance traveled within the app.

Installing a GPS transmitter in your own car

GPS trackers are increasingly being used in vehicles because they are suitable for theft protection and for tracking all the routes the car takes. The market offers several trackers that are suitable for use in cars, some are rechargeable and others are permanently connected to the vehicle’s power supply. The permanently installed version is the most suitable, as the user does not have to worry about the battery life . The device is connected to the vehicle battery or via the OBD interface and reliably supplied with power. This ensures that the user receives all relevant information promptly. As soon as the tracker is connected to the cell phone, the user has full control and always knows where his vehicle is and how it is moving.

Protecting people with the help of a GPS tracker

GPS transmitters can also be used to protect people. If you have a GPS tracker with you, you can be found quickly by friends or family at any time. As most GPS trackers are waterproof, you can easily take them with you for outdoor sports or hiking. However, elderly and sick people also benefit from GPS trackers; in an urgent emergency , relatives are informed quickly and can locate the person concerned. Most models have an emergency button, which sends a message in an emergency and ensures that the person concerned gets help quickly.

Using a GPS tracker without a SIM card and subscription

The integrated card incurs additional costs when used, and in most cases a subscription is required in addition to the SIM card, which costs a few euros per month. To avoid this, you can also use a GPS tracker without a SIM card . This primarily offers the advantage that only the purchase of the device incurs costs; the user rarely has to reckon with follow-up costs. There is a large selection of GPS trackers without a subscription. If you want to find the best GPS tracker , you need to check in advance what you want to use the device for later.

Using the GPS tracker without a SIM card

GPS logger without SIM

So-called GPS loggers are a widespread option for using GPS at no additional cost. These small gadgets are mainly used on bike tours or hikes. The route traveled is recorded using waypoints. In comparison to the regular tracker with GPS, the user does not have the option of reading out the data immediately on their cell phone. The stored information must subsequently be read out and processed using an SD card and a computer. These GPS loggers without SIM are useful if the user only wants to record the route but is already familiar with it. A major advantage is the battery life of the devices, as they require little energy to store the information, and the battery often lasts for several months.

Bluetooth tracker

GPS tracker minis without SIM are often incorrectly referred to as such when the retailer talks about Bluetooth trackers. Bluetooth is not comparable with GPS technology and does not offer the user the same convenience. Due to the technology, Bluetooth devices have a short range, up to a maximum of 60 meters. The whole thing works like a kind of tracking device and is designed to make it easier to find objects. For example, the user can attach such a finder to their key and then track it down with their cell phone. If users want to locate their valuables precisely, they need a SIM card inside the device.

Does a GPS tracker need a SIM card?

To use the device to its full extent, a card is essential, as otherwise the GPS data cannot be reliably transmitted to an end device. GPS tracker-mini without SIM do not provide accurate data and offer the user a limited range. Of course, this always depends on the owner’s intentions; if you only want to find objects within your own four walls, a Bluetooth tracker is sufficient. A GPS tracker for the car without a SIM is possible, but not very useful. As soon as the car leaves the driveway, the owner no longer has access and cannot prevent theft. Therefore, an OBD GPS tracker without SIM offers no protection against possible theft.

The same applies to the protection of valuables, your own bike or e-bike. A GPS tracker for the bike without a SIM card does not provide an overview of the property. If thieves tamper with it, the user receives no information about it and cannot reliably locate the bike.

GPS tracker with SIM – advantages and disadvantages

Consumers can find lots of information and comparisons of GPS trackers online, where they can find a good overview of the advantages and disadvantages of these gadgets. Because in order to be able to use a tracker to its full extent, a number of requirements must be met.

Costs for acquisition and use

The costs for the purchase of such a tracker are one-off, so the user does not have to expect any surprises. However, small amounts are regularly charged for using the app , especially for the required subscription. Anyone who registers with a user account in the app has the advantage of always being able to access all saved information, even a long time later. The provider saves the data on a server and grants its users access to it. As these trackers work with the mobile phone network, additional costs are incurred for the transmission of the information. In some cases, it is worth taking out an extra mobile phone contract for the device, which saves the consumer money in the long term.

Good accessibility and high accuracy of the GPS tracker

GPS satellites transmit their signal worldwide and it can be received almost anywhere without any problems. The user can therefore easily use their tracker on vacation without having to observe a specific range. In order to obtain an exact measurement, a number of conditions must be met. A clear GPS signal can only be received if there is contact with four satellites, which is not possible indoors, for example. The signal is also poorer or distorted in the forest or in valleys. Due to mountains, there are often reflections and therefore also incorrect calculations of your own position.

What to look out for when buying a GPS tracker

It is important to know in advance what the appliance is needed for. If you want to find items within your household, a tracker without a SIM is sufficient for this purpose. However, if the user plans to find and locate their vehicle, bicycles, valuables or people quickly, they need a tracker with an integrated map. Models that are permanently connected to a power source are suitable for vehicles. Devices that are to be used flexibly require a rechargeable battery. That’s why you have to pay attention to the battery performance when buying, which of course also depends on the intensity of use. Live tracking in particular drains the device’s battery, and the user is informed in the app when charging is required. This ensures that the tracker always has sufficient capacity.


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