live GPS tracker

Do All GPS Trackers Need a Sim Card?

GPS Tracking

GPS Tracker SIM Card

While many GPS trackers use SIM cards (live GPS trackers), they don’t have to in order to secretly track a vehicle—and there are quite a few tracking devices that don’t (GPS data loggers).

The biggest thing is that a GPS tracker needs a way to connect with a cellular network, and while that often includes a SIM card, it doesn’t need to if there are other technologies that allow the GPS tracker to send data via a mobile phone network, for instance. That might be radio technology or satellite modems, for instance. In most cases, though, cellular technology is how the data is shared. However, over 95% of all real time GPS devices use cellular technology to transmit data, and therefore, utilize SIM technology. The real question is, are you looking for a device that does not need SIM technology because you want a no monthly fee tracker? If that is the case, there are live vehicle trackers that you can purchase that do not have any subscription fees. 

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GPS tracker

Is There A GPS Tracker Without SIM Card?

Yes! The type of GPS tracker that works without a SIM card is known as a GPS data logger. What makes this type of tracking device popular among businesses and consumers is that they are no monthly fee GPS tracking devices. However, since the systems do not have a SIM card they do not have the ability to transmit real-time GPS data. That means they are not helpful in auto-theft security or asset recovery. This is because the only way to view the GPS information from a data logger is to remove the GPS tracker from the automobile and download the data to a computer manually. This is done through the use of a USB connection, not remotely via cell tower, WiFi or Bluetooth connection. 

Related Content: Best GPS Data Loggers For 2021

Why Does A Real Time GPS Tracker Need a SIM Card?

GPS vehicle trackers are engineered with a component called a receiver that allows them to pick up satellite signals and triangulate position. SIM cards are used to transmit this data stored on the tracker to remote servers that analyze and compute the data so a person can remotely view the information from a computer or mobile phone. This data can include information such as how fast a vehicle is moving, locations a vehicle or asset has been, and other advanced features such as geofence and speed alerts. 

Can I Use My Cell Phone SIM Card For My GPS Tracker To Avoid Monthly Fees?

One of the most popular questions people ask is if they can use the SIM card in their cellular phone, insert it into their personal GPS tracker, and use it to avoid monthly subscription fees. The answer is no. First of all, not all SIM cards are the same in the way that they function. Secondly, the SIM card equipped inside a tracking device is designed to transmit data over a specific cellular network utilizing enhanced features specific to the transmission of GPS data rather than placing/receiving phone calls and texts. There is no way to avoid the data plans required to make a real time GPS tracking device operate.