Yes, car trackers can work without the internet. GPS does not use WIFI or internet data, rather signals from satellites to track your vehicle's location. However, not all the functions of your vehicle tracker will work without access to the internet.
In summary, although the tracker will be able in the strictest sense to pinpoint its location using Global Positioning Satellites, data connectivity will be required to enable the coordinates to be logged on the user portal. This is why some providers will use multiple network providers rather than rely on a single one to ensure that this information will be relayed back to the Control Centre.
Does GPS Work Without The Internet?
Yes, GPS in car trackers does work without the internet. Whether on your phone, satnav device or car tracker, GPS can use satellite data and signals to position your vehicle without using internet data.
In order to helpfully position your location on a map, you will need to have a map downloaded or a connection to the internet to load the local area map. Most vehicle trackers have a companion mobile app that uses your tracker’s data to render your position on a live map, including your route and live traffic update.
How GPS Works
Developed originally for military purposes in the latter part of the 20th Century but now available to all, the Global Positioning System utilises a network of satellites to locate a signal somewhere on the surface of the planet. Like the internet, GPS is a remarkable thing.
A vehicle fitted with a car tracker can be located to within a few metres in real time despite there being millions of GPS devices in use at any one time. The tracking device emits a signal if a vehicle is tampered with or stolen, which is picked up by up to 8 satellites and the position is plotted accordingly by a 24/7 ground-based station that is a feature of all subscription-based car tracking units. This information is passed immediately to the car owner who can take instant action and inform the police.
Some car trackers also include a GSM (global system for mobiles) and a VHF signal which cannot be jammed by car thieves. In this way all bases are covered. A car tracker may not prevent a car being stolen but it will certainly aid swift recovery as the UK Police have proved over time.
The Importance Of The Internet AND GPS For Car Trackers
Car trackers would be more vulnerable to theft if they relied on the internet alone. One of the ways your vehicle tracker ensures the trackability and thereby safety of your car, van or fleet, is through GPS. The internet then adds benefits beyond location tracking, including additional car tracker and immobiliser functions.
Prevention Of Car Theft
The benefits of a GPS car tracker and internet connection mean no matter where the owner is, the location of the vehicle is known. Any tricks of the illicit trade in cars that are used by car thieves will be noticed and relayed by the tracker.
Most car trackers offer European and even global coverage so you can travel freely abroad in your car, without getting lost on the open roads or busy cities you visit. If in the worst case scenario your car is stolen for export, it can still be recovered, even from overseas, thanks to this international tracking.
Lower Insurance Premiums
It’s an established fact that car insurance providers love car tracking devices and both they and most car makers recommend them. Car trackers that can pinpoint your car's location and block common thief practices, like relay theft, will help to lower your insurance costs – and reduce the chance of a thief even attempting to make off with your vehicle.
Smartphone Apps To Access Additional Tracking Device Functions
Good vehicle tracking devices come with a smartphone app that allows the owner to locate or watch over a vehicle at any time and through which tamper alerts or any tracking activity can be monitored. Often this app is part of the subscription needed alongside your vehicle tracker, giving access to additional features, like remote immobilisation.
Car tracker buyers who choose not to go the subscription-based route would need this app since they have sole responsibility for tracking and may not notice if the vehicle is taken until hours later. Taking out a subscription means that the vehicle is monitored full time and any incident can be relayed to the owner instantly.
In order for your smartphone app to function while you are monitoring or using your vehicle, it will need to have an internet connection.