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Does GPS Tracker Require Internet to work?

Diagram showing the working of GPS on mobile phone and GPS tracker device

GPS and GPS-related devices are integral to our daily lives. The prime example is our phone, which we use for navigation. Although we are quite familiar with the term GPS, many of us do not know how it works. There are many misconceptions about GPS and GPS tracking. In this article, we try to explain what GPS and GPS tracker are. In addition, we will discuss whether the internet is required for GPS to work.

What is GPS?

GPS stands for Global Position System, which includes a constellation of satellites. These satellites help geolocalize any object on Earth using GPS receivers. GPS is a free service, so anyone can harness the signals from satellites using a receiver and pinpoint their location on a map. According to the government website, GPS comprises three segments: space, control, and user segments.

The space segment comprises a constellation of 24 satellites that transmit one-way GPS data. The control segment monitors these satellites, and the user segment captures the signals from satellites with the help of GPS receivers and calculates the user’s position.

Does GPS require the internet to work?

Absolutely not. GPS does not require any form of internet connectivity. GPS depends on signals from satellites. Anyone can harness these signals using a GPS receiver. You can test this fact by turning off the internet connection on your phone and using Google Maps.

Can a GPS Tracker device work without the Internet?

Before answering this question, one should understand the use of GPS tracker devices. GPS trackers are small tracking devices that can be deployed on vehicles for live tracking. This tracker device also comes with a tracking application. In this case, the user can be sitting at home while the vehicle is traveling at a certain speed. 

Here, the location data of the vehicle must be transferred to the mobile device of the user.  Therefore, a GPS tracker requires the help of an internet connection. To understand this more clearly, consider GPS on a cell phone and GPS on a GPS tracker device. In the case of a cell phone, the user gets the location information right from the same device because the GPS receiver is pre-installed on the mobile device.

Likewise, in the case of a GPS tracker, the user should establish a connection with the GPS tracker on a moving vehicle. Therefore, for that reason, the GPS tracker and the mobile/desktop device of the user must be connected to the internet.


Diagram showing the working of GPS on mobile phone and GPS tracker device
Diagram showing the working of GPS on mobile phone and GPS tracker device


  1. My phone can access GPS without internet so why can’t the GPS Tracker device would also be able to perform without internet?

    Ans: Whether it is on phone or on a GPS device, accessing the location is completely free, as explained earlier in this article. The GPS tracker requires an internet connection to transfer the location data of the remote vehicle into a user device situated far away from the source.

  2. Does the car or the vehicle should have an active internet connection or hotspot for the GPS tracker to send data to the phone?

    Ans: The GPS tracker provided by PAJ GPS comes with a preinstalled M2M sim card that can switch to the best performing network in any geographical location. Therefore, the tracker device will always have the best internet connectivity. It does not require external support.

  3. Does the application for GPS tracking always run to receive alerts and store data?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ans: The tracking application from PAJ will always store the location data on a cloud server. Therefore, you do not need to keep your mobile/desktop application running all the time