Does GPS Work Without Internet? GPS Without Data or Wifi

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When GPS was first conceptualized nearly 100 years ago, it was a technology of purest necessity. It would be decades before an affordable and accurate system existed for tracking vehicles out on the battlefield. With time, GPS has been tailored to suit the needs of a very lucrative market: civilians. In fact, 95% of civilian GPS receivers are designed to work without an internet connection. Let’s take a look inside at how it all works! 

The Global Positioning System (GPS) works by sending a signal from a GPS satellite to the GPS receiver. These satellites orbit around the earth, each with an antenna fixed at a specific angle such that, when it sends out its signal, that signal is targeted down towards the earth.

The most important thing to know about how this process works is- these satellites don’t transmit any information back and forth with your device. All they do is sending out signals at different times so that you can triangulate where in the universe you are standing before these signals reach your device. This allows for accurate location determination and helps navigate/direct the user’s position using just their GPS-enabled mobile phone or tablet computer without relying on remote data.

Do you need data for GPS?

GPS is a helpful tool in navigating unfamiliar areas, but it does not use data. If you want more detailed maps, or to see where traffic jams are located, then that will require using your cellular data, and this can add up quickly if you’re on an unlimited plan with only 10 GB of usage included per month. On the other hand, Google Maps lets users download portions of the map for offline viewing, so you’ll never need access to Wi-Fi again!

Benefits of using data for GPS: 

Remember, Data is the essential component of GPS technology, as it gives you specific destinations along with accurate turn-by-turn directions on how to get there. 

Suppose a device has some form of data connectivity or has been preprogrammed with detailed directions. In that case, it can give you your location and help you navigate any destination in its list. 

In other words, without data or some form of built-in programming with step-by-step instructions for a destination, GPS wouldn’t be too helpful and might only give your current position away now and again while giving out general instructions about where landmarks are located about one another.


Does GPS work without sim card?

Yes, it does.

GPS satellites transmit signals that are picked up by a GPS receiver to triangulate the receiver’s position. There is no need for a sim card or any other mobile electronics equipment in order for this process to work. The only requirement is that the receiver has an unobstructed view of the sky to pick up and receive signals from space. One downside about today’s handheld receivers, though, is their limited battery life due to the power needed to receive these signals as well as store more information than older, less powerful receivers of times past.

Need something specific? Check out our GPS related guides.

How to use GPS without internet?

Ever been on a trip and realized you have no Internet connection? Well, Google Maps is here to save the day. Using GPS offline has become possible. Thanks to the “Offline Maps” option of Google maps. With this function, we can select several specific maps that will allow us access without relying on an internet signal. Take a look below how to access it offline- 

  • Please, get into the “Google Maps.”
  • Click on your profile option & choose “Offline Maps.” (You can see how to Download areas and navigate offline)
  • Click “Select Your Own Map,” which will save all of your settings as long as they’re saved before exiting this screen. Then, download the offline map for your device today. The new Map Maker feature allows you to choose areas of interest or landmarks, like museums and restaurants in Paris, so that it can be accessed without connection. Access it offline now.


  • Does GPS work without internet on IOS & android phones?

Yes! GPS works with the help of satellites without needing an internet connection on your phone. All smartphones use two signals for positioning, and one signal is the GPS satellite data that broadcasts its coordinates worldwide and can work without internet or phone service and emit up to 20 watts of power via solar panels. The other is a mobile signal, such as any existing LTE network, which provides identification with the nearest cell tower.

  • How much data do google maps use per hour?

The short answer is that a single hour of use for Google Maps would only consume around 3 megabytes of data if it were running continuously, not including the data used when downloading or uploading saved maps. For those who are more detail-oriented:

3MB over 60 minutes = 0.5 MB per minute 

0.5 MB per minute x 240 (seconds in an hour) = 120 MB per hour 

120 MB downloaded every 24 hours x 30 days (month) = 3600MB/30 days 

3600MB downloaded every 12 months x 5 years (time frame to compare with map updates) = 18000 Mb/year – which would average out to 3 Mbps total for a year’s worth of map.

  • How to track the location of your family members without internet?

One way to help track your family members‘ locations without the internet is to register their carrier and phone manufacturers’ information with services such as SMS Tracker App, Apple Family Sharing, Here Maps, or Google Allo. However, these services may result in data charges depending on what the company plan specifies.

There are also various tools available online such as Safe Kids GPS, that utilize satellite technology to identify an approximate location (usually within 100 miles) of the person’s whereabouts. It is highly recommended to check out each respective website for access, too, which will have more detailed information about pricing and availability in every country other than the United States.


GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. The system uses clusters of satellites to pinpoint your location, provide a time standard, calculate the distance between you and them, and broadcast their position as well. I discussed “How does GPS work without internet.” Liked our content? Rate us. 

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