There is an ever-increasing need to break away from everything in the fast-paced world of TikTok, Whatsapp, and GPS tracking. It would be best if you had a burner phone to prevent corporations from using your location data. But do burn phones have GPS?
To answer this question, we need to understand how it all works, how burner phones work to improve privacy, and how smartphone apps are the future.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Burner Phone?
- Why Do People Use Burner Phones?
- Are Burner Phones Better than Smartphones?
- Do Burner Phones Have GPS?
- Can Burner Phones Be Tracked?
- The Best Burner Phones
- Alternatives For Securing A Smartphone
- Data Security 101
What Is A Burner Phone?
A burner phone is a cheap phone meant to be thrown away after a couple of phone calls. A primary use is to maintain anonymity. Sometimes, these phones don’t connect to the internet at all.
Also called a “dumb phone,” burner phones help you avoid the sensory overload that comes with a phone full of apps.
They have a poor reputation for their use in crimes, but owning one is not illegal. If you prefer a rugged lifestyle or an anonymous one, a burner phone might be for you.
Why Do People Use Burner Phones?
Avoiding spam calls is one thing, but there are many other reasons to purchase a burner phone.
- You might avoid giving your key contact information if you have questionable dating habits.
- A backup phone for emergencies is important. You can’t rely on a single means of maintaining contact with the outside world.
- Being tracked down by law enforcement can be the difference between life and death if you are in the middle of a government crackdown. A prepaid phone can help you stay in contact with family members and remain anonymous.
- Off the grid doesn’t mean abandoning all contact. With a burner phone, you can avoid the trap of social media and still stay connected to the outside world.
- Prepaid phones are cheap enough to purchase even when you’re down to your last dollar. Most are under 20$. Good for a temporary phone before your next Samsung Galaxy.
- A great option for the elderly and children. The simplicity and price mean that you don’t need to worry about it getting lost.
Hand-holding smartphone with message bubbles
Are Burner Phones Better than Smartphones?
Of course, the benefits of a burner phone are clear. However, is it worth purchasing one versus securing your smartphone?
- A burner phone will survive drops, water, extreme heat, and other rugged elements.
- Modern malware and hacking will not affect a burner phone. Once you’re done making your phone calls, all cell signals will end after you remove the SIM.
- A smartphone can access information anywhere. It can do it in seconds, whether it’s music, funny videos, or important information.
- Smartphones are already secure. In-app message encryption in WhatsApp and iMessage means you need not worry about important information leaking. Samsung Galaxy phones have Knox security built-in, for example.
Businesswoman showing blank smartphone screen.
Do Burner Phones Have GPS?
First, you need to know what a GPS is. Global Positioning System is the primary form of this technology. It uses a chip in your device to communicate with a satellite and feeds that information to your main chip, where you can use it.
The added cost means that most burner devices don’t have this chip. There are other tracking forms, but if this chip doesn’t exist in your device, you have no GPS.
GPS with the smartphone
Can Burner Phones Be Tracked?
The short answer is yes. Burner phones must communicate with cell towers for calls, SMSs, or internet activity.
However, this location is not as accurate as a GPS or Wi-Fi. Cell triangulation can only give a rough location and will stop once the SIM is thrown away.
Tracing the phone number is also impossible, as these devices can remain unregistered with a wireless carrier.
The Best Burner Phones
TCL Flip 2
The TCL Flip 2 is an inexpensive flip phone. With 8GB of storage and Bluetooth, the Flip 2 makes a great case. The phone lacks GPS but still has 4G internet access. The clear center buttons and small screen make phone calls simple. The number pad is clear, and a single hinge increases ruggedness.
“My hubby WILL NOT use a smartphone. Bought this to leave at the house for him( no more land-line phones) to use to contact him. Easy to set up and bigger buttons than the previous models.”
BLU VIEW 2
The TracFone Blu View 2 is a more smartphone-like burner phone. An HD display, Android 11, and a dual camera set-up make this phone very usable daily. However, that usability comes at the cost of privacy and cost. Also, the Blu View 2 has GPS.
The touchscreen interface is not as rugged as a flip or brick phone. Additionally, it has a removable battery, aux port, and sd-card slot. Great as a temporary phone.
“I like the ease of setting up this phone and the value for the cost. The phone is sleek looking and easy to use. I purchased this for a relative that needed a smartphone and had never used one.”
Nokia 2760 Flip
The TracFone Nokia 2760 Flip has 4GB storage and a 4G network. Wi-Fi is built in, and the 2760 Flip has no GPS functionality.
The simple interface and flip phone design make it great for those that shy away from touchscreens.
Of course, it has a removable battery and amazing battery life too.
“Bought it for my grandma since she doesn’t like touch screens and is pretty good, easy to use, and a good speaker.”
Alternatives For Securing A Smartphone
Of course, there are ways of improving the security of your existing smartphone.
Burner phone apps
Burner apps provide you with some of the security of a burner phone. They allow you to create disposable phone numbers and enclose your activity within the app.
It is great for preventing any unwanted access to your accounts and devices. You can set it up using a hardware key or app.
Although it doesn’t prevent big tech from accessing your data, it will increase security.
It will prevent information from leaking in the event you lose your device. Applications on the device can wipe it or encrypt the device when you lose access. Google offers such a service, but other services are not by Big Tech. The latest Samsung galaxy allows you to wipe your phone from their website remotely.
Smartphone on a table with red touch-to-pay screen
Data Security 101
There are many ways to protect your data. A prepaid phone can help, but even some modern burner phones have GPS.
The modern consumer is not as careful with their data, so they might not even need one.
Smartphones also offer great ways to protect your privacy, and there are great options for cheap phones.
Apps provide functions that were only available on burner phones in the past. Of course, the choice is always yours.