Can You Use Phones Without SIM Cards

Can You Use Phones Without SIM Cards?


Whether you can use your phones without SIM cards is a common question among mobile users, and many turned to the internet to seek answers to their queries. In this article, we have answered all your question regarding using your phones without Sim cards, what features you can access if your phone has a sim card, and what features will be inaccessible to you because your phone is without a SIM card.

The most important question that arises here is when/why it becomes necessary to have a SIM card in your phone.

In general, if we notice, all the features of your phone will largely work well without a SIM card. For instance, you can listen to music, watch movies, play games, and take photos and videos on your phone without SIM cards.

Do keep in mind, all these features will work fine when used with a Wi-Fi signal or after they have been already stored on the phone.

Additionally, if you have a Wi-Fi connection you will also be able to use messaging apps like Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, Whatsapp, WeChat, and the hundreds of different applications available on the Apple Store and the Play Store on your phones without sim cards.

You can also make calls using these applications requiring that the person you are calling also uses that specific application. If you are looking to call a specific number, you can do that as well, all you need is a working Wi-Fi and an application like Skype, and your job is done.

How Can You Browse The Internet On Phones Without Sim Cards

How Can You Browse The Internet On Phones Without Sim Cards

If a wireless network and SIM card are not an option for you, there are still ways that you can connect to the internet. 

Using Mobile Hotspot

Another solution is tethering your iPhone or Android smartphone to a mobile hotspot like this via USB cable or WiFi. A mobile hotspot works by taking an LTE connection (mobile data connection) and converting it into a WiFi signal, thus acting as a router. You can think of it as a portable wireless router. 

Ethernet Connection

If WiFi does not work correctly on your phone, try searching for a wireless router as well as a USB-C to ethernet cable adapter or a USB-C to an ethernet cable. With the adapter and network cable, you would plug them directly into one of the ports on the router. For your information, only devices with USB-C will be able to operate this way. The older technology USB versions aren’t advanced enough to send this type of data over the cable. 

   Using WiFi Hotspot

The last way you can access the internet through your cell phone is by linking to another device with its WiFi hotspot enabled. This is akin to Bluetooth tethering, but the hotspot-enabled device will come up in your network connections. You will need a password to connect to it. This is arguably superior to Bluetooth, seeing as WiFi is much faster than Bluetooth. 

What Can You Do on Phones Without SIM Cards?

What Can You Do on Phones Without SIM Cards

As we have already established that your phones do not become just dead weight if it is Without a SIM Card, they can still be used for a lot of other purposes, and in fact, there are many reasons why keeping and using your old phones without sim cards can also be hugely beneficial. 

For Digital Detox

Firstly, this is a chance for some digital detox. I published a guide to quitting social media which was featured in one of Lifewire’s articles, “Why You Should Upcycle Your Old Smartphone.”.

How does this detox work? You would move all your social media apps, notifications, games, and interactions to another device (your other phone). This allows you to compartmentalize your social media, making it inconvenient to scroll through your phone, and keeping your FOMO at bay. 

Cryptocurrency Wallet

If you are an active crypto trader, using an old phone switched to airplane mode would be digitally safer for you. The best way to store cryptocurrency is in an offline “cold wallet”. Many individuals who trade crypto daily use a hot wallet (a device connected to the internet all the time). This could potentially expose your virtual coins to online hackers.

Make It A Battery Backup

Some have suggested using your old smartphone as a battery backup. This works if your newer model uses the same battery or can charge phone-to-phone with your old device. 

Dedicated Media Device

You can also use your old phone as a dedicated media device to watch movies or act as an MP3 player. This will preserve your primary smartphone’s battery life.

Your Mini-Security System

Another great idea is to turn your old phone into an emergency panic button or portable security system. 

Safe Haven (FOSS) is an app that turns your phone into a personal security device, allowing you to hit a panic button if you feel threatened.

Not to be confusing, but there’s a similarly-named, open-source project called Haven from the Guardian Project. This app uses the plethora of sensors available on your old smartphone to monitor a room. If triggered the app will notify your main device. This is a great option at home or for travelers.

Safe USB Storage

You could also use your phone as an encrypted USB storage device. Because a phone does not look like a high-tech storage device, it can blend into the environment without drawing any suspicion. Who knew old phones could be made of spy-grade material?

Dedicated GPS Navigator 

Lastly, suppose you travel a lot and use a ton of data for GPS. In that case, you could consider placing an offline GPS on your upcycled phone, which uses downloaded maps and can link to OSM. (Open Street Map) It can also work with a corresponding app such as OsmAnd (FOSS), among many others. 

This could save you heaps of data, as well as preserve your primary phone’s battery since the screen is one of the largest power consumers.

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