Can a Burner Phone be Tracked and Do You Really Need One?

Wondering if your burner phone can be tracked? Burner phones offer a wide array of protection. From protecting your sensitive data from hacking to making anonymous calls, burner phones do offer full-proof protection.

With that said, one may wonder if some authorities or individuals can track a burner phone. That’s something we are going to answer in this article. Keep reading to learn more about Burner phones and if they can be tracked.

What Kind of Phone is a Burner Phone?

A burner phone is a low-cost, disposable mobile phone designed for temporary use. Unlike most smartphones, these phones have limited functionality. You can mainly use a burner for calling and texting.

A burner phone typically comes with a pre-paid SIM card that has already been loaded with credit, allowing you to make calls or send texts immediately. If you run out of credit on your phone, either dispose of it or reload it.

Pros of a Burner Phone

A burner phone offers the following benefits:

  • Advanced Privacy

Burner phones offer privacy by separating their personal and professional lives. A burner has no connection with your personal information, making it harder for others to track their activities or gather information about their personal life.

  • More Security

Burner phones offer more security in comparison to traditional phones. As they don’t contain your personal information, it becomes unlikely that anyone will steal them.

  • Short-Term Usage

Burner phones are perfect for temporary use, such as for a short trip or a specific project. They do not require long-term contracts, so you can easily throw them away after usage.

  • Economical

Burner phones are relatively cost-effective as they have a pre-paid balance, so there is no need to sign up for a contract or pay monthly bills.

Cons of a Burner Phone

A burner phone may have some perks but also some downsides. Here are the drawbacks of burner phones:

  • Limited Features

Burner phones typically have fewer features than traditional mobile phones. They may not have the same functionality as smartphones, such as access to app stores or advanced camera capabilities.

  • Limited Battery Life

Burner phones often have limited battery life, meaning you have to charge them more frequently. Therefore, it can be inconvenient for people on the go or who need their phones to last for an extended period.

  • Disposable Nature

Because burner phones are disposable and do not offer long-term usage, they may not be as durable as traditional mobile phones. They may not be able to withstand heavy use or accidental damage, making them less suitable for people who need a durable mobile phone.

  • No Cloud Services

Most burner phones do not come with cloud services, meaning that users cannot store their contacts, photos, or other data in the cloud. This can be a problem for people who must keep their data safe and secure.

  • No GPS

Some burner phones do not have GPS capabilities, making it difficult for users to navigate or find their way around. This can be problematic for people who rely on GPS for navigation or work-related purposes.

Why Do People Use Burner Phones?

You can use a Burner Phone for a number of different reasons. Here are some of the common uses of a burner phone:


Many people use burner phones to maintain a higher level of privacy. By separating their personal and professional lives, they can keep their personal information and activities hidden from others.


Some people use burner phones to increase their online security. Using a phone without connection with your personal information can reduce the risk of your sensitive data being hacked or stolen.

Temporary Use

Burner phones are ideal for temporary use, such as for a short trip or a specific project, which is why you can throw them away after usage.

Work-life Separation

Burner phones are a great solution for people who need to separate their work and personal lives. They can use the burner phone for work-related calls and texts and keep their mobile phone for personal use.

How Can A Burner Phone be Tracked?

Although tracking a burner phone is more difficult than tracking a traditional mobile phone, it is possible. Law enforcement agencies and individuals trace a burner phone in the following ways:

GPS Tracking

If the burner phone has GPS capabilities, anyone can track it using GPS satellites. Most law enforcement agencies use this method to trace a suspect’s activity.

Mobile Network Tracking

Another way to trace burner phones is through mobile networks. A person can monitor phone signals through nearby cell towers to track a person’s location.

SIM Card Tracking

Tracking a burner phone is possible using the SIM card. Law enforcement agencies can access this information with a warrant since the SIM card contains information about the phone’s location and activities.

Call and Text Logs

Lastly, it is possible to track a burner phone using the call, text, and location logs. From the logs, it is possible to determine the location and phone number of the phone.

How to Prevent Burner Phones from being Tracked?

Preventing a burner phone from being tracked requires reducing its visibility to others. The following are some ways to prevent a burner phone from being tracked:

Disable GPS

If the burner phone has GPS capabilities, disable the GPS feature to prevent it from being tracked by GPS satellites.

Use a Burner SIM Card

Using a pre-paid, disposable SIM card for the burner phone can reduce the risk of phone tracing. SIM cards do not contain personal information that someone can leverage for tracking purposes.

Avoid Making Calls or Sending Texts

Tracking a burner more frequently would make it vulnerable. Therefore avoid making several calls and sending messages to protect your information.

Turn off Mobile Data

Turning off mobile data can prevent the phone from communicating with cell towers and other sources of information, hence protecting it from tracking.

Use Encryption

Encrypting calls and texts can help prevent the phone’s activities from being monitored. You can do this using encryption apps or a virtual private network (VPN).

Avoid Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, such as public Wi-Fi hotspots, as others can easily monitor them. Use a secure, encrypted Wi-Fi network whenever possible.

Where to Buy a Burner Phone?

Paying in cash and visiting a physical store are recommended when purchasing a burner phone to ensure maximum anonymity. Avoid purchasing from a store with CCTV cameras, and aim for a less secure location. Burner phones typically cost between $10 to $50, and a separate SIM card is also required. To maintain complete anonymity, avoiding using a credit card and purchasing the phone online through platforms like Amazon is best.

Depending on your usage, you can easily find a burner phone on Amazon. It is an affordable option with a long battery life. If using a smartphone, using a VPN can help prevent your network and internet service provider from tracking your online activities.

Wrap Up!

In conclusion, burner phones are traceable. Still, the level of traceability depends on various factors, such as the methods used to purchase the phone and activate the SIM card and the steps taken to conceal one’s identity and limit phone use.

Burner phones carry some risks, and taking precautions is important to minimize the risk of being traced. Additionally, keep in mind that burner phones can provide a degree of anonymity and privacy, but they do not guarantee complete privacy or security. Ultimately, it is up to the user to weigh the benefits and risks of using a burner phone and to make informed decisions about its use.


Is a burner phone traceable to you?

When purchasing the phone or activating the SIM card, you can trace back a burner phone to you if you provide personal information. However, if you take steps to conceal your identity and use the phone anonymously, it can be more difficult to trace the phone back to you.

Can law enforcement trace a burner phone?

Yes, law enforcement agencies can trace burner phones if they have the legal authority and access to the right tools and technologies. For example, they can use GPS, mobile network tracking, SIM card tracking, and call and text logs to trace the phone.

How can I make my burner phone untraceable?

To make your burner phone untraceable, you need to take some steps. Firstly, use a pre-paid, disposable SIM card, avoid making calls or sending texts, turn off mobile data, use encryption, and avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Is it illegal to use a burner phone?

No, it is not illegal to use a burner phone. However, if a person uses a burner phone for illegal activities, such as drug trafficking or money laundering, in that case, law enforcement agencies may be able to trace the phone and use it as evidence in a criminal investigation.

Can a burner phone be used for international calls?

Yes, you can use a burner phone for international calls, but it may be more expensive and have limited features compared to traditional mobile phones. It is important to check the coverage and rates of the phone’s carrier before making international calls.

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