AirTags are a great way to keep track of your keys, wallet, or luggage.
But what if you don’t have WiFi? Can AirTags still work?
You’re about to head out on a road trip, but you’re worried about losing your AirTags.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In this article, we’ll explain how AirTags work without WiFi and how to keep them connected.
When you set up an AirTag and attach it to an item, it enters a low-power mode. The AirTag emits a Bluetooth signal with a unique identifier. Nearby Apple devices, like iPhones, pick up this signal and securely relay the AirTag’s location data to Apple’s servers. This data is then made accessible to the owner of the AirTag through the Find My app on their iOS device. Importantly, AirTags don’t require a Wi-Fi connection themselves. They rely on the Bluetooth connection with nearby Apple devices to function.
Once the AirTag’s location is determined, it’s uploaded to iCloud via the internet connection of the assisting Apple device. This allows the owner to track the AirTag’s location in real-time using the Find My app.
Bluetooth connectivity is a crucial component of how Apple AirTags operate. Here’s everything I can share about Bluetooth connectivity in AirTags:
- Bluetooth LE (Low Energy): AirTags use Bluetooth Low Energy technologyto communicate with nearby devices. This is a power-efficient version of Bluetooth, designed to minimize battery consumption.
- Pairing with an iOS Device: When you bring the AirTag close to your iOS device, a setup prompt appears, allowing you to pair the AirTag with your Apple ID.
- Unique Identifier: Each AirTag has a unique identifier (UUID) that is used to distinguish it from other AirTags. This identifier is transmitted via Bluetooth to nearby Apple devices.
- Bluetooth Range: The effective Bluetooth range between an AirTag and an Apple device is typically around 30 feet (10 meters). However, this range can vary depending on environmental factors, such as walls and obstacles.
- Bluetooth Relaying: When your AirTag is out of your device’s direct Bluetooth range, it relies on other nearby Apple devices to relay its location information. These devices pick up the AirTag’s Bluetooth signal and securely transmit the location data to Apple’s servers, which is then made accessible through the Find My app.
Find My Network
The “Find My Network” is a powerful and innovative feature within Apple’s ecosystem designed to help you locate and recover your Apple devices and other belongings.
What happens if I turn off Find My Network?
If you turn off the Find My Network feature, the following happens:
- Loss of location tracking/no device location: One of the most significant implications of turning off Find My Network is the loss of real-time location tracking for your device. If your device is lost or stolen, you won’t be able to pinpoint its whereabouts using this service.
- Limited remote management/reduced security measures: Find My Network not only helps you find your device but also enhances its security. When turned on, it allows you to remotely lock your device, display a message, or even erase its data to prevent unauthorized access. Disabling this feature might make it more challenging to protect your device and data.
- AirTag limitations/impact on AirTags: If you’re using Apple AirTags or similar tracking devices, turning off Find My Network will hinder their functionality. AirTags rely on the Find My Network to help you locate lost or misplaced items. Disabling this feature means your AirTags won’t be as effective.
Offline tracking with AirTags, a product offered by Apple, is a key feature of these small tracking devices.
How can I track the location of my items offline?
Tracking the location of your items with Apple AirTags offline primarily relies on the Bluetooth functionality of the AirTag and your paired Apple device.
Here are the steps to track the location of your items offline using AirTags:
- Set Up Your AirTag: Ensure that your AirTag is properly set up and paired with your Apple device, such as an iPhone or iPad. This initial pairing is done via Bluetooth and the Find My app.
- Bluetooth Proximity: When your Apple device is in close proximity to the AirTag (within a few hundred feet or meters), it establishes a Bluetooth connection with the AirTag. This allows for real-time tracking within this range without the need for an internet connection.
- Locate Your Item: Open the Find My app on your Apple device. You will see a list of your paired AirTags and their last known locations if they are within Bluetooth range.
- Play Sound: If your AirTag is nearby but out of sight, you can use the Find My app to make the AirTag play a sound. This can help you locate your item if it’s hidden nearby.
- Navigate to Your Item: The Find My app provides a map showing the approximate location of your AirTag when it was last in Bluetooth range. Use this information to navigate to your item’s location.
- Lost Mode (Optional): If your AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, you can put it in Lost Mode via the Find My app. When another Apple device comes into proximity with the lost AirTag, it can anonymously update its location, and you’ll receive a notification.
- Find My Network: If your AirTag is out of Bluetooth range and in an area with other Apple devices, it may utilize the Find My Network.
- cision Finding
AirTags offer a valuable solution for tracking and locating your belongings, and they can indeed work without the need for Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
This means you can track your items offline as long as your Apple device and the AirTag are within Bluetooth range of each other.
Additionally, the Find My Network feature leverages the presence of other Apple devices to extend the tracking capabilities of AirTags even when they are out of Bluetooth range.