GPS vs. GPRS: What is the difference?

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Difference between GPS and GPRS

Technology has made our lives easier, with the help of technology we have changed the way our society thrives. All of the world’s economies rely on technology. Just imagine your life without cell phones? People would be lost without their communication devices. Technology can also be confusing for some people, terms like Wifi, Wimax, Wireless, broadband etc. All of this may be quite confusing for someone who's not very technology savvy.  One of the most confusing set of terms is perhaps GPS and GPRS and people often mix them up.


Meaning Behind Terms

GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which works by connecting with satellites out in space. GPS is mainly used for guided navigation of roads, streets and terrain. It works anywhere in the world, even if you are in the middle of nowhere (provided your GPS device is fully charged). On the other hand, GPRS stands for General Packet Data Service. GPRS is used for Internet packet data for mobile devices. 

Primary Functions

GPS is mainly used for real time navigation, say you want to get from point A to B. A GPS device connects with satellites in space and guides you to your destination in real time so you never get lost. GPS can also be used as a communication device, such as a GPS mobile phone, which can work anywhere in the world, even in the middle of nowhere, since it uses satellites in space for communication. On the other hand, GPRS was being used by people for surfing on the Internet using mobile devices but was soon replaced by 3G, which is significantly faster than GPRS. However, GPRS is still popular in third world countries which have not yet made the switch to 3G or where 3G packets are too expensive.

Pros and Cons

GPS is one of the most sophisticated technology in the world, since it needs no towers unlike a cell phone and can be used from anywhere in the world. However, GPS does not work indoors for example in buildings or homes, since it uses it's own signal power to reach the satellites in space. GPRS is a cheap and affordable way to surf the net using a mobile device. It works great indoors and outdoors provided you are within a cellular network of towers, but on the downside it's very slow compared to 3G.


  • Technology has many confusing terms that some people have a hard time keeping track of.  A couple of the most confusing terms are GPRS and GPS which people often confuse. GPS stands for Global Positioning System, while GPRS means General Packet Data Service. They are similar sounding but have completely different functions.
  • GPS is used for communication as well as real time guidance from point A to B, while GPRS is used for packet data services on mobile devices such as surfing the Internet.
  • GPS can work anywhere in the world but it cannot work indoors. GPRS is a cheap and affordable way to surf on the Internet using a mobile device and works indoors, however, it's very slow according to today's standard.

Which is better?
  • GPS
  • GPRS

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • locat wrote on May 2010

I am using GPS in my car and it works like magic in new places to find way .

GPRS hmm it does not give much bandwidth and i use now wi-fi for surfing via mobile

both are good for thereown use bcsw it is fr us

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