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Disconnect: How to Turn Off Your Phone and Go Off the Grid

May 31, 2023 5 min read

turn off phone

In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, smartphones have become indispensable tools for communication, navigation, and entertainment. We trust that when we power them down, they are truly "off" and untrackable. Regrettably, this belief is a misconception.

As digital surveillance becomes increasingly pervasive, our privacy and security are at stake. In this article, we'll reveal the truth about the off button, discuss the challenges of going off the grid by removing your phone's battery, and introduce the best way to disconnect: Faraday bags.

The Truth About Powering Down Your Phone

In recent years, remote hacking and cyber attacks targeting smartphones and other devices have become increasingly sophisticated. Attackers can exploit weaknesses in a device's software or hardware, potentially gaining unauthorized access, stealing data, or even remotely controlling the device.

When you power off your smartphone, it may seem as though the device has completely shut down. However, the reality is often a little more complex.

Even when deactivated, a phone executes numerous background operations, possibly leaving it vulnerable to tracking and hacking. To understand why a phone never really turns off, we need to look into the technical details of a smartphone's shutdown process.

Low-Power State and Background Processes

Upon deactivating a smartphone, it does not entirely cease functioning. Instead, it enters a low-power condition called "soft off" mode. In this state, specific background operations persist, albeit with minimal power usage. Some examples include maintaining the internal clock, monitoring power button presses to reactivate the device, and occasionally listening for emergency signals or updates.

Persistent Connections

When a smartphone is powered off, connections with various networks such as cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are maintained. These connections enable the device to receive incoming calls, messages, and other notifications once reactivated.

However, these persistent connections also render the device susceptible to tracking and hacking, as the phone's unique identifiers can be detected by nearby devices or network operators.

GPS and Location Tracking

Modern smartphones are equipped with GPS technology, facilitating location tracking and navigation. Although the primary GPS receiver may be deactivated when the phone is off, some devices permit location tracking through secondary systems, like assisted GPS (A-GPS) or other location-based services. Consequently, even when your phone is off, it can be tracked by applications or services accessing these secondary systems.

Firmware and Hardware Vulnerabilities

Smartphones consist of both software (firmware) and hardware components. Despite the device being off, firmware and hardware vulnerabilities can be exploited by malevolent actors to gain unauthorized access to your device or intercept sensitive data.

For instance, a compromised baseband processor – responsible for communication between the phone and cellular networks – could enable tracking or remote access when the phone appears off.

In conclusion, the technical intricacies of a smartphone's shutdown process reveal that a phone is never entirely off when powered down. Instead, it enters a low-power state with various background processes ongoing, maintains network connections, and is vulnerable to tracking and hacking arising from firmware and hardware vulnerabilities.

So, what about airplane mode?

Airplane mode is frequently viewed as a method for preserving privacy and diminishing tracking hazards. Nevertheless, this belief provides users with an erroneous sense of protection.

Although airplane mode deactivates your device's cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections, it does not preclude all types of tracking. In certain instances, GPS functionality may continue to operate, allowing specific applications or services to gather location information. Moreover, once airplane mode is switched off, your device will instantaneously reconnect to access networks, creating a digital footprint of your actions and whereabouts.

As a result, depending solely on airplane mode for safeguarding your privacy is inadequate. It is crucial to explore more holistic measures, such as SLNT Faraday Bags, to guarantee your data and location remain confidential at all times.

Going Off-Grid by Physically Removing the Battery

One approach to ensuring your phone is truly off the grid is to physically remove its battery. This method effectively disconnects the device from power sources, rendering it incapable of transmitting data or being tracked. However, battery removal comes with several drawbacks and challenges.

First, accessing a smartphone's battery can be difficult, if not impossible, for most users. Modern phones are designed with sleek, seamless exteriors, often requiring specialized tools and knowledge to access the battery. Furthermore, attempting to remove a battery without proper expertise could damage your phone, resulting in costly repairs or replacements.

Moreover, physically removing the battery is an inconvenient and impractical solution for daily use. Constantly disassembling and reassembling your phone is time-consuming, cumbersome, and unrealistic for most users.


SLNT® Faraday Bags: A Convenient Solution for Disconnecting

Thankfully, there is a more convenient and effective solution for maintaining your privacy and going off-grid: SLNT® Faraday Bags. Faraday bags work by blocking all incoming and outgoing signals, effectively disconnecting your devices from external sources. By placing your phone in a Faraday bag, you can ensure that it is shielded from tracking technologies and remote access attempts.

SLNT® Faraday bags offer several advantages over other privacy solutions. They are easy to use, requiring no technical expertise or complex disassembly. Simply place your phone inside the bag, and your device is instantly protected. Furthermore, our Faraday bags boast a durable, stylish design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

These bags are invaluable in various real-life scenarios. For instance, when traveling or crossing borders, they prevent unwanted tracking or data theft. In confidential meetings, they ensure that your phone remains secure and inaccessible to eavesdropping devices. SLNT® Faraday bags empower you to take control of your privacy, no matter the circumstances.



In an increasingly connected world, privacy is more important than ever. The off button on our smartphones can provide a false sense of security, potentially leaving us vulnerable to tracking and surveillance. While physically removing the battery from your phone can offer some protection, this method can be impractical and risky. SLNT Faraday Bags present an ideal solution, providing an easy, reliable, and convenient way to disconnect and protect your privacy.

By understanding the limitations of the off button and airplane mode, and embracing the benefits of SLNT Faraday bags, you can take charge of your digital privacy and navigate our modern world with confidence. Our passionate commitment to empowering individuals to protect their personal information and location is at the heart of SLNT®.

Invest in a SLNT® Faraday bag today and experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing your personal information and location are secure. Trust in SLNT® to ensure you remain in control of your privacy, even when you need to power down your phone.