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How to unlock your cellphone for free!

Updated on August 18, 2014

What is Unlocking and why do it?

Some of you might be wondering what unlocking is. Usually unlocking refers to SIM unlocking. Cell phones are almost always locked to the carrier you purchased them from, meaning you can't use it on any other network. Phones from GSM carriers (such as T-Mobile and AT&T) and global phones (that have a SIM card slot) can be unlocked to work on all other GSM networks. CDMA carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, etc. do not have SIM slot or GSM functionality unless they are a global phone. That is what SIM unlocking means.

Why unlock it? So you can keep your phone and have the freedom to choose any carrier you want! Also when you travel it is much cheaper to use a local carrier than to use an international plan from your USA carrier.


Unlocked iPhone 5

How do I unlock my cellphone or tablet for FREE?

The easiest way to unlock a phone is by using an unlock code. Each phone has a unique IMEI# (International Mobile Equipment Identity) that can be found on the retail box of the phone, on the back of the phone under the battery, by dialing *#06# from the dialpad, or in the phones about settings.

The first and best option to get your code for free is to call your carrier and ask for it. All carriers will give you the unlock code for your phone if you have had it for 3-6 months and have an account in good standing. Just call them up and tell them you plan to travel and want your phone unlocked. If you don’t qualify for this read on.

Free Unlock Codes

Not all phones can be unlocked for free, but a growing number can be. For example older AEG, Alcatel, LG, Maxon, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, Vitel can all be unlocked for free at unlockbase.com. Free BlackBerry codes can be found at freemyblackberry.com. These are all free because they can be easily calculated based on the IMEI. If you don’t have one of these devices you will probably have to pay for your unlock code. Ebay usually has the cheapest rates unless you negotiate rates with a seller. They usually are charging 2-15x what it costs them to acquire.

Also as stated above all newer Verizon phones are unlocked for GSM networks as well. Sprint and US Cellular phones are almost never unlocked any more and may not even be able to be without modifying the software or radio.

Root and Unlock your older Android phone

Rooting is the process that gives you root access to your phone, allowing you to flash custom ROMs and many other fun things. There are a many models of phones that root will allow you to unlock them for free. For example: Samsung Galaxy S II, Captivate, Vibrant, Galaxy S 4G, i9000, Infuse, or Sidekick 4G, HTC G2, Galaxy S4, and many others. There are guides at forum.xda-developers.com. These will take a little bit of time 10-60 minutes to learn and perform.

Most newer Android phones such as the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 can be rooted for free also. Usually an easy one-click program is available or a step by step guide is available for the whole process. If you need any help finding information just comment below and I will add more information.

How to Jailbreak and Unlock your iPhone for FREE

If you have heard of jailbreaking, it is usually referring to allowing non-Apple applications on your iphone, ipad or ipod. This can be done with almost any firmware version. If you have an AT&T iPhone you might be able to unlock if you have an older firmware/baseband version. The iPhone 2g will always be easily unlocked for free because it is stuck at iOS 3.1.3. Unlocking instructions can be found at iclarified.com or blog.iphone-dev.org/. You will first need to jailbreak, then install UltraSn0w. If your baseband is not one that can be unlocked with UltraSn0w you can check to see if a Gevey SIM or UltraSIM will work. They are devices that attach to your SIM card and forces the device to allow other SIM cards to work as well. Just recently AT&T has been allowing their iPhones to be unlocked for free. If you purchase an iPhone 5 without a contract all you need to do is refresh the software in iTunes and it will unlock. iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5C and 5S can all be unlocked even with contract for around $25.

The iPhone 5, iphone 5S and iphone 5C released for Verizon are already unlocked and GSM/LTE capable. UltraSIM, GeveySIM and other devices work to unlock Sprint, AT&T, and T-mobile iPhones depending on the version of software you are running.

Take the Easy way out. Buy an Unlocked Phone!

If you can’t get your phone unlocked for free and don’t want to pay for a code or worry about it, just purchase a phone that is already unlocked instead of upgrading your phone through your carrier. If you are getting a phone that is 6 months old or more they are usually 75% below retail price already, check out some of the listings below!

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