Two months ago I got fed up with my network provider. I was being charged outrageous rates per minute to other networks and their customer service wasn’t exactly the best I’ve ever heard. So I decided to switch to their main competitor so I could get free calls and texts to my friends. There was one problem; my phone was locked to the wretched network.
First of all I Googled “˜How to Unlock a Phone’. I got back millions of results telling me to “˜do this’ and “˜do that’. Very tiring work indeed, but in the end I got there.
Browsing Google to try to find free unlocking codes for mobile phones could take you hours (I should know, I did it to write this article). There are load of them that scream “FREE UNLOCKING” but will then tell you that it actually costs $6.50. Below are the top three sites I managed to find to unlock your cell phone for free.
This site is pretty basic and does exactly what it says on the tin – offers you free unlocking codes for mobile phones. It started out small and hasn’t really grown much. However, it does offer a good unlocking service if you own a Nokia; which are the easiest to unlock online by the way.
The homepage will welcome you and ask for the model number of your phone. Enter this into the box and click “˜find‘. For those of you who know diddly squat about cell phones the model number is that code that follows the name – for example; Nokia 6300.
You will then be brought to the window seen in the screenshot. In the appropriate boxes, enter in your IMEI number, phone model, country and service provider. You can get the IMEI number of your handset by typing *#06# on the home screen as though you were dialing a phone number or you can look under the battery for a fifteen digit number.
Click “˜Generate‘ once you have all the information entered in correctly. The program will then churn out seven different free unlocking codes for your mobile phone.
When you have the foreign SIM card in your phone you will be asked to put in one of these codes. Use the first one. Over half of the people have success on the first code. If it doesn’t work, use the last one. Around 80% of people would have their phone unlocked by now. If yours hasn’t, use two more and it should be unlocked.
Don’t enter in any more than four however as this will disable your phone meaning you”˜ll have to make an embarrassing call to customer service to re-enable it. This service works for over 90% of the users who try to unlock their phone with it.
Trycktill is more of a mobile content site but it also offers free unlocking codes for mobile phones. On the homepage, click “˜Unlock‘ along the top menu bar. This will bring you to a page written in a language you will not understand unless your Swedish. Down the bottom of the page click on the Union Jack (British) flag. This will reload the page in English.
You will see the drop down menu asking for your phone make. Once this is filled in it will ask you for the model number, then the IMEI. Once you have filled in all of the criteria, agree to the terms and conditions by checking the little box and click “˜Generate Code‘.
When the results page loads you”˜ll see a code to the right. You will be given a set of individual instructions directly beneath the code on how to unlock the phone. These will differ slightly depending on the make of the phone. For example, an LG unlock method is as follows:
1. Insert an accepted SIM card
2. Press 1945#*5101#
3. Select Network to unlock
4. Enter in Code
Trycktill will unlock seven different phone makes : LG; AEG; MAXON; Nokia; Panasonic; Siemens and Vitel.
Don’t judge this site by its domain. Yes, the first thing that jumps to mind is that is only unlocks Nokia phones (which it can), but it can also unlock several other brands.
It has its own software which is available for download right here (NB. This is the best place to download it). This software is as easy to use as the sites above but it covers more brands. If the above have failed then download this unlocking software and get to work.
After you have downloaded and installed the software as usual open it up from under “˜All Programs‘ in the Start menu. When it starts up you will see the window in the screenshot. It will ask you for all the usual information such as the IMEI number, your phone model and make, country and the original service provider.
Once you put in the basics, the rest of the information will fill itself out or should be left as “˜Default’. Click “˜Calculate‘. As expected, this will give you the unlock code and instructions on how to use it just like Trycktill.
Remember, by unlocking some phones you may be in breach of a contract between you and your service provider such as the exclusivity contract between AT&T and iPhone users. Also, if the codes don’t work the first four times due to your phone’s model or restrictions in place by the service provider, bring it to a professional unlocker normally found in markets, car boot sales (estate sales) and on the web where you’ll have to pay a small fee to have your phone unlocked. For most cases however, the above sites should work a treat.
If you know of any other unlocking sites, please let us know in the comments. Please also let us know of your experiences trying to unlock your phone. Were you successful? How difficult was it?