Having a locked phone can be a very daunting experience. It comes with cons like not being able to switch providers; some features may be greyed out, network passwords and many other disadvantages. However, it is not always our choice to buy a locked phone. Locked phones are probably the best options if you wish to get financ9ng to buy a phone or have a phone on loan from a certain network. In such scenarios, you must have cleared any debt with the service provider for you to unlock the phone.
What if you fail to do so and wish to have the phone unlocked? We can help you with our tips on how to unlock a network-locked phone for free. Unlocking a phone for free has become easier, especially with the new FCC guidelines. The FCC mandates that if someone wishes to have their phones unlocked, the service provider should unlock it for them without any questions asked.
However, service providers can take you through endless loops just to make you feel tired of the unnerving process. This is why you need other options, which can take some minutes or hours for your phone to be unlocked. This article will give you all insights on unlocking a network-locked phone for free. We will review some cons of locked phones, how to know a phone is locked, whether you can switch networks with a locked phone and whether you should buy a locked phone. Find out more by reading this article!
How to know a phone is locked to a network?
The easiest way to know whether a phone is locked or not is by trying to use another sim card on the phone. If you place another sim card, you will be requested to enter a network password to access network services for that sim card or service provider.
The default network can only issue the network password on that phone. So you may need to contact them for it, but they may take a while to give it to you, especially if the phone is under financing.
Should you buy a locked phone?
No. However, if you do not switch networks easily, you can buy a locked phone. The locked phone can be a good option if:
- You wish to get financing for a phone upgrade
- If you do not have enough money to replace a phone
- If there is a good deal on the locked phone, i.e., buy one get one free
If these are not the options you have, then don’t opt for a locked phone. Also, a locked phone may be tied down to postpaid plans, and if you fail to pay postpaid plans or cancel earlier, you may face early termination fees.
What are the cons of locked phones?
Here are some cons of locked phones:
With a locked phone, you are tied to a contract with the network, and for you to opt-out, you should either pay full price for the device or early termination fees for breaking the contract.
ii) You can’t use another network
With a locked phone, it’s hard to use another network, and this might be a problem if you go to rural areas or places where the network is poor.
iii) The tough process to unlock the device
If you wish to unlock the phone or the carrier to unlock your phone, the process may be tedious. Sometimes you may have to wait for 30 days or more for them to start the process. However, if you have no debt or paid full price for the phone, the device can be unlocked easily.
Despite these cons, locked phones get the best customer support compared to other devices; hence, you will get priority if you have any issue.
Can I switch networks with the locked phone?
No, this is not possible. However, the process may work if you switch from a standard network to an MVNO that uses network services from that standard network. It will also be easier if the network fully owns the MVNO.
So, feel free to contact the MVNO you plan to switch to, and they will guide you on whether the process can be worked on or not.
How to unlock a network locked phone for free: Complete guide
Whether you wish to unlock a simple mobile phone or any other device, here is a complete guide to help you achieve it. There are two processes that you can use to unlock the device:
1) Network codes
These are codes that can bypass the network password set up by the carrier. These codes can be found online, and some are free, while others cost between $5 to $15 depending on the carrier you are using. Once you have these codes, follow the instructions provided by the code’s manual, and you will be able to unlock the device.
This process may be illegal in some jurisdictions, so make sure to read any disclaimer to learn whether the process is ok within your location.
2) Local shops
Local shops can unlock the phones but at a small fee or sometimes for free. Feel free to visit a local technician, and they will unlock the phone in a matter of minutes.
These are the two best options available. You may also go to your carrier and if the process seems tiresome, feel free to consult a legal practitioner to hasten the process.
Network locked phones have become much easier to unlock because of the vast amount of options available. You can use unlocking codes, request the phone to be unlocked, network passwords, and many other options.
However, the options listed in this article are the best to consider due to their simplicity and speed. I hope this article has given clear guidelines on unlocking a network-locked phone for free.