It can be so frustrating to have a phone you like that is stuck to a network that doesn’t work for you. Or the opposite – a great network provides the coverage you need, but you can’t take your favorite phone over to them.
Luckily, we live in an age where you no longer have to be tethered to a particular service provider, even if you bought your phone from them. It is possible, and completely legal, to mix and match your device and your service provider.
This is accomplished by unlocking your phone. Doing so offers the opportunity to switch between networks by inserting a new SIM card without having to get a new device. This can be a particularly useful option for people who often travel internationally, people who have moved, or those who want to modify, customize, and perfect their smartphones.
How Does “Carrier Lock” Work?
When someone buys a new cell phone, it is locked to a specific carrier. Manufacturers accomplish this by loading phones with carrier locks. The term “carrier lock” may sound like intimidating tech jargon, but it is a piece of code that is loaded onto a phone to ensure that it cannot be used on another operator’s network.
In other words, if you buy your device from AT&T, the carrier lock keeps your phone compatible with only the AT&T network. Almost all phones come with carrier locks, whether they are purchased from a wireless operator or a big retailer, like Amazon or Best Buy.
It doesn’t matter whether you buy the device at full price or at a lower cost. And with a two-year contract, the phone will be stuck on that network until you pay it off.
Being tied to a specific provider can be a burden for any number of reasons. If you move, travel, or wish to switch your service provider, you may find that it is difficult or almost impossible to switch between carriers without some guidance and/or a fee (especially if your contract is not up yet).
Again, the solution to this problem is releasing your smartphone from carrier restrictions. In other words, over ride that carrier lock. This enables your device to work with any service provider once you get their SIM card. This may sound like shady business, but rest assured, it is completely legal and quite easy to unlock your smartphone.
If you are using a reliable and trustworthy service, it does not require you to have any advanced technical knowledge.
If liberating your device sounds like an enticing option, your next step is to do some research on how to accomplish this task. You will find that there are several different methods you can use to do this. Some are more effective and safer than others.
Let’s take a quick look at the three main ways you can unlock a smartphone, and the pros and cons of each.
The Secret Methods to Unlocking a Samsung Galaxy s4
I became knowledgeable about the topic of unlocking phones out of necessity. Last year, I got a job as a consultant for a large company. I knew a large part of my job was going to consist of traveling back and forth between my home base in the U.S. and clients’ offices throughout Europe.
I feared that using my device while traveling would end up costing a lot of money, and within a few weeks those fears were confirmed!
I found that I was incurring large fees while traveling internationally, and that the coverage was often spotty when I needed it most. I considered the possibility of juggling multiple phones and sim cards, but I found that prospect to be too overwhelming and cumbersome in the midst of work and travel.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S4, so my research focused on this specific model. The general principles are true for the majority of smartphones, but you may need to do further research if you have a different model.
When I began my research, I had heard of freeing up devices before but was otherwise new to the whole process.
I didn’t know where to start.
So I spoke to tech savvy friends, multiple company representatives, and perused countless internet forums. Through this research, I found three main ways that a customer could accomplish this.
One of which has a high rate of failure and a high probability of causing damage to the phone. The other two methods are safe, quick, and dependable.
Least Successful: Hardware Unlocking
Let’s start with the worst method and get it out of the way. This method is called “hardware unlocking.” It consists of actually opening up the phone and messing with the internal hardware. The success of this method is dependant on the person doing it, and since there aren’t any officially licensed technicians to do it, it is generally unpredictable and has a low success rate.
Also, this method will automatically void your warranty. No one wants to get stuck with a broken device and no way of getting their money back!
Hardware unlocking was definitely not an option for me, as I imagine it is not an option for most people who don’t want to throw their money down the drain.
Hit Or Miss: Get Your Carrier To Unlock Your Phone
The second method is to go through your current carrier. If you are at the end of your two-year contract, you can go through your carrier to unlock the device and restore it to factory settings.
In 2014, President Obama signed a bill that allowed people to unlock their phones. Since that bill was signed, most carriers will assist you with the process when your contract is up. If this is the case, you shouldn’t have to pay a cent to have it done. In rare cases, a carrier may help a customer while the contract is still active, but this is rare.
In my case, I was not near the end of my contract and AT&T wouldn’t budge, so this was not a viable option for me.
Best Option: IMEI Unlocking
The final method is called IMEI unlocking. This is by far the safest, most effective, accessible, and common method for freeing up a smartphone.
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, and this code is a serial number for your device. Each smartphone has its own unique IMEI number. These numbers are stored in a database and are associated with other identifying information about your phone, like the color, storage capacity, model number, and year of production.
It is possible to use the IMEI code to switch your device from “locked” (attached to particular service provider in the database) to “unlocked” (unattached to a particular service provider).
This method is permanent, easy, fast, and legal, and will not affect your warranty.
The answer was pretty clear. I knew that an IMEI code was the only method I would trust with my cell phone. The next step was to find a trustworthy service to perform an IMEI unlock on my device.
Here’s How to Free Yourself From Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint by Unlocking Your Samsung Galaxy s4 The RIGHT Way
As I mentioned above, I knew that IMEI codes was the only method that I was going to use for my Galaxy S4. The general process goes something like this:
- Choose a service that you will use on your phone. I’ll give you my personal recommendation – the one that I used – down below.
- Give them any necessary information about your device. This information will always include the IMEI number, and will usually include your current carrier.
- Follow the instructions provided by the service.
- Wait a short time (anywhere from a few hours to a week) for instructions from the service.
- Follow the reset instructions sent to you by the service.
- Insert a new SIM card, and activate your device to your new carrier.
Simple, right? That’s because it is!
There are a few trustworthy services out there that will guide you through the process of unlocking your phone and provide customer support. I found two services that came highly recommended, and that had exceptional reputations among the tech crowd.
The two services I’ve used successfully are:
- ExpressUnlock.com This was the website that came most highly recommended. Customers like it because the site is easy to navigate, and the process is hassle-free. Furthermore, Express Unlock comes with a money-back guarantee.This means that if they are unable to do it, they will give you a refund.All you have to do is put in your current phone carrier, and the site will guide you through the process. One of the best features of this site is their access to Universal Samsung codes. This means that even if you don’t know your phone carrier, this site offers codes for a higher price that can still unlock any phone.This site has, hands down, the most affordable and reliable service for an IMEI release on a Samsung Galaxy S4.
- UnlockForest.com Another option I found over the course of my research is UnlockForest.com. This is a similar service to the first, which also comes with a money back guarantee if they are unable to assist you.Unlock Forest also offers universal codes for a higher price. However, the site is more difficult to navigate and requires more information at the start. It is still guaranteed to work, but may take more time and effort in the beginning.
Both of these sites allow you to keep yourdevice at all times and perform the service remotely and they do it fast. I always prefer ExpressUnlock because they’re fast and have the best customer service.
Be wary of services that require you to physically give your phone over, or even worse, send it away for an “international unlock.”
You should never have to wait more than a week or ten days for this to happen . The technology exists so that you can liberate your phone from home for a small fee. You should never have to part with your phone at any time during the process!
Take Control of Your Locked Samsung Galaxy s4 With This Method That Works Every Time
As I have already mentioned, there are only a few methods for unlocking your Galaxy s4. Only one of them is guaranteed to work regardless of how far into your contract you are. Using an IMEI release code is the best method for unlocking your phone and protecting your warranty at the same time.
This method will not damage the physical device, is completely legal, and offers the highest measure of security. Express Unlock is truly the best service around, with Unlock Forest coming in at a close second.
Express Unlock’s money back guarantee, customer support, and success rate are testaments to the quality of their service. Frankly, these services are an absolute steal considering how quick, efficient, and affordable they are for freeing up your phone and expanding its capacity.
If all this technical jargon seems a bit overwhelming, rest assured that the process itself is not. The process is quite simple.
Once you have determined the IMEI code and provided it to them, they will retrieve a code for you phone and either perform the process remotely or instruct you on how to do it yourself.
If you have decided to use Express Unlock, you must first determine your device’s IMEI code. Find the 15-digit code printed near the battery or by dialing *#06#.
If you already know your carrier, then you can follow the link for that carrier on ExpressUnlock.com’s home page. The page is easy and intuitive to use.
Please note that the codes for specific carriers are slightly cheaper than the Universal codes, so it is useful to figure out which carrier your phone is currently attached to. However, if you don’t know the carrier, you can still get your phone untied with your carrier by using one of Express Unlock’s universal codes.
The website will prompt you to follow some further steps, but overall that’s the whole process! I was shocked at how easy it was, and you will be too.
The team at ExpressUnlock handles the hard stuff, and within a week you should have a Samsung Galaxy S4 that you can use with any carrier you like, and take it overseas without incurring excessive fees and fines.
You never have to let your phone out of your sight, which is a huge relief.
Once you have a new Sim Card for your phone, you will be ready to go!
Why I Prefer This Method
There are many benefits to having an unlocked phone. Even more benefits if it was done safely and efficiently using a service like ExpressUnlock.com or UnlockForest.com.
One of the most obvious benefits of unlocked phones is that they offer complete coverage no matter where in the world you might be. All a customer has to do is buy a new SIM card that works where he or she is living or traveling. The customer can remain connected to friends and family at all times.
As someone who travels internationally for work often, I found that this was one of the greatest benefits of having an unlocked phone. I was able to stay in touch with the important people in my life while still traveling for work. Additionally, I was able to avoid excessive international fees by using my unlocked device with a local SIM card.
Often, having an unlocked device will save you money in the long run – and not just on international fees! Since the customer doesn’t have to pay a monthly fee to their carrier, he or she often ends up paying for only what they use. Skip all the excess fees (access, service, administrative charges, various regulatory fees etc) that come with a provider.
I also had a friend who had unlocked his phone using a code. He had a Samsung and had used ExpressUnlock.com (in fact, he was the one who recommended Express Unlock to me in the first place!). He was extremely satisfied with the service and switched to a new carrier.
However, a few months after unlocking his phone, he lost it!
Losing a phone is never a good feeling, but it happens to the best of us. If he had lost his phone while it was locked into the original contract, he would have had to pay termination fees to his carrier on top of shelling out for a new phone. Because he had unlocked his phone using an IMEI provider, he was able to escape costly contract termination fees.
Finally, because unlocked phones are so customizable and versatile, they tend to have a higher resale value than other phones.
The benefits listed above are true for any unlocked phone. However, a phone that is unlocked using an IMEI unlock code gives these benefits, plus the added benefit of being perfectly intact and secure with an intact warranty.
Take Control Of Your Samsung Galaxy s4 With This Unlock Code That Works Every Time
Whatever your reasons for wanting to unlock your phone, whether you are an international traveler who wants to avoid exorbitant fees or someone who wants more freedom and customizable options for your Samsung Galaxy S4, unlocking your phone can open a world of options.
There are a few methods for unlocking your device, and some are better than others.
To recap – The two main options are:
1) Find someone who will perform a hardware unlock, which has the potential to damage your phone and void your warranty (without even working!) or
2) Do an IMEI unlock.
Again, IMEI unlocks will not affect your warranty, can be done at home, and are pretty much guaranteed to work, provided that you follow the instructions. It is, hands down, the smarter and savvier of the two methods for unlocking a phone.
There are a many services out there that will offer to help you unlock your Samsung Galaxy s4. However, the top two that work for me and my friends every time are:
Express Unlock comes highly recommended, and is so easy to use that you can do it from home. Determine your phone’s carrier and IMEI number, and have them on hand. The website is intuitive, and does not require you to be a tech genius to unlock your phone.
You follow the link on their website that matches up with your current carrier, and provide the requested information. They take care of the rest.
Their unlock codes are guaranteed to work, and they offer a quick turn around time (a maximum of one week). Their services are affordable and best of all, you never have to part with your physical phone, worry about damaging it, or void its warranty.
While Unlock Forest offers a similar service, the website is slightly more cumbersome and complicated to use. It also requires the customer provide more information up front. However, if Express Unlock does not suit your needs, Unlock Forest is an excellent second choice.
Like Express Unlock, you never have to hand over your device and the team at Unlock Forest is ready to provide quality customer service or a full refund if they cannot unlock your phone for any reason.
Using these services will allow you greater mobility, customizability, and coverage without the hassle of exchanging your device. Forget about juggling multiple phones and SIM cards or handing your phone over to some shady service that will destroy your warranty and your phone’s resale value!
If you are ready to unlock your Samsung Galaxy S4 and maximize your smartphone’s potential today, head over to ExpressUnlock.com. Not only do they offer the fastest, and most affordable unlocks for Samsung phones, they offer the most secure service on the market!
Enjoy full freedom of your phone – they have a money back guarantee so there’s no risk – try ExpressUnlock now!