‘Tips’ Archive

A complete guide to blacklsited cell phones

Buying a used cellphone can be a great idea: you can save money, obtain an already unlocked phone, or buy a brand or a particular model you couldn’t otherwise afford. It sounds ideal, but unfortunately, buying a cellphone that is blacklisted can mean not only is your phone completely useless to you, you could potentially end up with a knock at the door from the police asking some difficult questions.

Think it can’t happen to you? In 2013 over 3.2 million cellphones were stolen in the United States alone, double the amount stolen in the previous year, so this is a fast growing problem. It means millions of cellphones are out there being advertised daily on online auction sites and listing sites around the world that could well be stolen, and you won’t know anything about it until you arm yourself with what to look for and what questions to ask.

Understanding your IMEI

Every mobile device in the world, whether it’s a cell phone or a tablet, has a unique serial number known as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier). In a growing number of countries, operators enable consumers to report a mobile phone or device as lost or stolen using the device’s unique identity number, the IMEI.  The operator can block the phone from their mobile network, which is called IMEI blacklisting. Participating operators have an up to date Device Check database which contains the IMEI for devices reported as stolen or lost, as well as the device model and capabilities.

Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSM), established in 1982, defines the GSM standard as the internationally accepted digital cellular telephony standard. Global mobile connections now exceed some 10 billion connections, and as of 2015, exceeds the total population of the globe.

As a means of controlling this vast number of global connections, which is increasingly important in an age of international organized crime and terrorism, blacklisted IMEIs are provided to the GSMA central IMEI Database which allows operators to exchange data and to block devices on multiple networks both nationally and internationally.

How your IMEI is broadcast to the network

Each time you make a call your SIM card immediately identifies you as a subscriber to that particular carrier. If your account is in order, then you can make the call and use the services of your service provider. Before that can happen, however, the network will check your phone’s IMEI, which is a number that is unique to every GSM handset.

Like IMEI, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) devices also use something similar called an Electronic Serial number, or ESN. The IMEI or ESN identifies the phone to your carrier and it checks that the handset is valid to use. If the phone is locked to another carrier or if it’s lost or stolen your service provider can use the IMEI to “blacklist” a device which means you won’t be able to make calls.

So for example, it’s the IMEI, and not your customer profile that lets a large carrier such as AT&T know that you are using an iPhone. Even if you switch to a different type of phone, a BlackBerry or an Android, your service provider will know which phone you are using. Even when you jailbreak a phone, your IMEI will still give your chosen service provider the information they need to know.

What happens when you discover you have a Blacklisted Phone?

Each time you switch your phone on or attempt to make a call, the network systems check the IMEI number of the handset you are using as soon as you insert a SIM card.

In the USA, the cellphone blacklist is operated by the CTIA, which works with leading cellphone providers including AT&T, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless to provide a vast database of blacklisted phones. They are also linked to the GSM IMEI database.

In the UK, when the SIM card is inserted, the IMEI number of your handset is cross referenced with the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), which is also known as the IMEI database. If the IMEI number of your handset is on the CEIR/IMEI blacklist then the network will either refuse to send a signal to your phone (No signal strength at all or will supply a signal but will not allow any outgoing or incoming calls.

If your IMEI number is on the CEIR your handset is blacklisted and therefore of no use to you or anyone else except for spare parts.

Why are blacklisted phones still so prevalent?

Despite huge efforts by service providers and international cellphone network organizations to clamp down on stolen cellphones, inevitably the system has its shortcomings and criminals can still get around the blacklist database by sending blacklisted handsets overseas, which is why cellphone theft still tops the list of stolen items. It’s a crime worth billions every year to international organized crime syndicates. The so called petty criminal who pickpockets your handset while you gaze into a shop window could be passing the phone on as his part in a global crime syndicate. Also, IMEI’s can in some circumstances be changed or rewritten. Don’t be tempted to try it, it’s against the law and will result in a jail term, but it still goes on.

Another major reason criminals want to get hold of your cellphone is not just to sell it on the international market, it’s the chilling fact that while 77% of users use their cellphones for online banking transactions, less than a quarter of these have any type of security on their phones! Accessing sensitive banking details on an unprotected cellphone is much easier than robbing a bank!

There are also several examples of incomplete data with all of the blacklist databases because the submitting of details is still voluntary. For example, a handset that is barred in the USA could still work in Mexico and vice versa, and a cellphone bought or stolen in the UK can work in a different country. A large number of UK barred handsets find their way to Italy, Spain and France.

Unlocking VS Unblocking a Cell Phone

There is an important difference between unlocking and unblocking a cell phone. Unlocking a cellphone from a service provider to be able to choose another is perfectly legal, but when a mobile phone is “unblocked” criminals can change the IMEI number and make the cellphone operational again. This practice is illegal and only the manufacturers are allowed to alter it.

Unblocking mobile phones is a criminal offence and carries custodial sentences. It is even an offence to simply offer to unblock or reprogram a phone.

Select your seller wisely!

If you are buying a phone online, and amazingly, 74% of consumers do, and you see one you want to buy on an auction site or a listing site, first determine whether the phone in the picture is the exact same phone you are actually being offered. No matter what site you are on you should expect to be able to glean some basic stats about the phone: the color, the correct model number, its storage capacity; all these are vital details in the device description.

The next step is to see if you can contact the seller to ask for the IMEI, if he or she refuses to give you this important piece of information, be wary and walk away. It could mean they have something to hide, and the fact is, there are so many other options you could explore rather than running the risk of a blacklisted phone. For example, Amazon and eBay have a safeguard of profiles and seller reviews that make them more trustworthy than buying from unmonitored websites. Also, Swappa and Glyde, have policies and safeguards in place for buyers. For example, Glyde holds the seller’s payment in escrow until the buyer has checked the device and confirmed that it’s clean and offers a full refund policy if not satisfied.
If you pay for your phone through PayPal or with a credit card you should be able to obtain a refund if the phone proves to be blacklisted.

If you are buying an iDevice, Apple now has a service on iCloud.com called Check Activation Lock Status. This enables you to quickly see if a device was obtained illegally. If you have managed to obtain the IMEI serial number from your seller, you can tell if someone used ‘Find My iPhone’ to switch on Activation Lock.

Activation Lock was introduced in iOS 7. It locks down the device, making it unusable until the correct Apple ID and password have been entered. So if you do purchase a bad Apple so to speak, you won’t be able to use it. You can also check how much warranty is left on the device by checking the serial number too.

Buying a cellphone online is always a case of ‘buyer beware’, which is essential for any major purchase from a complete stranger on the internet.

How to check if your IMEI is Blacklisted

IMEI stands for International Mobile Station Equipment Identity. It’s the key identifier of each and every cellphone around the world. You can check your phone’s IMEI quickly and easily on a number of free sites:

For Canada you can check here: http://www.protectyourdata.ca

In USA, you can check on the T-Mobile Website as well as Verizon, Ringplus, and Ting.

In Australia you can check for free on Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association Website:
http://www.lost.amta.org.au/IMEI or http://www.amta.org.au/pages/amta/Check.the.Status.of.your.Handset.

There are also some well-known free Check Services such as: https://swappa.com/esn
(ESN Check FAQ: https://swappa.com/faq/esn)

So it really is very easy to do some basic homework before you allow yourself to become stuck with a blacklisted mobile phone. If in doubt you can also check with the service provider that is hosting the phone or even your own current provider. You can quickly look for free IMEI services in your own country by checking on the internet.

There is also a paid for service called Checkmend but beware, if you use this site and the IMEI is blacklisted, you might just be approached by your local Law Enforcement agency who have direct access to the searches made on the Checkmend website. This could result in an unwanted visit to the police station at an unsociable hour of the day.

What to do once you are certain your phone is not blacklisted

This is the easy bit. If you obtain a clean cellphone but you are not happy with the service provider that is hosting it, or you simply want an unlocked phone, UnlockBase offers the web’s largest database of service providers and cellphone models that can be safely, quickly and economically unlocked via remote unlocking, and it can all be done in a matter of minutes. Also, UnlockBase won’t be beaten on price, so if you find a genuine deal elsewhere that unlocks the same model for less, UnlockBase will match it or beat it for price, and you can’t say fairer than that!

Buying a new cellphone can be a fun and rewarding experience provided you exercise caution and know your facts prior to purchase. Study this article well, ask questions, don’t be fobbed off and walk away if you are in the least bit suspicious. Also, let your friends know about this article by sharing it.

A complete guide to Blacklisted Cell Phones – the eBook

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All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

5 signs you could be addicted to your cellphone

Psychologists say it takes as little as seven repetitions of a certain activity such as smoking or imbibing alcohol on a daily basis for it to become habit forming. Now there is a new temptation which has become more potently addictive than even cigarettes or alcohol for people of all walks of life all around the world. Not only that, many of the addicts are children under the age of ten. The new addiction is the constant checking and playing with smartphone devices.

In recent research conducted by the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, researchers found that 91% of respondents could be classified as overusing, abusing, and overly dedicating themselves to the use of their smartphones.

The first signs to determine smartphone device abuse is whether or not the respondent checks the phone right before they go to bed, if they habitually play video games on their device late into the night, and if the smartphone is the first thing they check in the morning when they open their eyes. It’s the same hard to break habit that many nicotine addicted smokers have. Research has also shown that stimulating the brain late at night when it is preparing for sleep can create restlessness and persistent insomnia.

One only has to walk the streets or wait in a subway of any city in any part of the world to witness the face down, eyes glued to the smartphone problem first hand. People now use their smartphone very much like a drug. They are bored so they play with the phone. They’re tired, so they pick up the phone. They feel anxious they haven’t heard from someone so they absent mindedly check the phone. They’re angry, so they soothe themselves with a video game on the phone.

Cell Phone Addiction - Subway

They want to find something out, so the first resort is the phone. Apps have quickly rushed to bolster this addiction by offering easy to use solutions for every possible human need from where to eat, to fall in love, and to unlock a cellphone. (That at least, is simple, just visit UnlockBase for the web’s largest database of cellphone models and internet providers, for fast, fuss-free cellphone unlocking.)

Back to cellphone addiction, and there is no question that the smartphone has replaced the need for human social interaction in many instances. It’s easy to avoid and deflect uncomfortable social situations by pretending to be consulting your smartphone. It’s also becoming easier and less inhibiting for hundreds of thousands of people around the world to converse not via the spoken word but via Wattsapp or Viber or one of the other many instant free messaging apps that are readily available. As a direct result of the power of these apps, network providers have been forced to offer what was once one of their biggest profit earners, the text message, as a free unlimited option.

The second more serious phase of cellphone addiction is when it starts to impact on day to day life, whether it be in the car, at the office or at home. 98% of respondents to the research conducted by the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction admitted that texting while driving is dangerous, however nearly 75% admit to having done it. It’s a fineable offence in many countries, but every year several horrific accidents are caused by drivers driving and consulting their cell phone, with an inevitable lack of attention to the road.

Cell Phone Addiction - Driving

At the office too much time on your smartphone can mean you miss deadlines or fail to pick up on instructions given to you, while at home, you know the smartphone is ruling your life when you just want to come home, flop in a chair and play a game rather than talk to your partner or your kids.

Are you addicted to your cellphone? Do you have any of these compulsive cellphone habits? The first step to a cure is admitting to them.

  1. You take a photo of every meal you eat and post it on Facebook
  2. You check the LED light on your mobile for messages dozens of times an hour
  3.  You drop the phone on your face because you have dozed off
  4.  You choose clothes based on their suitability for carrying your cellphone
  5.  Your cellphone holder takes pride of place on your car windscreen

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

7 Ways To Protect Yourself From Cellphone Radiation

Did you know that the average person checks their phone over 150 times per day, and a smartphone often sits in the pocket of the user for up to 15 and sometimes 18 hours per day? Cell phones emit Electromagnetic Fields/Radiation (EMF/EMR) which are invisible rays being emitted through our ears every time we use the cell phone.

UnlockBase is the largest remote online cellphone site on the web, so because we are unlocking thousands of phones every year, we believe it’s important to educate our customers about using their cellphones safely.

The consequences EMFs are having or are likely to have on our health and wellbeing continue to be debated and argued between doctors and scientists. But with well over 4 billion people now using cellphones around the world and the number increasing everyday, it’s becoming increasingly vital that we understand how this form of radiation works and its potential risks. The majority of research agrees that this form of radiation contributes to human tissues, to varieties of brain cancers such as glioma and meningioma (cancers in the brain) and sleep dysfunction and forgetfulness.

Protecting yourself from these issues should therefore be of primary concern. You can do this in a number of practical and inexpensive ways.

1) Don’t carry your cellphone in your jeans pocket. Think about it, if scientists and doctors believe cellphones are messing with our brain cells, think what a switched on cellphone might be doing close to your genitals. Ideally, carry your cellphone in a bag or an outer garment such as a coat or jacket.

2) Don’t sleep with your cellphone. Many people actually sleep right next to their cellphone, while the vast majority keep the phone within at least 6 feet of themselves at night. If you sleep an average of 6-10 hours a night with your phone within a 6′ radius from your head, then you increase your exposure. Turn off your phone off, or put it on airplane mode. It’s the same for wi-fi routers, keep them out of the bedroom. In fact some sleep experts even recommend removing electronics from the bedroom altogether.

3) Invest in an EMF Proof Headset. This technology is now widely available for less than the cost of a couple of drinks in the bar. One of the market leaders in this EMF Proof head set technology is Blue Tube. Blue Tube technology works just like a stethoscope and allows the user to hear their telephone conversations without the use of wires, which conduct potentially harmful cellphone transmissions directly into the ear. Alternatively, use the speaker function on your phone and keep the phone as far away from yourself as possible.

4) Use an Anti-radiation case for your cellphone. Protect yourself further by slipping your phone into an anti-radiation case when you are carrying the phone. Making and receiving calls while the phone is in the case can reduce EMF radiation to the brain by up to 96%.

5) Turn off your cell phone when not needed. Or at least keep it a few feet away from your body.  Even when not in use, as long as your phone is turned on, it continues to emit EMR as it connects to its base station.

6) Limit cellphone use for children. Yes, this may be one of the most difficult things to do, but EMR radiation has far more impact on children than on adults due to the lack of bone density in a child’s skull. You have no doubt noticed how hot your phone feels after a long call. Imagine how much EMR radiation is being released into a child’s brain if he or she makes long calls.

7) Consider a Quantum Balance Crystal. Quantum Balance Crystals (QBCs) have hundreds of thousands of nano-scale quartz crystals that are invisible to the naked eye embedded in a high-grade natural resin. These pendants help counteract the chaotic electromagnetic spectrum that may be bombarding your body and bring your body back into color and energy balance. The dyes used are plant based and the color energy positively influences the balancing of the body’s energy centers, or chakras.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

3 ways to obtain an unlocked cellphone

An unlocked cell phone is a cell phone that can be used with any GSM compatible carrier worldwide, as long as you are in possession of a SIM card provided by a carrier or a SIM service provider.

But right now the chances are, your cell phone is locked to one particular service provider. And when you try to leave that company, you could find that your phone won’t work, especially if you are still working your way through your 24 month contract. That’s because the carrier that you purchased the phone from does not want you to leave them and go somewhere else, possibly with better rates, so the phone is locked. If you travel to another country and try to use a different company’s cell phone service on your old phone, that won’t work either, and you will find once more that it is still locked to your original carrier.

Does it have to be this way? Well it certainly used to be, but now it is actually legal to unlock your cellphone and escape from a contract that is tying you down. While it may be legal, don’t think that the carrier is going to make it easy.

However, depending on what kind of phone you have and what carrier you acquired your cell phone from, you might be able to unlock your phone through a reliable online unlock service such as UnlockBase, which has one of the world’s largest databases of both cellphones and carriers throughout the world. You can enjoy the freedom to use the phone you love with the carrier of your choice or even switch phone numbers and service accounts.

3 ways to get hold of an unlocked cell phone:


1) The first and most obvious method is to buy one, brand new, straight out of the store or off the internet. If you find the price is too steep for the model you want there are stores that specialize in selling refurbished and unlocked pre-owned cellphones, which are significantly cheaper than the brand new models. But if you insist on the latest model, you will have to pay the necessary money upfront.

2) The second method is certainly always worth a try and should really be your first resort. This method is to try and unlock the cellphone you have been given by your carrier. This is achieved by trusted companies, such as UnlockBase, who use unlock codes which they can send to you online once they know your IMEI number. Just about all phones acquired from carriers in North American and European countries are locked to their service provider by using certain software codes or by being hard coded with specific propriety settings. It’s possible to unlock these codes, but you need to know what you are doing. If you try it by yourself with only a little knowledge, you could find your phone is not only still locked, but you have also managed to lock yourself out, and then the phone is no longer of any use to you whatsoever. Attempting to unlock a cellphone using the wrong code can permanently damage the device.

3) The third method involves a little travel, but can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. In several Far Eastern countries, the exact cellphone model you want is sitting there unlocked in a store, surrounded by several other models of which you have never even heard of. It’s no exaggeration to say that many Asian countries are completely obsessed with mobile phones, and yet not remotely interested in being tied to any particular carrier. The end result is plenty of choices of unlocked phones with some highly competitive prices for the most popular models. This is because bargaining and low pricing are all part of the South Eastern Asian shopping experience. However, one word of caution with this approach; and that is, beware of cheap Chinese imitations of some of the most popular cellphones such as Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft, Sony and especially the Apple iPhone. They may look very similar, but if the price is too low, be suspicious and walk away, these phones do not pass the exacting standards of the original manufacturers.

It really doesn’t matter which brand you are looking for, be it an unlocked Blackberry, LG, HTC, Sony Xperia or iPhone, that works under any carrier. Nowadays it’s easy and economical to find cell phones from any manufacturer to suit your needs without having to commit to a specific service provider.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

Would you dare to jailbreak your Apple iOS 9 device?

Jailbreaking the Apple iOS 9 platform is deliberately not easy. In fact it’s the Twin Towers tightrope walk of jailbreaking in that you have to be either very brave or very determined to break it because it apparently runs a security system dubbed ‘rootless’ and it’s designed to seek out malware, therefore most all attempts to jailbreak it get recognized and promptly stopped.

But now a hacking team from China called Pangu have found a way to jailbreak the iOS 9 platform and prior to this platforms iOS 7.1 to 8.1. But it’s their latest coup that has created a storm of controversy amongst the jailbreaking community, not least because there may well be some industry jealousy that they got there first.

The Pangu jailbreak consists of a Windows software package that allows for what is known as an “untethered” jailbreak. This means your device does not need to be plugged into your computer to run. The jailbreak reportedly works on iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices running iOS 9 through 9.0.2.

Pangu claim they can jailbreak phones including the iPhone 4s, 5/5c/5s, 6/6 Plus, and 6s/6s Plus as well as the iPad 2, 3 and 4, iPad Air/Air 2, iPad mini, iPad mini 2/3/4, and the 5th and 6th generations of the iPod touch – a long list of both current and older devices.

Once jailbroken, users can install a framework known as Cydia that enables the user to install unofficial packages that can enable your device to run apps or make changes to the iOS operating system which it would otherwise prevent.

About Pangu

Pangu is a team of dedicated cellphone jailbreakers based in China. Working with sponsorship, their first untethered jailbreak tool was Pangu 7, introduced in June 2014. Some of their success has been achieved by Apple users passing on to the expired enterprise certificates to assist them in developing the software. Pangu 7 and 8 has been downloaded by many millions of users around the world, and they have big expectations for Pangu 9. The software developers are currently releasing the Pangu download for free and even sharing details of the tools they are using. This certainly flies in the face of the Apple philosophy to premium price everything they offer.

Should you risk jailbreaking your phone with Pangu?

Well, industry insiders have been quick to be pretty scathing of Pangu’s achievements, claiming that first of all, the jailbreak will void your End User License agreement so that you will receive no further assistance from Apple when things go wrong.

Furthermore, it is claimed that many of the apps which can be installed once your phone is jailbroken still require several tweaks and elimination of bugs before they are ready. But no doubt some brave souls will want to beta test the new jailbreak that Pangu has created.

Meanwhile Apple have been quick to point out that malware such as Keyraider, which affected some 225,000 phones, was aimed specifically at those that had jailbroken their phones. The Keyraider malware attempts to steal account names, passwords, device IDs and more.

There is also a possibility that your phone could experience what is known as the Boot Loop of Death. This is not a new phenomenon, it frequently happens to Playstations when user try to play pirated video games.

In the case of Apple iPhones, the Boot Loop of Death (BLoD) occurs when the phone repeatedly blue screens far more than the three or four times that is normal while installing the Pangu software.

That said it is fixable by restoring your iOS device and does not in any way damage your iOS device beyond a restore. Also, Pangu team does advise you to back-up your phone prior to install in case of problems, even though they state that their jailbreak software is stable, simple and fast.

Want to give it a go? Here’s the Pangu website.
Or start by taking a look at this tutorial from our friend from TheUnlockr.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

Pay as you go or no? Pros and cons of pre-paid phones

Prepaid phone plans, often referred to as a pay-as-you-go plans, can be one of the best ways to save money while enjoying the many advantages of owning a cellphone. In just a handful of years, the advance of the cellphone has taken the world by storm, and people from all across the globe and from all walks of life and all income levels spend hours with their faces gazing down upon the lighted screen of a smart phone. With a pay as you go plan you only pay for the minutes you use, and you’re not tied in to a lengthy service contract. This can work out very well for the consumer, but make no mistake, your cellular carrier will certainly try to tempt you with a contract that not only gives you a ‘free’ phone, but also hundreds of voice minutes, gigabytes of free data and thousands of free text messages, all to ensure that every month you are paying them a sum of money for the privilege.

On the other hand, for those who prefer to pay only for what they use, a pre-paid service is simply a matter of choosing a phone and then paying a certain amount through regular top-ups based purely on consumption.

The question is, what makes more sense for you; a regular contract with a monthly allowance of calls, data and messaging, or just a pay as you go plan?

Pay as you go or no? Pre-paid pros

  • No waste

One of the greatest benefits in using a pay-as-you-go cellphone is the amount of money you can save on contract fees and purchased minutes. All you need is to top-up the phone as and when you run low on credit. If you tend to use free communication apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp or Skype, this kind of plan can make a lot of sense, as you are not even using any call credit, and yet you are still communicating. Pre-paid users only buy minutes they think they will use with the option to buy more as they need it. Top-ups can be as little as $5.00 (US).

On the other hand, with a set monthly contract you might, for example, have 500 voice minutes assigned to you each month. If you only consume 200 minutes, you are paying for 300 minutes per month that you do not use. Paying for minutes as you need them makes it easy to control your phone usage and assures that there are no eye-watering surcharges, should you exceed your allotted call minutes.

  • No contract

Pay as you go also means you are not tied to any contract. You are free to try various service providers to arrive at the best solution for your needs. You have no monthly bills, no contracts to sign, and no early termination fees. Also, and just as importantly, there are no credit checks for pay as you go, so there is no fear of rejection by any cellphone carrier should you be a low income earner.

  • Parental control

Pre-paid plans can also work extremely well for children and teens, as it means you are in control of how much they consume. This way you won’t have to worry that they are logging on to costly online video games, which produce nasty surprise bills that can often run to hundreds of dollars.

Pay as you go or no? Pre-paid cons

  • Lack of cellphone choices

If you visit the large, high-end cellphone carriers you will quickly discover that most of the cellphones available for pre-paid plans tend to be entry level models, and the store assistant has been trained to be dismissive of such plans, trying instead to tempt you into a big fat 24 month contract. The pre-paid phones they offer lack features, processing power, and the quality that you might want. If you want a cellular device designed with a high pixel rate camera, a great music player, high processing power and access to a wide variety of apps, a traditional pre-paid cellphone may not satisfy your needs.

However, as reliable online cellphone unlock services such as UnlockBase are proving every day, what once was a distinct disadvantage for pre-paid plans – a very limited choice in pre-paid handsets – is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

UnlockBase has a huge database of cellphones of all types and hundreds of cellphone carriers from all over the world. With a simple code they can help the customer to simply ‘jail-break’ the cellphone model of their choice.

  • Lack of cellphone credit

The other disadvantage with a pre-paid plan is that you need to keep a regular check of your available credit, because you will literally be cut off in mid-sentence once your credit runs out. Imagine if your car happens to breakdown in a cold and lonely spot miles from anywhere or anyone, this can quickly become a real and dangerous problem. It’s also highly inconvenient even if you are simply trying to have a conversation.

One way to overcome this problem is to always carry an extra top-up card with you in case of emergencies.

Pay as you go or no?  So should I opt for pre-paid?

Pre-paid plans are ideal for those who do not consume excessive amounts on phone calls and for controlling the spending habits of children and teenagers. These plans also work well for those with few cellular needs. New SIM deals such as Vectone, Lycamobile and Lebara also offer pay as you go with the benefit of significant savings on overseas texts and calls – and free calls if made from one Lycamobile number to another in certain countries.

Decide what you need most with your cellular plan and see if a pay-as-you-go deal works best for you!

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

Cellphone jailbreaking legislation: know your rights

There is a great deal of confusion over the act of ‘jailbreaking’ a cellphone, and it’s certainly not made any clearer by the cellphone carriers who want you to stick with them for the full term of a 24 month contract. According to U.S. wireless carriers, unlocking a phone bought after January 26 2012 without your carrier’s permission violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) whether the phone is under contract or not.

However what this really refers to is the fact that the DMCA prohibits “circumventing” digital locks that “control access” to copyrighted works including movies, music, books, games, and software. In fact this broad and vague ruling bans a lot of useful, and important activities, however, there are exemptions for mobile phones to run unapproved software, and for using clips from DVDs and internet video in non-commercial videos.

Really? Who cares? The vast majority of people who want to jail-break their phone wish to do so in order to avoid lengthy contracts that do not best suit their needs, and they feel locked into a bad relationship.

Unfortunately, wireless carriers such as AT&T, and many others, do not have much sympathy if you want to end your contract. You need to pay an Early Termination Fee, which of course has its own acronym, (ETF) that can add up to hundreds of dollars. In fact AT&T and most major carriers, such as Sprint and Verizon, will charge you an ETF of up to $350, unless you happen to cancel within the first two weeks. T-Mobile users pay up to $200 depending on how many days are left on their contract.

But the reality is, you can still break free or jail-break without handing over rip off penalty fees for the simple reason that carriers are unlikely to start suing customers en-masse.

Here are some crafty ways to get out of a contract that is holding you back.

Unlock Your Phone

This is probably the simplest and most permanent solution of them all. In minutes and for a low cost, online cellphone unlock services such as UnlockBase can send you a code that unlocks your phone so that you can use it SIM free and choose any SIM free plan that takes your fancy. It’s quick, easy, safe and comprehensive, as UnlockBase offers a huge database of phones and service providers from around the world that they can unlock.

Sell Your Plan

You read it correctly. If you want to get out of your contract plan there may be someone interested in buying yours. Sites such as Cellswapper or Trade My Cellular specialize in this. They have found a loophole in most carrier’s rulings that means your carrier will only charge you an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you do not have somebody to pay the monthly fees for the remainder of the contract. So if you can find someone to take over your plan, this will not violate your terms of service as the other party is fulfilling the terms of your original contract. This means you can also test another carrier’s service. You can trade contracts with someone for 3-6 months and see if you want to jump to that carrier.

Track Changes to Your Contract

Keep abreast of changes to you contract. Cellular carriers regularly make “material changes” to a contract. A material change can be anything from additional service or maintenance fees, to adjustments in the rates you’re charged, or changes in discounts applied to your account. Should you spot a material change, you should be able to contact customer service and end your contract. Cellbreaker helps track these sorts of changes so you can break your contract.

Find a Carrier That’ll Pay Your Cancellation Fee

Yes, it’s true. Did you know that some smaller carriers such as Virgin Mobile, Credo Mobile, and Boost Mobile will let you prepay or pay by the month? Some of these carriers will even pay your cancellation fee for you, and you may even be able to keep your phone too! T-Mobile even promises to pay up to $650 to cover the costs of your Early Termination Fee (ETF) if you switch to one of its plans. A useful option if you just want to switch.

Don’t be held back by a cellphone contract you no longer want, get creative and unlock your phone!

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

How to Make Money with Unlocked Phones

What is the Marketplace for Unlocked Phones?

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit that is just waiting for the right opportunity or idea to turn your business acumen into a profitable future? Maybe you have a technical aptitude that provides you with just the edge you need to be successful in today’s age of high-tech digital communications technology.

Here’s the great news – the door is wide open to creating your own profitable business through buying and reselling unlocked cell phones. With literally millions of cell phones in use and the market changing constantly, the potential customer base is phenomenal to say the least. Just read any newspaper, blog, technical publication, or retail advertisement and consumers are besieged with the latest models of cell phones with the latest technical features and applications. Consumers line up to get the new technology even though their existing devices are still quite useful. Just because a well-known manufacturer has a newer more powerful device certainly doesn’t mean the prior model is useless. Technology just drives many of us to want the latest and greatest on the market, and advertising convinces us we have to move forward with technology.

So How Do I Turn This Into a Business?

With so many phones readily available at bargain prices it becomes a buyer’s market. You can select from the best manufacturers and the most recent models that you may want to build an inventory for, to resell at a profit. Thousands of cell phones show up on reputable auction sites every day as consumers upgrade to a different carrier or model. But if the original owner cannot get a reasonable price for the device, where does the profit come in?

Most individuals do not have the technical ability or knowledge needed to unlock a cell phone or other digital device. This often requires very specific unlock codes and detailed instructions to reliably and safely unlock your phone. These steps and cell phone unlock codes vary significantly among manufacturers, carriers, and models. Further, it can be difficult to gain access to the codes and instructions needed to unlock your specific phone. This makes research time-consuming to obtain the information needed to be successful in unlocking phones. While some information can be found through surfing the Internet for such values and instructions, much of it is unreliable or questionable at best.

Now you know that there is a demand for used phones, that they are readily available at bargain prices, and that you can add value by providing unlocked phones to prospective customers. The remaining question is how you actually get your various devices unlocked so that you can build your inventory. Not many consumers actually know how to unlock a cell phone and nearly as many do not even know that this is an option. Cell phone providers do not want their customers to know that their cell phones can be unlocked either, and may even threaten customers with service cancellation, although it is perfectly legal.

What Are the Opportunities?

Like any money-making business much depends on the time you invest in the enterprise. That being said, here are real-life examples of earnings reported from cell phone resellers:

  • Sales of 21 phones in a single month at an average profit of $77 per phone.
    This is strictly a part-time effort netting $1,617 in one month.
  • Another reseller flipped 11 phones in a single weekend at a profit of nearly $1,000.

So the opportunity is real and potential is based on the time you have available to spend searching for phones with resale potential and relisting them at a reasonable profit.

Don’t trust yourself to make the right purchase or sale price that will earn you a profit? When you find a phone you’re considering buying, check out the estimated price on Movaluate.com. Also check eBay for recent completed sales of the same item to get a good feel for realistic selling price. This will boost your confidence that you are making a profitable selection.

Partner with an Expert Affiliate

Some technical services are best left to experienced professionals. Cell phone unlocking is one of these tasks where utilizing seasoned technicians provides reliable and successful results. This is where UnlockBase can assist you with consistent reliable phone unlocking services. UnlockBase has a proven track record of expertise in this highly technical field with over 5 million cell phones unlocked in 165 countries.

UnlockBase technicians are the experts who truly know the myriad phone unlock codes that facilitate the reselling of phones to your prospective customers. They can be your critical business partner in providing unlocking support for phones from various carriers, manufacturers, and models.

Why UnlockBase?

UnlockBase is simply the most authoritative cell phone unlocking company in the business. Partnering with UnlockBase as your affiliate will guarantee accuracy in providing phone unlock codes and successfully unlocking your phones. Unlocking services are provided on a timely basis to get your phones unlocked and ready for sale quickly and efficiently. This shortens the turn-around from purchase to re-sale making your business more profitable.

Through partnering with UnlockBase, your customers will receive added value in purchasing an unlocked phone that is not restricted to any particular carrier or service. This gives them flexibility when using the phone and brings you an edge over other cell phone resellers who do not have the expertise or technical knowledge to unlock such a variety of makes and models.

Get Started!

You can make selling unlocked cell phones a lucrative business even in your spare time. All you need to do to get started is:

  • Search the recognized and respected auction sites for desirable used phones and add them to your inventory. Use the web sites that can help you determine market value for used cell phones. Do not limit this to the usual sites like Craigslist and eBay. Other sites like Gazelle.com and BuyBackWorld.com are also worth visiting.
  • SellCell.com is the US’s largest Mobile Phone & Tablet trade-in comparison site.  They compare all the main BuyBack companies in the US, so the user can quickly find the best price when selling their old device. They also offer a Best Price Guarantee. If a user finds a higher price on another site, SellCell will refund double the difference back.
  • Partner with UnlockBase to receive phone unlock codes and services.
  • Resell the unlocked phones at a respectable profit.

There is a considerable market for these unlocked phones that are no longer restricted to certain carriers or services. Now is the time to get started turning used cell phones into profit.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

The 5 best and 5 worst points about buying an unlocked cellphone

Most people who buy a cell phone simply turn up at their local cellphone service provider carrier, sit there a long time while the sales people deal with other customers and then sign up for a 24 month contract with the phone of their choice, or at least, the phone that comes closest to their choice. Unfortunately, most phones from major carriers can only be used for that specific carrier’s network. But what if you decided to do things differently? What if you decided to buy an unlocked cellphone? Here we weigh both the pros and cons.

Unlocked cellphone pros

1) More networks

Manufacturers do not create cellphones to work with just one network, but cellphone carriers prefer to lock you in and tie you to a lengthy contract. With an unlocked cellphone you can access other GSM networks whenever necessary, which is perfect if you travel frequently as you can simply switch to other available network providers once you are out of your current provider’s coverage zone.

2) Save money

Unlocked phones may appear to be more expensive at first due to the sometimes high upfront cost, but they definitely work out more budget-friendly in the long run. There’s no long-term subscriber contract to worry about, and you can take advantage of the best SIM only deals for your cellphone with no contract and without incurring early termination fees. Prepaid SIM cards also offer cheaper call, data and messaging rates with some very attractive overseas call rates.

3) No roaming charges

Roaming charges are expensive on a contract. The roaming fee is billed on top of the monthly subscriber fee, and can add up to a significant amount. With an unlocked phone you simply buy a SIM card from the local or overseas carrier and immediately save money because you have a local phone number and pay local rates for calls and messages.

4) More flexibility

If for any reason you become unhappy with your current cellular carrier, with an unlocked phone it’s as simple as buying a new SIM card from a different provider.

5) Increased Resale Value

It’s easier to sell an unlocked phone; in fact it can be worth as much as 30% more than a locked one. It also attracts more buyers since they can easily use it with their existing network or change to another one. It also means the phone can be sold either locally or overseas, greatly widening your customer base.

Unlocked cellphone cons

1) Buyer beware

When you buy an unlocked cellphone you need to be sure you are getting what you pay for. It takes more due diligence than entering into a contract because you do not have your friendly, service oriented carrier to protect you if you find the phone has a fault or it is in fact a fake product, and there are more fakes out there than you could possibly imagine.

2) Higher upfront cost

You need to have cash ready to buy an unlocked cellphone, and for the latest models that can easily run to over $1000 or more. Shop wisely and be sure you are getting what you pay for.

3) Bandwidth issues

Wouldn’t you know it, networks in the US use different data frequency bands than those in other parts of the world, so if you spot a bargain buy in the States and think it will do the job, you may need to think again if you are based in Europe or elsewhere. If you are based in the US and want 4g, look for phones offering these bandwidths: LTE 700, LTE 800, LTE 1700, LTE 1900, and LTE 2100. Don’t get stuck with a phone that doesn’t work on your local service provider’s network.

4) Is the cellphone really unlocked?

Unfortunately there are several cowboy dealers out there who will sell you an ‘unlocked’ cellphone that is not properly unlocked, and you could even find that you yourself are locked out of the phone once the service provider discovers the phone is no longer under contract. Ideally, you should examine a cellphone in person before handing over any money.

5) Generic software

Generic software does not support data features such as mms – picture messaging, web browsing, and sending/receiving emails. So as to use data services you will first need to obtain the correct settings from your service provider (e.g. AT&T, EE, Vodafone) and set up the phone manually.

With a little care and attention to detail though, you will find the advantages and cost savings of an unlocked cellphone outweigh the initial start-up costs and need for extra vigilance. If you are not sure whether your cellphone is properly unlocked, check with a reliable and trustworthy online unlock service such as UnlockBase.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.

SIM Network Unlock PIN

Most Android phones are quite simple to navigate.  Best of all, they feature access to a variety of apps that you can use to simply your life.  But what happens if you need to unlock your phone from your network carrier?  The best answer is to contact UnlockBase for an unlock code.  Whether you’re traveling overseas and need your phone unlocked or you simply want to switch carriers, UnlockBase simplifies the process of making your phone compatible with other networks.


“SIM Network Unlock Pin Means” You Need an Unlock Code

When you go to unlock your phone, all you need to do is insert a SIM card from the carrier you want to switch to.  If your phone is locked, it will likely display the message SIM Network Unlock PIN.  This means that you’ll need to buy an unlock code from a reputable service provider.


You’ll Need Your IMEI Number to get an Unlock Code

Keep in mind that you’ll need your phone’s IMEI number to buy the unlock code.  On most phones, you can easily identify your IMEI number by typing *#06# and hitting the send or call button.  You’ll receive a message with the IMEI number.


Unlocking Your Phone is Simple

After giving your IMEI number to an unlock code service provider and receiving the code, you’ll enter it into your phone and hit the unlock button.  It’s as simple as that.  If for some reason the unlock code doesn’t work, this most likely means there have been too many failed attempts.  To overcome this problem, you’ll need to do a full reset on your phone.  You’ll also want to make sure that your new SIM card is valid.  For more information on how to unlock your phone, simply contact us today.


The Takeaway

Basically, if your phone displays “SIM Network Unlock PIN”, it’s asking for an unlock code, which you can purchase from UnlockBase.  We will provide you with a detailed tutorial on how to unlock your phone, and best of all, we provide discounts on many of our unlocking options.

All products, and company names, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed are registered® and/or unregistered trademarks™ of their respective owners. The authors of this web site are not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the third-party trade mark or third-party registered trade mark owners, and make no representations about them, their owners, their products or services.
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