I have a great example of being limited by a service provider and unlocking my phone to be able to use it somewhere else.
I owned a Samsung Galaxy S4 and I had purchased it through AT&T so that was the only provider it would work with. I tinker with electronics and programming and so the first thing I did was unlock it and the first time I did this was with a couple of programs that are free online. I very nearly bricked my phone! Don't worry though, I am going to tell you about a much easier way that only requires an internet connection.
First let me tell you a few things about unlocking your phone. Unlocking your phone will not damage it and in fact actually increases the resale value. But removing the lock coding within the phone you will be able to use that phone with any services provider anywhere around the world.
One thing that's true is it is possible to damage a phone when unlocking it with the programs that I used. You could potentially damage the software and that is why I recommend using an online unlock service.
The online unlock service will do the hard stuff for you so you don't need any technical or programming knowledge to do it. I will use my Samsung S3 for example, with the online unlock service all I had to do was input to the dail pad '*#06#' and the phone instantly produced the Imei for that phone. I got on my computer and went to the website of the online unlock service.
Now there are a few things I had to have before sending them my Imei. You also will need to know the phones original carrier, the brand, and the exact model of your phone. For me this information was AT&T, Samsung Galaxy S3. I went to the unlock service website, provided this information and my Imei, and within 24 hours they emailed me back with a code. You can do this process with any cell phone. The email that I received had these instructions. First turn off your phone, place a non matching SIM, for me I wanted T-mobile so that's the SIM card I put in. Then I turned on the phone and if it is not already unlocked it will ask for an unlock code which I entered in from the email that the unlock service company sent me. This is a much simpler process that takes advantage of the technology and carries virtually no risk to your phones hardware. After imputing the code my Samsung Galaxy S3 was unlocked and I was able to go from AT&T to T-mobile.
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