An alternative route to unlocking your phone

If you’ve ever traveled overseas for an extended period of time, you probably looked into getting a mobile phone while you were away.

As you now probably know, using your personal phone can get wildly expensive when you leave the United States, and plugging an alternative carrier’s SIM card into your phone won’t work because domestic phones are “locked” to their carriers.

If you dug a little deeper, you may also know that you can “unlock” your phone in a few different ways, freeing it, so to speak, to communicate with any network that you like. So you could pick up a Vodafone chip in Spain, drop it into the mobile you use in the States and have a new Spanish phone number.

The barrier that many people run into is that unlocking your phone can be tricky. Depending on your model, some require reprogramming from the keypad while others require a professional to do it for you — but it’s almost never anything you can do in a few seconds — so most people give up.

Flopping around the internet today though I discovered a device that will actually do this for you — or virtually do it for that matter. It’s a tiny little chip called an I-Smart Sim that slips under your regular SIM and circumvents the locking mechanism. Seems like a slick way to get around renting your own phone in another country or paying crazy fees.

I’d try it myself, but my phone is already unlocked so I don’t need any augmentation. Perhaps someone else could test it out and let us know how it goes. It’s only seven bucks.

For more information on using using your cell when traveling, check out: How to use your mobile phone abroad.