The majority of mobile devices come directly locked from the carrier and can only be used on that carriers network - until they are unlocked.
We’ve now reached a point in the wireless industry where wireless providers are now obligated to unlock your device.
If you have a phone that is paid off and haven’t missed any payments, you’ll be eligible for a SIM unlock directly from your carrier at no cost (Note: some carriers will require your phone to have been active for a specific period before they will agree to unlock your device - usually 12 months if there is a minimum set).
You can find out if your phone has been unlocked through a few different ways.
SIM card test - One of the more common ways is to test to a SIM card test. Borrow a friend or family members SIM card and insert the SIM card into the phone you question to be locked. If the phone works, your phone is unlocked and compatible with other carriers.
Contact your carrier -Another way you can validate whether your phone is unlocked is to contact your carrier. Most of the time, carriers will have the details on whether or not your phone has been unlocked.
Buying from a 3rd Party - If you are looking at buying a phone from a 3rd party service like Ebay or Craigslist, we suggest contacting the seller beforehand on whether or not the phone has been unlocked. The last thing you want to do is purchase a phone that is unlocked or incompatible. Doing your homework is always smart!
Learn more about unlocking read our unlocking guide here