Many people have experienced the frustration of having their mobile phone “locked” to prevent usage with a different cell phone service provider. This problem has been well documented when it comes to mobile phones. A similar problem can occur, however, with mobile internet dongles. While a locked internet dongle may seem difficult to unlock, by exploring a few different options you can unlock a locked dongle relatively easily (and cheaply)!
An internet dongle is simply a device that must be connected to a computer in order to access the internet. Typically a dongle comes in the form of a USB that contains a SIM card (similar to a cell phone). Unfortunately, you may sometimes find that your internet dongle is not functioning properly. This may be because the internet dongle is “locked” in an attempt to force you to choose only one internet provider. In order to determine whether your dongle is locked you should install the free program DC-Unlocker on your computer. After installation remove the SIM card from your dongle, plug the dongle back into the computer, and open the program. Then select the appropriate dongle model from the list, and then run the program to determine whether your dongle is locked.
If your internet dongle is not locked it is likely you have some other issue with your device. If your dongle is locked, however, you can pursue a couple of options to unlock it:
1. Contact your internet provider
Contacting your internet provider may potentially be the easiest option. Many internet providers will provide you with an unlock code for free, or a small fee. When you put a new SIM card into your internet dongle you will be prompted to enter the code. After you enter the code your dongle should function properly.
2. Install generic software
If you are not prompted for a code, or your internet provider does not give you an unlock code; another free option is to install generic software. This procedure involves replacing the dashboard application you use to connect with new generic software. This software can be downloaded on the DC-Unlocker website. After you install this new software (and delete your old software) your dongle should work.
3. Pay for an unlocking service
If the other two options do not work and you are willing to pay to unlock your internet dongle, you can search online for an unlock code from an online store. You can search on websites such as eBay, which generally will email you the unlock code and instructions on how to properly use it.
There are other options as well, such as implementing a new firmware package for your dongle. These options are relatively technically intense and may take a significant time compared to a professional fix. Regardless of which option you choose to use, however, unlocking your internet dongle will help ensure that you are back online before you know it.
Guest Article from Spencer Hogg at Broadband Expert where you can search and compare mobile internet dongles.