[How to] Correctly use your Sim Network Unlock Pin
Cell Phone POP up messages Terminology Explained:
It is often easy to get confused with all the different terminology centred around cell phone codes.
Searching the internet I have not found anyone explaining the differences in a comprehensive manner.
Here I will attempt to explain, what each message actually means.
Basically there are 3 types of PIN numbers that your phone could be requesting.
1) The Screen Unlock PIN
2) The SIM card PIN
3) The network PIN
Before giving examples of the above types of PIN codes that your phones may be requesting. Let me explain each one in some detail:
1) The Screen Unlock PIN is basically the 4 or 6 digit pin or an alpha numeric password that you created to unlock access to your screen. Normally you enter this PIN every time you want to use your phone or after a reboot. In the old days, if you forgot your PIN number you can simply reset it using your email address. If you don't have access to the email address then some other information to get it reset is required.
If even that did not work, then an option would be to factory reset your phone, meaning ALL YOUR DATA would be erased including the PIN number you had set (allowing you to use your phone again). Now Google along with Android had recently created what they call, Factory Reset Protection (also known as FRP). This is similar to Apple's iCloud activation lock in the sense that if you don't have the PIN number or the info to reset it, then essentially you would never be able to get into the phone again, since Factory Reset Protection would prevent your from resetting the phone (and removing the old PIN number).
There are some work around's to this, and we are able to bypass the Factory Reset Protection for most phones. Please contact us if you are interested in this service.
2) The SIM card PIN, is the PIN number that came by default on your SIM card or the SIM card PIN that you set yourself. The purpose of the having a SIM PIN is if someone found your SIM card they would not be able to make a call or access the info on it without first entering your SIM card PIN number. An easy way to check this, insert a different SIM card into the phone and it should no longer ask for a SIM PUK. Essentially the SIM PUK does not have to do with the phone itself, only the SIM card in it.
The Sim card PIN number is also referred to as the SIM PUK. Here P.U.K is an acronym for Pin Unlock Key. Some carriers also put a SIM PUK on your SIM card when they sell you the SIM card. Often the PUK is written on the packaging that comes with the SIM card. The default PUK code is usually 1234 or 0000. Either way, if you never created a PUK for your SIM, you can easily call your SIM card provider and they should be able to give you this 4 digit SIM PUK number for free.
3) The SIM network Unlock PIN, has nothing to do with the screen PIN or SIM card PIN. It has to do with what network your phone was made for. When you bought your phone from a certain network carrier, they placed a PIN on the phone so that you can only use it with their Network. This is usually what is refered to as Network Locked. Now to unlock your network you need a Network Unlock Code. Here is where it gets a little confusing. This network unlock code goes by many different names. And some phones (Apple) do not have codes at all. In the case of Apple products, the network is unlocked through iTunes (after making a request through the carrier or through a 3rd party unlocker). The common names for Network unlock codes are: Network Control Key, NCK, Sim Network Unlock Pin, Network Unlock Code, Network Unlock PIN, Master Unlock Code, SIM network PIN and many other variations of those words.
More specifically, a SIM Unlock allows the SIM slot of your phone to accept another carrier's SIM card (either locally or internationally.)
Unfortunately all phones don't use the same terminology so that makes it more confusing! A simple way to remember is that if the POP up message has the word "NETWORK" anywhere in it, that means that is has to to with unlocking your network. If the word "NETWORK" is not found in the message, then your phone asking for the SIM pin or the Screen PIN.