If you are looking to take advantage of the great deals on offer at giffgaff with your iPhone 4S, then you may have to get it unlocked. This is because network providers use software encryption techniques in order to make it impossible to use the phone that you got through them with any other network.
The process of ‘unlocking’ a phone involves removing this encryption key so that the phone is no longer tied to a single SIM card. For help with unlocking iPhone 4S, visit giffgaff.com – a unique sim card provider that rewards its customers, or ‘members’, with great deals on mobile phone tariffs.
If you bought your iPhone 4S outright, without any network contract, then the chances are that your phone is already unlocked, in which case you can simply stick a giffgaff SIM into your phone and start using it. However, if you did get your phone with a contract, then it is likely that you will have to unlock it before you can use any other SIM cards other than the one that came with it.
There are several ways in which you can go about this. Perhaps the simplest is to call your current network provider and ask them to unlock the iPhone for you remotely. They will usually charge a fee for this service, but this approach does have the sizeable benefit that it will not invalidate your warranty in any way. Some providers may be unwilling to do this if you have only had the phone for a short time, but this does not necessarily apply in all cases.
Another way in which you can get your phone unlocked is to take it to a mobile phone shop. Most independent mobile phone shops will be able to perform this task while you wait, in exchange for a small fee, although with a new handset such as the iPhone 4S it may be a little more expensive and time consuming. Sometimes this can be cheaper than going through your network, and if you do not have this option (for example, if you bought your phone on the used market) then it will be a lot easier than trying to do it yourself.
If neither of the above options is suitable, then you may be able to unlock it yourself using an online unlocking service provider. In many cases, this can be more convenient than calling the network your phone is tied to or taking it into a shop, but it also tends to be quite a slow and expensive way to go about it.
Finally, you may be able to unlock your phone using software downloaded from the internet and the cables that came with your phone. However, it should be noted that the websites that you can download this type of software from tend to be pretty shady, so unless you are absolutely strapped for cash, have a lot of time on your hands, and are prepared to risk the security of your computer and iPhone, then this option is best avoided.