If you are in the market for a portable WiFi router, aka MiFi then you understand the headache that comes with this kind of shopping. See, while it is possible to find a good product straight from the manufacturer, much like you do with your phone, those devices are extremely rare. And if you’re lucky to find yourself one of those, their prices are rather steep for a MiFi.
Cell carriers insist on making branded MiFi devices that are locked to their networks. This means you can only use the said MiFi with the carrier’s SIM Card and on the said carrier’s network. This might be fine if you are comfortable with your carrier’s data plans. If not, you have to go purchase another device from the carrier who’s data plan you want to use. If you’re the type to hop around different carriers scouting for the best deals, you can easily end up with up to 5 different MiFi devices from the same manufacturer, only different branding/carriers.
Luckily, there are unofficial workarounds for this. There are a number of tweakers online that offer crafty ways to unlock MiFi devices, some for a small fee. But should you unlock your MiFi?
Pros of Unlocking your MiFi
For anyone making a purchase, they would want the device to be truly theirs. This means no limitations or restrictions imposed by the carrier post-purchase, right?
The biggest advantage to unlocking your MiFi is the ability to use your device on different carriers. If you are the kind of person that uses different carriers for different needs, say one for your data, the other for mobile money and another for calls, you might want to unlock your device.
Related post: Unlocking Alcatel LinkZone (TCL MW40) MiFi
For people that take a lot of international trips, it would make sense for you to just pop in a new SIM card when you’re roaming, thereby cutting down your expenses on data. That way you are still available on phone using your normal phone number and still connected online using a local carrier on the same MiFi device.
Cons of unlocking your MiFi
As is the case with any device, tampering with the original software voids your warranty. This means if you unlock your MiFi, you are on your own should the device turn out to have had an issue or sustain damage that would otherwise be covered under the Warranty agreement.
Remember when we used to install custom ROMs on our Android phones? Remember how often things did go wrong? How we ended up bricking our devices? Unlocking MiFi devices often involves tweaking the firmware and as we know, sh*t does happen. This is risky business and you can easily ruin your MiFi completely during the unlocking process.