UnlockRiver Review: Should You Try This Unlock Service?

It’s a common situation that when you trying to insert a new SIM card into your phone, but a message says like SIM not supported or network locked sim card inserted.

This means your phone is locked and you need to unlock it before switching to another carrier.

When you search for the solutions, you may find the UnlockRiver phone unlock service. But is it reliable to use?

In this article, I will make an unbiased review about UnlockRiver so you can unlock your phone and use a different network carrier.

We promise honest, no-nonsense reviews.

Part 1. UnlockRiver Review: Is It Worth Trying?

The short answer: I don’t recommend this unlock service personally. The success rate, delivery time, and price is lower than the average. But we’ll introduce some of the best alternatives in the next part.

1.1 What is UnlockRiver?

UnlockRiver is a service specially designed to unlock network locked phone, it supports most of the phone brands such as iPhone, Samsung, Huawei, HTC, etc.

It is based on IMEI number and claims that you can easily unlock your phone wherever you are in the world since the service is remote.

1.2 Is UnlockRiver Legit?

Yes! Just as most of the unlocking services, UnlockRiver is legal.

This is because since November 26, 2006, the U.S. Copyright Office allows consumers to unlock their mobile phones for another network.

But there are some unlock criteria for each carrier, if you’re eligible to unlock, there won’t be any limits ever since that.

1.3 Price (It’s Not Free)

Sorry to tell you that UnlockRiver is not a free unlock service. The price varies from the carrier, brand, model of your cell phone. You can check the price from their website.

From our experience, UnlockRiver is one of the most expensive phone unlocking services on the market.

For example, an AT&T iPhone 8 will cost $149 to unlock. This is far more expensive than its competitors.

1.4 Is UnlockRiver Safe?

UnlockRiver is safe to use. Just like most unlocking services, it can unlock phone without affecting the warranty.

And there is no jailbreak required, you just offer them the info they required (IMEI number, brand, model, carrier), they will do the rest for you.

You may wonder if the payment process is secure. I would say yes! They use one of the most secure payment systems – Stripe to process your payment & order info, there is no need to worry about safety.

1.5 How to Use UnlockRiver?

The steps are straightforward:

Step 1. Visit their website.

Step 2. Offer the info they required: locked carrier, manufacturer, model, IMEI, phone number.

unlockriver required info

Step 3. Submit your order and make the payment. Then wait for UnlockRiver to process your order.

Once they complete the unlock,

  • For android phones, they will send an unlock code to you.
  • For iPhone, your iPhone will be unlocked automatically.

1.6 Does UnlockRiver Actually Work?

We tested UnlockRiver with 8 phones, the success rate is only 50% which is far lower than its competitors.

Here is the detailed info:

  Locked Carrier Results
iPhone SE TracFone Unlocked in 9 days
iPhone 6 Plus Sprint Failed to unlock
iPhone 8 AT&T Failed to unlock
iPhone 11 Pro Max Straight Talk Unlocked in 13 days
iPhone 12 mini T-Mobile Failed to unlock
Samsung Galaxy S20 Cricket Unlocked in 5 days
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ Verizon Failed to unlock
LG K51 Boost Mobile Unlocked in 8 days

Despite they unlocked 4 of our 8 phones, the delivery time is not so good (up to 13 days). This is not user-friendly.

The worse thing is that they don’t offer refund for the orders that are failed to unlock. We’re not alone in this situation, here is a review from one of their customers:

unlockriver user review

This is why I don’t recommend this service.

Note that it’s necessary for you to check the blacklist status with an IMEI checker before using any phone unlocking services. Because there is no service can unlock a blacklisted iPhone.

What’s more, most phone unlocking services won’t refund those who submit the wrong IMEI or carrier info. So make sure you check the blacklist status and offer the correct info they required.

Part 2. Alternatives to UnlockRiver

As discussed above, UnlockRiver is not an ideal service for phone unlock. It’s wise to consider some reliable alternatives. Here we list two of the most effective alternatives to UnlockRiver.

2.1 DirectUnlocks

DirectUnlocks is an IMEI-based phone unlocking service that has been helping users unlock their cell phones for over 10 years.

According to our test, it delivered a 100% success rate unlock for our phones. The delivery time of this service depends on the manufacturer:

  • Android: within 6 hours
  • iPhone: within 24 hours

Due to the excellent performance, DirectUnlocks is always our first choice when it comes to unlocking a cell phone.

2.2 AppleiPhoneUnlock

AppleiPhoneUnlock is another phone unlock service that performed pretty well for us. This one is nearly the same as Directunlocks. But there are actually some differences.

DirectUnlocks is mainly focused on carriers from the USA, UK, CA, AU while the AppleiPhoneUnlock performs better for Europe, Asia carriers. Both the services are reliable after testing them with our phones.

2.3 Comparison

So, which phone unlock service should you use? I made this table to help you understand them better:

  Success Rate Delivery Time Price Supported Device Features
UnlockRiver 50% 5-13 days Over $100 All Android Phones & iPhone
  • Permanent unlock
  • Remote unlock
DirectUnlocks 100% within 24 hours Start from $28 All Android Phones & iPhone
  • Permanent & remote unlock
  • Best choice for USA carriers
AppleiPhoneUnlock 100% within 24 hours Start from $28 All Android Phones & iPhone
  • Permanent & remote unlock
  • Best choice for EU carriers


This is all about UnlockRiver Review. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.


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