Cell Phone SIM Backup
This unit has been replaced by the
simpler and lower cost
SIM Saver Unit.
Protect yourself against loss of data
and easily copy your phonebook to another SIM and phone
The SIMBackup 500™ can store all your phone book data
from two different SIMs.
Simple but functional, you can use it to copy your
phonebook data from one SIM to another, and to keep a safety
backup of the phonebook data from two different SIMs.
You backup your computer data,
don't you? Well, so too you should with your phone.
And if you're changing wireless providers (eg from AT&T to
T-mobile) you'll need to copy all your phone book data from one
SIM to the other.
Here's a very simple, easy,
and inexpensive way to back up, copy, and transfer the phonebook
data off your GSM mobile phone's SIM card.
The SIMBackup 500™ is a
compact lightweight device, smaller in size than a credit card,
but a bit thicker. It measures 3" x 2" x 0.4" and weighs
It has a numeric keypad,
which is necessary if you're working with a PIN-locked SIM, plus
a Menu, Enter, and Escape key. A five line LCD display
gives helpful prompts and information to walk you through using
The unit is supplied
complete with the two CR2032 batteries it needs, and a short
simple instruction sheet that clearly tells you how to use the
I knew I'd like this unit as
soon as I started to open its packaging. Unlike so many
items that are packed in heat-welded impossible to open thick plastic
display units, this unit had an ingenious fold over flap that
was easy to open and then the entire unit unfolded.
Heartfelt thanks to whoever added that small but much
appreciated piece of extra value to the unit.
The unit has a full one year
The SIM Backup unit is
cleverly designed and easy to use.
Its clever design was
obvious right from the start - turning the unit on.
The unit will not turn on unless you insert a SIM card - this
means there's no danger of accidentally turning it on and draining the batteries
by mistake. It automatically
turns itself off, too - either when you remove the SIM or if it
has been idle for 60 seconds.
When you turn it on,
you need to enter a password to unlock it. This
protects you from unauthorized persons accessing or damaging
your stored data. The password defaults to '1234' but can
be changed to anything you wish or disabled entirely if you
prefer. I've disabled mine, for fear of otherwise
As an extra protection, if
you have a PIN code set for your SIM card, you'll need to enter
that too before you can read data off or onto the SIM card.
You then select from a menu
of functions - the main two being backing up a SIM card, or
copying the stored data to a SIM card. You can also get a
count of the number of phone book entries stored, you can change
the password, and you can delete stored phone books.
When you choose to backup a
SIM, you can choose from one of two different memory banks to
back it up into. This means if you have two cellphones in
your family, you can backup the SIMs from each phone into the
unit's two memory banks.
Backing up takes about 2
minutes to complete. The display indicated its progress,
and showed when it was finished. It was then possible
to display a count of the number of records saved - an
interesting bit of trivia.
Restoring took less time
than backing up, about 30 seconds in my case.
Cleverly, if you have no
data stored in one of the memory banks, the unit won't let you
copy the empty memory bank to the SIM card.
Compatible with all GSM phones
and their SIM cards
The unit will work with any
SIM card from any GSM phone, even on other carriers'
prepaid phones, from anywhere in the world.
This makes it particularly helpful when you have multiple SIMs -
a SIM for the US, perhaps several prepaid SIMs for elsewhere in
the world, and a global roaming SIM as well. You can
easily copy and transfer your phone book data between all the
different SIM cards.
Note that your phone must be
a GSM phone, with a SIM card, for this unit to be able to help
you. In the US, most phones supplied by AT&T, Cingular,
and T-mobile are GSM and SIM based. Most phones supplied
by other wireless companies are not.
I've had one of these units
for some time, and find that I only use it once every few months
when I remember to update my backup copies of SIMs I have.
And when I do need to use it, I often can't find the instruction
So that I don't forget the
instructions, I've taped a summary sheet of instructions to the
back of the unit. You might want to consider doing the
When you're adding phone
numbers to your phone book, store the phone numbers in full
international format. Don't store local numbers as only
seven digit or ten digit numbers. That way, as you travel
around the US, the phone will always correctly dial the phone
numbers, and if you travel overseas, the phone will still know
how to dial numbers.
Full international format
means you start off with the international access code (the plus
sign +) then the country code, area code, and phone
number. So to save a US phone number, eg (206)555-1212,
you'd use this sequence +12065551212.
The replaceable batteries
have a life of at least one year and probably more, and when they are nearly flat,
the device gives you a low battery warning.
Because this is a device
that you might not use for several months, it is pleasing to
note that the unit keeps its information in permanent memory, so
even if the batteries die on you, the information is protected.
Buy a couple more batteries, put them in, and the unit comes up
again with the information intact.
The unit uses two CR-2032
batteries. These are a common type of battery and
available in most places.
The SIM Backup unit has a
retail price of $29.95.
We like them so much we've decided to sell this unit ourselves.
Simply click the button
to purchase one or more (they make a great gift!) using Paypal and charging to your credit card or bank
account. A single $2.50 shipping charge is added, no
matter how many units you buy. We'll also include our
special instruction summary sheet that you can tape to the
bottom of the unit so you too won't be stuck if you can't find
your instruction manual.
if you do lose your instruction manual, you're welcome to ask us
at any time and download an online PDF replacement copy.
You'll get an invaluable accessory to simplify the
management of your cell phone name and number directory, and
you'll be supporting The Travel Insider at the same time.
This is an easy to
understand and easy to use device that provides a clear and
valuable benefit if you have a GSM SIM based cell phone.
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06 Aug 2004, last update
19 Dec 2011
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.