What Is an IMEI Number?
Before we teach you all you need to know about IMEI, lets first of all know what is the meaning. The full meaning is ''The International Mobile station Equipment Identity number'' (IMEI) is a number used to identify a device that uses terrestrial cellular networks.

“And what is a terrestrial cellular network?” you may ask. This is the network you use when you place a call on your cell phone or access an Internet connection provided by your cellular carrier through your data plan. It’s called “terrestrial” because it uses planet-side antennas, not satellites, to connect.

You may have already gathered this, but it’s handy to have a definitive answer to the question. Since the IMEI standard is used for any terrestrial cellular network device, this means that 3G/4G tablets, laptops with PCMCIA wireless Internet cards, and other mobile equipment are also tagged with these numbers. If you have a dual-SIM phone, you’ll see two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM slot.

What Is the Purpose of an IMEI Number?

IMEI numbers have one principal purpose: To identify mobile devices. Their secondary purpose, or intention, is to prevent theft. If a mobile device can be universally identified, a thief cannot change the SIM card on a phone and expect to keep the phone. IMEI numbers are hard-coded into device hardware, making it nearly impossible to change them without somehow damaging the device.

When a carrier knows that a device has been stolen, it can blacklist the IMEI code and lock it out of the network. Later on, it tells other cellular networks to do the same.

IMEI numbers are a source of both mystery and paranoia within many circles around the Internet. These cryptic, nebulous numbers stamped around various parts of your phone are commonly used to identify phones, leading some to wonder whether they can be used for surveillance and other nefarious activity. We’re here to demystify IMEI numbers and tell you exactly what they are, how they work, and how you can find them

Finding your device's IMEI number.
Every phone or Mobile Broadband device has a unique 15 digit code, called an IMEI number.
You might need to find your IMEI number if you want to unlock your device to use with other networks, or for some insurance policies.

You can find your IMEI in the following ways:
1. By entering *#06# on your phone’s call screen. 

2. You can also find it in your phone’s settings
printed either on the back of your tablet, or underneath your tablet’s battery.

3. You can also find it in your tablet’s settings, printed inside your dongle or on your Mobile Broadband dashboard, printed inside your MiFi’s battery compartment, or on your Mobile Broadband dashboard.

Can the Government Use My IMEI Number to Track Me?
Short answer: YES.

Long answer: It depends. If they can’t attach a name or some form of personal identification to your IMEI number, they don’t know who your phone really belongs to. This is often the problem with prepay customers. Since they don’t sign contracts with their wireless carriers, there’s no way to attach a face or ID card to the IMEI number. The process of doing so is tedious at best.

If you have a contract with a mobile carrier, the government could use a search warrant to access your IMEI information for number and location tracking. So even if you swap out your SIM card with a prepaid one, you can still be traced. We’ll discuss this at length in another post.

Government is not the only entity you should worry about. Hackers can trace you if necessary using your IMEI number. However, neither of these situations happen very often to the average citizen.

Is My IMEI Number Valid?
Some counterfeit phones have bad IMEI numbers. The easiest way to check the validity of an IMEI number manually is by using the Luhn formula for verification of identification codes. If you want an easier way to check your IMEI, there’s always the online checker at IMEI.Info.

Run IMEI Check for Your Phone

So now that you have your IMEI, you want to do something with it, right? There are plenty of sites where you can enter your phone’s IMEI number – such as – and in return you’ll get a list of exact specifications and information about your device. 

Another site,, lets you use your IMEI number to check whether your phone has been blacklisted/reported as lost or stolen. It’s always good to do if you’re buying a phone secondhand.

IMEI is Awesome!
If there’s anything that has helped us stop thieves in their tracks most effectively, it’s the IMEI standard. While the number could still be used against you, it’s well worth the risk.

Please join the discussion by posting a comment below!

Thank you. 


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