A SIM card, or a Subscriber Identity Module card, is the small circuit board card that is inserted into a GSM-based cell phone before it can function. SIM cards identify users, hold security details, provide some network information, and contain enough memory to hold a user's contact list. SIM readers decipher the information contained on a cell phone's SIM card, and allow a user to access his contact list without its corresponding cell phone. Since SIM readers allow independent access to SIM card information, users may be able to edit, add, or backup data located on the card using a computer.
With SIM readers, a user can perform a wide variety of functions. Regular backups and data retrieval become viable options with the help of SIM readers. These backups and retrievals may appeal to users who anticipate major updates to their devices. If a user misplaces a phone, a SIM reader may be able to help recover data, like contacts, that he otherwise may have lost along with the cell phone. Likewise, damaging a phone's hardware does not have mean that a user's data will have to be corrupted, too.
SIM readers often come bundled with software that helps to read the information on the SIM card. Some of this software may include applications that are designed to manage contacts or phone book entries. This software can function on its own and can retrieve information without the need for typical cell phone hardware like keypads.
When used in conjunction with the appropriate software, SIM readers can allow users full access and control of SIM card information. Users may be allowed to manage, edit, or delete SIM PIN codes, transfer SIM card information to another card, and modify or add information onto their existing SIM cards if the reader also acts as a SIM writer. In addition, users may have the option of syncing information from third-party programs that contain address books like Microsoft Outlook® Express and Microsoft Office Outlook®.
Information that can be recovered from a SIM card can range from contacts to text messages. SIM readers may also provide a solution for users who are concerned with security. SIM readers can provide a secure location for sensitive contact information and may offer extra encryption.
A SIM reader can be purchased as a single unit. It can exist as a small device with a USB plug-in so as to work easily in conjunction with a computer. Devices like these are highly portable and offer the added benefit of functioning without extra wires, cables, or batteries.