Contact Us   Site Map
Airline Mismanagement

What is the biggest hassle if you lose or change your phone?

Copying over - or recreating - all your contact information is the biggest hassle for most people.

This ingenious and inexpensive device can save you much time and inconvenience.

Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
Noise Reducing Headphones
International Cell Phone Service
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
Portable MP3 Players
GPS series of articles
Should you choose an iPhone or Android series
Apple iPhone review series
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
Third Rail iPhone 4/4S External Battery
Apple iPad review series
iPad/Tablet Buying Guide
Google Nexus 7 review
Netflix Streaming Video
Sharing Internet Access series
Microsoft OneNote review
T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series
Blackberry review and user tips
Palm Tungsten T3
Motorola V3 Razr cell phone review
Motorola V600 cell phone review
Nokia 3650 cell phone review
SIM Saver GSM Phone Backup and Copy Device
Clipper Gear Micro Light
Amazon's Wand review
Amazon's new (Sep '11) Kindles and Fire review
Review of the Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle eBook reader review
Amazon Kindle 2 preview
Sony PRS-500 eBook reader review
Audible Digital Talking Books review
Home Security Video Monitoring
Quik Pod review
Joby Gorillapod review
Satellite Radio Service
Satellite Phone Service
All About Speech Recognition Software
2005 Best Travel Technology Awards
How to connect to the Internet when away from home/office
Bluetooth wireless networking
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset
Logitech Squeezebox Duet
Packet 8 VoIP phone service
Sugarsynch software review
iTwin remote access device
Barracuda Spam Firewall review
Cell Phone Emergency Power Recharger series
First Class Sleeper
Roboform Password Manager review
Securikey USB Computer Protection Key review
Steripen UV Water Purifiers
ScanGaugeII OBDII review
SafeDriver review
Expandable Bags for Traveling Convenience
USB Flash Drive
Vonage VoIP phone service
Laptop Screen Privacy Filter
AViiQ Laptop Stands
Aviator Laptop Computer Stand
No Luggage Worries
Pack-a-Cone roadside safety flashing cone
Emergency Self charging Radio
Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood
MyTag Luggage Tags
Beware of Checked Baggage Xray Machines
SearchAlert TSA approved lock
Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and splitter
Dry Pak protective pouch
Boom Noise Canceling Headset
Ety-Com Noise Canceling Headset
Nectar Blueclip BT headset holders
Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer
Lingo Pacifica 10 language talking translator
Nexcell NiMH rechargeable battery kit
Jet Lag Causes and Cures
SuddenStop License Frame
CoolIT USB Beverage cooler
Travel ID and Document Pouches
Protect Yourself Against Document Loss
Personal Radio Service
PicoPad Wallet Notes
Times Electronic Crossword Puzzles
Slim Cam 300 micro digital camera review
Stopping Spam
BottleWise Bottle Carrier review
The End of the Internet as We Know it?
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
Looking for something else? Search over two million words of free information on our site.
Custom Search
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free weekly newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.


 View Sample
Privacy Policy

Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information
Reader's Replies

If you'd like to add your own commentary, send me a note.



GSM 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 1.4 oz.

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.

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 unit.

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 warranty.


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 forgetting it.

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.

Helpful Hints

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 sheet.

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 same thing.

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.

Battery Life

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 below 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.

And, 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.


If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.


Originally published 06 Aug 2004, last update 21 Jul 2020

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

Related Articles
Phone Issues
SIMs and services
Which is the best international SIM?
International Data Service on your Cell Phone
Global Roaming - Hop
Improved Global Roaming - Riiing
GSM cell phone unlocking FAQs
How Many Bands does your GSM phone need
Mobal GSM World Phone and SIM
Free International SIMs
Satellite Phone Service
iPhone 3G/3GS Battery replacement
How to choose the best international phone service
Emergency Cell Phone Battery Recharger reviews
Nokia 3650 review
Motorola V600 review
Dry Pak Protective Pouch
Boom Headset Review
Skullcandy headset mixer review
About Bluetooth
How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset


Your Feedback

How Would You Rate this Article


Was the Article Length and Coverage

Too short/simplistic
About right 
Too long/complex

Would You Like More Articles on this Subject


Back to Top