Mobile Broadband Deals

Provider Contract Download Allowance Deal Details Monthly Cost More Info
24 months 15GB
Mobile broadband from the UK’s biggest 3G network including 97% national coverage. £15.99 Buy Now
30 days 1GB
Free WiFi through BT Openzone, £5 monthly discount for Orange customers. £15.00 Buy Now
Unlimited free WiFi included with data packages. £10.21 per 30 days/ 1GB access. PAYG Buy Now
30 days 0.5GB
0.5GB Data allowance included with dongle. Up to 1GB WiFi included with BT Openzone. £7.50 Buy Now
18 months 1GB
USB dongle includes 8GB micro SD card slot to store photos and files. £10.00 Buy Now

The mobile broadband market is constantly evolving. There is a range of different ways of buying mobile broadband, from PAYG ‘dongle only’ deals, to monthly contracts bundled with laptops or iPads. Deals are changing all the time, with providers competing to provide the latest technology to lure new customers. The table above shows just a handful of the deals currently on offer from the main providers, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, O2, Orange and 3 Mobile.

Best Mobile Broadband Deals

Where to start - what types of mobile broadband deals are available?

Mobile broadband, whether you choose a USB dongle or an iPad 3G SIM card deal, works in the same way. Internet access is delivered via the 3G networks which provide your mobile phone services. If you are doing a comparison of mobile broadband offers, you’ll probably want to consider a range of mobile broadband deals in the following categories:-

If you’ve got one of the highly desirable iPad or iPad 2 tablets from Apple, you probably want to get connected! There is a range of iPad micro SIM and iPad 2 SIM deals on offer from network providers Three and Vodafone, with more details on our dedicated iPad SIM deals page.

Going for a free laptop with dongle deal is one of the most affordable ways to bag yourself a new laptop or netbook, and get online. Generally, you’ll need to sign up to an 18-month or 2 year mobile broadband contract, but in return you’ll get a heavily subsidised laptop, often for no up-front cost. Free laptop and dongle bundles are, unsurprisingly, incredibly popular and deals are getting better all the time. See our Free laptop with mobile broadband deals page for some of the best offers.

Pay as you go mobile broadband deals can be a cheap way to get mobile internet, and there are plenty of PAYG dongle deals to compare from all the major networks. Cheapest is not always best though, and you’ll find a vast array of different offers and download limits in this crowded market place. Visit our mobile broadband pay as you go page for some of the best deals.

There are plenty of mobile broadband monthly contract deals on offer, with something to suit most budgets. Pay monthly dongle deals typically range from 1 month contracts, right up to 18-month and 2 year deals. The cheaper monthly broadband dongle deals generally include a usage restriction, and suit light internet users, so if you are just emailing and surfing occasionally they can represent great value. Heavier mobile internet users are better off with more generous download allowances, allowing the freedom to download films and music files. More information on monthly mobile broadband offers can be found on our dongle deals page.

  • Mobile WiFi (MiFi)

Like the wireless broadband routers found in many homes, a mobile Wi-Fi device does the same job, but using a 3G mobile broadband signal. Effectively this means you can have several WiFi-enabled devices, such as iPads, smartphones and laptops, connected at the same time to a MiFi device. Like many other forms of mobile broadband, MiFi can be had in pay as you go (PAYG), or monthly contract deals so there’s usually something to suit most budgets. The beauty of MiFi dongles is the flexibility - both keeping kids amused on the train and allowing several work colleagues to connect to the internet from the same device are possibilities with mobile WiFi or ‘Mi-Fi’.

The iPad is Apple’s enormously successful tablet computer which took the world by storm in 2010 and is now into its second generation with the iPad 2. If you haven’t got an iPad or iPad 2 and are looking for a deal incorporating mobile broadband and an iPad, then a discounted or free iPad with mobile broadband deal might be a good place to start. Mobile network Three offers a range of mobile broadband for iPad deals with both PAYG and monthly contract options available. With the 3G iPad and iPad 2 available in a range of specifications from 16GB to 64GB, the up-front costs vary according to which device and what kind of contract you go for. If you’ve already got a 3G iPad or iPad 2 and want to use mobile internet have a look at our iPad SIM deals page.

  • Uniimited mobile broadband

If you want to use mobile broadband without worrying about hitting fair usage limits, or being charged for going over a network providers’ download allowance, have a look at our unlimited mobile broadband plans page. 3 Mobile are major players in the mobile broadband unlimited downloads market, with a number of deals to suit people who like to download games, music and films to their iPad, laptop or other mobile broadband-equipped device. Bear in mind that exceptionally heavy mobile internet use will always have additional costs associated with it, so the term ‘unlimited’ is relative rather than literal, but if you’re looking for unlimited mobile broadband plans with little or no usage limits, there is still plenty on offer.

Mobile Broadband. What is it and why do I need it?

If you’ve landed on this page, the chances are you need broadband internet access on the move. In a nutshell, that’s mobile broadband – access to high speed internet via the same networks that provide your mobile phone services.

Whether you need internet access whilst on holiday, on the train, when waiting for that flight, or in a hotel, B&B, even a tent – mobile broadband enables you to get online.

Mobile Broadband. How does it work?

Once you have chosen a mobile broadband deal and signed up to a provider, you will be supplied with a ‘dongle’. A dongle is a small device that plugs into the USB port on your computer and acts as a modem, accessing the internet without requiring any wires. The dongle contains a dedicated SIM card and allows connection to the internet wherever 3G (third generation) mobile network coverage is available. Currently around 90% of the UK benefits from 3G network coverage, but it is important to check, particularly in more rural areas, that the provider you are interested in, has sufficient coverage in your area to allow an uninterrupted and smooth service.

How can I check mobile broadband coverage in my area?

It is important to consider that mobile broadband coverage and speed varies throughout the UK, and your ability to get online depends on the quality of 3G network coverage in your area. Around 90% of the UK benefits from 3G coverage, which means particularly in large cities you should be able to get online using a mobile broadband provider. Coverage and speed varies between providers though, so it is worthwhile checking coverage before signing up to a broadband deal.

All of the major providers will allow you to check broadband coverage and speed in your area. All you have to do is enter your postcode. See our mobile broadband coverage guide for a breakdown of coverage in your area, by provider.

Who provides the best mobile broadband download allowance?

All providers vary and offer a range of different packages, with different usage allowances. Download allowances normally range from 500MB per month (enough for emailing and general surfing but not extensive music and video downloads) up to 15GB (enough to download up to 75 four minute videos) or unlimited usage on the best packages.

Remember that the download allowances do not apply abroad. If you want to use your dongle abroad you will need to check the charges with your provider as it will normally cost considerably more. If you do exceed your monthly download allowance you may be charged for exceeding your limits. Again, you should check such details prior to signing up for any contract.