Getting broadband internet isn’t just restricted to a fixed line into your home. With UK mobile networks constantly expanding and improving, there’s never been a better time to try mobile broadband to get online wherever you are.
With more UK home broadband ditching the old, 17Mbps DSL for faster fibre, speed is becoming a more popular search than price. So too with mobile broadband.
There’s a huge range of 3G and 4G routers to get all your devices online at once and even get WiFi signal for your car.
We’ve fished out the best mobile broadband deals from what’s on offer in June 2017, so if you’re looking for an easy way to get your tablet connected, 4G for the home, or the best broadband when you’re driving, you’ll find the perfect deal here.
Be aware that the download speeds you’ll actually receive are very likely to be lower than those listed.
Wireless signals are heavily affected by interference from electronics and the environment, so it’s easy to lose a lot of your maximum speed. However, the numbers listed do give a good indication of the strength of a network, so bigger is still better.
Provider: Virgin Media
Best Deal: Virgin 1GB 12 Month SIM Only
Download Speed: 25Mbps
Details: 12 month contract, 1GB downloads, 4G, No dongle, No up-front charges.
If you’re looking for a high value, low cost package, Virgin has you covered. At just £4 a month, Virgin is the cheapest way to get online when you’re on-the-go.
Virgin WiFi is included for free, giving you unlimited access to thousands of hotspots all over the UK. Making good use of public WiFi is an excellent way to minimise the impact on your data allowance.
Virgin is one of the few providers to offer a Data Rollover service, meaning you never waste any of your allowance in a month. If you only use half your allowance one month, you’ll get to use it the month after.
No dongle or router is included, so you’ll need your own hardware to get online – making this deal ideal for getting mobile internet to your tablet.
A 1GB monthly allowance is pretty restrictive, but Data Rollover and free Virgin WiFi can keep you online for longer than you might think.
Best Deal: 2GB with Huawei 4G Dongle (Option 1)
Download Speed: 67Mbps
Details: 24 month contract, 2GB downloads, 4G, Huawei Balong dongle, No up-front charges.
With no up-front charges and no bills for three months, O2 can get you up and running with mobile broadband at no cost. Even better is that the bill won’t come back to bite you, at a very reasonable £8.75 a month.
For a relatively low cost, O2 promise an impressive 67Mbps download speed. You shouldn’t expect to receive that speed often (if at all), but it does mean that O2 will give you faster speeds than many other networks.
Microsoft Office 365 is included for free, which would otherwise set you back £59.99, giving you unlimited access to the full suite of Microsoft Office with the latest versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
A Huawei dongle is included, ideal for laptops, which means you won’t need any extra hardware to get started.
A 2GB data allowance is acceptable for moderate internet usage, but no public WiFi or hotspot service is included, meaning you can’t stretch extra value out of your contract.
No data rollover service also means the 2GB you’re paying for each month is exactly what you’ll get, no matter how much of it goes unspent.
Best Deal: 20GB with 3G Dongle 12 Month
Download Speed: 14.4Mbps
Details: 12 month contract, 20GB downloads, 3G, Huawei ZTE dongle, No up-front charges.
Three’s offer might not be the cheapest around, at £17 a month, but for that price you get a whopping 20GB of data – double what you’d expect to get for that money elsewhere.
If you need a lot of data when you’re out and about, this deal may just be the best one around.
The massive value on your allowance does come with a catch: and that is 3G.
Unlike every other deal on this list, Three only include 3G network capabilities. That means this deal gives you slower speeds and weaker connections than 4G. However, the coverage of 4G is still shamefully limited, so if you often find yourself in places where 4G isn’t available, being stuck on 3G isn’t even an issue.
There is no hotspot service or Data Rollover included, but with the huge 20GB usage cap, you probably won’t need to be as careful with your data.
Provider: iD Mobile
Best Deal: 10GB with 4G MiFi
Download Speed: 20Mbps
Details: 24 month contract, 10GB downloads, 4G, Huawei e5573 router, No up-front charges.
If you’re looking for a cheap deal to multiple devices online, look no further than iD Mobile. With no up-front charges and a Huawei mobile router included, you can get mobile internet to your devices at little cost.
A 10GB allowance and 20Mbps speeds are acceptable for moderate use on several devices at once.
Unfortunately, no public WiFi or hotspot service could see you pushed to the limit of your data cap.
Best Deal: 30GB 4G EE WiFi Max
Download Speed: 90Mbps
Details: 24 month contract, 30GB data, 4G, EE WiFi router, Roaming included, No up-front charges.
90Mbps speeds are certainly impressive but, as with all the speeds listed, take it with a pinch of salt.
32GB is an absolute shedload of data which even the most ravenous user would struggle to chew through every month.
Free roaming means you can use your data abroad. However, you’ll only get to use a very small amount (just 0.1GB).
At £24 a month, EE’s deal is definitely expensive – more costly than many home broadband packages but, with an included WiFi router and 32GB of data, this deal from EE could serve as an alternative to fixed-line home broadband.
Best Deal: 2GB with 4G RoadFi 24 Month
Download Speed: 20Mbps
Details: 24 month contract, 2GB downloads, 4G, Huawei Roadfi router, No up-front charges.
Getting WiFi for your car is usually a shockingly expensive endeavor, but this deal from Three is a refreshingly cheap option. No up-front costs and a nice £10.00 monthly bill for 20Mbps speeds and a router for your car is something you can’t find elsewhere.
A 2GB data allowance is pretty small, but it’s usually quite difficult to do anything too demanding with your data when you’re driving. If you’re looking to stream podcasts and send messages from your car, 2GB should keep you satisfied.