Which Mobile Broadband or MiFi deal is right for me?
Mobile Broadband deals have become increasingly popular in the UK, as more people look for flexible and portable internet solutions. Whether it's for work or entertainment, having internet access on the go is a must. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which plan is the best value.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best mobile broadband dongles in the UK right now and what you should consider before deciding to switch.
Are MiFi or "mobile broadband" deals worth it?
Firstly, let's start with what exactly *is* Mifi. MiFi is a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that connects to the internet and then allows multiple devices to connect to it. In other words, you are using an internet connection but not by broadband, instead via mobile signal. This can be useful for those who need to provide Wi-Fi access to multiple devices while on the go, as they only need to pay for one data plan instead of multiple.
It's also great for students because you there's no reason to take out a long-term contract nor get a landline installed. And you can use it on the go.
So what exactly is tethering versus MiFi?
Mobile tethering, on the other hand, is a feature on many of today's devices that allows you to share your phone's mobile/data connection with other devices by acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Tethering is often more convenient for individuals who only need to provide internet access to one or two devices, as it does not require additional hardware.
MiFi devices and mobile tethering have their own pros and cons and the best option will depend on the specific needs and usage scenario of the user.
- EE 4G Home Router - This option provides superfast 4G internet to your home without the need for a fixed line. You can connect up to 20 devices at once and receive unlimited data. Prices start at £24 per month on a 24-month contract. This is a great choice if you need a home broadband solution that's flexible and doesn't rely on a fixed line.
- Three's Essential Internet - This is an excellent value deal, providing unlimited data for just £16 per month. There's no upfront cost and no need for a fixed line. You can also connect up to 15 devices at once. This is a great choice for those who want an affordable and flexible internet solution.
- Vodafone Gigacube - This is a router that provides superfast broadband via 4G. You can connect up to 64 devices at once, and it's perfect for households with multiple users. Prices start at £30 per month, with a one-off cost of £50 for the router. This is a great option for those who want a reliable and fast broadband solution that's flexible and easy to set up.
- Virgin Media Mobile Broadband - This option provides high-speed mobile broadband and is ideal for those who need a flexible internet solution on the go. Prices start at £10 per month and you can connect up to five devices at once. This is a great choice for those who want an affordable and fast mobile broadband solution.
When choosing a mobile broadband deal, it's important to consider your needs and budget. If you're looking for a home broadband solution, it's best to choose a router that can connect multiple devices and provide unlimited data. On the other hand, if you need a flexible internet solution on the go, it's best to choose a mobile broadband deal with a low monthly cost.
Why should I use UK mobile broadband?
Whether you live in a rural location where fibre broadband is hard to come by or simply want the flexibility of mobile internet, there are plenty of options out there for UK users. Fibre broadband providers like BT and Hyperoptic provide fast internet to millions of homes across the country, but not all areas have access to it.
If you're a light user or don't have a landline, a mobile broadband solution is an excellent choice for staying connected while away from home. You can connect up a Wi-Fi device, a dongle or a SIM-ready laptop and get online wherever you are as long as there is a 4G or 5G signal.
The good news is that, compared to fixed-line services, mobile broadband offers significantly lower set-up costs and you can take it with you when you move. That means you could pay as little as £130 for a years' worth of data, while having the option to change your contract to suit your needs with just 30 days' notice.
These types of mobile broadband deal often do not require a credit check, either so that's great news if you've got less-than perfect credit history.
What's the fastest mobile broadband that I can get?
There are many different mobile broadband deals UK available and each one will vary depending on how it works and what hardware you need to use it. Usually, you'll be issued with a USB dongle or modem which connects to a mobile network (usually 3G, 4G or 5G) to provide access to your data plans.
The fastest mobile broadband deals in the UK will offer download speeds of at least 200Mbps or more. That's a lot faster than what you'll get from BT, TalkTalk or EE.
But those speeds aren't for everyone, and you need to consider the speed you'll need based on how much you use the internet. For example, a 100Mbps download plan is good for casual usage such as browsing the web or using social media, but would be too slow for gaming.
For more demanding work, you'll need to think about a higher-end broadband (ADSL) plan or alternatively a full fibre (FTTP) connection. These are all fast options and Hyperoptic's Ultrafast broadband plans are particularly impressive, with 900Mbps download and upload speeds on average.
But you'll need to check that it offers good network coverage in your area before making a decision.
Which providers offer mobile broadband deals?
The four main mobile networks in the UK curretly offer MiFi or mobile broadband. These are: EE, O2, Vodafone and Three, while several other smaller operators also offer mobile broadband deals, including Plusnet and BT Broadband.
Naturally, EE is one of the largest mobile broadband providers, offering both contract and MiFI-only deals as well as a range of combinted SIM deals too. They offer 5G connection speeds but if you're not in a 5G-enabled area you can still get their 4G or 4GEE dongle. Check if you can get 5G from EE here.
What is the best dongle for mobile broadband?
Dongles are a good way of getting mobile broadband on the go. They're available from all the major mobile networks and come with a range of data plans, from 4GB up to unlimited.
They're also generally very easy to set up and use. Once you've bought a dongle and signed up to a mobile broadband plan, you can be online in a few minutes.
You can also buy mobile dongles that allow you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, which means you can share your mobile internet connection with other devices. These tend to cost more than other dongles, but are worth it if you're looking for a more flexible and reliable way of accessing your mobile internet on the go.
One of the most popular options for a dongle is the Vodafone K5161z, which can be used on any network to give you mobile internet coverage, not just Vodafone. Its small size makes it easy to slip into a bag or backpack, while its robust construction and four internal antennas mean it offers excellent signal coverage even when you're in a crowded place like a café or airport.
In conclusion, there are many great value mobile broadband deals available in the UK. Whether you're looking for a flexible home broadband solution or a fast mobile broadband solution on the go, there's an option to suit your needs. Before making a choice, consider your needs and budget and choose the best value deal for you.
FAQs for Mobile Broadband deals UK
What is the cheapest MiFi deal?
The cheapest deal we've found is for EE mobile broadband, though it is a 12 month contract, it costs only £16 a month for unlimited data.
Which mobile broadband deal doesn't need a credit check?
If you're concerned about credit checks when you sign up for your mobile broadband deal, then consider trying Plusnet as they don't usually ask for one. The big providers like EE and Three will do a soft credit search.
Are MiFi deals good value for money?
Often, MiFi or mobile broadband works out more expensive than regular home broadband, but it has some benefits that make it worth it. Namely, that you can take it anywhere with you, and secondly, you can usually cancel mobile broadband deals whenever you want.
TIP: If you're looking to compare all broadband deals and not just for MiFi then start here.