With just a small amount of knowledge and a few simple tips, finding the best mobile broadband deals can be a simple task.
A major consideration is the coverage area of each of the mobile broadband service providers. You’ll usually find that mobile broadband is accessible anywhere you can get a mobile phone signal, but the performance will vary and true broadband speeds are only available in certain areas. As you’d imagine, cities are well covered and rural areas can be hit and miss.
The majority of the providers have web based tools for checking their coverage in your specific area. These typically tell you how strong their signal is for any given postcode or town and are a great place to start your research before you get stuck into your hunt for the best mobile broadband deals.
Using your connection on the move seems like an obvious benefit of mobile broadband but it may not be as simple as you might hope. The quality of your mobile broadband service when travelling is very dependant on your provider’s network coverage and the technical issues arising from moving between coverage areas.
Check the tech blogs, review sites and news for road-tests of mobile broadband services to see which ones perform the best while on the go.
If you’re intending to use your service overseas, you’ll need to know two things: firstly, does your provider offer an overseas service at all (not all do); Also, make sure you read the details about the charges for use abroad, as they can be pretty steep.
The best mobile broadband deals will differ in cost structure. The two payment setups are “Pay as You Go” Mobile Broadband or PAYG, and Contract Mobile Broadband.
Pay As You Go offers the same system as the mobile phone equivalent, where you buy the hardware (the USB dongle to p[lug into your computer) and then top up with credit. The credit allows you to download a certain amount of data and when it runs out you need to buy more in order to continue to use your connection.
If you decide to go for Contract Mobile Broadband, you’ll need to be careful not to exceed your monthly limit, as usage outside of your agreed contract can be very expensive with some of the providers. You can, however, monitor how much you have used for the month and limit your use accordingly, so as to avoid these charges. Contracts are generally between a year and two years in length, although some are as little as one month.
Contract providers will throw in the dongle free, and some services even offer a free laptop, so take this into consideration when scanning for the best mobile broadband deals.
The contract deals which include a free laptop are usually more expensive, so you should really consider how much the laptop is worth, and find reviews of their quality and performance before making any decisions based on these freebies.
Now with some knowledge of what to look for, the task is to start looking for the best mobile broadband deals from mobile broadband providers. In the United Kingdom, these are: 3 Mobile, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, BT, Virgin Mobile Broadband and O2.
Finding the best mobile broadband deals involves a little work but it’s well worth it to ensure that you find one that suits your needs.