Unlike standard home broadband, mobile broadband has a few more intricacies and it can be harder to get the right deal for you.
With that in mind we thought we’d give you some quick tips to getting the most from your mobile broadband.
Is mobile broadband actually right for you?
Before we dive into looking at what you need from mobile broadband you should ask yourself how much you will need it and whether it will actually prove value for money.
If you are considering mobile broadband for leisure reasons then you might find that your phone is really capable of everything you need it to do. If you just want to check emails, Facebook and other things on the go then mobile broadband probably isn’t necessary. If you travel regularly, or are considering mobile broadband for work then you’ll want to analyse exactly how often you will use it. Hotels tend to have Wi-Fi these days but if you will be regularly travelling without internet access mobile broadband will prove helpful. The key difference to consider is whether you will need a pay as you go package or a contract. If you expect to use it sporadically then pay as you go will often prove a cheaper option. If you will use it regularly a contract will be better – but you will need to check how much data you will get for your fee!
What to look for in a mobile broadband provider
The most important think to look for in a mobile broadband provider is the coverage they offer! While mobile broadband has come along in leaps and bounds over the last decade some networks still offer wider coverage than others and some areas still suffer from much weaker signal. Firstly you can check the provider’s area coverage maps but you will also want to check around with friends and co-workers to check for their experiences with particular networks. If you have a 3G enabled phone yourself check the coverage in your local area. If you regularly travel to the same destinations check the mobile coverage that will be on offer on these regular journeys as well.
What to look for in a mobile broadband contract
Once you’ve chosen some likely mobile broadband providers you can actually look into the contracts themselves. There are a variety of things to consider to get the best deal for you but there are plenty of options from all providers so it’s not too hard to find a good deal. The most important thing to consider is the amount of gigabytes or the cost per gigabyte your package will cover. Even packages that claim to have unlimited use will have some limits so be careful and read the details carefully. Choose a package that is likely to give you the best value for money and the most potential use.
Secondly, consider what your hardware options will be. You can have a USB modem or a larger drive modem. Larger options will tend to have larger aerials but USB modems tend to be more convenient! Finally, once you have your package, make sure you keep a check on your usage so that you can ensure you don’t overspend on your mobile broadband package!
David is a tech blogger from Compare ISP – a UK broadband comparison website for home, phone, TV and mobile broadband deals.