You don’t have to sign a long contract for mobile broadband. There are lots of shorter options and pay-as-you-go deals available...
Well-known mobile operators including Three (www.Three.co.uk), Orange (www.Orange.co.uk) and O2 (www.O2.co.uk) offer flexible one-month contracts for mobile broadband. If you just need a temporary solution, or only want a taster - maybe you're loathe to sign a lengthy contract - these could be the perfect option for you.
Three mobile broadband
One of the UK's leading 3G networks, Three offers a wide choice of devices on its rolling one-month plans. These include standard USB modem sticks and 'Mi-Fi' mobile Wi-Fi gadgets, as well as sim-only mobile broadband deals.
O2 mobile broadband
Mobile operator O2 provides a number of one-month broadband contracts with varied usage limits. As with most rolling contracts, you do have to pay a one-off fee for your dongle, so make sure you've thought about all the costs and compared O2 with other providers before signing-up.
Orange mobile broadband
Orange also offers a range of different 30-day mobile broadband contracts - with various monthly download allowances. Again, there will be a one-off payment for your USB dongle, so ensure you've run a full comparison before choosing a provider.
Which mobile broadband contract is right for me?
While a rolling one-month contract gives you the most flexibility, you may be able to save money by signing-up for a longer-term mobile broadband plan.
However, committing yourself to 18 or even 24 months might get you a good deal today, but in a year's time you could be stuck on an overpriced, outdated plan with months left to wait before you can switch.
So a 12-month mobile broadband contract can sometimes make the ideal compromise. It all depends on your reasons for getting mobile broadband in the first place.
If it's a temporary, flexible solution you're looking for, the rolling nature of a 30-day contract can't really be beaten.
Although one-month plans offer the same kind of value as a longer contract, without the commitment of a pay-as-you-go mobile broadband plan, you need to be aware that - just like any mobile broadband contract - you can easily run up high bills by exceeding your download limit.
Because of this, you need to be very careful and always monitor your online activity. Track your downloads using your provider's personal login, and buy additional data if you think you're going to rinse your limit and still need to use your broadband before the next month begins.