If you have an old dongle you want to re-activate, or you're looking to switch from pay-as-you-go to contract, a sim-only deal could be for you...
When it comes to getting mobile broadband, there are lots of different options to consider.
The easiest way to get started is usually with pay-as-you-go or a monthly contract, but for some people a sim-only mobile broadband deal might be more suitable.
Laptops usually have a USB port for your mobile broadband dongle, which contains the sim card that connects you to the 3G network, but other devices - such as tablets like the Apple iPad - have a sim card inserted directly.
If you want to connect your iPad or tablet to 3G mobile broadband, you will need to pay. And you might find a sim-only deal is the most affordable way.
Recycling your old dongle
If you have an old USB dongle that you no longer use, a sim-only deal would allow you to get back online without having to buy a new one or sign a lengthy contract.
Also, if you're a pay-as-you-go mobile broadband customer, sim-only deals allow you to keep your flexibility while switching to a better value contract.
Most sim-only deals are sold as a one-month contract, so you won't usually be tied in like you might be with a mobile broadband dongle.
Sometimes there is no upfront charge for the sim card, though some deals involve an initial payment of around £10 or £20. It mainly depends on the download allowance you'd be getting.
Usage limits vary too, ranging anywhere from 500MB to 15GB a month.
The following providers off one-month sim-only deals:
- O2 (www.O2.co.uk)
- Three (www.Three.co.uk)
- T-Mobile (www.T-Mobile.co.uk)
- Vodafone (www.Vodafone.co.uk)
Better value deals
Sim-only mobile broadband can sometimes save you money, compared with pay-as-you-go or pay monthly plans.
It's always worthwhile searching on broadbandchoices and comparing all the options available to make sure you haven't overlooked a bargain.
Sim-only mobile broadband deals suit users who already own a dongle, either an out-of-use USB modem or a pay-as-you-go dongle they want to switch to a contract.
They offer better value for money than pay-as-you-go deals, without compromising on flexibility - making sim-only mobile broadband perfect for students and occasional users who might not need their mobile broadband connection all year long.
If you're still not sure, check out a full list of mobile broadband packages.