A mobile dongle is great for helping you get online on the move, but a pay monthly contract deal isn’t for everyone. Those who’d rather avoid a long-term commitment will be better off with a shorter term plan.
True pay as you go is pretty rare among operators, but most offer 30-day bundles of data, or rolling monthly plans that can be cancelled at any time.
As well as being oddly satisfying to say, a no-contract dongle deal is perfect for occasional travellers, who will only need to get online on the move every now and then.
What is a dongle?
A mobile broadband dongle is a small device that plugs into the USB port on a laptop and lets you connect to the internet.
How do I find the best pay as you go dongle deals?
Finding a no-contract dongle deal couldn’t be easier. On this page, we list loads of 30-day plans, from all the major operators in the UK. Each gives you a monthly batch of data, from 2GB - perfect for a short trip - to massive 50GB data bundles that will keep a heavy user going for a month.
If you want to get to make the results a bit more specific, you can use the filters at the side to refine your search. You can sort by mobile network, add in MiFi / Portable Wi-Fi devices and more - give it a go.
Alternatively, you can look for more dongle deals on our full comparison page:
What’s the cheapest pay as you go dongle deal?
That’s a question that will have a different answer depending on when you ask. The easiest way to find out is to use the comparison grid at the top of this page, and sort by monthly cost.
If you’re more interested in personal Wi-Fi / MiFi devices or tablet data SIMs, take a look at those deals here:
Can I get an unlimited data no contract dongle deal?
You can’t get an unlimited data dongle deal of any kind from any mobile operator. They just don’t do ‘em.
You can, however, get a deal with tons of data - 20GB data, for example, won’t last you forever, but it is enough to watch a few movies and browse the web without getting too worried about it running out.
How much data do I need?
No-contract dongle plans let you pick and choose the amount of data you need. There’s no hard and fast rule for how much data you need, as it’ll vary from person to person, but as here are some rough guidelines:
- Want to browse the web, use email or social media: 500MB - 1GB
- Will use mobile broadband regularly, including watching the occasional movie (movies use around 1GB per flick): 5GB - 10GB
- Want to use mobile broadband as your primary way to get online throughout the whole day, stream movies and TV and download music: 10GB+
If you’re not sure how much data you need, you can take a look at our data usage guide to get a better sense of it:
What’s good about no contract dongle deals?
- Can change plans at any time - No long term commitments mean that you can chop and change your tariff according to your needs. That means you only have to sign up for those months you’re on the road. Or train. Or plane. Whatever.
- Gives you more control over your costs - There’s no need to spend money every month if you don’t have to. A no-contract plan means you only have to shell out those times you need mobile data.
- Cost-effective for occasional users - A no contract plan means that your costs will be considerably lower than if you were locked into a contract. If you’re only out and about every now and then, this works out much cheaper than other types of mobile broadband plan.
- Available with most major networks - You can get dongles on a no contract basis from O2, Vodafone, EE and Three.
What’s bad about no contract dongle deals?
- More expensive long term than a dongle on a pay monthly contract - If you’ll be using mobile data multiple days each month, a longer term 12-month plan will work out cheaper than a no-contract deal.
- A portable Wi-Fi / MiFi device may be better suited to some - Dongles require a USB port, so if you’re a laptop user, you’ll find that a dongle is the dog’s danglies. But those who want to connect a phone or tablet would likely benefit more from a portable Wi-Fi device instead. These transmit a wireless hotspot and allow you to connect multiple gadgets. You can compare them right here: