Coverage is one of the most important things to take into consideration when choosing a mobile broadband package.
Mobile broadband uses the mobile phone network to get you online, but because it's 3G rather than a standard mobile connection, you can't be guaranteed coverage in every corner of the country. Because of this, it's very important that you check coverage for each provider before you sign a contract.
Virgin Media's 3G mobile broadband network covers over 85% of the UK. You can check which specific areas the service is available in with the company's coverage checker.
Virgin Media mobile broadband packages
Virgin Media offers two mobile broadband packages, one with a 1GB monthly download allowance and one offering 3GB a month. The one you pick should be determined by how often you intend to go online, and what you plan to do with the connection.
The 1GB allowance package is for people who want to go online every now and then, and not download a lot of content. It's great, for example, for checking your email now and then. It's not a good choice if you want to watch videos on YouTube or iPlayer - you'll reach your limit quickly.
The 3GB allowance package is better for heavier users. It's enough to browse the web reasonably freely when out and about, download some music tracks and watch some videos. Be careful though - you could still hit your limit if you're not careful.
Virgin Media also offers a choice of two contract lengths; a rolling two-month contract - where you have to pay a one-off fee for your mobile dongle - or an 18 month plan which comes with a free USB modem stick.
What is mobile broadband?
Mobile broadband, or 3G broadband as it is also known, uses the mobile phone network to connect you to the internet without wires, wherever you are - as long as you've got a signal.
When you sign up to a mobile broadband package from Virgin Media you'll get a USB dongle that simply slots into the side of your laptop. With this installed, you're ready to browse online via 3G.
Virgin Media mobile broadband offers speeds of up to 3.6Mb, but your actual download speed will depend on the coverage in your area.