The best mobile broadband for you will depend on both your individual usage requirements and the area (or areas) that you intend using your connection in. Of the six UK network providers: Vodaphone, T-Mobile, 3, Orange, O2, and Virgin – some are generally better than others in terms of coverage and average speeds, but before you decide you’ll need to do a little bit of research.
Thankfully, this doesn’t take very long and it’s easy to do. Below are the main things you’ll need to know – there are other things to consider too, but you should always look into the three points below first of all, as these are deal-breakers when using a mobile broadband connection.
The most important thing is network coverage. Without coverage of the area you’ll want to use it in, you might as well not have a mobile broadband connection at all – this would be just like having a mobile phone with no signal – and if you’re paying a monthly contract for it, you need to make sure that you can use it wherever you want to. This is the whole point, after all!
How Do You Make Sure That You Have Coverage In Your Area?
The mobile broadband providers have made it really simple to find out how good the network coverage is for mobile broadband in your area, by creating special web pages which you can plug your postcode or town name into, and find out exactly how good their network is for your address.
My advice here is to visit each of the providers’ coverage checking tools and make notes of network availability and strength for any areas in which you plan to use your new landline-free broadband connection. This way you’ll get a quick, comprehensive overview of which networks are going to provide the best mobile broadband for you.
Whether you’re downloading video, using VOIP services, browsing the web, or even just receiving emails, there isn’t much point in paying for mobile broadband if it’s not up to speed. Because broadband internet is so prevalent now, many websites are very slow at lower speeds, and browsing the web can become a very irritating experience with a slow connection.
It’s important to note, though, that I’m not referring to the maximum speeds that are quoted in the marketing materials of the mobile broadband providers. These are absolute maximum speeds, which are rarely – if ever- reached in reality. This bring me to my next big consideration when you’re searching for the best mobile broadband…
Network Performance In Your Area
The performance of a mobile broadband network will depend largely on the number of people who are sharing its resources at any given time. If, for example, you happen to use your mobile broadband at very quiet times when there isn’t much usage in your area, you’ll probably have a very fast and smooth browsing experience. If, however, you’re using your connection at a time when everyone else is also downloading videos, music and accessing their email, you may well find that your connections slows up considerably – it may even cut out altogether.
Some network providers tend to be better than others at maintaining the quality of their service throughout these peak times, and the best way to find out who’s best in your area is to ask people who’ve tried them. Family, friends and work colleagues are all possible sources for this information. You may also want to search for reviews on the internet, but make sure you try to find ones which mention the area you’re in specifically.
If you make a small effort to research these basic aspects of the network performance before you sign up for a package, you’ll be much more confident in your final decision, and you’ll likely have a much better browsing experience, having taken the time to find the best mobile broadband provider for your needs and your area.