Best Mobile Broadband Packages for Students in 2012
As a student mobile broadband can be a bit of a lifeline. If you’re serious about taking out mobile broadband it’s important that you get the best possible deal when doing so – ensuring that you don’t pay over the odds for this luxury.
Why is mobile broadband useful?
Mobile broadband is particularly useful for students who can’t get broadband in their accommodation for whatever reason. Having mobile broadband also means that you can take your laptop or netbook out and about – you can pretty much work wherever you want – and browse the net wherever you want. Just bear in mind that some locations may not receive a 3G signal.
Shopping around for mobile broadband
Whether it’s mobile broadband you’re after – or even home insurance or just a tin of baked beans, shopping around to find the lowest possible price is always within your interests. For a tin of baked beans you probably wouldn’t shop around because any saving is likely to be legible – for mobile broadband or even insurance you should definitely shop about because prices vary wildly.
Don’t go into your local mobile phone shop and sign up for a mobile broadband contract there and there. Use the various price comparison tools on the internet and check out our best recommended packages below.
Package 1 (£7.50 per month/1 month contract/1GB usage) – This package is obtainable from the 3 network. It’s a one month rolling contract just a sim (no dongle is included; you’ll have to pick a secondhand one up from eBay!) – it costs just £7.50 per month with a 1GB usage limit – there’s also a £1.95 setup fee. This one month rolling contract is good because you can cancel at any time with just one month’s notice – getting out of a longer contract is much more difficult.
Package 2 (£7.87 per month/18 month contract/1GB monthly usage) – This is also a package offered by the 3 network. Again you get a 1GB usage limit per month, but this package comes with an 18 month minimum contract – although you do receive a USB dongle to use with your laptop. This package costs £7.87 per month, with a £1.95 setup fee.
Package 3 (£7.50 per month/1 month contract/500GB usage) – Vodafone are offering a mobile broadband package with a monstrous data allowance of 500GB. This is ideal for heavy-use customers, or students who don’t have a home broadband connection and will be doing all of their surfing via a mobile broadband dongle. The cost of this package is £7.50 per month on a one month contract – the setup fee is £19.
Package 4 (£10 per month/24 month contract/unlimited usage) – T Mobile are offering this hefty mobile broadband plan – which again is ideal for students who will be relying on their mobile broadband as their main connection. This contract is 24 months long, setup is free and it’s £10 per month. Usage is unlimited – so you can burn through as much data as you like.
Package 5 (£10 per month/12 month contract/500GB usage) – Orange are offering a good deal for students looking for mobile broadband – it’s £10 per month on a 12 month contract. For that you’ll get a whopping 500GB of data usage each month and setup is just 99p.
Package 6 (£10.21 per month/1 month contract/1GB usage) – O2 are offering customers a 1GB mobile broadband plan for just £10.21 per month on a rolling contract – the setup fee on this one is £10.20. It’s a low usage plan but can come in handy when you need internet desperately. This dongle also allows you unlimited access to O2 wifi hotspots.
It’s pretty clear that different networks are offering vastly different offers and plans. Shop around to get the best one for you. If you’re just going to use your dongle on the bus or train journey to university each day you’ll get away with a small usage plan. If you’re planning on using it as your primary internet connection though it’s a good idea to go for a substantial data usage plan – or an unlimited one.
A top tip when it comes to saving money on mobile broadband is to buy it through a cash back website like Quidco or Topcashback. Through these sites large cash backs can often be obtained – further driving down the total cost of your mobile broadband contract.