Buyers’ guide: free mobile broadband
If you've heard about free mobile broadband and you're shopping around for the best deals and offers then the two main options are going to be a fixed-term contract or Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG). Both have benefits depending on what kind of broadband user you happen to be.
Having access to an always-on broadband service, which works using the same network as mobile phones, allows instant online access no matter what your geographical location in many cases. It can be quite cheap these days too, with prices more competitive than ever here in the UK when it comes to mobile internet.
Thanks to stiff competition between the mobile broadband network providers there are always plenty of incentives on offer to entice you into signing up. You don't have to look very far in order to see advertisements for free mobile broadband products and services.
However, it can be a little bewildering as you’ll often see free mobile broadband advertised as 3G broadband, 3G internet and wireless broadband in the media. What is easy though is finding plenty of providers who offer it, such as 3 Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Orange.
Why free mobile broadband?
We all like a bargain and thanks to all this competition it’s now possible to get great deals and offers on dongles, laptops and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the UK. As long as you spend time on a little bit of comparison, using the online tools and tables inside the Broadband Genie website, then you can get some of the cheapest deals on mobile broadband and then buy.
So why then are we talking about free mobile broadband? Well, if you don’t really want to part with any money, and at the moment nobody does, then you’ll want to compare not only cheap options and also read customer reviews on best deals and offers but also keep an eye out for the freebies too.
One of the first things to look out for is the free mobile broadband dongle. Looking out for deals and offers on these may mean that you'll either get a free mobile broadband receiver device; these are the things called dongles. Better still, keep searching the Broadband Genie website and you may find deals offering a free laptop too. You may even get both as part of a free mobile broadband contract.
Is it free mobile broadband?
Now everybody loves a freebie and, in the competitive world of high-speed internet access, the free mobile broadband dongle or laptop computer is proving to be a highly effective way of getting people to pick a provider and start enjoying the convenience of mobile broadband. So, naturally people tend to head straight towards the advertising that suggests a free mobile broadband dongle or a free mobile broadband contract is in the offing.
However, the key to picking through these deals and offers is to utilise the services of our free online tools and comparison tables. These allow you to sort through the many and varied options before you buy, because although there are plenty of free mobile broadband deals, what you get varies immensely.
With mobile signal coverage in the UK now better than ever, comparing all of the available free mobile internet packages that are listed within the comparison tables can be a great way of getting hooked up to the best broadband supply, while hopefully getting some free mobile internet kit at the same time.
Which free mobile internet?
Choosing the mobile broadband free deals is the important part of the process, because although many providers will give away dongles or laptops for nothing, when you read the terms and conditions other charges may well apply.
Free mobile broadband deals might have some aspects available without charge, but often costs will occur further down the line, once you’re into the term of a contract package for example. Free mobile broadband doesn't always work out quite as free as you might think from all of the frothy advertising.
While the mobile broadband providers are certainly more than willing to offer a dongle or laptop for nothing, they're also hoping for your customer loyalty and a return on their investment. So you'll invariably end up having to sign on the dotted line in order to enjoy the more generous deals offering lots of bandwidth, generous download quotas and a nice new shiny laptop as the icing on the cake.
So do I need a free mobile dongle?
If you're a thrifty or a more casual mobile broadband user who does not want or need a contract then at the very least the mobile providers will be eager to see you top up your pay-as-you-go mobile broadband dongle balance as regularly as possible.
You'll certainly need a dongle in order to access free or paid for mobile broadband, so it's definitely worth trying to get one for nothing. As we’ve hinted at earlier on, a dongle is essentially just a small plastic USB key device that plugs into an available slot on your computer and there are loads of these around now and many come with no price tag attached.
Once a dongle has been configured it allows an available mobile broadband signal access to your machine and you can then do many of the things you'd normally do with traditional broadband. The benefit is obviously that you can do it while you're on the move, just as long as there is adequate available coverage.
The prospect of getting a free mobile broadband dongle is perhaps not such a great incentive to sign on the dotted line as it's meant to be. Most mobile broadband contracts come with a free dongle thrown in anyway and ones that don't generally offer the dongle at a cheap or discount rate. So it's the prospect of a free laptop that's more likely to appeal as cheapest to prospective new customers.
Is it really a free laptop though?
You'll almost certainly be able to walk away with a new laptop, but most free mobile broadband deals that come with a compact computer thrown in for good measure will mean that the cost of this is generally factored into the price of the contract term that you'll be required to sign in order to get it.
So on the face of it this means you'll get a free laptop. However, you'll ultimately also be paying for the machine due to being on a contract with the provider. They'll expect you to sign up for a fixed term in order to qualify for the freebie deal in the first place.
By doing some simple sums and using our mobile broadband and free laptop guides you'll soon be able to see if there are any advantages into going down this route. The free mobile broadband with a laptop deal or offer is certainly worth pursuing if you’ve got an old computer that’s past it and you’re due to buy a new machine soon anyway.
Free mobile broadband T&C's
Generally speaking, you'll find deals that offer free mobile broadband with a laptop as part of the package will want to tie you into a longer term contract, such as 18-months or two years. Competition has meant that the pricing is perhaps a lot more competitive than it used to be and there are certainly some good deals to be had.
These free laptops are often better specification models than they used to be as well, so even if you're locked into a contract for two years, it's likely that newer machines will be more than future-proofed to cover that period. One way to think of it is that you're going to buy a laptop on a contract and getting mobile broadband thrown in.
If you're in the market for buying a mobile broadband compatible laptop anyway then this can be a great way of getting yourself an up-to-date machine, while also having the convenience of mobile broadband access. If you pick a package where the dongle is thrown in too then there are some definite savings to be made.
Where to start with free mobile broadband?
Once you’ve read this information it’s a good idea to explore the other areas of the Broadband Genie website in order to get more information on additional factors involved in the whole free mobile broadband process.
For starters, check out the coverage offered by the various mobile broadband providers, as there is little point in signing up for a service if it doesn’t meet your requirements. Coverage levels are better now than they’ve ever been, but this is still an important aspect to investigate, especially if you’re planning on signing up for a contract option that will tie you into a certain period of time.
Broadband Genie can help you find the best wireless broadband package for your needs, by not only doing a comparison on prices, but on various aspects of 3G internet. You can read and compare current customer reviews about their laptop internet and find out which mobile internet would be best suited to you. There are various 3G broadband providers to choose from: Vodafone, 3 Mobile, O2, T-Mobile and Orange, so what are you waiting for?