Buyers’ guide: student mobile broadband
We’re all keen to secure ourselves the best deals and offers on UK mobile internet, dongles and Wi-Fi at the moment, while thankfully the network providers have responded accordingly and currently offer a great selection of packages designed to suit all pockets. If you’re in education then that also includes the area of student mobile broadband.
When money is tight, it’s even more important to make sure that you carry out plenty of comparison of the deals that are up for grabs here in the UK. If you compare before you buy, and also read up on the reviews of products and services featured in the Broadband Genie website then you’re already halfway to getting yourself the best deals or offers to suit your needs.
As you’ll see from the comparison table above, 3G internet comes in a whole array of different deals and offer options, with everything from the cheapest, low specification packages right up to full bells and whistles options for those who need it. The area of student mobile broadband is really no different, but you might well be looking to get a cheap mobile internet deal at the lower end of the 3G broadband spectrum, for obvious reasons.
Can I get student mobile broadband?
Now that the marketplace for 3G internet is so packed full with products, it is very likely that you’ll be able to easily secure yourself a cheap student internet deal. All of the internet providers, including the likes of 3 Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Orange are now much better at understanding the needs of individual customers.
Student mobile internet is one area that has a potentially big customer base as there are students all over the UK that need their dongles, laptops, Wi-Fi and all of the other associated products and services that come with a wireless broadband experience. 3G broadband packages have therefore been created that can often prove ideal for any student mobile broadband scenario.
Student internet deals and offers are therefore around, you just need to spend a little bit of time on your comparison homework to ensure that you pick a package that will be the best value. Of course, as well as being cheap, you’ll also need it to be fit for service, so sometimes it might be worth considering slightly more expensive options that might allow more flexible usage and bigger download limits.
What are the student internet options?
If you’re off to university any time soon, or are already studying away from home, then having internet access via mobile broadband will certainly be a real boon. The great thing is that you can use it while you’re at home and then take the student mobile internet setup with you when you head back off to uni again.
As we’ve said already though, remember that the cheapest options when it comes to student internet deals might not always be the best for your needs, because if you’re a heavy user of online services then it could be a better idea to take a look at some of the higher end deals and offers that feature in our comparison table. Nevertheless, with lots of competition and keen prices on most packages, this is still a great way to ensure that you’ll be able to stay connected, no matter what your location.
Which student mobile broadband deal?
One of the main factors for making student mobile broadband so popular is the fact that many people who are moving around a lot obviously don’t want to be tied to a broadband supply that is stuck in one location. With a student dongle and laptop mobile broadband package, it’s possible to enjoy an internet connection both at home and away, plus also access the web and email while you’re in transit too.
Home broadband deals will obviously not be much use to you if you’re away at uni for a lot of the time, and similarly, it can be rather pointless to get a fixed line broadband contract deal at university if you’re not going to be there all the time in order to get the maximum value out of it.
What’s more, if you’re in university digs or move around in rented accommodation a lot then the possibility of having a contract for this sort of fixed line broadband deal is going to be problematical anyway. In that respect you’re far better off looking towards the student mobile broadband packages that have evolved in the last few years, which should address all of your online needs.
What are my student internet options?
Chances are you won’t want a long contract even if you can get a regular broadband supply to the place where you’re staying while at unit, as they are often a little bit too inflexible for people who need to move around a lot. So, in that case, it’s a really good idea to take a look at the shorter-term student mobile broadband deals that are currently on offer.
Nevertheless, the best route to take in many cases is simply to head down the mobile broadband route, which means that you’ll have many more options open to you, and also be able to enjoy much more freedom and flexibility when it comes to different package options.
In the case of a pay-as-you-go deal it is often simply a case of buying a student dongle, as part of a special package from one of the mobile providers, and then enjoying the freedom and flexibility to take your internet connection with you wherever you go. Knowing which option to go for can prove tricky though, and that’s why we have the comparison table above for you to peruse what’s available.
Money saving student mobile broadband
As you’ll see from the table above, there are numerous options and it’s possible to refine your search criteria to decide what sort of deal is best for your needs based around the main areas listed at the top of the chart. So, lookout for what hardware comes with the package, the setup costs, if any and also the monthly price.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to any contract terms, as small print can sometimes be invaluable for finding any areas that might cause you problems further down the line. For example, you may need to up sticks and move somewhere else midway through your mobile broadband student deal. You don’t want to end up being penalised or stuck if you’ve gone for a contract and have to pay for something that will be of no real use to you in your new location.
Make sure you take a look at the other options at the top of the comparison table too, because speed and downloads are both areas that are massively important to anyone using mobile broadband. Mobile broadband students deals are probably going to have a reasonable speed and download allowance factored in, but it’s worth carefully picking through the packages to see which ones are more inline with your requirements.
Are there student mobile downsides?
No matter what kind of mobile broadband user you happen to be, there can often be a big difference between advertised speeds of service and what you actually end up getting. Most adverts will say that speeds of ‘up to’ a certain figure are more than likely, which is a bit vague at the best of times. In reality they will generally be slower than you might think.
There are numerous reasons for this, including the amount of network traffic, the strength of the signal, geographical location and several other factors, all of which can mean the advertised speed of your student mobile broadband service never quite lives up to what you were expecting.
Another important thing to do is check out the potential coverage of mobile broadband student deals, because you need to be fairly sure that you’ll be able to get a decent signal. Both when you’re at university and also when you’re back home too. Otherwise, you could end up going for a student internet deal that isn’t available all the time. There’s little point in bagging cheap mobile broadband deal if you’re not going to get the best value out of it in the long run.
Remember that there can be penalties if you overstep any download allowances that have been set by your mobile broadband provider. So if you spend a lot of time downloading digital content to your laptop or netbook then you may well find that you need a more substantial package that can cope with this extra demand.
What next for student mobile broadband?
After you’ve given all of the available student mobile broadband deals a once over it’s also a good idea to take a trip through our reviews section. Inside here you’ll also be able to read up on what other people think of their respective mobile broadband deals and offers. This is a great way of finding out if a package you like the look of might fit your needs when you’re away at university.
With a little bit of time spent doing your homework on student mobile broadband deals, you’ll be much better placed to ensure that you get the right package for your requirements.