Vodafone Mobile Broadband Buyers Guide

Offering 4G Ready devices, Vodafone is a 'future proof' choice for mobile broadband as more locations are enabled

  • Unlimited data allowances on both 4G and 5G
  • 5G available in 40 cities nationwide
  • GigaCube for 4G and 5G designed as a home broadband replacement
  • SIM-only deals available for both 4G and 5G
  • Shorter contracts - 30-day deals are available
  • Free roaming in many EU cities

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Vodafone Mobile Broadband Personal WiFi
£11.00 per month
12 month contract

No upfront cost

  • Deals starting at £11 a month
  • 4G or 3G speeds
  • Up to 50GB usage
  • Free Personal WiFi device
  • 12 month contract
  • Also available SIM-free on a 1 month contract

Buy now

Vodafone Mobile Broadband 4G
£11.00 per month
12 month contract

No upfront cost

  • Deals starting at £11 a month
  • 4G speeds up to 40Mb
  • 1GB to 50GB usage available
  • 4G device free on 12 month contract
  • Pay as You Go to 12 month contracts
  • Also available SIM-free

Buy now

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Tablet Bundles
£13.00 per month
24 month contract

No upfront cost

  • Deals starting at £13 a month
  • Variety of payment plans available
  • 4G speeds up to 40Mb
  • Up to 50GB usage
  • Android and iOS tablet options
  • Pay more upfront for cheaper plan
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Reasons to choose Vodafone

  • 99% coverage on the 4G network
  • 5G already available to 40 cities
  • The 5G GigaCube is specifically designed for home broadband - with unlimited data
  • Affordable unlimited data-only SIMs available
  • Most plans are available on 30-day rolling contracts
  • Free roaming in many EU countries on some deals

Possible downsides

  • 4G is not as fast as some other providers
  • The 4G GigaCube has no unlimited option
  • Unlimited 5G is quite pricey compared to fibre broadband at similar real-world speeds

Features at a glance

  • 4G speeds average around 22Mb, expect over 100Mb on 5G

  • Contracts range from 30 days to 18 months

  • Unlimited plans available on both 5G and 4G

  • 24 hour technical support by phone or online

  • Basic to Premium security available

  • SIM-only deals offered

  • Access Wi-Fi hotspots around the UK, including on the London Underground

  • Free mobile broadband dongles or portable hotspots with some deals

3.1 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 155 customer ratings since 2020-08-05. See more Vodafone Mobile Broadband customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2021-06-18

Dongles

From £10 a month with a variety of contracts and data options

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SIM Only

Unlimited data from £13 a month, 30 day contracts available

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4G

4G available on all plans, select 4G device or SIM, 5G rolling out

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Personal WiFi

From £10 a month with a variety of contracts and data options

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Short Contract

30 day contracts from £15 with 4GB usage, device costs vary

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Tablet Bundles

Device from £12 a month with varying upfront costs and contracts

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Highest Usage

Unlimited usage from £26 per month on 24 month contract

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Check Coverage

99% coverage for 2G, 3G and 4G, 5G in over 12 major cities

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Details last checked on 2021-06-18

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Vodafone Mobile Broadband.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3.1 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.2 stars
  • Speed
    2.9 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 155 customer ratings since 2020-08-05

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Vodafone

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
XlaWLGHRxtBsg
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
BFeJdNKjXYuGcHto Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
SCAM! Very poor quality, it's unusable and expensive! Not only that, but even for 1-month contract you have to give them 30 days notice, so they can charge you another month for something you're not even using. Thieves!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Milton Keynes Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
Absolute scam, low speed high latency very bad service.
Wasted hours speaking to assistants with no solutions to improve speeds.
NOT ONLY THAT you will have to pay 30 days extra after cancel this contract
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Salisbury Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
It's dire. Worse than the old dial up systems. Oh, it's gone offline again! Oh it's back now. Better post whilst I still have access to Vodafones mobile broadband network
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
ALNWICK Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
Absolute Scam if you are going tot ake the 30 day rolling contract. They will charge you for another 30days "notice" so you would have to cancel the contract the moment you started!

Customer service not interested at all to help and they just repeat garbage back over and over.

DO NOT BUY THE 30 Day rolling contract .... SCAM.... Slow speed
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
Hmm, notice I posted on 21 April! I don't normally do reviews, but Vodafone mobile broadband has deteriated. 10 minutes to open an email, if I can obtain a connection. I no longer find it a useable service, it's possible another area of the country may be ok. It's dire, rather like my mobile phone in 1993
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
ALNWICK Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
Sorry Vodafone. The actual mobile connection here is pretty good, but the mobile broadband is shocking! Generally it varies between 0.5Mb and 3Mb and often drops out all together. Let's face it, that's pathetic. And what on earth could the excuse be? We can see the telephone mast right at the bottom of the valley! If you wasn't the only provider in this area I would have cancelled this contract long ago.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Conwy Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
When it works it's ok'ish. But after 12 years using mobile broadband (Nb. My former supplier doesn't cover my current living location), I'll have to arrange a landline type connection. Vodafone is ok'ish when it works, very unreliable
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
ALNWICK Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
xlSKoRDaJ
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
FqSfnApsXrTKlQ Vodafone Mobile Broadband  
bIJmEviXTnL
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
FHMPtLgYkExoWXf Vodafone Mobile Broadband  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

iPad by the pool

How to get Wi-Fi when you're on holiday

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesO2VodafoneVirgin MobileEE MobileThree

Hopefully, holidays are back on the agenda this summer. And do we need them. But whether you're planning a staycation, or have decided to venture abroad, you'll also need Wi-Fi, so you can get local information, stay in touch with the rest of the world, and keep yourself entertained as you travel.

Fortunately, you've got a number of options, and they won't cost you a fortune to use them. Let's take a look at the cheapest ways to get Wi-Fi when you're holiday at home or abroad.

Hotel Wi-Fi

The best way to get Wi-Fi when you're abroad is likely to be through your hotel. Most have it these days, and many hotels and hotel chains offer it for free, sometimes with the option to upgrade to a faster service.

But you may need to take a precaution.

The rule when it comes to any public Wi-Fi service is that a password protected connection is better than something that's fully open, but that's still no guarantee that it's completely secure. This applies equally to your Airbnb rental or airport Wi-Fi as it does to hotels.

You don't need to worry about this if you're only doing some casual browsing. But if you're planning to log in to sensitive sites like your bank account, then you should set up and install a VPN first. This ensures your connection and data are fully encrypted. Alternatively, you could just use your phone and its data connection for these tasks, so that you bypass the Wi-Fi altogether.

Hotel Wi-Fi can vary quite a lot in terms of performance. Some may or may not be very good, and you might find that some bandwidth-heavy services like Netflix are blocked. If you have the chance to upgrade to a faster service then that would be the best way to use these types of sites, but keep in mind that you'll likely be paying for 24 hours of access, so the fees could rack up over the course of your stay.

Mobile broadband

Another good option for getting Wi-Fi at home or abroad is through a mobile broadband service from providers like Virgin Mobile, EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.

These use the 4G or 5G phone network to give you internet access through a personal mobile router to which you can connect all your devices. You can also use it with a dongle connected to your laptop, or on a SIM-enabled iPad, although both of these options make it a little harder to share your connection with your other gadgets.

Mobile providers haven't reintroduced roaming charges post-Brexit, so you can use your mobile broadband allowance in many other countries. You should check where before your sign up - coverage is mostly for EU countries, so if you're heading further afield the price may be prohibitively expensive.

Even within the EU you might have fair usage limitations placed on some packages. And, of course, you'll be reliant on mobile coverage wherever you are. Head off for a city break and you'll be fine; go camping in the countryside and you might want to check the coverage maps for the area first.

Staying in the UK? You can use our Signalchecker service to check mobile phone coverage throughout the country.

Your phone's plan

Don't forget also that iPhones and Android phones can be set up as wireless hotspots, enabling you to get your laptop or tablet online wherever you are.

You'll find the option in Settings > Personal Hotspot on most iPhones, and on most Android phones you'll find it by swiping down twice from the top of the screen to open the Quick Settings panel, then tapping the Hotspot or Mobile Hotspot option.

Using your phone as a hotspot works in the same way as a separate mobile broadband plan, and can be a good option if you've got a decent data allowance. You'll get the same coverage without roaming charges across the EU, but will have to pay a lot more elsewhere. In either case, keep an eye on your data use. You'll have to buy top-ups in advance if you overshoot what your plan allows.

There may be other restrictions, too. If you've got an unlimited plan, check that it allows for tethering (connecting devices via the hotspot feature), and note that there may be a fair use policy in place.

Any one of these methods, or a combination, could be right for you. If you decide that you want the security and flexibility of a personal Wi-Fi system, check out the best mobile broadband deals available right now.

Comments

BT Student Broadband

Last minute student broadband offers and options

Posted by Fiona Conner on in FeaturesOffersHyperopticThreeVodafoneEE MobileBTNOW BroadbandPlusnetVirgin Media

It's the time of year where students around the country are heading to university, either to start their studies or return for a new academic year.

Whether you're heading to uni for the first time, returning to your student accommodation or about to start out in a new student house share, now's the time to look for a good student broadband offer to keep you online over the next 9 months.

To prepare for student broadband season, we updated our longstanding Student Broadband Guide to reflect some of the student-specific offers available this year with student-exclusive 9 month contract offers from BT and student-exclusive cheaper 1 month rolling contract offers from Virgin Media.

Both of those option mean that you can avoid paying for broadband costs should you head home or go off on travels in the 3 months between academic years. But of course you don't need a special student exclusive offer to get short contract broadband from other suppliers, for example NOW Broadband, Plusnet and Hyperoptic also have competitive 1 month rolling contract offers that even undercut BT and Virgin's prices.

This year, we're also endorsing a mobile broadband option for the first time. Well, it's 4G or 5G mobile broadband technology sold as home broadband services. With 4G and 5G home broadband routers from Three, Vodafone and EE you may have to commit to a much longer contract, but you can then take your router with you wherever you travel during summer break. Vodafone even offer a 30 day rolling contract version, although you'll have to pay more than the cost of 3 months contract to get it.

Unlike most mobile broadband solutions, these have large enough usage allowances for many households. Three's home router even comes with unlimited usage!

Even if mobile data usually isn't strong inside your student accommodation, you may get a better connection from a router, or may even be able to get an external antenna installed to boost the signal.

We weigh up all these pros and cons and give you a table of all the relevant offers over on our Student Broadband guide.

Comments

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Vodafone right for you?

Can I get Vodafone mobile broadband?

Vodafone's 4G network has almost universal coverage across the UK. Their 5G network is available in 40 locations with more to come throughout 2020.

4G mobile broadband on Vodafone is available to 99% of the population, so unless you're in an especially remote area you should be able to get it. Speeds can vary though, and in certain areas you may get better coverage outdoors than indoors.

Our Speed Test survey shows that Vodafone is not the fastest 4G network. As of January 2020 it was averaging around 22.5Mb. This is over 8Mb slower than the leader EE, and a touch slower than you would expect to get on a basic fibre broadband deal. Vodafone are rolling out the faster 4G+ network, with potential speeds up to 300Mb. Use a coverage map to check if this is available where you are.

As for 5G, you can get mobile broadband through Vodafone in 40 locations, with more to be added over the coming months.

Can I get 5G on Vodafone?

Vodafone's 5G network is available in 40 cities and large towns from early 2020, with more to be added throughout the rest of the year.

The locations that can get 5G on Vodafone are Ambleside, Bebington, Belfast, Bishopbriggs, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bootle, Bristol, Bristol and Gatwick Airport, Cardiff, Cheadle and Gatley, Droylsden, Eccles, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Horwich, Huyton-with-Roby, Isle of Scilly, Kingswood, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Newbury, Paisley, Penarth, Plymouth, Prestwich, Rochdale, Salford, Solihull, Stockport, Stoke-on-Trent, Stretford, Wallasey, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

So far, they've named six more places that will get it this year: Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton.

Vodafone 5G is also available in 68 locations in Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. You can connect in these places at no extra cost on some plans.

It's important to remember that even in the places where 5G is available, coverage is not universal. It's likely that the busiest or most central parts of a city will have the widest and fastest coverage. You might find coverage on the outskirts is limited to outdoors rather than indoors, and in many places there will be no coverage at all. We'd expect this situation to continue for some time, as the rollout is still in its very early stages.

What 5G mobile broadband deals are available?

Vodafone's GigaCube is specifically designed as an alternative to home broadband. They also offer deals on a SIM-only basis if you've got your own 5G-enabled hardware.

The GigaCube is a cutting edge mobile router built for 5G. It supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 spec (technically known as 802.11ax), and allows for faster speeds and more connected devices with no slowdowns. You can connect up to 64 devices at once, so it's ideal for home use, although only those devices that support Wi-Fi 6 (of which there aren't too many at the moment) will benefit from the enhanced performance. The device can reach theoretical speeds of up to 1Gb.

Vodafone's GigaCube is available on three 18-month contracts and three 30-day rolling deals:

  • Unlimited Data: £50 a month, plus £50 upfront cost on an 18-month deal or £325 up front on the 30-day plan
  • 200GB monthly allowance: £40 a month, plus £50 up front on an 18-month deal or £325 up front on the 30-day plan
  • 100GB monthly allowance: £30 a month, plus £100 up front on an 18-month deal or £325 up front on the 30-day plan

There's a data cap in place on the two limited plans. You can remove this manually if you need more data in any given month, although restrictions are in place to prevent heavy excess charges.

The GigaCube is intended solely for home use. You can't remove the SIM card and use it in another device (when you're away from home, for example), and it also isn't eligible for the free roaming in Europe that you can get with other plans.

You can also get SIM-only data plans if you've already got your own 5G-enabled devices. The Unlimited Max Data SIM Plan comes on a 12-month contract, has unlimited usage, and includes free roaming in over 70 destinations.

What other Vodafone mobile broadband deals can I get?

Vodafone also have a range of mobile broadband plans on 4G, including a version of the GigaCube home broadband device and some SIM-only deals.

The 4G GigaCube is a different model to the 5G one. It can hit potential speeds of 300Mb, although in reality they're likely to be ten times less, closer to what you'd get from a basic fibre deal. It allows you to connect up to 20 devices at once.

The device is available on three 18-month plans and three 30-day plans. Unlike the 5G model there's no unlimited usage option:

  • 300GB monthly allowance: £50 a month, with a £100 upfront charge on the 30-day plan
  • 200GB monthly allowance: £40 a month, with a £100 upfront charge on the 30-day plan
  • 100GB monthly allowance: £30 a month, with a £100 upfront charge on the 30-day plan

There are two other 4G mobile broadband products in Vodafone's range:

  • Vodafone R218 Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot: connects up to 10 devices at once, and comes with free roaming. Is available on 10 plans, ranging from a 2GB monthly allowance to unlimited usage, on 30-day and 12-month contracts
  • Vodafone K5160 dongle: designed for use on the road, this dongle needs to be plugged into the USB port on a laptop. It doesn't function as a wireless router. Available on 10 plans, ranging from a 2GB monthly allowance to unlimited usage, on 30-day and 12-month contracts

On top of this, there are a number of 4G SIM-only data plans. You can use these with an existing mobile router, or even with your tablet or phone. There are 12-month and 30-day plans with data allowances of 2GB, 6GB, 24GB or Unlimited.

There are two unlimited options. The Unlimited Data SIM Plan is designed for casual use (ie. web, social media etc.) and has its speed pegged to 10Mb. The Unlimited Max Data SIM Plan works at the fastest possible speed available where you are - this includes 5G for no extra cost.

Should I choose 5G or 4G mobile broadband from Vodafone?

With an unlimited plan designed for home broadband use, 5G might be the right way to go - as long as the conditions are right.

With its unlimited data allowance and potential speeds that far outpace a typical fibre broadband package, the 5G GigaCube looks a good bet for home broadband. However, it is intended for use at home - not as a mobile broadband service - so you need to check what kind of signal you can get indoors, if any.

Also, make sure you use our postcode checker to see how the price compares to the traditional fibre packages available in your area. GigaCube may potentially be faster than fibre, but it's also quite a bit more expensive. Home broadband over 5G is likely to become quite common over the next few years, but right now it's still new.

But if you are in a 5G area, that's the one to go for if you are set on mobile broadband. The 4G GigaCube is a similar price, but is limited to 300GB of data on the high end plan. If you use things like Netflix and iPlayer, or have kids, that allowance might not be enough.

Your other option for 4G is to go for a data-only SIM plan. This tops out at a quite palatable £33 a month for the unlimited option, though you will have to provide your own hardware (you can set up an old phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot in a pinch).

Broadband.co.uk